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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A late change…spinach is here! If interested, dial some up!

Give local...

As we head into the last few hours of the market this week I wanted to offer up a reminder to consider our wonderful vendors when selecting gifts for your loved ones for the holidays. From local maple syrup, honey or garlic, to baked goods like homemade noodles, spices, herbs, and breads, we have many items that family or friends would be happy to receive. Many items are shelf-stable and could be wrapped and placed under the tree or in a stocking too. While we can’t possibly name them all, please remember that local dollars spent on local items stays mostly local! And if it cannot be placed under the tree, start a new tradition of gifting it into their refridgerater or freezer! Blame it on the elves and deposit that roast or sausage right into their freezer! What a surprise it would be! Taking a road trip? Order extra cookies or a loaf of Cosmic bread for the ride! The options are endless!

Let’s work hard to make your cyber Monday really virtual Tuesday and support your local food providers!

Turkey, turkey and more turkey...

Good evening friends! If you are like me, we have already left-over the leftovers for homemade pizza tonight as we have had our fill. That being said, we start anew with the home stretch towards Christmas this week with your old friends. I promise we will let you enjoy each week but will highlight all the great items for fresh eating and gift-giving. We are thankful for your friendship and committment to shopping local. Please consider us as we ask you extend Small Business Saturday thru this week. Shop away and thank you for shopping with us!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Since you are used to hearing from me at this hour, I simply want to wish you and yours a most wonderful Thanksgiving! We have so much to be thankful for in our families, our communities, and our country and are truly blessed. We have the right to choose where and how to buy our food and we thank you for choosing us for at least a portion of your consumption. Have a great holiday and we’ll see you front and center on Sunday night when we start toward the home stretch towards Christmas!

Last day for sales before Turkey Day!

Good morning! Here is your reminder that today will be the last opportunity to shop with us prior to Thanksgiving as the market will be closed next week. Get your gobble on and order up by 8 o’clock tonight when we will close the market. Happy shopping and know we are thankful for you!

Summer loving...

Whoa was it gorgeous today or what? I know it can’t last but all things need a rest right? Winter is a time for regrouping so we should welcome the change of seasons to slow down a bit.

Please check out our new items and enjoy! Don’t forget we have many items that would make a great compliment to any meal, special or everyday, for this week and next. A reminder that the market will be open this week but will take one week off for the holiday next week so order extra if needed for pickup this Thursday. See you Thursday at the Y!

Turkey Day Plans

Good morning locavores! After much discussion we have decided to close the market the week of Thanksgiving NEXT week so we wanted you think about your market needs THIS week a bit early. Do you have company coming or need to take a special dish to someone else’s home? Need extra milk for those scrumptious mashed potatoes or squash dishes? Be thinking of your needs now as the market goes live tonight at 8 and will be open til 8 on Tuesday evening with pickup on Thursday eve. We will be off next week so we can all spend time with family. If you get in a pinch and need product please contact the vendor directly to make other arrangements.

Another note about shopping locally…I am issuing another challenge to see how many of your holiday shopping needs can be found locally. Perhaps it is a gift certificate to a restaurant like Paradiso in Urbana that supports the local food system or one to Everyday Organics that stocks local products? How about the gift of Hemisphere Coffee beans to your Aunt Betty or even a gift certificate to our own Champaign Locally Grown to Grandpa Bob? Did you know you could gift money into a loved one’s account? Yep can do! Start thinking about how your dollars used locally stay local! Happy eating everyone!

It's almost over...

I am not a betting woman but I’ll bet a dollar I can make the campaign commercials stop! On Wednesday morning there won’t be a one! Thankfully we can get back to normal around here!
Check out the beautiful radishes, turnips, acorn squashes and more this week! We still have produce and it stores well! Have a wonderful week, red, blue or purple!

Good day virtual family!

I hope this finds you well today and marking your calendars if you ordered something from the market this week for pickup tomorrow from 4:30 to 6:30. I have a favor to ask of each of you. I am working on some data collection and asking for your permission to help. As you may or may not know, we received a grant to create this market. I would like to document how the creation of this market has changed, or not, how you shopped at a farmers market. Would you characterize yourself as one of these options: Please generally choose options 1-4: 1)I did not shop at any of the existing farmers’ markets because it wasn’t held at a convenient place or time for me or I didn’t know about them, but now enjoy the virtual market and would consider myself a new customer to farmers market shopping, 2) I have shopped at at least one of the other 4 markets in the county (Urbana, Mechanicsburg, St. Paris, N.Lewisburg) but now choose to shop solely at the virtual market instead, 3)I currently shop more than one market including the virtual market as I find both options convenient, 4) I shop at the virtual market AND other markets more than I did prior to just any of the markets alone. Additionally, did any of you feel like you needed to meet the vendors at one of the traditional markets before ordering at the virtual market? In the future I plan to create an official survey to figure out a generic idea of how the virtual option may or may not assist in selling local produce. As we make every attempt to spend our grant money in the best manner possible, I will be asking you again to help me so please feel free to share your opinion as there are no right or wrong answers and you will never be targeted with a sales pitch for answering a specific way or another. This is simply so we can generalize your shopping experiences. Don’t worry, I will never share your specific contact information or specific shopping record without asking you (an example might be where I would collect the group’s data in a powerpoint presentation at a food conference for instance). Might you email me with your choice of numbers 1-4 and let me know about the additional question too? I would so appreciate it! Thanks so much!

Were you prepared?

Good afternoon! I wanted to mention that the market is open for a few more hours so don’t forget to get your last minute shopping in yet tonight. I know that our family and friends on the Eastern shore are dealing with a sizeable cleanup from Hurricane Sandy. Our hearts and prayers are certainly with them at this time.

Thinking about losing power last night I wanted to mention a few items that we should all have on hand in the event we had lost power. Did you notice that Oakview has canned meats that would be perfectly shelf-stable and could be part of an emergency stash for your family? Check our their canned chicken, beef, hamburger, turkey, taco meat and more that would be ready in a minute in an emergency. There are many other items that would be part of a plan for survival if ever needed so search our listing and I will mention a few more as time allows.

On a lighter note, I noticed an apple theme this week in our offerings: Nub’s Market 9" Apple pie, Swisher Hill Herb’s Apple Pie spice, Noskitka’s Apple Butter and more! Smells like fall to me! Also if you needed something to snack on don’t forget Caramel corn is great this time of year and JC Growers has it ready to go! Sunshine Garden’s dinner rolls are a perfect match to your own meal as well as a Cosmic Charlie artisan loaf of many varieties. Don’t forget we are in “cool weather crop” heaven with Betternut squash from Walnut Ridge, who by the way is our newest grower (welcome, welcome!) and turnips from Lonny. These are both perfect for roasting by themselves or along with traditional veggies. Speaking of roasting, Hemisphere Coffee Roasters offer both whole bean for you do-it-yourselfers and fresh ground if that is your preference. I can smell it from here!

Keep warm and pile on a few more blankets tonight if needed. Brew up a batch of Swisher Hill’s Touchdown chili or White Chicken Chili to make it a special evening as we say goodbye to our summer of 100+ degrees and head into the unknown of snow and sledding. Thanks to each of you for your support and glad to know Sandy behaved around this neck of the woods!

Don’t forget the market closes tonight at 8!