Let me introduce myself…

Hello!  

My name is Sarah De Ocampo and I will be serving as Downtown Elgin
Harvest Market’s Food and Nutrition Associate! Just to briefly
introduce a little about myself, I am a new graduate from Northern
Illinois University and now hold a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition
and Dietetics degree. A large part of my interests include proper
nutrition in regards to disease prevention, mainly diabetes. A lot of
what you can expect from my blogs will be information on just that, as
well as price comparisons with the local grocery stores, which I
believe many of you may find useful!

I hope that by holding this position, I will provide you with a lot of
nutritional knowledge. I know it will be a great learning experience
for me, as well!

On that note, I cannot wait to meet you at the market! 🙂

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Downtown Elgin Harvest Market Sprouts into its 14th Season

2013_HM_LogoThe Downtown Neighborhood Association is excited to open its 14th season of the Downtown Elgin Harvest Market – Presented by Alexian Brothers Health System on Thursday, June 6 with brand new market hours from 9am – 2pm.  Located prominently in downtown Elgin at 200 N. Grove Avenue, this weekly outdoor farmer’s market will run for eighteen consecutive weeks thru October 3.

Notable 2013 Downtown Elgin Harvest Market opening day offerings:

– Free Alexian Brothers backpacks and Davey Tree tote bags and water bottles for customers;

– More than 20 area vendors offering locally grown and produced fresh, quality vegetables, breads, meat, cheese, eggs, olives, spices, honey, herbs, pickled products, raspberry edibles, soaps, dog treats, knife sharpening, and concessions;

– WRMN-AM 1410 will be broadcasting live at the market with their Radio Shopping Show;

– Thanks in part to a grant from the Florence B. and Cornelia A. Palmer Foundation, the Harvest Market will now promote local musicians weekly at a daytime venue in downtown Elgin with live entertainment at the market. Rock N Bach will be performing 10am – 11:30am and Noah Gabriel will perform noon – 2pm.

– NEW! Along with accepting Link, Debit, and Credit cards, in partnership with BMO Harris Bank and the Fit For Kids Funders Consortium, the Harvest Market will now offer a double couponing value for Link customers.  Customers using their Link cards at the market will now be matched up to $20.00 in additional Link tokens per person per week while funding lasts;

– Two weekly local artist booths will be set up with different art exhibits and art for sale – organized by Art for All and Side Street Studio Arts;

– The Elgin Fire Department will also be on hand weekly with fire trucks and various fire fighting and rescue equipment to give the public the opportunity to meet and mingle with their local firefighters and become familiar with the tools of their trade;

– Weekly interactive, informational community and sponsor booths focusing on wellness, environment, sustainability, and the community will be staffed and operated by organizations including Elgin Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Committee, Elgin Climate Change Organization, Gail Borden Public Library, The Hemmens Cultural Center, and Shared Harvest Elgin Food Cooperative.

NEW! “Rainbowland: An Adventure at the Market” begins Thursday, June 13 running for nine weeks from noon – 2pm each week featuring kids programming catered to children from grades Pre through 6th grade.   Sponsored in part by Bright Horizons, this program will feature three 20 minutes sessions from active fitness fun, to cooking demos, to an interactive activity as well as fun stuff to bring home!

For more details about weekly events, vendor information, live entertainment and attractions at the 2013 Downtown Elgin Harvest Market, visit www.ElginHarvestMarket.com.

The Downtown Elgin Harvest Market is presented by Alexian Brothers Health System and is sponsored by Davey Tree Expert Company, Waste Management, Chiro One , D’Angelo Natural Spring Water,  Judge Family Chiropractic/Maximized Living, Responsive Mailroom, Salon Couture, Shared Harvest Elgin Food Cooperative, Simple Balance Holistic Center, and Ziegler’s Ace Hardware.

For more information on the Downtown Elgin Harvest Market or how to get involved, please contact Harvest Market manager Jennifer Benson at 847-488-1456 or via email at elginharvestmarket@gmail.com.

Just In About Farm Bill in the Senate

Dear Farmers Market Supporter,

The Senate is working on the Farm Bill right now, and Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) has just introduced a critical amendment that will have a transformative impact farmers markets and our whole farm system. We need 5 minutes from you to help to make it part of the 2013 Farm Bill!

This amendment increases funding for critical programs that directly help farmers and communities put solutions into action on the ground – including the Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program, Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program, Community Food Projects, and the Value-Added Producer Grants Program.

These programs make it possible for low-income seniors to access fresh, healthy produce from local farmers.  They make it possible for farmers to expand their operations into new products – like freezing fresh veggies for schools to use during winter months.  They make it possible for communities to build their own food solutions from the ground up – like urban farms, mobile groceries, and youth-led healthy eating programs.

Among the hundreds of amendments the Senate will debate in the coming days, this one stands out – it’s got the potential to make a real difference on the ground and in the lives of farmers and communities.

We need YOU to call TODAY!
Here’s the contact info for your Senators:

Sen. Dick Durbin
(202) 224-2152

Sen. Mark Kirk

Calling is easy – just dial the numbers above and leave a message like this one below with the person who answers the phone:

“Hello, my name is ___ and I’m a constituent and a voter (and tell ‘em if you’re a market organizer or farmer!).  I would like to leave a message for Senator ___’s agriculture staffer.  Can you take a message for me, please?  The message is:  I urge the Senator to support Senator Brown’s local food and market development amendment during floor debate this week.  This amendment is critical to building a better future for food and farms in our state. Thank you.”

We won’t get a better farm bill – and, with it, a better future for our nation’s food and farms – without your help.  Make that quick call right now – and help us spread the word!

Thanks for all you do,

The Farmers Market Coalition  and the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition

P.S.  When you call, tell us how it went!

P.P.S.  Need a little refresher on the sometimes-confusing Farm Bill process? Check out this handy infographic!  Looking for a bit more information on amendments?  Check out NSAC’s rundown of what’s at stake.