From a PR sent out by the Carbondale Farmers Market:
On Saturday, August 9, the Carbondale Farmers Market on the city’s west end will celebrate National Farmers Week with plenty of freshly picked produce, live local music and fine art made by local talent. Visitors can expect sweet corn, heirloom tomatoes, a wide variety of cherry tomatoes, green beans, potatoes and a whole slew of seasonal summer fruits and vegetables. Aside from fruits and veggies, the market also offers a solid selection of local meats such as grass-fed and -finished beef; bison; pork; and poultry. Folks will also find free-range eggs, locally-grown oyster and shiitake mushrooms and honey. Live music will entertain people as they walk up and down the market thoroughfare while enjoying hot or iced coffee with locally-made baked goods.
Since the USDA declared National Farmers Market Week 15 years ago, the number of farmers markets has more than doubled, from 2,863 markets in 2000 to over 8,000 in 2013. There are more than 347 farmers markets in Illinois alone. These numbers have continued to rise in 2014 as farmers markets become fresh food mainstays for shoppers across all socio-economic, political, and ethnic ranges. Farmers markets bolster local economies, improve community health, and bring diverse groups of people together through a shared social space.
The Carbondale Farmers Market was organized in 1975 and currently boasts 27 farming families who sell a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, meats, baked goods and more. Many of these families have been farming for three and four generations. Others have just started. All work hard to grow good food for local markets. People who shop at the Carbondale Farmer’s Market help to support these hardworking family farmers while keeping money circulating in the local economy.
“Farmers markets grow healthy farms, healthy people, and healthy communities” says Pat Stieren, Executive Director of the Illinois Farmers Market Association. “During a slow economic recovery, farmers markets are stand-out successes in delivering triple bottom line benefits while making entrepreneurship work in communities large and small. During Farmers Market Week, we invite everyone to celebrate their local farmers markets and enjoy fresh local food from America’s most innovative farmers.”
On Tuesday, August 5, Carbondale Mayor Don Monty will read a proclamation announcing the city’s support of National Farmers week during the city council meeting.
A week earlier on Saturday, August 2, the market will honor its customers during Customer Appreciation Day. The event will feature Chef Bill Connors and crew, who will grill fresh, marinated veggies and meats for folks to sample during Saturday’s market. Chef Bill, the head chef for Southern Illinois University Housing, knows how to feed a crowd and has always been a popular presence at the market. Chef Bill is great at answering questions about how to use and prepare the food that people can get at the market. The market invites all and one to visit and try some of the free grilled food samples on from 8 am to noon on Saturday, August 2.