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!
Just a quick note that it’s that time of year!!
It’s asparagus time!! That sweet time of spring, that doesn’t last very long, but while it does…it’s sweet, sweet, sweet!
Beth’s asparagus, from Harrigan’s Harvest, is back with us!!!
Get it while you can, because again, it’s a spring time delicacy!!
Cause even though I know there’s hope in
Every morning song
I have to find that melody alone…
(The Avett Brothers)
One of my favorite lyrics, and easy Sunday morning music…
I love Sundays because I can take the day, all to myself, and either get lost in nothingness, regroup for the coming week of another crazy market week of bringing local to the masses, recharging from being ‘on’, all week, or I can organize my life so that when I step back into the trenches, on Tuesdays, I am not a chaotic mess.
This week was an emotional one, for me. Nothing bad. All very good, in fact, but even good emotional weeks will bring me to tear up, and have a good cry, and embrace all that is around me. Our market is now family to so many customers, and your emails, and texts, and then the loveliest of donations, to our market this weekend, have had me all an emotional mess.
The loveliness side of the pandemic is what I have been a part of. And, I don’t mean to imply that there is a lovely side, but being able to see all of your smiling faces, knowing that we are sending you on your way with local love, local goodness, well… it moves me, it grooves me, and I hope that all of you, the customers, market family in both customers, and vendors, can feel that lovely bond that has happened.
Here’s to Sunday, babes…find your melody…
One more lovely thought…next Sunday is Mother’s Day. I know that we cannot celebrate in the way we all normally would, but think about things from the market, to brighten her day. Even gift her with a box of lovely foods for her week…
And…we have a new vendor, Doug Hall, of the Airport Café. He brings us his homegrown rhubarb, and he is going to offer a few pies that are not already being offered by our other pie bakers…
The local network…the real morning song.
That's The Way
And yesterday I saw you kissing tiny flowers…
(That’s The Way-Led Zeppelin)
Beautiful lyric to a beautiful song to start your lovely Saturday morning…
The market is so on fire, already, with your love, and your orders, and your excitement…just as the season is about to spring into action, we are here, making it all happen for you!
Just like all of the songs, lyrics, and artists that I find inspiration in, I find that same inspiration in you, the customers, the market, and it’s vendors. I’ve always called this collection of vendors, Rock Stars…The Rock Stars Of Local. Our own band of local greatness, singing to your souls…
The market has taken off, once again, quite quickly, and is open until Tuesday evening. Won’t you join in on the local scene?
Rivers and Roads
Been talking ’bout the way things change…
(Rivers and Roads-The Head and the Heart)
The song that I chose for this dreary Friday, while I wake up with coffee, and readying for another day of baking, is a song that is just so beautiful, and speaks so much about these times…just missing things, people, places…rivers and roads…
Anyway, thank you for all of your kind emails, last night. They warmed my soul.
And, the orders already pouring in are amazing! This market loves you! We are seeing the gift of life in the market with all of the live plant offerings, flowers, beauty…
Our vendors go above and beyond, and my outpouring of love, goes out to them, always.
Old Souls contacted me, early this morning, and will be reaching out to yesterday’s customers. Again…the love for them, is great.
I will see all of you who are picking up, today, at the greenhouse, between 10am-noon. Please, call me, 937-926-4833, when you arrive, and I will head to the greenhouse, to grab your order, and bring it out to you.
With news of now extending the stay at home, the delay of some businesses, reopening, and the general concern for health, happiness, and safety, we are so very, very, very glad to bring all of that, to you, each and every week.
Go, enjoy your day, turn on some music, and be kind to yourselves…
And when the evening rolls around
I’ll go on home and lay my body down
And when the morning light comes streaming in
I’ll get up and do it again…
(Jackson Browne-The Pretender)
Jackson Browne…one of my favorites. A market customer suggested this song, and this lyric for a market reopening song, after the long evening of running to and fro with market orders…I think it’s pretty perfect…
Now…tonight…well, there are nights, and there are nights. Once again we had the winds, but now mixed with sleety rain, and cold temps. Even clothed in my warm rain boots, hat, Sherpa poncho, I was freezing!!
But, you, the customers, with your kind words, smiles, waves…you make it all worth while.
I love that we are able to bring you the loveliest of local, but I dislike it, so much, when some things don’t go as they should.
Let’s start with the lettuces and basil…yes, the delivery did not happen until the market was concluding, customers were sent away, me apologizing, taking the extra time to refund money, credit accounts, try to work out if a delivery, over the weekend would be possible, but not knowing where the driver was, because there was no communication. It’s hard, at times, to depend on things beyond your control. So, to the first part of the alphabet, I had to make a decision in the second time slot, as I was explaining to upset customers about no lettuce, that we would just credit all cards that we have on file, and if you had paid with cash or check, we will just credit your market, for next week or next time you order. Tough call, tough explaining, and tough waiting, and not knowing.
Second…there may be times, especially in these very trying times, that the meat supply may need to play catch up with the demand. This is not a farmer’s fault. They are all in this, together, and the sudden demand is pushing them to have to wait, and wait, and wait to get worked into all of the processing places. It’s not the farmer’s fault. We are in very serious times, seeing things that we have never had to deal with, before. Some weeks, there may not be the supply, but in the following weeks, there will be. They are all waiting, watching, and worrying, and bring us all that they can. Let’s all be patient, and applaud all of the hard work that they, and all local producers are enduring, right now….
Ok…other than that, the market was lovely, your market manager is still thawing out with wine, music, and blankets…
And, oh, the loveliness of one customer offering the gift of wine…how very super nice, and sweet…you all just make me cry, at times…
We begin with a new slate, this evening, the market reopens for the weekly ordering, and I am headed to dreamland…
Also, please remember that when you order, you need to make sure you hit the Pay Later button, and make sure you get an order confirmation…
Much love to you…
Time, Time, Time
Look what’s become of me????????????
(Hazy Shade Of Winter-Simon and Garfunkel)
Time is getting away from me, and I need to get you the time slots for tomorrow’s pickup!
You can be a Friday pickup, by letting me know, 10am-12pm, at the greenhouse!
Prepayments by calling me if you don’t already have your card on file with us!
Checks made out to Oakview Farm Meats!
Exact change, in a ziplock bag, with your name!
Thank you for making this another amazing week of sales!!
See you, tomorrow!
Sweet Tuesday Morning
Sweet Tuesday morning
You came and you smiled…
Just a short and sweet, hello, on this Tuesday morning!!
I took the day off, yesterday, for my birthday, but was happy to see that you all kept the market running with orders!
This is your reminder that the market closes, this evening, at 10pm!!
We look forward to seeing all of your bright and shining faces on Thursday, and Friday…whichever you are using for your preferred pick up!
I will also send you the alphabetical break down for the 4 time slots on Thursday!!
Have a great day on this lovely Tuesday!
Part Three-Market Vendors
Today, we feature Heidi, from Hickory Acres Farms…
Welcome to all the new market customers! It’s so exciting to see all this growth and so wonderful that Pam & Mark are taking on all this responsibility. Thank you!
We moved to Champaign County over 20 years ago and after living in Mechanicsburg for 8 years found a beautiful plot of land and built a house to raise our family and have some horses and chickens.
I worked for a couple years on a CSA farm in Springfield and helped plant seeds, transplant to the field and harvest, wash and pack.
I love growing things and no matter how many times I plant seeds, some no more than a speck, it never ceases to amaze me that that one tiny seed can become a beautiful flower or delicious fruit or vegetable.
If you could see inside my house right now you would either laugh or call me crazy. My small greenhouse is filled with tomato and pepper plants so the overflow of flats of flowers for my cutting garden is now covering my living room, dining room and entry way floors. Hopefully the weather will improve and I can get them planted and soon have bouquets for you. Until then I am enjoying providing plants for your gardens.
Heidi Lyons from Hickory Acres Farm
When I Paint My Masterpiece
Someday, everything is gonna be smooth like a rhapsody
When I paint my masterpiece…
(Bob Dylan, The Band)
Just a Sunday morning dose of love, talking about the other beauty of the market, aside from all of the beautiful food to nurture your body.
I believe that nurturing your soul, with the beauty around you, is just as important as feeding your body.
Right now, I am enjoying the candles that are offered on the market, which have amazing scent to them, are long lasting, and such an array of fragrances to choose from.
I use, and enjoy the oils from the market. I am sure that you have caught a bit of the lovely patchouli that I wear, when I am greeting you at your cars, but Laura has such amazing oils for you and your home.
And, we have three different vendors with cut flowers, and live plants. All different in their offerings, all bringing beauty to your home and gardens.
We offer beautiful artisan market bags, and there are also cute little bandanas, sewn lovingly for your pets!
I love the artistic side of this market, allowing us all to paint our own masterpieces, to fuel our souls…
Happy Sunday, and thank you for using our market…
Q & A
Hello, lovely market customers…
This evening, I am chatting about some of the questions that I get asked, especially by a lot of the new customers! This market has grown so fast and furiously, that it’s time to take a breathe, and answer you…
But, first, some information from your managers. Each week we grow. And, each week we regroup, and develop new strategy for your weekly pick up.
Last week, we added freezers, and refrigeration to the cute little greenhouse.
This weekend, we have decided to add tiered shelving to make stuffing the boxes and bags, easier to find, and grab, as each customer picks up.
We are also extending the pick up time slots, plus giving you a bonus option for pick up!
Thursdays will now be split into four time slots. Pick up times will now be between 4pm-7pm. I will give you the alphabet line up, each week. AND, we are giving you a Friday morning option, between 10am-12pm, at the greenhouse!
Yes, my market loves, we have grown that big to make it necessary, to better serve you! I just need you to let me know, in the comment section, of your orders, if you will be a Thursday car line, or a Friday morning pick up! If you have already placed your order, you can shoot me an email!
Another topic…payments. Everyone is great!! But, I do need to address the non-payment issue. We totally get that life happens, things happen, you don’t feel well, or your child is sick, and you cannot get your order. BUT, if an order has been placed, you do still need to make arrangements to pick up the order, AND pay for said order. When the market closes, each week, checks are cut for each vendor, and reflect your order. If you can’t get there, and don’t give us a payment, the market is then short, because it’s not the vendor’s fault, and they do get to get paid. Let’s just remember…if you cannot be there, let’s then plan to do a prepayment, to take care of things. Also, there is a matter of storing your items if they don’t get picked up…again, it happens, but we need to be diligent in taking care of things.
And, now for the questions…
1. Yes, we are a year round farmers’ market. Every season, every week except holidays, and our market reflects the local, seasonal growing.
2. No, we are not closing down. Somehow, that little tidbit has been going around. We are strong, big, and getting bigger, each week.
3. Yes, the farm is now our permanent home.
4. Yes, your market managers are volunteering their time. And, thank you, so much, for all of your kind words and emails about how the market operates!
5. No, we are not part of any other of the Champaign County farmers’ markets. We are separate, have our own rules, our own kind of market, are very exclusive on the products that we allow in the market, and are very fierce in our local endeavors, bringing you the best of the best. We run a tight ship, and that reflects in the strength of this market.
6. When you place your order, you see a Total Due number. You also see a $0.00 account balance. That means that you have no account balance carried over from the previous week or weeks. So, the total due amount is what you will bring via check, exact cash, or prepay with a card.
7. Yes, we can store your card info. for all purchases. If you had a card on file at the YMCA, we do need you to redo your card info with us, if you have not already done so. None of the files from the YMCA transferred with us.
8. Yes…I love this market, the customers, the vendors, and the products, very, very much, and dedicate myself to you. Next month is our market anniversary, heading into year 9. I think this is such a nice, groovy dance, into the next year…
I hope this helps. The car line gets so crazy, and I know you all want to chat, and I love to chat with you, but don’t always have the time to talk as much as I would love…
See you, this Thursday, OR Friday morning!!