Remember last month when I was complaining about the cold, wet weather? I suppose we can safely say we’re well into summer now, and the markets are ripe with produce. By the end of this month, you’ll find lots of stuff: tomatoes, greens, herbs, eggplant, peaches, peas, peppers, and garlic, among others. It’s the perfect time to try new-to-you veggies or veggie preparations. I’ll be on the lookout for peaches and raspberries (especially black raspberries).
The Land Connection’s Tuesday market is perfectly timed for all your Fourth of July needs. In addition to picking up the produce you’ll need for the party you’re hosting or attending, you can also grab some sweets from Berries & Flour and Oh, Honey Pie. You can also grab bread and baked goods from Central Illinois Bakehouse (buns, breads, morning breakfast options). You should also consider some bison from Ruhter Bison to enhance your grilled meat options.
Photo by Steven Pratten
On July 2nd, you can find Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Illinois at the Tuesday market. The group will have information about their educational programs. On the last Tuesday of the month (July 30th), bring the kiddos out for Market Seedlings, and consider stopping by the Carle Mobile Clinic for your non-urgent health needs.
When you visit Urbana’s Market at the Square after your holiday celebrating, you’ll probably need some coffee. There are a whole bunch of options to acquire coffee on Saturday morning, but perhaps the most refreshing and popular choice is a cold brew from Nitro Cup ($4-$5). Surely you’ve recognized the gorgeous frothy cup in the hands of other market attendees and surely you feel the immense peer pressure to fit in. Thankfully, the cold coffee also mitigates the blistering heat and humidity you’ll encounter at the markets through July and August.
If you’re looking for coffee beans to take home, consider market newbie Zuzu’s Fresh Roast Coffee. This micro-roastery is owned by husband and wife duo David and Laura Helbling of Mahomet. They roast the beans themselves, and all the packaging is decked out with an adorable little Welsh Terrier named Zuzu.
Of course, you can also grab a hot cup of coffee in Common Ground Food Co-op, or from one of the food trucks.
Speaking of food trucks, think about having some breakfast or brunch at the market. There are a lot of options; read our recent article outlining a bunch of them. I’m personally a fan of pizza for breakfast—it’s an underrated option. Of course, you can also find plenty of doughnuts or little sweets to go with your coffee.
Market in the Square programming for this month is as follows:
- July 6th Chef Demos
- July 13th Art at the Market
- July 20th Sprouts at the Market
- July 27th Read at the Market
The Land Connection Champaign Farmers’ Market
The Champaign Market is in its 5th year, and runs every Tuesday from May 14th to October 29th from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m., rain or shine. It’s located in the parking lot at Neil and Washington in Downtown Champaign.
Forms of Payment: Vendors mostly take cash, but some do take credit. If you run out of cash, there is an ATM at First Mid Bank on Church Street.
SNAP/LINK: All eligible vendors accept SNAP benefits through the LINK token program. Please visit The Land Connection website for specifics and for matching information.
Parking: Metered parking is available in parking lot M off of Neil Street, or in the Hill Street Parking Deck.
Pets: Leashed dogs are welcome.
Urbana’s Market at the Square Info
The Urbana Market has been in continuous operation since 1979. The market runs from May 4th to October 26th, each Saturday morning from 7 a.m. to noon, rain or shine. It’s located at the corner of Illinois and Vine in Urbana.
Forms of payment: All vendors accept cash, and a few may take checks. Many accept credit. If you run out of cash at the Market, there is an ATM in the Lincoln Square Mall.
SNAP/LINK: Vendors selling LINK-eligible foods accept LINK tokens. Please visit Urbana’s Market at the Square website for specifics, or the information tent on site.
Parking: Free parking is available in the parking lots surrounding Lincoln Square Mall and the lot south of Illinois Street. Bike parking is also available at the entrances to the mall and at the bike corral area past the entrance to the Market off of Illinois.
Pets: No pets allowed. Please respect the market’s rules and leave Fido at home.
Photos by Jessica Hammie, except where noted