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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That's a wrap!

Thank you for the orders this week! See you Thursday!

T-minus 2 hours!

Just a reminder that the market closes in nearly two hours! If you have yet to order this week, please be sure to get it in before then. Have a great evening!

Another reason to shop!!! (Like you needed it, right?)

Good snowy morn’ to you! It looks as if old man winter has moved in for a bit so let’s embrace it and get to those indoor projects that had to wait until we stopped mowing the grass and tending to the garden. Pick up that knitting, finish that book, or start your holiday baking to get ahead of the game! And…win some dough! (Like the green kind, not the Cosmic kind!)

The market volunteers have been busy little elves and have decided it is time to thank those customers who are always there for us…the ones who we love to see coming to the Y on Thursday…the regulars who appreciate a local find when they see it! Want to join that group? It is easy! Come see us Thursday!

Here’s how it works (via our wonderful Charlene Stapleton of Swisher Hill Herbs)…

Free shopping at the Champaign Locally Grown Virtual Market for 4 lucky customers! Win a $25 shopping spree, because you belong to the virtual market! Starting Market day pick up Thursday, November 14, 2013, customers will put their name in a fish bowl when they pick up their products and the market managers will draw 1 name after the market day is closed. That lucky winner will have a $25 credit added to their account for the next week of shopping. This will continue for the first 3 market days in December: Thursday, Dec. 5, Dec. 12, and Dec. 19. (The market will be closed the week of Thanksgiving.) There will be no cash refunds and the total $25 must be spent on products: everything like maple syrup, honey, baked goods, fresh produce, preserves, and lots of gift ideas. Watch for the weekly specials and save even more! Good luck to you all! (Sorry, vendors and their families are not eligible for this promotion.)

What a great idea Charlene! So, if you want the chance to roll it big, come see us Thursday when you pick up your order and bring your lucky rabbit’s foot, special shoes, or what ever else gives you special powers of luck!

Remember with the market closing the week of Thanksgiving, you have this week and next week to order before that turkey has to be on the table. You can always contact our vendors directly and see if they will work with you on an alternative plan for the week off but be sure to check your grocery list prior to waiting to the last minute just in case you need more syrup, honey, frozen or canned meats for easy meals, extra sweets or dip mixes for a hostess gift, or a special loaf of that awesome bread that can be so versatile.

We are so glad you shop with us! If you have never ordered, why not start this week? What have you got to lose?

Remember the market closes TONIGHT AT 8 PM so get those orders in quickly!

A special thanks to Pam, Charlene, Mark and Paul from the Y who spend so much time working to make the market better each week! Thanks a million! See you Thursday!

Good morning!

Good morning friends! I hope you have your heating source fired-up and ready to roast with the news of that white stuff possibly joining us tonight/tomorrow. I know I am not ready as the chickens are going to freeze unless I get out there and wash off those heat lamps and get Grandma to knit some socks for them! Geesh am I behind on my barn duties!

Regardless, be careful out there on the roads and slow down if you do head out. Nothing is more important than our safety!

Today is the day of the week I remind you to take a moment and get your orders in. The market closes tomorrow night at 8 pm and you don’t want to miss out of something special.

I just have to mention that Rue Farms is back! We have missed them all summer and I am proud to say “THEY ARE BACK!” If you have yet to try some of their delightful options, be sure to give them a go. From their chocolate covered caramels to their truffles, you will be amazed! Welcome back to Jeanne and Matt! (((Group hug inserted here!)))

Don’t forget that Jeni and Doug Blackburn at Fresh Harvest Farms need our support for the Chase Main Street Funding contest. They are hoping to win funding to expand their aquaponic systems and their greenhouse. You know their lettuces, basil, chard and more are wonderful! Please log on to and search for Fresh Harvest Farm. They need our support and have to get to 250 votes to continue on to the next level. We can help! The more votes, the better their chances…the better their chances, the more wonderful lettuce can be grown locally! Thanks to Jeni and Doug for growing with us!

The market volunteers are hard at work coming up with holiday incentives for you. Stay tuned as I will write that up separately! Have a wonderful day and be safe with what ever comes our way on the weather front!

Open for business!

Due to the fact our favorite Bread Head, Pam, is so efficient and our customers are so smart and reliable, and our vendors are so trustworthy, the market is open early! Woo hoo! Thank you to everyone who helped to make this week’s market a huge success! Great job everyone! Have a super Thursday evening and have a wonderful weekend!

That's all folks!

Thank you for a wonderful market! It is now closed until Thursday evening when we reopen about 8 pm. Thank you to all of our wonderful customers and vendors! You are all amazing! See you Thursday when Cosmic Pam lights up the place!

Last call!

T-minus 15 minutes!

Elect to eat local!

Good morning local supporters! Just a reminder that today is the day to elect to eat better: to contribute to the economics of your community; to support the farmers who toil for you; to make a contribution to those who bake, pop, grow, sew, feed animals, process goodness, all just for you. Today you vote with your food dollars that impact the economy and your health. As you head to the polls to support your favorite candidate or voice your opinion on a community request, please log on to to support the market. The market closes tonight at 8pm and needs your support! Vote today!

Also be watching as we are working on a contest beginning soon that will carry through the end of the holidays. More to come! Have a great election day and see you Thursday!

Happy Day!

Good morning all! Just a reminder that your vendors are hard at work getting supplies ready for the holiday push. Be sure to plan your baking and meals around your local sources as much as possible! We are all excited for the next few months of the craziness that becomes the holidays…the family, the food, the stress, the leftovers, and by all means, the FUN! Have a wonderful Monday and get your orders in before 8pm tomorrow night! We look forward to seeing you Thursday at the market!

p.s. We continue to thank the Y for their unyielding support of the virtual market. Peek in and tell Paul thanks for his leadership, Beth and the front desk staff for taking payments for us, and Kim, hard at work behind the scenes writing the vendor checks and keeping tabs on things from an accounting standpoint. They all make our lives so much easier and help to keep our costs so low! Thank you to each of you! We so enjoy you allowing us to be in the lobby and making us feel so very welcome! Thanks guys!

No tricks, just treats!

Happy Halloween! What a dreary night to be out! I hope your little or big goblins were happy with however their evening was spent!

The market is open once again! Be sure to find something old and new!

I hope you took photos of those beautiful trees earlier in the day as I have a feeling your neighbor now has all those beautiful leaves in his yard! Be safe, hunker down and shop local for the upcoming holidays!

I’ll add two more items. I heard Ardell Price has two steers ready to go to market. She was a staple at the Champaign Farmers Market and I believe, past president and founding member. I believe she is registered organic but will get more info. I’ll find out if she can divide it up with 1/2 of a 1/2, 1/4’s or how she wants it sold. I will call her tomorrow but if you are interested in some beef for your freezer please email me and I can give you her contact info.

Also the downtown Urbana stores begin their holiday open houses this weekend. It is a lovely time to stroll the stores and shops. I hope you find a few minutes to wander through one of the most vibrant downtowns around. We are lucky to have such an organized association to market part of our county!

Again, have a great evening and Happy Halloween! Much luck tomorrow to Cosmic Pam on her start of her new venture in Springfield! Thanks Pam for all of your work with the market!