It's Farmer's Market Season!

May 7, 2014

Fresh bread and baked goods from Central IL Catering at the 2013 Illinois Products Farmers Market
Credit Il Dept. of Agriculture

The first of Springfield's farmer's markets will open tomorrow (Thursday) afternoon at the state fairgrounds. 

The Illinois Products Farmer's Market is across the from the grandstand and features a bevy of local and state products, from food to beer, wine and more. 

Kendra Schilling is the market manager. 

With the growth of farmer's markets, Schilling says Springfield has yet to reach a tipping point for demand.

"In my opinion, we haven't seen it yet. A lot of people thought this market would never succeed, and we have great crowds every Thursday night and that hasn't taken away from downtown at all," she said.   "I think consumers are really invested in, I don't even want to call it the 'local foods movement' , they're just really invested in known where their food comes from."

And you can even get a ripe tomato early.  Hydroponic and greenhouse growers will be participating.  The event runs 4-7 p.m. each Thursday night through the summer, taking a brief break during the state fair. 

If you're looking ahead for the Old Capitol Farmers Market, it begins next week on Wednesday May 14 and Saturday May 17.  It will run twice a week until the end of summer.

Schilling adds that farmers markets  give you that one on one contact with growers.

"It just takes it to a whole different level. You know by purchasing from them, you're helping them thrive and doing a lot for the local community," Schilling said.