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Bumper Crop of Local Produce

Bumper Crop of Local Produce

Looking for local and fresh produce? No need to look any further! We have lined up a list of where you can find fresh produce in our Central Illinois area. Our first find begins in Atlanta, IL.

Atlanta has no official farmer’s market, but there is a gentleman who will bring produce for the public on Saturday mornings in the parking lot across from the post office in Atlanta. On the other side of the Olympia district, in Hopedale, IL, you can find a farmer’s market at the Hopedale Park in the small shelter. The farmer’s market is available from 4 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday nights. 

If you are looking for fresh produce in the Minier area, there can be signs posted at the post office advertising fresh sweet corn or other produce. However, none have been posted yet this year. If you travel six miles down the road to Stanford, you will have luck. Thanks to the Olympia Pacesetters 4-H Club, there is usually free produce on the porch of the Stanford Helping Hands Community Center.

The Pacesetters’ project is named the “Porch Produce Exchange”. It is a 24-hour service, created because of the surplus of produce that would be left on the porch of the Helping Hands building. The group shares with the community, “Feel free to leave, take, or trade produce as you please!” If you have produce to share, place it in the labeled boxes on the bookshelves. 

The Produce Porch Exchange is open to all community members. It is an extra project the Pacesetters do for the community in addition to the periodic produce pick-up opportunities at Helping Hands from Midwest Food Bank. The porch produce will likely not be available during the winter, according to the Helping Hands website. Updates will be posted this fall on the website, www.stanfordhelpinghands.org. 

Another important project the Pacesetters have set up are emergency mini food pantries. There is an emergency pantry box outside of the Helping Hands Community center and one that was recently added on the north side of the Olympia High School building, between the high school and middle school. Helping Hands is located at 105 W Boundary Street in Stanford.

In Danvers, there is a fresh produce stand set up in front of the laundromat. It has a wide assortment of produce and the stand is a fairly large green cart with yellow accents. According to town sources, it is believed that a local farmer sets up that produce stand. Fresh produce can also be found on the south edge of town.

The Melick family sells all sorts of produce every year. You can find them working in their large garden throughout the spring and summer to prepare for this time of year. This year, they are selling sweet corn, tomatoes, peppers, green beans, cucumbers, broccoli, carrots, radishes, and lettuce. People can stop by pretty much any day, from 9 a.m. to sundown.

The Melick’s prices are: $5 per dozen for sweet corn, $2 per pound for tomatoes and green beans, and everything else is about $1 per pound. Terry Melick stated, “We have a lot of stuff, just stop by to see what we have!” You can also find fresh sweet corn for sale about three quarters of a mile west of the Yuton elevators.

There are lots of options for fresh, local produce in our area this time of year! Our local produce is sold for reasonable prices and tastes great. Be sure to check out one of our local options next time you are looking for fresh produce!

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