The National Restaurant Association has just released their 2016 food trends forecast, and local food continues its reign. All of us at the Land Connection are so excited to see a reflection of our mission in the Top 10 trends:
Local meats and seafood? Check. Locally-grown produce? Check. Check. Check. Environmental sustainability? Check. A kid-friendly environment and loads of great ingredients for healthy kid meals? Check. Sustainable seafood? Surprisingly, check (Sitka Salmon Shares will be back this season!) House-made/artisan ice cream? Pretty sure Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery counts as a big delicious check. Hyper-local sourcing? Our favorite green bus travels just a few short blocks from Prosperity Gardens to the market with all their great produce. Our market’s basically got it all for you to stay on trend when you cook at home.
Downtown Champaign is all over these trends, with both new and established restaurants firmly committed to sourcing local produce, meats, and cheeses. The addition of the Champaign Farmers’ Market and Common Ground Food Co-op’s plans to open a second store in 2017 are strengthening our local foodscape even more. One of our goals as the market grows is to make connections among local chefs and local farmers, and make it easier for restaurants to source from our vendors. This season we hope to work with Downtown Champaign chefs, as well as our vendors, to bring you cooking demonstrations and loads of ideas on how to use the gorgeous food that’s grown right here in and around our own community.
By coming out and supporting the market, you can help us attract more farmers for even more variety. Applications to the Champaign Farmers’ Market have only been open for a month, and already well over half our applicants are new vendors. We’re seeing greater variety in products on tap for the 2016 season, making it even easier to do all your weekly shopping at the market.
Come out and shop, tell all yourfriends, family, and co-workers about the market, and help us continue to grow the market and create a truly local food system in Champaign-Urbana.