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 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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The Grand Illusion

Welcome to the grand illusion
Come on in and see what’s happening
Pay the price, get your tickets for the show
The stage is set, the band starts playing
Suddenly your heart is pounding
You’re wishing secretly you were a star…
(The Grand Illusion-Styx)

Ok…so, first up, hello to winter. We barely saw you during the typical winter months, you teased us with sending us into premature spring, and now look…what am I seeing out my windows? Snow? A winter illusion? Mother Nature has gone off the deep end, and the rest of us are just along for the ride…

Second…Styx…can you dig it? My first “real” vinyl purchase, my first “real” rock concert, and if we are being honest, I was going to marry their lead singer, Tommy Shaw. But, more on that in a later installment, titled, Cosmic Pam Should Have Been A Rock and Roll muse…moving on…

Anyway, today, for some reason, all of my tasks, conversations, a presentation I am getting ready for, and, alas, this weather…all illusions. I went grocery shopping, this afternoon, for things that I continue to put off, and I decided to have a look-see around at certain items being sold. Another illusion…I began playing the mind game, is it real? If it says, local, does that mean local to us, or local, to say, Anaheim, CA?

However they want to spin it, the real answer is that it’s all just an illusion. That big grand illusion.

Why the illusion? Why not just say, hey, I am a produce item, and since so many of you don’t know that you cannot get a strawberry, locally, until like, May, I am going to dance and sing and say…local. Not. But, here I was, totally craving, needing, wanting that strawberry. Instead, I went the organic route until it’s time to travel the local route. It’s okay, with me. I purchase boatloads of local, heck, I even now GROW local with Hippie and the Farmer, and, oh yes, we even grow organically. So, this tiny purchase, out of season, sent me the organic route, and not the unknown, “local”, but not really local to this community item.

See, that is what we avoid at this little market of love.

Yes, we are local. We are seasonal. We don’t pretend or give the illusion that we are local when we are not. Our products come from real growers, growing the goods. We have products being produced from local producers. We are the real deal, the mind blowing, non-illusional grand market of what is local to our little community.

And, while we are still out a bit for produce, we can still offer you a whole lot of groovy local items, that are not designed to allude and confound. We are not your grand illusion. We are your little local market of love vendors…waiting to take your orders.

Cosmic Pam

Early Night!

Why not open the market, early?

I am having dinner, girl talk, and relaxation, so before I have wine, let’s get this party started!

Cheers to the weekend!

Cosmic Pam

Tuesday Night Reminder!

Just a reminder that we close at 10pm, tonight!

The market is rockin! Don’t miss out on the fun!!

Cosmic Pam

Long Monday

Gonna be a long Monday
Sittin’ all alone on a mountain by a river that has no end
Gonna be a long Monday
Stuck like the tick of a clock that’s come unwound again
(Long Monday-John Prine)

This song, all of John Prine, love him…and, who else has found this day to be long, never ending, dreary, and just a no motivation day?

Yes, even your market manager has a bit of the Monday blues. So much so that I have now given up, poured a glass of wine, put dinner in the oven, and put on one of the most comforting voices I know…John Prine.

I’m getting ready to sit and sip and place my market order. Who’s with me?? What else do you have going on, this rainy night?

This little local market of love has so much to offer, and it’s just waiting for you to place your weekly orders.

It’s a long Monday but at least we can all hang out, pass the time, here, at the market.

I’ll be watching for you…

Cosmic Pam

I've Got A New Attitude!

I’m feelin’ good from my head to my shoes
Know where I’m goin’ and I know what to do
I tidied up my point of view
I got a new attitude
(New Attitude-Patti LaBelle)

Just visiting some of my attitude music of the 1980s! Because one of my passions is 80s club music, from back when I was making the scene.

This thought is going hand in hand with a recent blurb that I read on a social media site…

“Today, I abandon my old habits, and take up new, more positive habits…”

After I read this, I immediately reflected back to this song, and, of course, to this little market of love.

Why not pick now, this new month, to make positive changes in your diet, your life, your overall being…get a new attitude.

Tonight, I worked the market, alone, and was able to chat with so many people who stopped to talk, customers picking up their orders, and Y staff members. I was so blown away by their attitudes, their overwhelming sense of self, of what they were consuming, of their new attitude toward what our market offers, and how it can all work, hand in hand, with this whole new attitude.

We’ve been around for quite awhile, we adhere to our old mission, our old way of thinking, eating, acting, but yet, it seems to finally be catching on, taking shape, people so thankful for what we are doing, providing, living.

So, my thoughts turned to this. If so many people are jumping on this bandwagon, why not making it a whole across the board, across the market kind of jumping on? Why not get a new attitude? Drop the old habits while moving to the positive habits?

Look at us as the positive, new attitude habits, and jump on board…get your groove on!

The market is now open…let’s do this!

Cosmic Pam

Feelin' Groovy and All That Jazz

Ok!! Listen up…the market is cruising at a nice pace, leading up to the closing at 10pm!!

Make sure to get your orders in, so you don’t miss out on the fun, until next week!!

We talked about making a change, switching it up, trying a different approach to eating, to knowing your food, to knowing your producers…

So, let’s ALL get real groovy, man, and just let those orders flow…

Cosmic Pam

A Change Would Do You Good

A change,
(A change would do you good)
Would do you good,
(A change would do you good)
I think a change,
(A change would do you good)
Would do you good.
(A change would do you good)
(Sheryl Crow)

So, lately, I have been revisiting all of my favorite female artists from back in the 1990s. Totally on replay, morning, during my baking, in the evening when I am making dinner.

They were a soul, rocking, bluesy group. They came before the next wave of Britneys and the 2000 girls of song.

Back in the 90s, I had my little sidekick, my daughter, and she would bop along on my hip, in our little beach town that we loved so much, and we would visit the beach, the museums, the festivals, the shops, and I raised her on these women of the musical 90s, on Grateful Dead, on The Stones, just about anything that wasn’t baby related.

I still remember her little blonde head, bopping along, singing one of Jewel’s songs, as she entered her little preschool.

I love those memories, I loved the spirit of the girl rockers in that time frame, and I love the message of this song, as I apply it to our little market of love, right here, online.

Sometimes, a change will do you good. Making a change in your eating, shopping, spending, is always a good plan, a bit of a jumpstart to your health, your soul, your whole feel good aura.

How about going in for a change, this week? Order something, or a whole lot of somethings from our market? You’ll never know if you like us or the products, until you try us.

Come on…the change will do you good…

Cosmic Pam

Sweet Talking Hippie

Sweet Talking Hippie-Blues Traveler

This sweet talking hippie, your market manager, is passing on some sweet talk, to you, the customers, from our own Valley View Woodlands…

Let’s sit back, and read what sweet talk, Marc and Shary have for us…

A sap-run is the sweet good-bye of winter. It is the fruit of the equal marriage of the sun and frost.”
~John Burroughs, “Signs and Seasons”, 1886
Here in our sugar bush at Valley View Woodlands, this unusual warm spell is creating trouble.  To produce sap, maple trees require nights below freezing and days above freezing.  The taps have stopped flowing because it has been several days since we’ve had a freezing night.  Late February is usually the middle of the maple syrup season, but it looks like this season may already be over.  Unfortunately, local syrup producers have made only a fraction of their normal production. 
Another problem we face is the potential for the trees to begin to bud.  Once warm weather allows the trees to bud, the sap develops an off-flavor and we must shut down our operation for the season.    Now it’s a race to see if a freeze can arrive before the trees bud.
We have made some delicious syrup, so the season is not a total bust.  We were able to tap our trees very early this month, and our first syrup was wonderfully light and delicate.  It has hints of vanilla and caramel.  Later batches are an amber color and have a more robust maple flavor.
Just as farmers plant and hope, we tap and hope.  Mother Nature is always unpredictable!
Marc and Shary Stadler

The Sound of Silence

What an odd entry, you might say, but for me, tonight, after a totally crazy couple of weeks with my businesses, tonight is nice to hear nothing, listen to nothing, and to plan my soon to be meet up with my pillows…

I did want to give a big shout out to vendors and customers, alike, for attending Champaign County Empty Bowls event, this evening!!

Your market manager was the bread baker, and together with your other market manager, we offered soups from our Hippie and the Farmer!! It was amazing to mix and mingle with so many familiar faces!!

I also need to send a quick housekeeping note…if, as a customer, you place an order, but forget to pick it up, even after your reminder call, it’s cool, we understand that life happens. When I return, each week, to find the same orders, not picked up, it makes me have to send a reminder about what this does to our market.

The customer places the order. The vendors get the order ready, and to the market, and deliver on order pick up day. We pay that vendors. You forget to show. You keep forgetting. We go months and months…crickets. Ok, so then we have to delve into bookkeeping…we either then have to ask for vendor money back because the sale was not picked up, or paid for, and therefore it sucks the money out of our account, our grant money. Or, we let it slide, and have no money to show at all. Once again, depleting little pockets of our grant money.

We are entering into our sixth year, and for some reason, have just started having this problem in the past six months. Let’s explore this, let’s prevent this, and let’s all take a minute to….think about the market, our love for you, and love for our products, and our love for your happiness, and our happiness…

Ok…everyone feel the love? Good. Because we really do love you…now, let’s get some ordering action…

Happy Thursday…let’s make this week count!

And, now, your manager if off to enjoy the sounds of silence…

Cosmic Pam

You Love Us!

Hey, now!! The orders are rolling in, and we couldn’t be happier!!

You have one hour to get your thoughts together, and make your orders before the 10pm deadline!!

You are the reason our market is so fun, so full of love, and so dear to our hearts….go ahead, take the plunge, show us the love…

Cosmic Pam