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!
Greetings from Florida!
You know what makes this online market so awesome?
I can be anywhere, and still be able to reach out and access you!!
Right now, I am enjoying my view of the water, palm trees, boats, and a glass of wine! Today took me on a seaside town adventure, soaking up the local scene! See, every town has a local vibe. The vibes are different but each locale is unique in it’s own way!
Just like the uniqueness of our own local scene, complete with this local market! All at your fingertips!
I will return to greet you all, next week!
Until then….experience local love, at it’s best!
Order from us! Your local rock stars!
Hello from Florida
Don’t forget that it’s order pick up day!!
I am off, deep into southwest Florida, so the market will run as it has been!
I will be back to run the pick up, next week!
One, two, three
Or simple as
Do re mi
ABC, one, two, three, baby, you and me…
That’s right…today’s theme is all about the A, B, and C’s…and, I am here to tell you all about it, and prompt you to get your tickets for our upcoming, annual State Of The Plate!!
And…this year, we are throwing such a twist into things!! In the past, we have taken you on adventures around the county, in beautiful barn settings, on the crisp autumn days.
This year, we are excited to announce that we are…
Going Back To School with State Of The Plate!!! At Graham High School!!! We are taking you to another part of the county, and we chose Graham High School because this is going to be the location for….drumroll…after years and years and years of working on a shared commercial kitchen, and grant after grant after grant…we FINALLY were awarded a grant, AND, have a physical location!!! And, if you come to State Of The Plate, you will get to tour the kitchen, have an AMAZING local lunch prepared by vendors, meet local producers, who will be set up, in a local market setting, with their products, you will get to go back to school through the cafeteria line, and you will be treated to speakers who will be talking about the commercial kitchen!! Youth speakers who our up and coming producers/influencers!! And, we will also have a quick visit with this market, the umbrella of all the markets, to show the ease of it, the hopes of it, and how it all works, together, with the A, B, C’s of the commercial kitchen, the local foods council, the Graham staff/facility, the chamber, and you!! The community!!
Get your tickets, now, through the chamber office!!
The date is October 21!!
And, while you are marking that on your calendar, go ahead and get your orders in, for this week!!
When the wind blows and the rain feels cold
With a head full of snow
With a head full of snow
In the window there’s a face you know…
(Moonlight Mile-Rolling Stones)
In the window there’s a face you know…
And, that would be me, your market manager. And, my face in the window, will be me, returning to my Thursday afternoon/evening gig as your on-site market manager.
After my Thursday Weblog, I received so many heartfelt emails, from so many of you. One of the ongoing concerns was that making the market a self serve pick up, was not popular. That you missed the human contact with your market managers. You missed the chat, the banter, the smiling faces. So, that was all I needed.
A huge thank you to Kim and the Y staff for doing an amazing job of taking care of the market in my absence!!!
I have taken action in getting lettuce, salad mixes, greens back to this market!! I spoke with the producers, yesterday, and they are confident they can get product on, this week, still!! I will talk more about them, when they are ready to roll. But, we will once again see year round lettuces, in assorted varieties!!
I am in talks with a few other producers, and then, even more, for next year’s growing season!!
Also, you will begin to see me, pounding the pavement, knocking on doors, and leaving our market cards. Just like in the old days. If you have a business, or work in an office, can we leave cards with you, to promote or should I say, re-promote our market?
The general vibe from all of you has been the never ending love that you have for our little local market of love.
And, we are putting ourselves in place to build it stronger than ever.
We hope to see your smiling faces, your orders, and you, very soon, as you regain your love of all that we do!!
If my words did glow with the gold of sunshine
And my tunes were played on the harp unstrung
Would you hear my voice come through the music?
Would you hold it near as it were your own?
It’s a hand-me-down, the thoughts are broken
Perhaps they’re better left unsung
I don’t know, I don’t really care
Let there be songs to fill the air…
(Ripple- Grateful Dead)
This is always a song of beauty, to me. It’s a soft tune, sung by Jerry, with one of my favorite verses, of all time, to end the song…
If I knew the way, I would take you home…
I have been thinking about this market, a lot, and how to guide it, how to nurture it, how to grow it, how to not let it go off the grid, trying to figure out if after seven years, is it still a sought out slice of local love, or has the love of local simply fallen by the wayside?
I have been asking myself, what is different? The concept, while once very new, very exciting, very different, had no other competition. But, as the years passed, we have watched the influx of food being delivered to your door. From all over. From every resource. You can literally order food, at any given time, groceries/meals ready for your table/to meet any need, 24/7.
We see almost all groceries now offering a plethora of organics, and in many cases, locally produced products.
Our market now may seem so old fashioned as you order, instead of food magically appearing at your door, you still need to make the commitment to come out, on a Thursday, to grab your stuff. And, yes…there is no app for your phone, and no paying online. In this age of fast and faster, bigger and better, grab and go, have we given it our all?
We also have had a lack of produce at this market. I get it. I wish I had the answers as to why it is so hard to have produce vendors, who grow their product, locally, come to this market. But, just as it’s a commitment for you, to make the effort to use and physically get to the market, is the same true for the producers?
This has been a quick, hot, and odd growing season. I know that it was for Hippie and the Farmer, has it been like that for other producers? And, even with the lack of produce, we continue to have many, many amazing products, at the market, but are they still dazzling enough to get you to order?
I’ve been your manager, for like, an eternity. I have watched ups and downs, but I would be lying to you, if I did not talk about my concerns, here, at this market. I know, of late, there have been a few problems with items arriving late to the market. I know that my smiling face has stepped aside, from being onsite, on Thursday evenings, so that I can keep my other businesses groovy. As much as I wish I could be at the market, I just cannot with my schedule.
But, this trend has been troubling me, for some time, now. I get what we don’t offer, I get the goodness of what we do offer, I get that we now seem like the antiquated sister to the now fast, main stream way of ordering food, or even shopping for food…
I just know that I am seeking answers to figure out if there is still a love, a need, a desire for our online farmers’ market. And, if so, what can we do to make it part of your life?
I am opening the market, this evening, and hope that I have provided some food for thought…because, like the last lyric of the song I posted, if I knew the way, I would take you home…
I know, I know…you have been so sad because my Weblogs have been so scarce, this week. I have been super busy with my businesses, and just now coming up for air.
Let’s do this thing we call a market, and get those orders in by 8am, today!! We love when you throw us some love, and we hope to see you all at Thursday’s pick up!!
What better way to connect local to you, than with us?
Go ahead before the morning gets away from you…
Just Like That!
We are back!
Give us a try, this week!!
We are open, and ready for your orders
The market closes for the week at 8am, this morning!
Don’t miss out on the fun!
Welcome Back to Reality
I hope everyone had amazing long weekends, with the holiday, and are getting back to reality, slowly but surely.
To help you ease back into your week, and routine, let us take some of the pressure off by taking care of some of your local needs.
We are open, and ready for you, until tomorrow morning, at 8am!!
Ready, Set, Go!
We are back, and ready for your orders!