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

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