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!



 
Subscribe to an RSS Feed

Another week is upon us!


Thank you to Michelle and Charlene for leading us last night at a great market! Don’t forget shopping is available until Tuesday night!

Some exciting news to share too! Thank you to Swisher Hill Herbs who offered up some of their wonderful spring herbs as both decorations and for sale to help raise both awareness and funding for the Caring Kitchen and the Market Street Community Garden. We so enjoyed their beauty and made a few dollars to boot! Thank you Charlene and Joe!

Last call!


Put your rain boots down and get to your computer as we are running on our last call! T-minus 30 minutes! Last call!

My mother nature story from today...


So I admit, I sometimes try to fool mother nature and she doesn’t miss a beat. The background is I have a older hen that was made an outcast from the group a few months ago. To me, chicken coops are where bullying must have originally started and if left to battle it out, sometimes ends in death. Knowing this, I intervened and placed her in a separate cage to strengthen her and give everyone a chance to forget their meanness. There indeed is a “pecking order” with hens and I believe this is true, even in how they place themselves on the rows of the roosts with the roosters best girlfriends alongside him and just those other ladies on lower roosts. I have heard this order is also to protect the best of the flock should an intruder enter the coop allowing the lowest ones to be sacrificed while the most protected remain higher up on the roosts. Thankfully this portion of the story remains unproven in my coop.

So tonight I let them all out in the grass and into the compost pile beside the barn to scratch and munch on bugs. They obviously loved them and squawked with delight. The man in charge directs them to certain finds and calls them to attention. This too is amazing that they listen so intently to his suggestions. Often if he finds something, he calls to them and backs up allowing them to eat it unselfishly. Impressive chivalry!

The sneaky part of my story begins when I quietly retrieved my little outcast who has really plumped up in her secure little vacation spot and placed her along the edge of the fencing. Looking exactly a mirror image to the other Barred Rocks, she sauntered towards the compost and snuck around the currant bush awaiting it’s spring leaves.

She joined the group near the base of the compost hill and that darn rooster wasn’t fooled a bit. He made a few calls with a throated-gesture and tip-toed almost sideways towards her. I have begun to think that the sideways walk is part mating ritual and part agent 007 as it seems too predictable to me but not to “the girls”.

He immediately let us both know the gig was up and tried to fight her like two boxers on the ropes. I intervened once again and carried her quietly back to her more-than-temporary home. We shared a few words and I apologized for the bully in the barnyard. She seemed to understand and perhaps from the flashbacks of terror or from the sight of the full food and water dish, she trotted right back into her cage. So sleep tight ladies and gents…we’ll try again another time!

As another day on the farm comes to a close, I encourage you to try something new this season. Chickens are a wonderful addition but perhaps herbs are your choice. Whatever you choose, spread your wings and give something new a go! You will learn so much, even if it is who is nice to you in your flock!

Don’t forget to order from us as the market is open! There are lots of exciting things to share so spend a few minutes and learn more about our vendors! Good night to my friends in my flock!

We're back!!!!


I know you just finished picking up your orders but we are back open for sales! Come along and play with us! Find something new and enjoy an old friend!

Reminder for market pick-up...


Just a reminder for those customers, old and new, who ordered this week. Please don’t forget to pick up your orders from 4:30-6:30 at the Y tomorrow evening (Thursday). The process starts by paying at the front desk and bringing your receipt to the volunteer table. There you will gather your basket, or bag, and go thru your order to confirm everything is there. Please remember to bring a shopping bag for your items so we can be as waste-free as possible. Thank you for helping us trim down our amount of help needed to fill the orders. See you there!

Reminder for market pick-up...


Just a reminder for those customers, old and new, who ordered this week. Please don’t forget to pick up your orders from 4:30-6:30 at the Y tomorrow evening (Thursday). The process starts by paying at the front desk and bringing your receipt to the volunteer table. There you will gather your basket, or bag, and go thru your order to confirm everything is there. Please remember to bring a shopping bag for your items so we can be as waste-free as possible. Thank you for helping us trim down our amount of help needed to fill the orders. See you there!

Thank you!


Thank you for such a super market! I think this is our best ever! You rock!

For Carol...


I just realized I failed to give you a link. I am sorry and here it is!
Http://Champaignoh.locallygrown.net

Also did you all see Swisher Hill Herb’s latest market offerings of herbs for spring kitchen garden planting? Woo hoo! Great job Charlene and Joe!
Enjoy!

It is Tuesday everyone!


You know what that means, right? The last day to order for Thursday’s market. You have until 8 PM tonight when we shut it down. Step right up and don’t be shy! Enjoy the sun!

What a beaut!


Wow is it grand outside or what? Beau-ti-ful! I’m writing to remind you the market is open and awaiting to be used. Please check it out and seek something new or different for your table.

I have been a total slacker in reminding those that plant their own garden that the calendar is upon us for a couple of plantings. I always take my father’s advice, who took his father’s advice, and planted his peas on St. Patrick’s Day and his potatoes on Good Friday. Time seems to have flown by this spring and I have yet to get a thing in the ground. I will have to play catch-up for certain, at least to make my father’s schedule which is a good one to follow and one that I hear many others do as well. They grew their food because there were no groceries close by or money to spare. It sustained their families (and those they shared it with too) unlike these days when I can really call it a hobby instead, although we still do a lot of sharing!

Speaking of sharing, don’t forget to consider planting an extra row for donation to a shelter or pantry for those in need. A few years back we helped to promote “Plant a Row for the Hungry” which started as a project of the American Garden Writers I believe back in 1999. The purpose is just to remind folks that planting a bit extra can go a long way and what better food to share than healthy, fresh, homegrown goodness from your garden! Anyway, please consider others when you start digging in the dirt this year and in the future. Our suggested donation site is the Caring Kitchen in Urbana but any pantry will be glad to see you coming, especially with nutritious offerings which are so needed.

It is a good time to get your cool weather crops in the ground which are cold tolerant, even to frosts. I picked up a flat of brussel sprouts last night, some kale and cabbage too. I am not sure when I’ll have a block of time to get them in but hopefully in the next few days. You’ll want to hold off on anything like your tomatoes or peppers until after our last frost date (used to be May 17th I think but I’ll confirm that for us) those will be good to put out too. Even if it is just planting in a container, try something new. True growth happens by stepping out of our comfort zones and “expanding horizons”! Now if I can just get rid of the new rabbits I keep seeing….

As my technical helper advised (my ten year old daughter did this for me), be sure to add our market to your home screen so you can go right to us anytime. Go to the website toolbar, find the square with the arrow coming out of it and click it. Select the option “add to home screen” and name it something of your choosing. The icon should pop up with your other icons for easy shopping.

Have a great week and we are so glad you are with us!

Http://Champaignoh.locallygrown.net.