As I work through these final few days that I will be employed at The Land Connection, I can’t help but look back over the last two years with pride and awe at what we as an organization have accomplished.
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For those of you who have been asking for the 2016 calendar recipes--I'm finally getting them posted!
Recipe for polenta with radishes
It's July, and we're approaching peak farmers' market season. The first major waves of anticipated foods have come and gone (asparagus, strawberries, rhubarb, sigh), but we are readily consoled by blueberries, tomatoes, sweet corn, peppers, and my personal favorite, peaches.
Since running the sampling tent at the Champaign Farmers' Market this season, I've busted a big myth. I've witnessed it with my own eyes and I can validate that kids really DO like eating vegetables.
You may have heard that I am moving on from The Land Connection and from the Midwest. I’m writing this to tell you two things. The first is just how much this work here in Illinois has meant to me, and the second is that if there is anyone out there who cares about the future of our food system like I do, you should apply for the position I’m vacating.
Last Tuesday, for the first time in the history of its existence, I missed the Champaign Farmers’ Market. I missed helping with the market heroes childrens' activities, handing out recipe cards, and putting on temporary tattoos. I missed seeing familiar faces and meeting new ones, and I missed handing out samples of the fruits, vegetables, and other amazing products that can be purchased there. And worst of all, I missed getting all of those good things! (I hear there was romanesco and purple cauliflower -- agh!)
As the days get longer, I seem to get further behind.
We received a grant from FarmAid this year. This is exciting for two reasons: 1) the email telling you that you got the award also comes with a picture of Willie Nelson signing the grant documents, which really is a reward in its own right; and 2) we get to start a phenomenal program here at The Land Connection.
Visiting the Farmers' Market after work on Tuesdays is a great way to unwind, chat with neighbors and friends, and find delicious items for the week ahead. I know I always go to purchase some beautiful flowers, produce, cheese, and maybe a sweet treat or some meat for the week.
We’re a few weeks into our second season out at the Champaign Farmers’ Market, and it’s wonderful to be back out there, surrounded by new faces, and returning favorites. While we may have lost a few vendors to retirement and job changes, we’re happy to report that most have returned. But we were also thrilled earlier this year when applications opened up to see so many new farmers joining the Land Connection fold.