STATE

Homegrown market opens on square

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

Homegrown market opens on square

Extension’s Homegrown Market on the Square Opens May 5 in Milan - fresh produce, handmade crafts, plants, baked goods, cooking demonstrations, and events, 2:30 – 6:30 p.m.

Buying fresh, locally grown foods is one of the best ways to help sustain your local economy. Not only are you supporting local growers who live, shop and pay taxes in your community, but you are eating fresh foods that taste delicious! Nearly everyone can benefit from adding more fresh fruits and vegetables to their diets.

Rock Island County Extension at 321 West 2nd Avenue in Milan (across from the post office) is helping to make it easier by hosting the 2010 Homegrown Market on the Square. It opens for the season on Wednesday, May 5 from 2:30 – 6:30 p.m. “There are over 20 vendors signed up to sell their goods.” said Market Manager Tracy Jo Mulliken. “As the produce comes into season we’ll have an abundance of delicious, fresh produce available.”

In addition to the vendors, Extension’s market will feature entertainment, tasting stations, cooking demonstrations, recipes using seasonal produce, children’s activities, face painting, humane society pets available for adoption, and more. The season kicks off on Cinco De Mayo with an Hispanic-themed event featuring cooking demonstrations by Old Mexico chef Jorge Barajas at 3:30 and 4:30 p.m., Corn tortillas cooking demonstrations at 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. by Donna Buechler of Extension; and Salsa dancing lessons by Luz Cisneros at 5 p.m.

Grilled foods and festival favorites will also be available for purchase. At each week’s program, Extension will offer Free Vegetable Gardening Classes as part of its Homegrown Challenge Purposeful Gardening Series. The classes are designed to help gardeners with the most pressing issues facing them throughout the season. On May 5 at 5:30 p.m. the topic will be “Planning Your Garden” and each week at 6:45 p.m. the topic will be vegetable specific with May 5’s topics covering carrots, turnips, rutabaga and parsnips. The gardening classes are free, funded in part by a grant from the Mel McKay Charitable Trust. Pre-registration is appreciated, but not required – register online at www.extension.uiuc.edu/rockisland or at (309) 756-9978.

Vendors who offer locally grown fruits, vegetables, baked goods and hand-made crafts produced within a 100-mile radius are invited to participate. For information contact Tracy Jo Mulliken at (309) 756-9978 Ext 19 or by email at tmully@illinois.edu