“The supermarket represents the season of the world. The farmers market is the season of your world.”
–Deborah Madison, author and chef

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Market in the news!

A nice write up in the South Bend Tribune on 10-10-10.
Here is the text:
Garden market a west-side hit
Season extended because business was strong.
By HOWARD DUKES Tribune Staff Writer

SOUTH BEND -- Lynn-Joyce Dolson says many things bring her back to the Urban Market.

But one thing stands out.

"It gives me the opportunity to share who I am with the people who come here," Dolson said. "I can share my gift."

Dolson's gift will bring a smile to the face of anyone who brings a sweet tooth to the Urban Market.

Dolson made a variety of baked treats, including beignets, sweet potato tarts, dainties, turnovers and 24 varieties of zucchini bread.Twenty-four varieties?

"It's my gift, and it all comes from my spirit," Dolson added as she prepared to sell her tasty treats on an unseasonably warm October morning.

Dolson and the other Urban Market vendors and patrons will be able to buy and sell for a couple of more weeks.

The market, which was supposed to close for the season last weekend, will remain open until Oct. 23, according to Donna Ring, manager of the market.

Ring said vendors and customers approached her and asked that the market's season be extended. Ring complied in part because the market's business has been good and because all of the people seem to enjoy coming together.Dolson said she enjoys the friendly atmosphere. "We're just like a family," she said.

Jason Ashley, a New Carlisle resident who grew up on the west side of South Bend, said he likes coming back to his old neighborhood to sell his giant pumpkins, potatoes, gourds and flowers.

Ashley said he has grandparents who still live in the neighborhood, and they persuaded him to set up shop at the market.

"There is also a market in New Carlisle that is kind of small, so we wanted to have a booth at both of them," Ashley says.

He added that the price of setting up a booth at the Urban Market is reasonable and the people are friendly.Eugene Baughman, owner of Pa's Vegetable Patch, said he also sells his wares at other markets, but he comes to the Urban Market to give residents on the west side a chance to buy organic vegetables. Baughman's booth featured peppers, pumpkins and spaghetti sauce that he and his daughter made.

Baughman, a regular, said business has been good.

"People want to get away from manufactured foods," he said. "And by that I mean food grown in California and Florida, because they can get fresh and ripe vegetables here."

Edie Sutton, an extension educator for Purdue Extension of St. Joseph County, said she has been impressed by the market's growth.

"It has been very busy for a new market, and I think it's a good way to bring fresh produce to the west side," she added. "This also gives merchants another place to sell."Olivia Bradley said the chance to sell products from her mother's store, Marigold's, brought her to the Urban Market. Saturday was her first time, and she plans to return for the final two weeks. "We will see what sells and bring more of it."

Customer Jim Gray was at the market with his wife, Carol. Gray said it has been his goal to start an indoor farmer's market on the west side that would provide year-round space for vendors who sell food and crafts: "I'm still working on it."

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Market Manager Report from September 18

It was quite a festive atmosphere this week! Good food, friends, fall colors, and many regulars and regular vendors celebrating birthdays! Helen Hibbs performed and was great, adding so much to the market atmosphere. Although the season is drawing to a close, new people came for the first time.

Coming September 25

This Saturday features Michele Boone from LaPaz for musical entertainment. She sings and plays guitar. She composes her own music and describes it as "heartfelt music with a message".
Phil Sutton will be there with handouts and ready to answer questions about "How to put your garden to bed".
Special full-time hostess of the week, filling in for market manager Donna, will be Jen, whom many will recognize as the know-it-all (in a good way!) at the information table. Jen will be the market manger for the day!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Market Manager Report from September 11

The Urban Garden Market welcomes a new produce vendor, Bernardo Garcia. Bennie had been to market several times throughout the summer and is a great addition.

The special craft and the music was a very nice addition and added to the ambiance of the market. Junk Evolution owners came to Market until 11:00. The percussion music and poetry were an added bonus!

Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate, as it rained constantly, going from a sprinkle to a downpour.

Better weather is on order for this coming Saturday! Plus, pulled pork from Jimmy Mac and Jean the "Bread Lady" will make a limited appearance (9:00-11:00am only) so shop early for the best breads!

Special Event at Market!

Local Michiana performer will provide entertainment at the Urban Garden Market PLUS great buys for fall decorations!

Helen Hibbs, a well-known entertainer throughout the Michiana area, is a former Clay Middle School teacher and musical director of "The Company" and current instructor at IUSB. She will preform a variety of musical styles on the keyboard, providing market goers with a real treat as they select their fresh, locally-grown produce.

This week at the market there will also be an amazing selection of colorful gourds, Indian corn, pumpkins, broom grass all for making fall decorations. All of this along with homemade bread, cookies and, of course, fresh beignets. The Urban Garden Market will be open only three more Saturdays this season. If you've not been to the market yet, this Saturday will be a good day to come.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Market Manager Report from September 4

Mike and Michael were great last week! Everybody loved them.
Jimmy Mac's Rib Shack was a hit. He sold out of what he brought. He plans to be there every Sat through Oct. 2nd.

Fall weather brings fall crops, and an end to summer goods. Some Highlights:
Patrick has cool crops for fall but they may not be ready for a couple weeks.
Jean still has corn and should have some through September. Jason will have pumpkins, gourds, broom grass tops (for making wreaths), Indian corn for people decorating for fall. If all goes well, Wendy will be back with her Cookie Hook-Up table. Lyn-Joyce will return with her baked goodies and beignets.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Market Manager Report from August 28

Best weather ever!
Market Manager Donna brought her radio/cd player and cranked up the volume. It worked quite well. Not as good as live music, but it added some atmosphere. Had a good crowd, especially considering all the events going on in the community over the weekend. Kids are back to school and everything is getting busy!

Next weekend: Mike and Michael will bring their acoustic rock to the market next Saturday. They'll bring a couple of friends to distribute flyers and sell tickets to the Special Olympics fundraiser on the 18th.
Have a good one... keep cool. Let's hope we get some rain soon.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Market Manager Report from August 23

It was a slow day. It did rain for most of the morning, though not heavy. I'm sure this was a contributing factor to a slower morning. Also, as Patrick noted last year, sales fall off after school starts. He has noticed this again at his roadside stand.

Vendors included Preston Farms, Jean Rudolph, Jason Ashley, Pat Bell, Lyn-Joyce Dodson, Patrick's Produce, Pa's Vegetable Patch.

Edie and Phil Sutton were there from the Purdue Extension and several people availed themselves of their expertise. It's good to have them there to give the educational component.

We have only six market days left this summer.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Market Report from August 14

Kathy Jerrel came and played her dulcimer for most of the time. Very nice. Artist Kathleen Petitjean had her pen and ink drawings on display and had greeting cards for sale. Her art can also be seen at http://quillpenstudio.com.
Pa's Garden Patch was there with tomatoes, beans and squash.
We continue to promote support for our neighbors, the LaSalle Branch Library. It is open Saturday afternoons, and makes a great stop after picking up some produce.
Sadly, the heat was affecting several vendors in terms of produce and personal health, but the market weather was pleasant, with humidity only rising after the market closed.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Market Manager Report from August 7

We had great weather!
It was a first for apples, which should be a regular feature for the rest of the season.
Rosemary (Preston Farms) will have peaches and her infamous pickles this Saturday.
A big thanks goes out to one of the area unions (details to follow soon) for the free Silver Hawks tickets. They were a big hit with the vendors, some of whom planned to go and meet up at the ballpark. Check in this week for game stories, fresh fruit, and good garden veggies.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Market Manager Report for July 31

It started out raining, but it didn't last real long. Vendors stayed until close to 1:30 because customers were still dripping in.
Incredible! We have 9 more market days this season.
The "hoopLAH" was a lot of fun. Several tried to keep the hoop going and provided great fun. Some were really good. Kelly was awesome--that hoop just glided up and down her body while she was walking around.
We will be selling tickets at the market for the "Luau at LaSalle Square Fundraising Picnic," a benefit for Unity Gardens, Inc. taking place at the LaSalle Unity Garden on Saturday August 21st from 11 am to 3 pm. Learn more at http://theunitygardens.blogspot.com/p/events.html
We'll have them available at the information table beginning Saturday August 7.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Market Manager Report from July 24

What a day! We got blown away by the storm. Vendors were set up and ready to start when a storm blew through. Tents and umbrellas went sailing across the parking lot (despite the anchors and weights attached to them!). We were fortunate that no car windows were busted out! Then it started thundering and lightening so we mutually we called it a day.
Patrick ended up staying with his sweet corn and other veggies until 1:00. There were several customers after the weather settled down. Most came after corn and tomatoes.

The "hoopLAH" was rained out, as were the drummers (although several stayed to pick up a few fresh post-storm items!). Next week will have Kelly Strycker, her hoops, and the drummers!

Friday, July 23, 2010

In the News

More press on the fate of LaSalle Square - we are there, people are coming & buying & talking & learning.
If you build it, they will come...?

The Saturday Scene

Check out the good food and fun this week! New pictures of market activity are on our site - take a look! Come have fun with Kelly Striker's Hoop-la and the South Bend Drum Circle

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Market Manager Report from July 17

The Library Book Sale brought in some new customers last Saturday. They got to enjoy fresh produce offerings from many regulars as well as newcomer Jason Ashley. He sold produce from an Amish farmer and from the Wakarusa produce auction.
The “support the library” table was up and running, getting lots of “business” as well.

NEXT WEEK: Kelly Stryker will be sharing her hula hoop dance along with the South Bend Drum Circle. Hoops and drums will be available to try or buy.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Upcoming Events: music, hoops and a new vendor

Bailey Williams, a 15 year-old from Bremen, Indiana, will perform a unique style of original and covers of folk/rock, with influences from Bright Eyes to The Beatles. A finalist in "Osceola Idol," she is also a national finalist in the "Kids Helping Kids CD project. You can visit Bailey's web page at http://www.myspace.com/baileycwilliams
Don't forget that on July 24 & 31 Kelly Strycker & the South Bend Drum Circle will be at the market from 10a-1p. Join them in a hula hoop or on a drum. Kelly has performed with groups Chicago Hoop Dance and Blaze to spread the healing meditative powers of the hoop through performances, workshops, and custom made hoops. Adult and kid hoops will be available to borrow and for sale. Read more at http://summersessionhoopjam.blogspot.com/
Stop by to check out new vendor Marigolds,a new store on Jefferson Blvd in South Bend offering "Uncommon Home & Garden Home & Garden Decor, Gifts, Vintage Items and Fresh Flowers" according to their Facebook page. They will be bringing fresh flowers and potted herbs.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Market Manager Report for July 10

What a great day at the market! We beat our record set last week.

The hot dog vendor, Dizzy Dogs, was there and did a good business for his first time. He sold enough that he will be back--just has to check his schedule to see what other events he has scheduled.

Rosemary (Preston Farms) was not at market this week because the brakes on her truck went out. She's ok, but totally frustrated. We've been playing phone tag so I haven't talked with her directly.

And, of course, the big event was that WSBT fed live from the market. It was awesome to have their van there with the live feed tower telescoping way up in the air. Kristin Blen was the reporter and did a great job of talking with vendors and getting a feel for the market before we went on air. People back in the newsroom asked her to bring 5 orders of beignets back to the station. Lyn Joyce was happy. The vendors said many people commented that they came because they had seen the market on TV. I went to the library afterwards and two people I didn't know told me they saw me on TV. So we got great coverage. Now... how do we build on all this Tribune/WSBT coverage?


The UGM is part of Front Page News

From Saturday, July 10th South Bend Tribune: http://www.southbendtribune.com/article/20100710/NEWS01/7100315
(see also the interesting and somewhat long conversation about the article on the Tribune site. Very interesting...)

South Bend plans for LaSalle Square area redevelopment
Tribune Staff Writer

SOUTH BEND — Where some people now see vacant storefronts and empty lots, others see a future that includes new stores, homes, a civic plaza and a city park.

Those are among the ideas included in the LaSalle Square area redevelopment plan, crafted in 2008 by the city with help from community residents and consultants.

The work included a market analysis and demographic study of the area along Bendix Drive near Lincoln Way West on the city's northwest side. The planning included participation by nearby residents and property owners.
The LaSalle redevelopment area includes about 30 acres in and around the former LaSalle Square Shopping Plaza, which has lost most of its retail stores during the past 15 years. A Kroger grocery store, a G.L. Perry variety store, a Revco pharmacy, a Target store and other shops have closed or moved away.

The St. Joseph County Public Library is considering closing its LaSalle Branch near the shopping center, citing financial woes and declining use of that branch.

A market analysis indicated the area will not support new large retail development, but some convenience retail would be feasible. A small pharmacy, a dry cleaner, a limited-service restaurant and a grocery store specializing in fresh produce were ideas mentioned.

Since the plan was released in September 2008, some positive changes have occurred:

-Bendix Family Physicians opened at 1010 N. Bendix Drive. Residents had indicated a need for medical services in the area.

-The Urban Garden Market operates near LaSalle Square on summer Saturdays, providing a place for residents to buy fresh produce and other food.

-LaSalle Square was added to the Airport Economic Development Area tax incremental financing district, which means the city will be able to capture additional property tax money created by new development and use it to pay for streets, sidewalks and other improvements.

But no major new retail or housing development has occurred. Some nearby residents are frustrated by the slow rate of progress.

To get national-brand retailers to locate in areas that don't meet their demographic needs isn't likely, said Don Inks, director of the city's division of economic development. "To get CVS (or another drug store chain) to locate outside an area that meets their criteria is next to impossible," he said.

The Sterling Group, a property management and development firm based in Mishawaka, wants to build a senior apartment complex on vacant land just east of the LaSalle Branch library.

Sterling last year applied for tax credits to proceed but didn't receive approval, Inks said. The company plans to file again.

Tax credits are more likely if the land is owned by a governmental agency. The city is working to buy the vacant parcel from Faith Apostolic Ministries, then sell it to Sterling, Inks said.

Plan goals

The redevelopment plan set the following as goals to be reached by 2013: add streets, sidewalks and lighting within the target area to encourage vehicle and foot traffic; add streetscaping and a landscaped median that turns the Bendix-Lincoln Way intersection into a gateway to LaSalle Square; encourage development of the seniors' apartment development; create a city park in the southeast corner of the site; and promote the Urban Garden Market, a nearby community garden, and other public uses of the land.

Goals by 2018: Encourage more use of the nearby industrial areas; create a public plaza in the center of LaSalle Square; encourage retail along Bendix; demolish the existing St. Vincent de Paul building and the LaSalle Square plaza except for the church; and allow a residential developer to build new homes around the plaza.

Within 20 years, the plan recommends working with nearby residents to develop such possibilities as a community center and/or a community college satellite campus.

Jeff Vitton is a community development planner for South Bend who is working on the LaSalle Square plan. He notes the plan is for 20 years, and change won't occur overnight.

"There is a commitment to move forward. We want to rededicate streets through the plaza. That should help spur more customers (for retail businesses)," he said.

Like Inks, Vitton said it's unlikely a large grocery chain will locate in LaSalle Square without additional development preceding it. But something smaller, such as a neighborhood food co-op, is realistic, he said.

Jerry Niezgodski, chairman of the Lincoln Way West Gateway Association, was among community residents who helped develop the plan. He generally favors the plan's recommendations, but he's frustrated by what he sees as a lack of action on the part of city officials to promote the plan and encourage development.

City leaders are putting most of their focus on developing Eddy Street Commons and Ignition Park, and not devoting much time to LaSalle Square, he said. The dilapidated old LaSalle Square sign — with holes through it and the name "Kroger" still faintly visible — is symbolic, he said. The sign should be removed and replaced with a new one with contact information about development, he said.

"I think it could be a very successful redevelopment project, if the effort were made," he said.

Staff writer Margaret Fosmoe:
(574) 235-6329

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Music & More at the Market

This Saturday, July 10, along with just-picked sweet corn, tomatoes, beans, cucumbers, beignets, scones, and much more, the Urban Garden Market will feature the music of a local musician.

Nick Harley, a young folksinger based in South Bend, Indiana, will perform a variety of music styles including folk, rock, and bluegrass. He has performed many times at Fiddlers Hearth, Niles Bluegrass Fest, the Beanery, The Livery, the Acorn Theater, and other venues around town. His original songs are influenced by the places he has been and the people he meets every day.

There will also be a "Help the LaSalle Branch Library" table where those interested can find out different opportunities available for helping to keep the library open.

Market Manager Report from July 3

Hope you had a fun and safe 4th holiday (and enjoyed all the good food bought at market on the 3rd!).

We broke out customer record Saturday! We had 269 and ended the day with most of the vendors sold out or with very little left by the end. All seemed really pleased.

Gene from Pa's Vegetable Patch came to see how the market was going. He is still weeks behind everyone else because he had to replant twice. He thinks he'll have something in another week. Sweet of him to stop by. He is the only one working his 1-2 acre garden and he could use help. He said he's had trouble finding reliable workers. (If you know of anyone interested in working in the dirt, Donna the Market Manager can give you his contact info. She can be reached at urbangardenmarket@gmail.com

This coming Saturday we will have a "Help the LaSalle Branch Library" table set up where those interested can sign up for various volunteer opportunities (e.g. help people on computers, listen to children read, play board games and puzzles with children, etc.) We will get volunteers for the table through Community Forum for Economic Development, LaSalle Area Neighborhood Association, and the Lincoln Way Gateway Neighborhood Association.

Rosemary (Preston Farms) suggested that we have a vendor potluck--and since her birthday is in two weeks, she suggested the 24th. Great idea. We're going to keep it simple and have vendors bring whatever they want to share with other vendors.

I'm sending Amaris Bailey (a reporter from the Tribune) a big thank you for the great article she wrote for the Friday, July 2 Tribune. She really captured what we are about.

This Saturday, we will have music by Nick Harley from South Bend.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Urban Garden Market - South Bend Tribune Video - Discover what's in it for you

Urban Garden Market - South Bend Tribune Video - Discover what's in it for you

Check out the video done by the Tribune this week. What a lovely market we have!
See also the article http://www.southbendtribune.com/article/20100701/NEWS04/100709922

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Local sweet corn is ripe and available at the Urban Garden Market. Locally grown blueberries, tomatoes, green beans, onions, summer squash and greens are among the many kinds of fresh produce available from area farmers. Enjoy a cup of coffee and freshly made beignets, homemade cookies, and other baked treats.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Market Manager Report for June 26

Last week we talked with an intern from The Tribune and this week she was there again along with a Tribune staff photographer (who did a happy dance after eating a beignet!). She's coming back this coming weekend. She took lots of pictures and talked with vendors and customers. Can't wait to read her article. We don't know when/if it will be published. There was an intern last summer that interviewed some of us, but there was only a teeny tiny mention of the market in a broader article.

Sweet Corn!
Patrick said he thought he would have corn by the 3rd so I'll call and see if it's ready. Rosemary had some sweet corn, but sold out almost immediately.
Carol's Perennials may be back Saturday unless they are at another market.

Phil and Edie (Sutton) were great resources to have (from Purdue Extension). Several people visited the Event Tent.

The wind has been a challenge -- the tent kept blowing over even when we anchored it to a car and tied down with cement bricks. The surrounding metal strips that holds up the canopy are bent and must be weakened. Does anyone know a structural engineer? I have an idea that I'll try out this week. The tent works fine as long as there is no wind! We've had strong winds every Saturday so far.

Thanks go to Julie Hill, a librarian at the LaSalle branch and member of the Market Management team, for mentioning the Urban Garden Market in Saturday's Tribune article - you got the hours in and everything! Let's hope the library does open July 10th. We need to brainstorm about how we can help the library and increase our own attendance as well.

Vendors: Preston Farms, Jean Rudolph, Lynn-Joyce and her beignets, cookies, and pastries, Carol's Perennials, Wendy’s Cookie Hoop-Up, Backyard Gardener, Pat the Plant Lady (with cactus and other hardy houseplants), and Kitchen Gardens Goods with greens and flowers.
Customers: 118

Friday, June 25, 2010

Market Manager Report

Joe Donnelly and his wife came before we opened, but vendors sold to him anyway. The customer number was higher than I thought (139). It seemed like a really low turnout after our opening day. I'm sure the storm the night before (and the downed trees and power outages that followed) had a lot to do with it.

Speaking of storms... we'll have to wait and see if produce was harmed with this last round of storms. It looks like there will be time for the fields to dry out a little bit so they can get in to pick.

In case you haven't heard, we received sad news Thursday June 17. Betty Hopson-Taylor who makes the sweet-potato pies from the Holiness Church of God passed away very suddenly. We will miss her! Her granddaughter, who was with her at market on the 12th, said they would like to come back to the market in a couple weeks. That day at market was very special for her because it was just her, her son and her grandmother--a treasured memory.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Food fun this Saturday

Visit us this Saturday for fresh food, community connections, and the chance to learn a little something, too! If you need some ideas about how to prepare the goodies at the market, or do you have a gardening issue of your own? Join Edie and Phil Sutton from Purdue Extension at the Market this weekend. They will be sharing gardening tips, recipes, and do a cooking demo using seasonal produce purchased at the Market. You will leave not only with good food in hand, but with ideas on how to cook it and how to best grow it yourself.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Music and Artistic Creations Saturday June 19

Kathie Jerrell will be at the UGM this Saturday to play her dulcimer. She might also bring a friend! You may have seen her at the NNN Art Walk last fall, as well as other area performances. She will be playing form 10a-Noon.
In addition, there will be jewelry making demonstration and sale by the craftspeople of Dismas House.
Learn more about their work at http://www.dismassouthbend.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=19&Itemid=5

Join us for food and music, and leave with a little local "bling!"

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Opening Day Report from Market Manager

OPENING DAY WAS WONDERFUL! The rains held off and though very hot, the weather was OK.

We had 13 great vendors We also beat out our last year's customer record--and it is only the first day of the season! Rosemary Preston of Preston Farms was psyched. Lynn Joyce ran out of beignets (guess you gotta get there early!).

Lots of new people and many of the faithful from last year. It was exciting.