The TOSI Challenge Meets the Carbondale Community Farmer’s Market

Last Saturday, I was finally able to spend a little time at the Carbondale Community Farmer’s Market, also affectionately referred to as the winter farmer’s market and indoor market. As many of you know, I’ve been dealing with cancer treatments and restrictions for the past few months that limit my ability to get out and do these kinds of things. Being back at a farmer’s market, even if only for a little while, was a real treat for me.

With so many great ingredients and foods from which to choose, it was the perfect place to resume the TOSI (Taste Of Southern Illinois) Challenge. Instead of eating hazardous household products or engaging in harmful behaviors, this is a more tasteful challenge (pun intended.) Quite simply, The TOSI Challenge is to create foods or meals from ingredients made or grown in Southern Illinois. Use #TOSIChallenge when sharing your creations on social media and when possible, tag or at least identify the Southern Illinois ingredients.

One of my first purchases was a ready-to-bake pizza from Tonight, Pizza Italiana.

These are made in Carbondale and can even be ordered online. I opted for the Margherita pizza. My son has requested to try the Americana version next. Its toppings include hot dog and French fries.

One of my next stops was at Mustard Seed Sowers Farm for some iced holy basil tea. They had other choices, but that was my favorite. Mustard Seed Sowers Farm also had boxes of tea available for sale.

One of the benefits of shopping at the farmers market, besides supporting your community, is that you can speak directly with someone who knows the product. For example, at Honey & Shrooms, you learn the difference between the light and dark honey.

This week, I combined some of the honey I purchased from Honey & Shrooms with shiitake mushrooms from Flyaway Family Farms in a chicken stir fry over rice. I also used some red scallions and garlic that I bought from the nice lady in between Mustard Seed Sowers and Dierks Family Farms.

Fresh dill from All Seasons Farm went into a salmon en papillote weeknight meal over thinly sliced potatoes. I also used some of the red scallions, lemon zest, olive oil, and butter.

Fortunately, my taste buds were working better last Saturday (chemo really wreaks havoc on them,) and I worked up an appetite. Southern Que was the perfect solution. I opted for the half slab of ribs with baked beans and slaw. It was wonderful.

I didn’t leave my fur babies out of the TOSI Challenge. Mario’s Mama was there with treats for dogs and even a few for cats. So, Pokey got a canine-safe iced cookie, and the kitties got tuna melt.

There were many things to see, and even a fitness class. (I was already tired from walking more than usual for now, so I did not participate…) I didn’t manage to get pictures of every vendor, but there is a nice variety.

This indoor, winter farmers market runs from 9:00 am to noon on Saturdays through March at the Carbondale High school.


Carbondale Community Farmer’s Market,

Tonight, Pizza Italiana,

Mustard Seed Sowers Farm,

All Seasons Farm,

Flyaway Family Farm,

Mario’s Mama,

Scratch Farm & Brewery,

Southern Que,

Honey & Shrooms,

One thought on “The TOSI Challenge Meets the Carbondale Community Farmer’s Market

  1. Hi I live on Carbondale IL, we should cook one day , next or this week I will give a Peruvian Cooking class here on Carbondale , if u are interested you can contact Leah Bening her number is +1 618-201-2174 you can see my work at , have a nice day I like your work

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