Farmers Market Tips for Fall
September and October bring about a lot of fun traditions and events. As a new season breaks through the summer months, one thing is far from over: farmers market season. With area farmers markets running through October, there are still plenty of opportunities to shop for local food, goods, and more farmers market favorites.
Seasonal Eats Hitting Their Stride
A lot of farmers market finds this time of year coincide with the season change. For example, autumn favorites like honey are bountiful at the markets. Plus, a lot of produce hits its stride this time of year, including eggplant, red pepper, and a variety of veggies like beets and scallions. You’ll start to find a lot of favorites you’ve been enjoying from local markets all summer, including hard, collards, head lettuce, spinach, carrots, radishes, scallions, herbs, peas, beets, cucumbers, zucchini, shiitake mushrooms, blackberries, tomatoes, peppers (sweet & hot), tomatillos, watermelon, and winter squash. With plenty of market time left in the year, make sure to pick up your favorites a few more times as fall gets going!
Gearing Up for Autumn with Local Goods and Grows
Of course, farmers markets are more than just things you can eat! While it’s awesome to get a taste of autumn in seasonal produce, as well as pumpkin flavored baked goods and spiced desserts, it’s also a fun time for local goods and grows! Sunflowers are about as perfect a summer to fall transition flower as you can get, so be on the lookout! Plus, there are plenty of flowers that hit their stride in the late summer and early fall period, including dahlias, lilies, zinnias, and more. Not to mention, it's squash season, so things like pumpkins and gourds that might be fun as decoration can also be vital ingredients to some amazing recipes!
Then, there’s the fun fall décor and handmade goods featured at our local markets. Things like pumpkin décor, harvest and autumn stylings, and other seasonal favorites are so fun to pick up when you know they’ve been made by a local maker! A great opportunity to shop all fall favorites is at the Rantoul Farmers Market! Although the regular market is closed for the season, organizers have a Harvest Shopfest planned for October 4th from 5:00-10:00p. With live music, shopping, vendors and food trucks, and great craft beer and local wine, it’s a great way to get the farmers market experience with a tailored to the season. Needless to say, the farmers market fun is far from over!
Where to Find a Local Farmers Market
We’re lucky to have Farmers Markets all over the greater Champaign County area running into the early days of Fall. See below for dates and scheduled market ends.
Champaign Farmers Market – 3:30-6:30p through October 29th
Rantoul Farmers Market – closed for season, but special opening event on Oct 4th from 5:00-10:00p
Monticello Farmers Market - 3:30-6:30p through October 3
Urbana’s Market at the Square – 7:00a-12:00p through October 26, then moves inside Lincoln Square Mall
Times and seasonal market closings are subject to change due to weather or the discretion of organizers.