Farmers’ Market Season is Around the Corner

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Did you know Illinois is No. 3 in the United States for farmers’ markets? (Illinois Farm Bureau file photo)

Farmers’ market season is quickly approaching in Illinois. And it’s a big deal.

“It’s No. 3 in the nation for the number of farmers’ markets,” said Raghela Scavuzzo, local foods program manager for the Illinois Farm Bureau. “I think it’s because you have a lot going on all throughout the state.”

The easiest way the find information on farmers’ markets near you is by visiting the Illinois Famers Market Association (ILFMA) website at www.ilfma.org.

“They are connected to all the farmers’ markets that are in their association,” Scavuzzo told the RFD Radio Network®.

Markets will start to pop up in the southern part of the state next month, with most others around Illinois starting in May.
And it’s not just fresh produce either. Stuff like hand-made soaps and handy crafts have also become common at many farmers’ markets, as well as baked goods.

“So what’s interesting is it really depends on how that farmers’ market defines it,” Scavuzzo said. “So, great questions you should be asking when you’re going to your farmers’ market is it a producer-only market.”

That means the person who made it or produced it is the person selling it.

“Somebody can’t go to the wholesale market, pick up a box of tomatoes and sell it; you have to know where it’s coming from,” Scavuzzo said. “It’s always a great thing to ask, because you want to be able to support your local buyers.”

ILFMA is also promoting the “What’s In Season” app, which is also available on the organization’s website.

“It’s got a geo-locator so you’ll be able to say, ‘hey, I’m in this area,’ and it will pop up with farm stands, farmers’ markets and farmers that are in your area and will also tell you what’s available this time of year,” Scavuzzo said.

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