WIUM Tristates Public Radio

The Macomb Farmers Market is Back -- with Changes

May 24, 2016

For many years, the Macomb Farmers Market has sold fruit, vegetables, baked goods, and more on Thursdays and Saturdays from 7:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. on the courthouse square.  This year it has added Tuesdays to the schedule in June, July, and August. The Tuesday market will be open from 3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. in Chandler Park.

Vendors such as Cathy Waller, who sells essential oils, plan to take advantage of the added day.

People looking through Cathy Waller's essential oils.
Credit Breanna Descourouez

“I don’t think I’m going to be here on Saturdays this year like I was last year so I’m happy to have that because I will be able to make the Tuesday nights,” said Waller.

Waller said this is her second year selling at the Macomb Farmers Market, which kicked off its season this past week.

Tents were pitched across the parking lot outside the courthouse and vendors pulled extra produce out of their vehicles.

“The market has to be a destination, not just a place to shop. It's really an experience and with the more well-rounded experience, the more people will want to get out of bed and come,” said John Lane, who added to the experience during this year's opening day by playing the violin and guitar. 

Lane said few customers showed up to the market in recent years. Doris Carman experienced a different outcome just 3 hours into the first day of the market this year.

John Lane, violinist and guitarist, kept people entertained as they roamed through the market.
Credit Breanna Descourouez

“We sold pies and apple dumplings and I sold out. I had 18 big ones and 15 little ones and a dozen dumplings and they’re gone,” Carman said.

Carman said she only participates on Thursdays but is glad to hear Macomb added a day to the market.

Kristin Terry, Downtown Development Coordinator for Macomb, hoped the extra day and other features will bring in more people.  She said there are plans to do a cooking show on the first Tuesday of June (June 7) at 5:00 p.m. to promote the added day and to show people how to cook different vegetables.

Terry said they will also try to attract more Western Illinois University students in August.

“We’re hoping to get students that live off campus, that have to cook their own meals, to come down because we are doing it (Tuesdays) through August so it will at least give them two weeks when they’re here to shop local produce.”

And students are not the only ones looking to buy fresh produce. Ila Robb has attended the Macomb Farmers Market for nearly 46 years and said she could not wait for the new season to begin.

“I am so happy to get here and get fresh radishes because I didn’t get them planted,” she said.

Robb said she just learned the market had added a day this year and that the news is like music to her ears.

Flowers for sale at a vendors table.
Credit Breanna Descourouez

Farmers markets in western Illinois include:

Macomb: May-October

-Tuesdays: 3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

-Thursdays and Saturdays: 7:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

*** http://macombfarmersmarket.com/

Monmouth: June-October

-Fridays: 7:00 a.m. - Noon

*** http://www.monmouthilchamber.com/farmers-market/

Burlington, Iowa: May-October

-Thursdays: 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

*** http://www.farmersmarketonline.com/fm/RiverfrontFarmersMarket.html

Galesburg: May-October

-Saturdays: 8:00 a.m. - Noon

*** http://www.localharvest.org/galesburg-farmers-market-M2015

Keokuk, Iowa: May-October

-Saturdays: 7:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

*** http://www.localharvest.org/keokuk-farmers-market-M1870

Carthage: May-October

-Mondays: 2:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

*** http://nfmd.org/il/carthage/1002722/