Enjoy the bounty from Southeastern Illinois farms and gardens at local markets where farmers still sell their seasonal crops of fruits and vegetables directly to customers.
Have fun exploring each market and discovering the most flavorful farm-fresh produce, including sweet corn, tomatoes, green beans, carrots, squash, cucumbers, apples, peaches and more!
Picking the perfect piece of fruit or the freshest vegetables is easy, too -- if you know what to look for. Here are a few tips for some popular favorites:
Make sure they are green all over and not too big. Yellow streaks mean a bitter gherkin.
Peel the shuck back and gently use the pad (not the nail) of your thumb to press the kernels; if they give under pressure the ear will be sweet. Avoid shriveled kernels.
Look for a uniform, rosy color. Soft spots mean trouble, but tiny holes or brown spots are all right.
Bigger, in the case of squash, isn't better. Yellow squash under six inches long can be eaten raw (but keep in mind, the big fellows do make excellent relish).
They should be bright red all over and free from cracks and worm damage. The skin should be firm, not mushy.
The ripe cantaloupe is golden all over -- if the ridges are green, the fruit isn't ripe. And cantaloupe won't ripen off the vine, like some fruits will.
Check the melon's "belly." If it?s yellow, the fruit is overripe. If it's cream-colored, it's just right.
Edwards County Farmers Market - in Albion
350 N. 7th St. (Southeast corner of square), Albion
Open: July - September on Fridays, 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Edwards County Farmers Market - in West Salem
Town Square, West Salem
Open: May - October on Fridays 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Jasper County Farmers Market
Court House Square, Newton
Mid June - October on Saturdays, 7:00 AM to Noon.
Lawrence County Farmers Market
619 12th Street, Lawrenceville
Open: West side of Courthouse Square: May - October 6:00 AM - Noon on Tuesdays and Fridays
Richland County Farmers Market - in Noble
Village Park, Noble
Open: July - September on Thursday from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Richland County Farmers Market - in Olney
Olney City Park, Olney
Open: June to October, Tuesday & Friday 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Wabash County Farmers Market
City Hall Parking lot, Mount Carmel
Open: July through September 7:00 AM to Noon, Wednesday & Saturdays.
Wayne County Farmers Market - in Fairfield
Courthouse Square & old Wal-Mart parking lot, Fairfield
Open: Mid-June-Sept., Wed & Sat., , 7 am to Noon
White County Farmers Market - in Carmi
Location TBA, Carmi
Open: June Through September Saturdays 7:00 AM to Noon
Call the Carmi Chamber of Commerce at 618/382-7606 for details.