Farm Fresh: Farmers Markets in Illinois

Nationally, Illinois tops the agriculture charts especially when it comes to pumpkins and other fruit and vegetable crops. visit a farmers market for a taste of local flavors.

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Aurora Farmers Market
The state’s oldest market celebrates its 109th season. Join the Saturday festivities when local purveyors and artisans fill Water Street Square. On Wednesday afternoons, shop the West Market.

Carbondale Farmers Market
Support local farmers and vendors who sell gluten-free baked goods, eggs and seafood every Saturday at the Westowne Shopping Center.  

Downtown Evanston Farmers Market
Less than a mile from Lake Michigan, local vendors go beyond produce and also sell cheese, jelly, jams, plants and pastries.

Green City Market, Chicago
More than 100 chefs and restaurateurs shop the all-local market, where 50-plus vendors sell sustainably grown produce, protein and prepared foods. Shop two locations: West Loop and Lincoln Park.

Market at The Square, Urbana
With more than 100 vendors, this market ranks as one of the state’s largest. Shop for homemade arts and crafts, flowers, honey, beer and wine, dairy, and meat.

Old Capitol Farmers Market, Downtown Springfield
Popular shops such as Three Twigs Bakery, Custom Cup and Buzz Bomb Brewing got their start here; open Wednesday and Saturday mornings.

Woodstock Farmer's Market
All purchases support the community at this twice-weekly market (Tuesday and Saturday) on Woodstock Square, where products sold are locally grown, produced or made.

 
What's in Season

Spring (May to Mid-June)

Asparagus, Broccoli, Peas, Radishes, Rhubarb, Salad Greens, Sour Cherries, Spinach, Strawberries

Summer (Late June to Early August)

Beets, Blackberries, Blueberries, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Collards, Cucumbers, Eggplant,
Grapes, Green Beans, Leeks, Melons, Okra, Pears, Peppers, Raspberries, Summer Squash and Zucchini, Sweet Corn, Tomatoes, Watermelon

Farm-To-Table Restaurants

  • Many ingredients used at Firefly Grill in Effingham come straight from the on-site farm, or are sourced from local farmers, foragers and fishermen. Summer flavors shine with just-picked veggies in the Firefly Farm Fried Green Tomatoes and the Squash Blossoms.
  • Honey bees buzz at chef-owner Michael Higgins’ rooftop garden of herbs at Maldaner’s Restaurant and Catering, a downtown Springfield institution since 1884.
  • Tomatoes and chilies grow on the rooftop garden at Xoco, one of Rick Bayless’ many Chicago restaurants. Bayless also makes use of a larger garden found along The 606 trail in Bucktown.
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