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Best part of the farmers' market?

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It's that time of year again! The trees and grass and gardens are exploding with green. The weather has warmed up (kind of), and we can feel summer rapping at the door. And the best part of all this just might be the anticipation of juicy berries, crisp asparagus, flavorful tomatoes, gorgeous greens, and all the other delicious, energizing favorites we can soon expect to find at the farmers' market. 

Radish Challenge Results: What do the cool kids think?

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Last week, Cara issued her radish challenge, and over the weekend I wholeheartedly accepted. I picked up some gorgeous misato radishes from Blue Moon Farm in Urbana, and pulled out my new woodland creature and barnyard animal cookie cutters (from an unorthodox approach to Christmas cookie season over the holidays).

What your farmers' market manager wants you to know

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Last week I spoke on a panel at the Illinois Specialty Crop, Agritourism, and Organic Conference in Springfield. It was the final session of the Farmers' Market Vendor Boot Camp block, and the panel focused on the different types of advisory boards farmers' markets around Central Illinois use. We talked a lot about the different ways we all get input from our vendors and other stakeholders to build a successful farmers' market community. 

Making the Market Triply Accessible

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Last week I got to witness a perfect storm moment: all the things I've been working so hard to accomplish with our farmers' market wrapped up in one family encounter. We had held a promotional drawing the previous week to draw more Parkland College students out to the market. One reason I had worked so hard to get Parkland students out was knowing that a significant number of the student body receive SNAP benefits.

We challenge you to eat local (and we're working hard to make eating local less of a challenge)

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School's back in session, the temperatures are slowly started to dip, and people will not shut up about pumpkin spice everything. Fall is tiptoeing into our lives, and I for one am very excited. Fall has always been my favorite season--I love the crisp air, the leaves changing and falling, and the smell of wood smoke around as people start using their fireplaces again.

Building a Market Community

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 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.

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