Regional road trips are all the rage right now. Many folks feel most comfortable hopping in the car with their loved ones and exploring sights that are off the beaten path. Some of those sights may even be in your own backyard! For plenty of regional travel ideas, check-in every Wednesday for a Downstate Illinois Road Trip Roundup on themed topics showcasing several destinations across the southern portion of the state. This week is National Farmers Market Week, so we’re highlighting some of the best markets that can be found in our neck of the woods!
Buy local. Buy fresh. The Effingham Farmers Market is a seasonal open-air market that provides our community with fresh, locally grown food, regional-made artwork, live music and quality artisan goods. It’s truly a vibrant marketplace that connects and supports local producers, entrepreneurs and the community all at the same time. Support our region and your health by buying local at the Effingham Farmers Market. Visit every Saturday morning from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. in Downtown Effingham on the courthouse lawn, now through October. There is a little something for everyone at this ever-expanding market and we encourage you to start your weekend with us as you walk through our downtown square and pick up your favorite fresh goodies. Gather you ingredients for your favorite meal or maybe some fresh fruit to make the perfect dessert. Our market also offers items for your special diet or food allergy. Check out the gluten-free muffins, keto cakes or low-sugar jellies, just to name a few. Bring your four-legged friend with you to explore what yummy treats are available just for them. Well-behaved and friendly pets on a leash are welcome at the market. They’ll enjoy the atmosphere almost as much as the snacks! The farmers market also offers plenty items to brighten up your home, including beautiful flower bouquets, lovely wildflowers, sunflowers and a rainbow of zinnias. Your local crafter and artisans put in countless hours creating beautiful, one-of-a-kind items found only at the Effingham Farmers Market. Whether it’s jewelry, baskets, signs or something for the front porch, these unique treasures are all in one place, which makes for easy shopping! New this year, the Effingham Farmers Market is offering space to promote non-profit or local businesses this year. Our market continues to grow each year and we love to see what new things we’ll find there each week. We invite you to spend your Saturday mornings with us here in Effingham, come for the fresh and local food and stay for the atmosphere.
ILLINOISouth has a variety of options to choose from when it comes to farmers markets, so if you’re craving some fresh, locally-made food or are in the market for handmade goods, we have the solution for you! O’Fallon Station is home to the Vine Street Market, where vendors from near and far gather to sell a variety of goods such as local produce, artisan jewelry, desserts, and more. There is even live music to make the Vine Street Market the perfect way to spend your weekend. The Vandalia, Illinois Farmers Market works to build a sustainable food economy in their community by featuring local farmers as their vendors. Complete with snow cones, music, and activities for kids – the Vandalia, Illinois Farmers Market is sure to be a blast for everyone. The Sainte Marie Farmers Market in Jasper County has no shortage of vendors or products. From delicious baked goods and pure honey to fresh-cut flowers and homemade soaps, the Sainte Marie Farmers Market has something for everyone. Be sure to check out these farmers markets to support local businesses while finding unique treats to enjoy!
The original Mt. Vernon Farmer’s Market in Mt. Vernon is held every Tuesday and Friday through October on the lot by KFC in the Times Square Mall parking lot. Offerings vary by season, but right now is peak time for peaches, nectarines, green beans, tomatoes, sweet corm and more. Make sure you come hungry and enjoy some Billy Bob’s BBQ while you are there and don’t forget to check out The Flower Girls for a fresh bouquet! Market Days in Mt. Vernon has two dates left for the 2021 Season, August 14th and September 11th. A variety of vendors sell diverse items such as antiques, collectibles, handmade items, plants, jewelry, flea market finds, produce, baked goods and more! Admission is FREE. Visit, shop, and enjoy the fun atmosphere at Mt. Vernon's Market Days! In August, Cusumano & Sons will be set up with a booth packed with low-cost delicious produce to help you eat healthier even with the expenses of back to school time! Also in August, visit the free Hand Up Summit and Central Christian Church and Ms. Spann’s free annual Backpack Block Party being held at Veteran’s Memorial Park the same day! In September, make a weekend of it and visit the Cedarhurst Art & Craft Fair as well as a plethora of events at specialty shops throughout the area. Find out more at enjoymtvernon.com/events!
Throughout the Summer and fall you can find a FARMER’S MARKET set up on various days of the week, across Southernmost Illinois. Packed with local growers and producers, it’s fun for the whole family. Some locations with a farmer’s Market include: Anna, Metropolis, Murphysboro, Vienna and Cobden. For great food and fun any day of the week, take a scenic drive through the rolling hills of Shawnee Forest country on Old Highway 51 north of Cobden and you will find Flamm Orchards. The sights and sounds of a wholesale packing house will buzz in the background while you shop for fresh produce at a farm that spans through 6 generations of the Flamm family. During the harvest season, which runs from June through October, a scenic drive on Hwy. 127 at Alto Pass leads to Rendleman Orchards. In addition to the best quality farm-fresh, tree ripened peaches, nectarines and apples along with a wide selection of other fruits and vegetables, as well as jams, jellies, pickled items, baking and soup mixes, ciders, salsas, snack mixes, candles, linens, apple cider donuts; the Orchard offers beautiful flower fields and great photo opportunities.
You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy local, so that’s kind of the same thing! In Williamson County we are fortunate to have a number of local farmers markets. In downtown Marion you’ll find a farmers market every Saturday and Wednesday morning throughout the spring and summer months. On Saturdays, the market is filled with locally grown produce, locally raised beef and dairy, and much more. They have local vendors selling products like soaps, lotions, and other hand crafted items. They also have food trucks and other food and beverage vendors to enjoy while you shop! Wednesday morning offers a smaller, more produce centered market! While everyday of the week is like a farmers market at Big Muddy Hogs, on Sundays they host a number of other local vendors and food trucks! Find all your essentials and more at this food hub market! In Carterville, Cannon Park hosts the farmers market every Sunday afternoon! You’ll find a great selection of locally sourced foods and more! On Friday afternoons, Johnston City holds their farmers market downtown! This market is the perfect place to stock up on everything you’ll need for your weekend meals. We invite you to visit our farmers markets during these last weeks of summer!