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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Happy Post-Turkey Day!

Good morning everyone! I hope this finds you still enjoying the memories of a few days with family or friends, or even to yourself…or at least the dishes are done and the house is back together. The leftovers have either been consumed or put in the freezer…Thank goodness, right?

Just a reminder that it is Monday and the market closes tomorrow night at 8 pm! Be sure to enter our third week contest in order to win $25 of credit towards any local item on our site. Just put your name in the bowl at checkout. What is better than free? (Especially local and free?)

Be sure to start making your holiday gift lists as many of our items would make perfect gifts for those you love! (Especially since it is Cyber Monday!) What would be better than shopping local AND online today with us??? That is a pretty cool way to share your hard-earned dollars with the Champaign County area. Our vendors work very hard and we want them to know how much we care.

Have a super post-turkey kind of day!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Short and sweet….no reception! Happy Thanksgiving and the market is open!

Week 2 success!

Congrats to our very brand new customer Carrie Foley of Springfield! She is the week 2 winner and now will get to shop on us for $25 of free, local yummies! There are three more weeks of free money so make sure you participate by shopping with us! Place your name in the fishbowl when you pick up your order at the Y!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Be safe, be happy and remember to eat local and shop as local as you can on Black Friday, Small-business-Saturday and every day! Thank you for being a part of our market!

The market will be closed this week but will reopen on Thanksgiving with pickup on December 5th! See you then!

Welcome new customers!

Wow! We have a lot of new customers to meet this week! Welcome new friends and neighbors! While the market is now closed until late Thanksgiving day, we will have market pickup this Thursday and then take a week off for the celebration of all things we are thankful for. I am thankful right now for a wonderful group of people known as the Virtual Market family who is getting bigger every day! Welcome friends…old and new! See you this Thursday if you ordered something and be sure to bring your market bags with you to be as green as possible! Thank you everyone!

Last Call

Last Call!
Please get your orders in now.

One more...

Pardon the interruption…Attention to those who receive the Springfield News Sun…please keep an eye out for an article that should appear in the paper today on us! Be proud and read it aloud! Great job to our market volunteers, customers and vendors who shared in making the news! Keep up the good work as others are taking note!

Syrup for all!

One more thing…While it wasn’t officially a “Weekly special” I forgot to mention a super gift idea from Valley View Woodlands! They have put together a package of three bottles of their maple syrup: one each of Early Season Gold, Mid Season Amber, and Late Season Dark. This would make a super gift, especially for those that love the amazing natural process of watching maple sap boiled down into concentrated maple syrup. To see the colors change as the sap runs is so interesting! This is the only local producer to offer these visually amazing, and tasty syrups.

I bet many folks didn’t even know there was a difference in what was extracted over the short time of sugaring season. I really didn’t until I watched the process at Stadler’s farm. It is so interesting and one I am proud to call a partner in our market. They are also bottled in the most beautiful glass jars so truly make lovely gifts.
Please check out their products if you haven’t as they are simply beautiful as well as tasty! Thanks to Shary and Marc for being with us!

Weekly Specials

Good morning! Happy Tuesday to each of you! Thank you for being a part of our wonderful market family!

For starters, let me say there are a number of deals going on right now that you may or may not have noticed. If you scroll down in the market offering list, you will see “weekly specials” as a separate category, closer to the bottom of the options. If you have never looked there, it is the perfect place to find a deal.

This week there are many great options. For starters, Oakview Farm Fresh Meats has specials on their ribs, their beef/pork combination box, and their grill meat box. It is never too cold to grill, right? Cosmic Charlie has a special on her baguettes and Lonny’s eggs and squash have been discounted to help your Thanksgiving shopping! Always be sure to check that category for best selection.

Also, remember there will be a week off of the market for Thanksgiving next week so be sure to order more this week if you need something. Spices, milk, meats, frozen items like pies and desserts for extra guests are a must! Also, the winter squash varieties will keep for quite a long time. All of our options would make great gifts so plan early for your local shopping needs!

And the best part about my news today is this is the second week of the $25 giveaway! Free money to shop for your favorite items awaits one lucky shopper this week! It would be like the holidays coming early! But you must be present to put your name in the fishbowl when you pick up your order. Don’t miss out on a great shopping gift!

Be sure to get your orders in tonight by 8 pm and remember your next chance to order something after tonight will be November 29 with pickup on Thursday, December 5th. You can contact the vendors directly if you would like in the time away but we will not have a formal pick up on Thanksgiving Day. (Although it would be fun to dine with our online family, we would need the gym at the Y to make room for all of us!)

Have a wonderful day as we remind ourselves of all the great blessings we are thankful for! Happy early Thanksgiving to you and yours and know I send each of you a virtual hug and a piece of pumpkin pie for the road!

Safety Talk

Good morning to you! I bet you have had your first cup or two if you are a coffee drinker! Hopefully your morning has been special in some way at least.

I have a few things today to mention. First and always is your safety. If you have not tuned in to the weather forecast today, please do. It might be a bumpy ride and we want all of our families to be aware and to be safe. Keep an eye and ear out and be prepared with a plan. Need gas in the car or for a generator? Go now and get that done. A little water in the bathtub doesn’t hurt either just in case. Power outages can happen even if major damage isn’t done so just keep an eye out and discuss the plan with your loved ones. It never hurts! Make sure your phones are charged too.

Secondly, this is week two of our $25 giveaway! Place your order by Tuesday night at 8 and be sure to check out some new items. Rue Farms is back and Swisher Hill continues to deliver dip mixes and soup mixes for easy entertaining and blustery days like today. Canned meats from Oakview might come in handy later today…wishing I had a few more on hand right now! A loaf of something Cosmic would be a treat for those of us who will be heading to the basement if needed. You never know!

While I never have time to mention each of our vendors, please think local for holiday giving too. Black Friday shopping usually supports unsustainable providers. Let’s do our share to keep our holidays sustainable, local and meaningful. I know you folks get it and I am preaching to the choir but landfills are full of Black Friday deals with good intentions. I challenge you to think through this and every holiday season.

Small Business Saturday can help make a difference in your community. Shop with your mind, your heart and your community. Enough of my soap box for now!

Have a wonderful day and be safe!

Order up!

What a great evening tonight! Thank you to everyone for making our interview with Matt Sanctis of the Springfield News Sun so wonderful! Congrats to our wonderful Charlene Stapleton who they will certainly highlight for her many hours of community service! We are lucky to have you! Thanks to Pam and Mark who also charmed him with their stories of fun and fame with Champaign Locally Grown!

Also, congrats to Cheryl Weislak for winning the first $25 giveaway! Cheryl is a very loyal shopper and we are so glad she gets to shop even more with us! Remember to shop the next three weeks for your turn to win one too!

I’m opening up the market early because, well …why not? All the orders are out the door, the volunteers are home safe and sound and it is time to do it all over again!

Have a great weekend!