Many area farmers markets are opening for the season. In addition to fruit and vegetables, some markets offer baked goods, jams or more exotic offerings like spiced nuts.
Here's when area farmers' markets are opening:
Old Town Farmers' Market, Belleville
When: 7:30 a.m. to noon Saturdays. May 5 through Nov. 3
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Where: First block of South Charles between East Main and East Washington Streets, Belleville
Details: The Old Town Farmers' Market has locally grown fruits, vegetables, meat, honey, baked goods, dog treats, plants and crafts. For further information, go online to www.bellevillemainstreet.net or its Facebook page.
Swansea Farmers Market
When: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursdays beginning May 3
Where: Rural King parking lot, 2801 N. Illinois St., Swansea
Details: On Opening Day, May 3, in honor of National Prayer Day, the market will give free prayer plants to each family, as long as supply lasts. In the month of May, expect strawberries, asparagus, varieties of lettuce and other spring crops to be available.
The FRESH Farmer's Market, East St. Louis
When: 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursdays beginning June 7 and ending Oct. 25
Where: East Side Health District, 638 N. 20th St., East St. Louis
Details: In addition to selling fresh produce, this market accepts all forms of currency including electronic benefit transfer cards and Illinois Link Cards. It also offers a "Double Up" program. Benefit card users can receive up to $5 of free produce with purchase. Cash users, after filling a market punch card, can receive up to $3 in free produce. The market gives out new recipes each week for suggestions on how to use the produce and offers cooking demonstrations.
O'Fallon Farmer's Market
When: 7:30 a.m. to noon Saturdays. Estimated opening day is July 7. This may change depending upon the growing season.
Where: Next to the caboose, west of First and Lincoln Streets, O'Fallon
Details: According to an organizer of the market, everything for sale at the O'Fallon Farmer's Market is locally grown.
Maryville Farmer’s Market
When: 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursdays beginning May 3 and ending Oct 11.
Where: Drost Park, 8 Schiber Court, Maryville.
Details: For more information, visit www.maryvilleILfarmersmarket.org or the market's Facebook page.
Mascoutah Farmers Market
When: 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturdays beginning May 26.
Where: Across from Mascoutah City Hall, 3 W. Main St., Mascoutah
Details: This market offers garden vegetables, seasonal fruit, jams and jellies, local honey, succulents and other houseplants, baked goods, candied pecans and soap. On the last Saturday of the month, the market has a coffee bar and live music. mascoutahfarmersmarket.webs.com
Millstadt Farmer's Market
When: 3 to 6 p.m. Fridays beginning May 18.
Where: Veterans of Foreign Wars parking lot on West Washington Street, Millstadt.
Details: This market is in its fourth year of operation. It has a variety of vendors from produce to plants, kettle corn to crafts. There is no fee to vendors. Information: 618-910-4427.
Farmers' and Artisans' Market, Alton
When: 8 a.m. to noon, Saturdays. May 12 through Oct. 20. At the height of the growing season, Alton's market will also be open from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday evenings beginning June 6 through Sept. 26.
Where: Corner of Landmarks Blvd. and Henry Streets, Alton
Details: The market has seasonal fruit and vegetables, beef, poultry, eggs, honey, baked goods, fresh cut flowers, potted plants and more. www.downtownalton.com or 618-463-1016.
Carlyle Courthouse Square Farmers' Market
When: 4 to 7 p.m. Thursdays. June 14 through Oct. 18.
Where: 8th Street between Franklin and Fairfax Streets, east side of Courthouse Square, Carlyle.
Details: It will be the 11th year of operation for the Carlyle Farmers' Market. Local farmers sell their fruit, vegetables and herbs. Also, homemade soaps and wine, baked goods and eggs are available. www.carlylelake.com.
Monroe County Farmers Market, Columbia
When: 3 to 6 p.m. Thursdays. Grand opening on Thursday, April 26. Market will be open until October.
Where: Schnucks parking lot at 100 Columbia Center, Columbia.
Details: The market has local fruits and vegetables. Visit the Monroe County Farmer's Market Facebook page for more information.
Land of Goshen Community Market, Edwardsville
When: 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays beginning May 12.
Where: South side of the Madison County Courthouse, 155 N. Main St., Edwardsville
Details: This market features produce and artisan vendors, music, demonstrations and a "Market Sprouts" program for children. www.goshenmarket.org
Granite City Farmers' Market
When: 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesdays beginning July 10.
Where: The Coordinated Youth and Human Services parking lot, 2016 Madison Ave., Granite City
Details: The market offers a wide variety of fruits and vegetables.
Nashville Chamber of Commerce Farmers Market
When: 7 to 11 a.m. Thursdays from May 3 through Nov. 15. During the height of the growing season, the market will be open from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Mondays from July 9 through Aug. 27.
Where: In front of the Washington County Courthouse, 163 East St. Louis Street, Nashville.
Details: In addition to the locally-grown produce, this market has honey and jelly vendors. Every other week, goat milk soap will be for sale. At the beginning of the season, shoppers can purchase wildflowers.
Sparta Farmer's Market
When: 1 to 5 p.m. Fridays. This market opened April 13.
Where: Broadway and St. Louis Streets, Sparta
Details: This market opened early and has limited produce at this time. One of the current vendors sells kettle corn and pork rinds. Visit the market's Facebook page for updated information.
Monroe County Farmers Market, Waterloo
When: 7:30 to 11 a.m. Saturdays. Grand opening on Saturday, April 28. Market will remain open until October.
Where: The Family Video parking lot, 100 Plaza Drive, Waterloo
Details: Market sells local fruits, vegetables, baked goods and jellies. There's also a vendor who sharpens knives. Visit the Monroe County Farmer's Market Facebook page for more information.
Wood River Farmers Market
When: 4 p.m. to dusk Thursdays from July 5 through Sept. 27.
Where: Parking lot off of Illinois 143 at First Street, Wood River
Details: In addition to produce, baked goods from Seibold's Bakery are available for purchase. There is also a vendor who sells roasted nuts with spices.
Did we miss your favorite farmers market? If so, please send the information to firstname.lastname@example.org. Make sure to include the date, time and location of the market.