The Macomb Farmer's Market celebrated its 40th anniversary this past Saturday with eighteen vendors selling homegrown fruits and vegetables. Crafts were also sold. King Neptune performed Piedmont-style Blues at the event. The turnout was small because of thunder and heavy rains, but both the crowd and market gardeners were enthusiastic to be there.
“We appreciate Macomb’s support,” said Mark Matthew, co-owner of M&M&m Farms with his wife Mary Lou and his son Mitchell. The Matthews have been selling produce at the Macomb Farmer’s Market for 14 years.
“We’re raising a lot of produce this year, everything from apples to zucchini,” he said. “Along with a lot of weeds!”
The first market in Macomb was held on July 10, 1975, according to Andrea Keene, the city’s Director of Downtown Development. Keene learned the date of the first market while looking through materials in the basement of Macomb City Hall.
Keene said it’s the second oldest farmer’s market in Illinois.
“The oldest I think is Springfield, which isn’t surprising because it’s a big town,” Keene said. “But Macomb is second, which I think is a pretty cool statistic for our city.”
U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack declared August 2-8 to be National Farmer’s Market Week.