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!
We Are Live!
In my market glancing, as I prepare to make my purchases for the week, I noticed the smiling offerings of the first live herb plants from Swisher Hill Herbs!!
Yay!! Another sign of the change of seasons…and, as I always say, from way back in my Grateful Dead days, live versions are amazing versions!!
Oh, mirror in the sky
What is love ?
Can the child within my heart rise above
Can I sail thought the changing ocean tides
Can I handle the seasons of my life…
Good morning, little local market of love customers!! It’s a windy, rainy morning, but definitely has spring blowing around, out there.
The change of seasons is upon us, the time for growth, of hope, of new beginnings. Maybe it’s in the produce growing season, maybe it’s in your own personal growth, maybe it’s in the dawn of a new day…however you look at it, it all changes in the spring. The seasons of life…
I returned from a long weekend vacation, up in the mountains of Tennessee, with a large group of my sorority sisters. We are the sisters who spanned the years of 1982-1986. The band of us who helped to colonize the chapter, on that campus, and the first pledge classes, to bring the needed growth, in the beginning. Without the pioneer attitude, hard work, constant care, and constant attention to growth, and moving forward with vision, we never would have gotten the chapter off the ground. And, in the year 2017, that chapter is the strongest on our alma mater’s campus…strong in numbers, strong in academics, strong in social awareness, strong in community.
As I sat around the table, in the cabin, one night, over bottles of wine, boxes of old pictures, laughing over old memories as we made new memories, exchanging life stories, sharing battle scars, rejoicing in our triumphs, and mourning now the loss of four of our fellow sisters, we hugged, we smiled, and we all agreed on one thing…
The strong bonds that were planted in the beginning of our journeys, way back in 1982, kept us strong, taught us about life, taught us to have a strong appreciation for the plight of fellow women, and for an undying love that brings us back, every couple of years.
I seem to apply this theme in all that I do. The planting of the seeds, the constant care to facilitate growth, the outpouring of both love and heartache to nurture, and then the constant care to continue the growth, and the ability to sustain through solid roots and bonds.
I have seen it, also, in this market. The seeds were planted, years ago. The growth took off, the constant love from you helped to carry it, and now, today, we continue to see the strength from all of our efforts.
It is Tuesday, the market will close, this evening, at 10pm, we have our End Of The Road family back on, and as the weeks unfold, we will see the return more of our seasonal growers, the part of his market family, that is essential to our growth.
Take a bit of time to shower us with love, today…it only makes us stronger…
Welcome to another week of fun!
The market is now open!
Sunshine Of Your Love
I’ve been waiting so long
To be where I’m going
There, in the sunshine of your love…
(Cream-Sunshine Of Your Love)
And, here we are, basking in the sunshine of your love, for us, for our market!!
And, the sun will be shining just a bit brighter on the market, today, as it’s Tuesday, your orders will groove us, all day, into the evening, until 10pm, tonight, when we will then close for the week!!
Then, the real sunshine grooviness will begin, when the market reopens on Thursday.
First…we will be welcoming back, seasonal favorites, End Of The Road Farms!!! Yes, your favorite little family of naturally certified farming will be back at the market!! Since they left us, their family grew by one more babe, right at that time. They took on the Miami County virtual market, and now are heading back to us, as well!!
Also…Thursday, you will find the market in the hands of your co-manager, Mark!! Your Cosmic market manager is leaving early on Thursday morning to go off on a mountain adventure with a gang of sorority sisters, on our annual, every two year, sojourn. And, then, that means that I will also be appointing Mark the duties of opening up the market, that night, just in case I am totally out of touch in the mountains!! And, to make it all groovy, I will appoint Paul the task of picking the song for that market!!
The two market guys running the show while I go off to play…let’s make sure to show them, and the market, a whole lot of sunshine love, by placing a whole lot of sunshine orders!!
Ok, but until then, we have today, all day, to make this market the sunshine of your love…
Let The Games Begin!
You know I am a huge March Madness girl!! You know my team is Kentucky, followed by North Carolina!! I have lived in both states, and both teams are near and dear to my heart. BUT, having gone to college in Kentucky, I always hope that the sun shines bright on my old Kentucky home…
And, also, the games must begin with this market opening for the week!! Get in, look at the market site, make your orders, and watch the games, all at the same time…
Start the madness…throw us some orders!!
Time Keeps On Ticking...
And, the time is totally ticking away as we approach the last half hour of this market for the week!!
Get your orders in before 10pm! You still have time, but don’t wait too long…you don’t want to miss out on all the fun…
Sea Green, See Blue
And you dream, you make movies, you dance
You moved to Montreal, to be closer to France
How’s that working out, how’s the music, how’s the food?
I know you won’t stay there forever, I know you’re gonna move again and again and again…
(Sea green, See Blue-JayMay)
The sweetness of a little song can move me, cheer me up, make me think in all directions, and make me want to do a million things, all at once. And, somehow, I am always able to bring it around to thinking about this little market of love.
Just like the part of the song that I chose for today, I know that there are a million things that you all also could be doing, should be doing, will be doing, and that after it all, you will all land right where you need to be. With us, with the goodness, with the realness, with the friendliness, with the nutrition, with the community spirit.
And here we will be…always with open arms, swaying along, humming our tune, smiling our smile, offering our products.
Yesterday, we said hello to spring. That means that it won’t be long before all of our seasonal vendors begin to groove back to us. It means that everyone comes home to land. And when that happens, we live a nice little harmony from spring until late fall…
Get your orders in, today, because we close for the week, at 10pm, this evening!!
Handle With Care
Everybody’s got somebody to lean on…
(Handle With Care-Traveling Wilburys)
The Traveling Wilburys…what a group of super rock legends, all formed into one group for a very short time in rock history. One of them, Roy Orbison, leaving the group way too soon, followed by George Harrison. But, oh when they were all together, what a sound.
I also super love that this group all came together with the idea of making super music, right in the time frame when Los Angeles was my stomping grounds. I could have been anywhere in Malibu while they were all at Dylan’s house in Malibu, making sweet music. Well, in my rock muse secret life, that’s how I would have it.
Anyway, this lyric, everybody’s got somebody to lean on, makes me happy, makes me hope that this is true, and it makes me hopeful that this is how you view our little market of love.
That we are always somebody you can lean on. We are open, most of the week, day and night, all year. We leave the lovelight on so that you can order at your leisure. We bring our love to this game, so that you KNOW you can lean on us, depend on us, and you even let us educate you.
Just like the Traveling Wilburys, we all formed, years ago, to bring you our own little local super group of love, food, products.
Go ahead, look over your market lists, give us an order, let us be the somebody you need to lean on…
In another world…
In another time…
In another place…
So far away…
(Astral Weeks-Van Morrison)
One of my very favorite Van Morrison songs, and, my favorite of his albums.
There is a history behind the recording of this album, how it came to be, the struggle to over come one big record label, the struggle to reclaim his poetry, his ability to provide his haunting lyrics, the fact that this album put him right up to Bob Dylan as song poet, lyricist, all with an album that once completed, he felt that he could now see the light at the end of the tunnel.
It followed a sort of battle he had with his previous label, was given a chance to shine on a second label, but not before he had been blackballed, shunned, and dropped from every club in NYC, just because he had refused, in part, to be forced into a pop like music genre. He fought hard, and won with his poetic offerings.
So much of this story reminds me of our little market of love. How, everyday, every week, we fight to keep our name out there, we have worked hard, over the years, to where we finally saw the light at the end of the tunnel, to feel we had finally educated on what it means to produce, grow, and sell, locally. We were not the big box stores, we were not your corporate grocery stores, and we were not a run of the mill farm market.
We have demanded that we stay true to our original vision. Remain steadfast in a market that loves us, hates us, embraces us, shuns us. Depending on the day, the week, or even the year, we either see strong weeks of sales, support, and adulation, OR, we see the masses flocking to the big box retailers for steals, deals, and what they are led to believe is “local”.
And, you know what, that’s okay. We remain, fighting the good fight, out there, ready for the tides that will once again turn, the people will figure out that we are the real deal, the true game in town. We are your Van Morrison, signing your Astral Weeks, looking at the light at the end of the tunnel, knowing that you always come back around for our market, our vendors, our products, our prices, our community, our ease shopping, our low prices, and the education that you get, in all things local…
We are your poets, your lyricists, of your local songs…we sing for you, for us, and for our community…
Get on board…be a part of it all…
The market re-opens, right now, with all of the goodness…let us carry you away…
The market site has had a few issues, tonight, but now things seem fine, and I am giving you until 10:30, to get the last orders in!
Go, take advantage!!