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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Cosmic News!!!


I know it is mid-week and you usually don’t hear from much from me but there is good news to share and as I always say about good news, why wait? So here is the scoop! Our very own Cosmic Pam is growing…and out, to Springfield! Here’s what Pam had to tell us.

“Cosmic Charlie has big news! I am going into expansion mode and landing in Springfield, downtown, in my very own Cosmic Charlie Bread and The Girl Shop…Breads and Threads!! It is so exciting that I find myself smiling, and singing, and loving it all!

Why Springfield, you ask? Back in the days of following The Grateful Dead, the old saying was…The bus pulled up, and I got on. Well, Springfield called, and I got on! Over the summer, I expanded my farmer’s market circuit to include The Springfield Farmer’s market. Oakview Farm Meats also entered into that venue. It was AMAZING! The crowds, the director, the leadership, things that I learned, watched and appreciated. Over the weeks, I developed a nice little following…I had out of town people visiting the city, people of Springfield, and Wittenburg kids. At the end of the season, I was sad to see it all go. I liked building in a new community. Oakview was also highly successful there but as sad as we were to leave, we had festivals and events to participate in.

After working my rounds of events and festivals, Cosmic Charlie took on a whole new level of fans! They were coming into town to seek me out, they were using the hotline, I was taking on more clients, and I had just landed a gig with Seasons Bistro and Grille, in downtown Springfield. I announced, via social media, more specific Facebook, that once the season was officially over, this girl needed to do some serious regrouping and think, again, about a storefront, a bake front, any kind of front!

Later in that day, it was a Monday..:)I got a call from a girl I have known for quite a long time and she is now the director of Springfield’s Center City. Center City acts much like the board I am on at Monument Square District, here, in town, but on a much grander and financially motivated scale. She never gets on Facebook but something had told her to get on, that day. She did, she saw my status, she offered me a shop front that I could not turn down.

What is unique, in their local food movement, is that their Center City, in conjunction with the Historical Heritage Center, offers an Entrepreunership Incubator program. It is a program that they pick a candidate and take that business from the ground up to a fully run, self sufficient business. I surpassed the beginning criteria due to the fact that Cosmic Charlie is fours years in operation. I run a heavy marketing side of the business, I am well established, and I know my business plan, have a vision, have my goals, and know how and when to meet them. So, after being voted in, by their board, unanimously, I am in their expansion phase. Cosmic Charlie is on the move!

Also, because of my participation and belief in eating local, seasonal, chem-free, I fit right in with the adjoining coffee cafe that is across from me. They serve only farmer’s market products from the local vendors! In season! The same with Seasons, who now carries my bread! My food philosophy and their local movement…a total match! My shop also sits at the entrance to farmer’s market alley. In the summer, I will have a helper in the Cosmic Shop, while I join the other 40/more vendors, on Saturdays, for market day!

I then approached them with this idea…since I also operate a clothing store of hippie clothing (much of how I dress at markets, in real life, at events…), I asked if I could move, Girl With Far Away Eyes, into the shop too, so that it could be a Cosmic lifestyle shop combining the whole brand and package. They LOVED it!

So, here I am…opening up my shop with both of my businesses under one roof! All of my venues in Champaign County remain the same, but now there will be more Cosmic in another city!

My exclusive opening day is this Friday! It is not my GRAND opening but it is my opening…please feel free to come and check me out!! It is also Springfield’s First Friday…about 400 people flock to their First Fridays! I am so excited!! If you come in the morning, you will get free mimosas and samples of breads. It’s a soft opening but I am ready to throw open the doors! I will also be open on Saturday…9am-1pm! The address is 117 S.Fountain Avenue, Springfield, Ohio! My shop is right inside the main entrance of the old downtown Esplanade. I share the atrium with UnMundo Cafe and the Springfield Arts Council.

My phone is (937) 926-4833…I look forward to seeing my vendor family checking me out!

Tomorrow I was asked to do an interview for the News/Sun! I will make sure to link the article when it comes out!

Thank you, for always showing me the weekly love, ordering my products, and letting me sprinkle a bit of Cosmic happiness on your day! My fellow vendors and dedicated customers have always been what this is all about!

Cosmic Charlie Bread…it’s not just bread…it’s an experience!!"

Congrats Pam! You have earned it! So be sure to mark your day on Friday to welcome Pam with some love…here on the virtual market or in person in Springfield! Way to go Pam! We are very proud of you!

Tuesday is here...


Good Afternoon! This is your weekly reminder that the market closes tonight at 8 pm. That means drop your children to basketball, your daughter to piano, your mother to her yoga class, bring Dad his newspaper, run your dog to the groomer, mail those bills and get yourself a cup of decaf all before at least 7:30 pm so you can be sure to get your order completed to the market.

Even better, head to www.champaignoh.locallygrown.net now and get your order placed before you run out of time! There are still lots of great options!

I’ll be sending word too on Cosmic Charlie’s expanding business later. Our very own Cosmic Pam is growing into Clark County and has a big announcement. She even has invited us to be a part of the grand opening! I’ll send out another note when I get the full scoop. Be sure to watch for details to come! Great job Pam!

Good morning sunshine!


A happy Monday to you and yours! The sun is shining and so are we!

New this week are some delightful offerings from Rufus and Katie Hoover from Sunshine Farms in Mechanicsburg. You know Rufus and Katie from both the Champaign County Market and the Flea Market at the Fairgrounds. They are simply adorable and work harder than anyone I know, at twice my age I might add!

While they sell Walnut Creek and Guggisberg cheese wedges at the other markets and at their farm, for us they are selling the whole wheel! These are perfect for larger gatherings, almost unlimited grilled cheese sandwiches and a hearty addition to any soup on a chilly day.

The Guggisberg Baby Swiss is my personal favorite. I think it makes the best sandwich to go with my basil tomato soup. Yummo! If you have loved Berlin, Kidron, Millersburg or any other stop along the Amish Country backroads near Holmes County, you know these cheeses are awesome!

Please continue to share the news of the market. New faces are not only fun but the lifeblood of our growth curve!

See you Thursday and be sure to order by 8 pm Tuesday!

Good morning sunshine!


A happy Monday to you and yours! The sun is shining and so are we!

New this week are some delightful offerings from Rufus and Katie Hoover from Sunshine Farms in Mechanicsburg. You know Rufus and Katie from both the Champaign County Market and the Flea Market at the Fairgrounds. They are simply adorable and work harder than anyone I know, at twice my age I might add!

While they sell Walnut Creek and Guggisberg cheese wedges at the other markets and at their farm, for us they are selling the whole wheel! These are perfect for larger gatherings, almost unlimited grilled cheese sandwiches and a hearty addition to any soup on a chilly day.

The Guggisberg Baby Swiss is my personal favorite. I think it makes the best sandwich to go with my basil tomato soup. Yummo! If you have loved Berlin, Kidron, Millersburg or any other stop along the Amish Country backroads near Holmes County, you know these cheeses are awesome!

Please continue to share the news of the market. New faces are not only fun but the lifeblood of our growth curve!

See you Thursday and be sure to order by 8 pm Tuesday!

We're open!


Short and sweet…we’re open!

Last call!


Hurry up! Last call for orders this week!

Did you see him?


A man was at my house this morning…an unwelcome guest I would add. Jack Frost, that is.

There were days I used to hurriedly scurry around in the dark just prior to sunrise throwing old sheets and blankets on top of everything in the garden on this innaugural morning. I would water down anything else I couldn’t cover, seemingly spraying my clothes with just as much water as the garden, hands freezing and teeth nearly chattering. Now, with a few pretty big changes in how I am spending my mornings, that frenzy is simply not possible. Jack Frost crept into my garden and left his mark without a response from me. Strange…very strange.

With changes in our lives this school year, I am looking at things differently I guess. One could site the line “For every season…” and focus on the need for our upcoming time to rest from the toils of ground. One could also just say that our foci change and life shifts a bit. I am at peace with the damage I know he has done to my tender plants who were hanging on for one last show. More important things are in view and I cannot physically change that nor do I want to. Fall brings many changes and this year I will embrance it as that is my only option. Hmmm….seems strange to even admit but there is nothing I can do to change it. Nature happens.

As we keep an eye on the calendar and look forward to the upcoming holidays that will be here before we know it, I won’t discuss Mr. Frost much now that he showed his face once. His impact will be noticeable and sad for some, refreshing for others. It will soon be time for days of baking and decorating to replace the hours spent in the garden and the useless act of mowing the dreaded grass, which if we had more hands would simply be more space to plant edibles for some of us.

I know our vendors noticed Jack’s visit too, some preparing to defend their gardens with a better plan than I. Some, are looking forward to the break from the season of orange, yellows and green. The kids are looking forward to playing in the snow and skating while I am looking forward to finally reading the books I just didn’t get to all summer.

Shorter days and colder nights change us in many ways but one thing is for certain. Whether we want the change or not, it is going to happen. Whether we choose to react to it or not, it is going to happen. The seasons come and go and we will need to adapt. Sometimes that is hard and sometimes it just happens as a result of other things on our radar. This pattern follows other patterns and we simply must adapt.

I finish this morning with well wishes and comforting thoughts of a working furnace or fireplace, a cozy blanket and a cup of your favorite delight. I wish you happiness as we head into a new season full of potential and memories of yesterdays. May your gardens have given you all the nutrients you, your families and your friends could have wanted. We thank them and Mother Nature for sustaining us and we too look forward to days of rest. Until spring, our sweet gardens…we will see you soon. But not until we have dog-eared every last page of those seed catalogs with dreams of the covers of Better Homes and Gardens!

Have a wonderful day and be sure to order before tonight at 8 pm as the market will be closing for another week! Please spread the news of the market to all of your friends and families, coworkers and peers so we can grow, and grow, and grow, and grow…without ever a frost to worry!

Monday, Monday...


Good morning! I’m sure you had a busy weekend but are already hard at it…whether that would be getting kiddos ready for school, yourself ready for a busy day of work outside the home, or any combination of both and more. It was a beautiful fall weekend and I hope it continues. I hear we could see some of that “white stuff” later in the week and I really just want to shut my eyes over the whole topic! Trust me, the vegetable vendors are watching the weather even closer than you and I!

As you know, Monday is for starting the work week and for reminding you the market closes tomorrow night at 8 pm. Please make sure you take a few minutes in the next 36 hours or so to check out our offerings. We still have PLENTY of wonderful items for you.

Enjoy your Monday…find a memory from summer to carry you through any mist or slush that comes later in the week. And remember, this too shall pass!

Good day friends!


The market is once again open for business! Thanks again to Swisher Hill’s Charlene and Joe for helping to run the show! I hear we had a special cameo appearance from Mark Runyan of Oakview Meats. There are good things that come from the delays brought on by the rain during harvest time! Thanks guys! Have a wonderful weekend and please spread the word of the market to your friends and family! Our vendors are so awesome and we want the rest of the world to know it! Enjoy!

Hello Virtual Market Shoppers!


Good afternoon! Although rain has started to fall, it is still a great day to live in an area that is so abundant with local food options. Rain is needed to replenish, refresh and renew so I say let it fall. Plus, I would much rather see it now than in a month or so when it will fall as white snowflakes. I am so not ready for that!

A few reminders today for everyone…Swisher Hill Herbs has asked us to pass along a couple of reminders. So here we go!

There are only two more Saturdays to shop at the Champaign County Farmers Market in downtown Urbana before they close for the season! Be sure to head out this Saturday and next to support them before their year ends. They are located behind the Municipal Building on Locust Street between Market and Water Street and sell from 9am-1pm. Many smiling faces will be ready to serve you and happy to see you before they pack it up until spring!

And, as the holidays near, Swisher Hill Herbs are ready for you! They have put together 5 new culinary gift sets. In appreciation for their customers, all of their gift box sets will be packed absolutely FREE for the holiday season! Check it out under the Gifts category, then select Swisher Hill Herbs Gift Sets. They will also do special orders! Contact them at swisherhillherbs@gmail.com and they can assist you in your selections. They thank you for your business! (from Joe and Charlene Stapleton, Swisher Hill Herbs)

It is Thursday so don’t forget your order tonight if you ordered this week! Also be sure to give Charlene and Joe “a huge hello” too as they are filling in for our Cosmic Pam (who was last seen installing an oven in her car…not really but she if she could do it, we know she would!). Thanks to each of them for all the volunteer hours they give to us each week and beyond.

Don’t forget that the market opens up again tonight after all the goodies are dropped off, packed up, picked up and toted home!

Happy eating!
Heather