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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.

What's new at the Champaign Farmers' Market?

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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.

My eggplant has a first name: it's E-G-G-W-A-R-D-O...

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Just one week until the start of the 2016 Champaign Farmers' Market, and it's time to (re)introduce you to an old friend: 

We've gotten to know our good friend Monsieur Aubergine well since his debut at the 2015 Bastille Day market, so well that we're now on a first name basis, and that name is Eggwardo.

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