Farmers keep things fresh at local sales
he end of summer is approaching, and most seasonal activities are coming to an end. One that will continue into the fall, however, is shopping at local farmers markets.
There are many farming communities around Rockford, and many vendors who participate in Winnebago and Boone county markets commute.
Katy Downs, a fourth-generation member of family-owned Selmi’s Greenhouse and Farm Market in Rock Falls, comes to the Rockford area with husband Kurt. They sell tomatoes, green beans and other fruits and vegetables, but their farm is best-known for its supersweet bicolor corn.
"Selmi’s has one rule — never sell day-old corn. Our customers know and trust that what they buy is the best, and that’s what it is," Katy Downs said.
Typically farmers markets take place on Saturday mornings, but with their growing popularity and with new markets popping up, some now take place during the week.
Two of the biggest and most well-known weekday farmers markets in Rockford are Colonial Village and Edgebrook. Colonial carries produce, bakery items, plants, flowers and crafts such as ceramics, quilts, pillows, soaps and lotions. Edgebrook vendors sell fruits, vegetables, flowers and plants.
A market that started off small but has grown in just a couple of weeks is Perryville Farmers Market, in Highgrove Place north of CherryVale Mall. The market was started by First Rockford Group and has eight vendors.
"With the new development building on the east side and with the success Rockford has shown toward our company, we wanted to give something good back to the community that will benefit the neighborhood and local residents," Rebekah Anderson of First Rockford Group said.
Perryville’s vendors have a variety of fruits and vegetables; most popular is the sweet corn.
Brian and Lisa Key from Davis Junction are annual participants in Rockford farmers markets. Usually at the Edgebrook and Colonial markets during the week, they were invited to sell at the Perryville market and have been successful.
"This is our third year selling at farmers markets, and I see lots of potential here on Perryville," said Lisa Key while bagging sweet corn for a customer. "Each week we see more vendors coming in and more traffic purchasing our products."