A few years back, I had grand plans for a vegetable garden – fresh carrots plucked from the earth, bright red tomatoes hanging from the vine and zucchini on hand for the spontaneous loaf of bread. As time went on, plans changed and I settled on a more practical above ground planter box. This spring, that practical planter box sits barren and I have redirected my focus to the potted basil in my kitchen bay window.
Over the years, I have learned that I have neither the time, patience or green thumb for a vegetable garden. Another thing that I learned? I don’t NEED a vegetable garden to have fresh produce! The Rockford area has several wonderful farmers markets with fantastic locally grown produce all summer long and into the fall. Many of the markets also feature artisanal foods, fresh flowers and hand-made goods.
Looking for more of an experience than a market? Pick up some fresh produce, grab a bite and catch some live music at the Rockford City Market in the historic commercial district along the Rock River’s east bank. Partially sheltered by the City Market Pavilion, this market is a rain or shine event and within walking distance of retail shops and restaurants.
Whether you are a defeated gardener (I prefer realist), or simply looking to enjoy the outdoors and an evening out, Rockford has something for everyone with Farmers Markets throughout the area. Check out the list below for locations, dates and times.
Edgebrook Farmers Market
Wednesdays, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., May 1 - October 30, 2019
1639 N. Alpine Road, Rockford, IL 61107
HCC Realty Farmers Market/Colonial Village
Fridays, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., May - October, 2019
1240 S. Alpine Road (Newburg Road Entrance), Rockford, IL 61108
North End City Market
Saturdays, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., May 18 - October 26, 2019
Intersection of North Main & Auburn Streets, Rockford, IL 61103
Rockford City Market
Fridays, May 17 - September 27, 2019
3:30 - 8:30 p.m. before Labor Day, 3:30 - 7:30 p.m. after Labor Day
Water Street at East State Street, Rockford, IL 61104
Rockford Midtown Market
Saturdays, 9 a.m. - Noon, June 1 - September 9, 2019
501 7th Street (RPS 205 Parking Lot), Rockford, IL 61104
Rockton River Market
Wednesdays, 4 - 8 p.m., June - August
200 E. Hawick Street, Rockton, IL 61072