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Flowers, Fruits, and Frass

Local farmers rely on you this spring 

Green, red and white tomatoes

A full return to farmer's market season is upon us. Producers have faced many hurdles in the past few years; they are relying on your support to stay in business. This article is a refresher to local farmer’s markets in McLean county, in case you have fallen out of the loop in recent years. Here you will find market locations, times of each market, and their date ranges. Folks in other counties are encouraged to get in touch with their town to see what markets are nearby.  

We all feel the pinch of inflation. From filling your car, to filling your shopping cart, prices have increased. Are you aware local farms are impacted, too? The cost of agricultural inputs, such as fertilizer, compost, and seeds, have increased, almost doubled, in some cases. A farming friend who sells jams and jellies scoured mason jar supply sources early this year, hoping to find a reasonable price on jars to restock for the season, to no avail. She shelled out enough dough on a pallet of jars to pay the original sticker price of her car! For many producers, the pinch is squeezing them out of the market, or threatening to do so! 

As a response to rising prices, folks are increasing their grocery budget. Make those extra dollars count at a local farmers market. Your support will ensure a local farmer receives deserved compensation for the valuable crops they spent so much time, effort—and money—to produce. Your support may keep a local farmer in business. 

McLean County Farmers Markets

Downtown Bloomington Farmers Market 

Weekly Saturdays, May-Oct., 7:30 AM – NOON 
On the Square, Downtown Bloomington, IL 

Duncan Manor Market 

Weekly Wednesdays, May-Oct., 4 – 7PM  
Historic Duncan Manor House, Towanda, IL 

LeRoy Market

Twice/month Sundays, May-Oct., NOON – 3PM 
Kiwanis Park, 101 W. Center St, LeRoy, IL 

Downs Village Market

Weekly Wednesdays, June-Sept., 3:30 – 5:30PM 
Southwest edge of Downs, IL (just off I-74) 

Lexington Farmer’s Market 

Tuesdays (July 6 – Aug. 31), 4 – 6 PM 
Corner of Main & Cedar, Lexington, IL 

Note: this is a working list of markets; there are a few towns that are considering putting on a market and may do so this year... or might not! More may come into existence too. Farmers markets come and go. So, stay tuned and share the word about other markets so we can all remain informed! The power to support small farms, makers, craftspeople and more is in your hands.

PHOTO CREDIT: Farmers Market Style Tomatoes; Nick Frillman, University of Illinois Extension

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Nick Frillman is a Local Foods and Small Farms Educator serving Livingston, McLean & Woodford counties. A fourth-generation graduate from University of Illinois, Frillman has a B.A. with a double major of Political Science and Spanish and a M.S. in Crop Science with a focus on crop production. Before joining Illinois Extension, Frillman completed a field season of CSA and farmers’ market style production at a small “beyond-organic” vegetable farm in Sandy, Oregon.