Local farmers’ markets provide seasonal, crafted options


Both Champaign and Urbana have weekly farmers’ markets throughout the summer, providing opportunities to buy locally sourced goods. The Champaign market is on Tuesdays from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. and the Urbana Market at the Square is on Saturdays from 7 a.m. to noon.

By Taylor Wegner, Staff Writer

Farmers’ Markets allow visitors to purchase goods directly from local artisans, farmers and various other kinds of vendors. Living in the Champaign-Urbana area, residents have the option to visit two distinct farmers’ markets throughout the week, each in the respective cities of Urbana and Champaign.

Urbana’s Market at the Square takes place every Saturday morning from 7:00 A.M. to noon from May to November, rain or shine, in the southern parking lot of Lincoln Square mall.

The Champaign Farmers’ Market is held every Tuesday from 3:30 P.M. to 6:30 P.M. in the parking lot by Main and Neil, and tends to be smaller than the one held in Urbana.

The market in Urbana is long established, having begun operation in 1979. Goods range from produce, macramé, honey, jewelry, succulents, local beer and much more.

Both markets are committed to providing a connection between local growers and artisans as well as the surrounding community.

With regard to buying farm fresh produce, Julie Sidell, an attendee at this past week’s Champaign Farmers’ Market, said, “Even though we live in a very farming intensive area, a lot of that produce goes elsewhere. So it’s important to support the local farms in the area that do sell locally and directly provide the surrounding area with fresh produce.”

Frequent vendors of Urbana’s Market at the Square include Prairie Fruit Farm and Creamery, Pandamonium Donuts, Avery Farms, Antique Sterling Spoon Rings, The Wright Soapery and dozens of others.

A comprehensive list of vendors and a map of their locations at Urbana’s Market at the Square can be found on their site.

For visual updates, or to become familiarized with what one may expect to find at the Urbana’s Market at the Square, follow their Instagram under the handle “@urbanamarket.”

If unable to make it to Urbana’s Market at the Square, there is some overlap in vendors between the Urbana and Champaign Farmers’ Markets.

Though the Champaign’s Farmers’ Market does not have an official website, The Land Connection, which sponsors this market, can be reached on social media through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

At the Champaign Farmers’ Market, one can expect to see organizations and vendors such as the Prosperity Garden, Sola Gratia Farmer, Grandma Cooky Jams, Crooked Row Farm and Old Town Flowers.

For those whose schedules conflict with the hours of both the Champaign and Urbana Farmers’ Markets, a large majority of the organizations and vendors that participate operate outside of these markets and can be reached through their websites, where delivery options are frequently available, or at their individual locations.

For instance, cheese, gelato and other items, can be purchased directly from Prairie Fruit Farm and Creamery. At their farm location, gelato can be purchased by the scoop, rather than just in a pint container.

The Prosperity Garden, which “provides low-cost locally grown produce for the surrounding food desert,” also operates independent of the market. Josephine Tritsch, the program manager of the Prosperity Garden explained at the Champaign market, “We’re starting a farm about six blocks from here, but right now it’s still in its nascent stage.”

If you happen to be a local artisan, it is not too late to get involved. To become a vendor at Urbana’s Market at the Square, there is a simple online application.

Otherwise, continue to support these vital community resources, or if you have not yet made your way to one of the markets, consider stopping by to check out the various goods that are sold.

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