Early season look at the Peoria Farmers Market at the Metro Centre
Although I farm, I haven’t given up my day job in Downstate Peoria. Since I work in Peoria this gives me a chance to hit some of the farmers markets there from time to time. I had a little time at lunchtime today and checked out the oldest farmers market in Peoria, and although it is early in the season, there are a few good items to be found at the Peoria Farmers Market at the Metro Centre.
The farmers represented today at the Metro Centre had a few early season crops like radishes, green onions and lettuce.
They all had potted vegetables and herbs.
I took advantage of this and bought a few herbs that we need in our herb garden.
There were a few tomatoes grown in a hoophouse, like the ones from the Garden Spot, a farm and farmstand in Princeville, Illinois run by Jim Buckley along with his mother Lillian Jacobs. I bought one to see what the low acid tomatoes taste like.
I spoke to Ron Dieter, who has a greenhouse at his place in Brimfield, Illinois and whose wife Donna happens to help start many of the heirloom seeds that I grow. He was helping out at the Garden Spot table and he said “the market really gets going in late June and July when there is much more produce available and many more vendors.” The Peoria Farmers Market is about a block long and there is space for many vendors but there were only a few today.
Some Southern Illinois Strawberries stretching what is “local.”
According to The Peoria Farmers Market ‘s Local Harvest listing: The Peoria Farmers Market at the Metro Centre was founded in 1977 by community leader Marvin L. Goodman. It was his vision to promote healthy eating while bringing-together consumers and farmers from all over Central Illinois to a marketplace with a wide variety of fresh, locally grown produce. Thirty plus years later his vision still holds true.
I have been to this market in the past as it shares its Metro Centre location with another Peoria local food purveyor, Pottstown Meats. For dinners that she serves in her wine shop in Galesburg, my wife often needs sausages or unusual cuts of meats that you would not find in a supermarket and Pottstown has always come through. Having a meat market that has meat from local farms such as Kilgus Farms in Fairbury, IL across the parking lot from a farmers market is a convenient way to create an almost totally local meal!
Metro Centre 4700 North University Peoria, IL 61614 Peoria Farmers Market:
Pottstown Meat and Deli: