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Market at the Square has been shaping up nicely and every week it just gets better and better. Last week brought us fuzzy peaches, beautiful apricots and more cherries, raspberries, strawberries, gooseberries and blueberries. The folks at First Fruits had a mountainous display of sweet broccoli and cauliflower, along with a gorgeous stack of tri-colored beets that had my mouth watering. This coming Saturday market patrons can expect to find this year’s first apples and plums along with more green beans, zucchini, cabbages and potatoes. There are still plenty of greens, kohlrabi, sugar snap peas, garlic scapes and radishes.

It couldn’t be easier to come up with a simple pasta dish, soup or salad composed exclusively on what the market has to offer.

Dinner comes easily at our house and a market bird on the grill has become a weekly staple. Sometimes barbequed and other times herb roasted, chicken never disappoints, especially when it’s a juicy, tasty bird from one of our local farmers.

Several farmers sell chicken at the market and I’ve tried them all. I can honestly say there is a huge taste difference from the typical grocery bird. And although they are the same breed I find the chickens from the market to be juicier, more succulent and certainly more flavorful.

Country Cottage Farm: Country Cottage farm raises free-range chicken fed an all-natural vegetarian diet. They are sold whole, cut-up, wings or legs for $3.05 per pound. They also sell gizzards, livers and hearts at $2.75 per pound.

First Fruits Farm: First Fruits also raises free-range chicken. They sell them at the market in a variety of cuts with whole chickens selling at $2.55 per pound. Breasts, legs and thighs are $3.05 per pound and cut-up birds at $2.65 per pound. First Fruits also offers bags of necks and backs for stock at $3.95/bag.

Moore Family Farm: The Moore’s raise pastured, grass-fed chicken, different from free-range chicken in that the birds are moved around the farm to feed on fresh ground and grass every several days. The Moore’s sell their whole chicken at $3.00 per pound, cut up at $3.20 per pound and split half birds at $3.25 per pound that are perfect for grilling.

Triple S Farm: Triple S also raises pastured chickens and sell a fairly large product line at the market. Whole chickens are $2.95 per pound, cut-up and halves at $3.20 a pound and quarters at $2.75 per pound, Bone-in breasts at $7.85 per pound and chicken tenders at $12.50 per pound.

Market on the Square runs every Saturday from 7a.m.-noon, rain or shine now through Nov. 8. The farmer’s market is located in the parking lot of Urbana Square Mall on the corners of Vine and Illinois streets.