A new winter farmers market in Springfield will make fresh produce and local proteins available to residents all year long. The Springfield Winter Farmers Market, kicking off on Saturday, January 28th, is scheduled to take place the fourth Saturday of each month January – April, 2017 for a total of 4 markets. These free events will be held at the Third Presbyterian Church on 1030 N 7th St. in the Enos Park neighborhood and will take place from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Market dates include:
Saturday, January 28
Saturday, February 25
Saturday, March 25
Saturday, April 29
9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m
Shoppers at the Winter Farmers Markets can expect to find 15 local vendors selling a wide variety of products, including pasture-raised meats, eggs, honey, cheese, greens, carrots, potatoes, turnips, radishes, sunchokes, and winter squashes. The market aims to fill in the gaps for year round availability of local food, as well as provide an an additional opportunity for farmers to sell their local products. While it’s often believed that farmers in central Illinois aren’t able to grow produce throughout the winter, advances in season-extension technology, such as hoop houses, have given farmers the ability to continue to grow products even in sub-freezing environments. Some crops, like spinach and kale, even benefit from the colder temperatures, producing more sugars and a sweeter flavor.
The Winter Farmers Market grew out of a collaboration between Illinois Stewardship Alliance, Lincoln Land Community College, and the Third Presbyterian Church, and will be guided by a steering committee of members from the respective organizations and others. Additionally, the market is sponsored by HSHS St. John’s Hospital, Slow Food Springfield, Downtown Springfield Inc., the SIU School of Medicine, and the Community Missions Network.
“Illinois Stewardship Alliance has been organizing Holiday Markets in Springfield for the past 10 years,” says Lindsay Record, Executive Director of Illinois Stewardship Alliance. “Each year they’ve grown in success and we started having farmers ask us about organizing additional farmers markets in the winter. Thanks to some great partnerships, we now have an indoor space near downtown Springfield, and we’re excited to help make this opportunity available to both Springfield residents and our local farmers.”
“Farmers markets play an integral role in communities,” says Marnie Record, Workforce Specialist for Local Foods at Lincoln Land Community College. “They help foster a sense of place and community togetherness, while also keeping food dollars in the community. The addition of the new Winter Farmers Market in Springfield helps to mark Springfield as a pioneer on the local food scene in central Illinois.”
For more information about the Springfield Holiday Farmers Markets contact Illinois Stewardship Alliance, (217) 528-1563 or visit http://www.ilstewards.org/springfield-winter-farmers-market/