The Weblog

The local foods movement is alive and well in Champaign County! Here are some updates on other projects while we finalize our virtual market:

Local Producers Map:
Our local producers map is ready for publication and you will soon be able to find it on gochampaign.com. Copies will be distributed around the community, in the local telephone book, and other “hangouts”. The guide lists the location and contact information for nearly 50 local producers within our county. The map was a project of the Local Food Council and printed with the help of some local sponsors including the Monument Square District, Champaign Bank, the Community Improvement Corporation, the Chamber of Commerce, the Farm Bureau and others. It is a great start to finding a local source for Champaign County’s finest!



 
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Special announcement...


Oops! I totally forgot to give a shout out to two specials this week! Be sure to look for the bulk pork Chorizo from Oakview for $4.75 and the Cosmic Charlie French Loaf for $3.00. Ummm ummm good!

I also had to laugh and thought I would share something. The March 2013 copy of Better Homes and Gardens actually said “Now that growing vegetables is trendy, so is preserving.” Isn’t that great! Not that I profess we do anything to be trendy, but it is great that we can rest assured our hard work in the garden and kitchen is getting noticed! Whether you are new to canning or have felt like you must have personally helped Ball Canning stock increase, the benefits of growing your own food is amazing. I thought it was funny and am so proud that mainstream media is helping to share what is going on inside our Better Homes and Gardens! Great job everyone! Now if they just had a fashion show for what we wear to the garden! Yikes, maybe we don’t want that!

Reminder for market closing...


Well here it is! Your Tuesday reminder that today is your last chance to order for this week. The market will be closing tonight at 8 so get your cravings fulfilled! I see new jellies and meats, new breads and more so hurry to the checkout lane…or in our case, the confirmation screen! Have a great day and be careful if you have to travel tonight!

The calm before the white stuff...


Well they are saying it is coming but who knows, right? Snow is snow and if we get it, the weather rock will turn white proving that yes, it snowed! All we know for certain is that it is national pound cake day, a great time to celebrate the life of Dr. Seuss, time to love one another and support your community by shopping local! To that end, just remember that the market closes tomorrow at 8 pm and the roads should be cleared off by Thursday evening just in time for market pickup! Share the love and read a Dr. Seuss book to a loved one while eating a piece of local pound cake!

Read All About It!


I have been thinking of a way to share a resource, that although is one I love dearly, is better used by being shared. I have a vice to admit. I love books! So here’s the plan…I will lend these as long as they keep coming back to the roost. I’ve posted a few randomly-selected works and you can sign them out just like purchasing a product, but of course there is no fee. Let’s try to have them out for two weeks at a time and if you need longer, you can email me and we’ll make it work. We’ll see how it goes and I’m hoping they will be kept safe in your trust. I’ll add to the list as I find time. I know you trendsetters believe in lifelong learning too so I feel this is good for both of us. If I find some snag with copy write issues, I might have to just bring them to the market to set out, but let’s try and see how it works! The more we all learn, the better we can teach others and expand our services to our communities in which we serve through all avenues we touch! Enjoy!

Get your flapjacks ready!


The Stadler’s of Valley View Woodlands announce the arrival of the first syrup of the season! A small batch has been gathered, evaporated, bottled and is ready to leave the shack! Awesome job Mother Nature! Thank you for the start of what we hope is a hearty season of syrup blessings! Great job guys!

The Harlem Shake


Good day friends! I have nothing new to report other than the volunteers of the market have no plans to perform the Harlem Shake for you contrary to popular gossip. We could practice up on our foxtrot or salsa but no shake shall be forthcoming! I do have a special update for you to be revealed later if I get a few free minutes! I think you will enjoy the new offering but we’ll see! Don’t forget the market is open for business!

TGIF!


Don’t forget the market is now open on Thursdsy evening! Shop away folks!

A friendly reminder!


Please remember to pick your order up tonight from 4:30-6:30 at the Y so our wonderful volunteers do not have to track you down! We have to jump through a lot if hoops to do that and at our age, it just isn’t pretty. First, the warm-up suit doesn’t fit and sometimes the hoops even get stuck around my middle…geesh, just please pick up your orders!

Precious Time with Katie


I can honestly say I really haven’t spent much time in a greenhouse. However that changed Friday during the thaw of the ice event when I spent a few afternoon hours with Katie Hoover. I could not believe how nice and summery it was in there. I realize obviously it would be warmer but I had no idea how it would make me feel to be in there. It was a very happy place, full of bright potential and… color. The contrast was the ice just outside the plastic walls which kept folks hunkered down inside their homes and our children home from school for a few extra hours of most-likely brain-stunting video usage. Blah!

We played in the dirt and talked about life amongst the blooms and it felt like a different time of the year. It was sort of puzzling to me as the plants which produced like in late spring did not know it was only February. I felt like they were being tricked somehow.

While Katie worked up flats and slowly shook the tiniest of seeds into their new soil home, I cut shoots from their mother plant to begin life anew on their own. It seemed so harsh but Katie promised me they would be fine. Pruning always seems to be hard for me to do even though I know it is how new life begins. I can’t stand to do it to my fruit trees, and give that job to the husband, but feel like this is the year I have to get tough and “just do it”. I’ll keep you all posted on that later.

Let’s just say I wish for everyone to find a greenhouse, especially on the bleakest winter day, and peek in for an out-of-body experience. You see nature’s beauty when you’ve forgotten how pretty things can be. You smell the work of nature in the air and on your blackened hands. You feel the warmth of the sun, whether real or slightly man-made. Take a few minutes to experience a greenhouse this late winter day.

If you need a suggestion, I can highly recommend Franklin Park Conservatory to help aid the winter blahs. Especially now as they have their orchids and a fantastic exhibit featuring art made of waste materials found in public waterways, beaches and streams. It’s amazing how beautiful the female artist makes it look even as she is highlighting the destructive force of littering and plastic on our world. It’s a beautiful use of plastic, if I might put those two words in one sentence.

Have a wonderful day and keep watching for signs of spring, either man-made or real!

Everyone jump for joy!


If you needed something to be excited about this rainy Wednesday, I’ve got it! The market closed last night with one of our biggest weeks yet! We added new vendors who I’ll brag about later today and awesome new customers too! We couldn’t be happier that the market continues to grow and support our wonderful communities! Even better, the customers gain more options to eat healthier while the growers continue to be financially rewarded for their hard work! Thanks to everyone for working together on such a great common goal!