Cobden's Farmers Market Expands Opportunities
Its spring time and farmers markets are popping up across the area.
Most of them are on Saturdays, or mid–week afternoons.
Cobden choose to hold theirs twice a month on Sunday this year.
If you're looking for something to do on Sunday afternoon then Cobden would like to invite you to their farmers market on the second and fourth Sunday each month through October.
You can find a little bit of everything here... from fresh fruits and vegetables, art work, fresh meats, jams and jelly, soaps, jewelry and more.
Market owner Brooke Miller says the market was started as a community outreach before she bought the old feed store and took it over.
She wants to continue the tradition.
"Our expectation is for people to come out and have a great time and support local growers and local artisans, it's become known as the hub of the community."
To keep things fresh as the season goes on the vendors won't always be the same.
"We have some vendors that signed up for the season, we also have some that come as their products are seasonal, then we have new vendors as well, so there's always something going on here to come and see."
Five Hen Farm owner Andrew Banks sells eggs, poultry, and pork at the market, he's also the market manager.
"Last year we did once a month, we we're really kind of testing some new ideas out with the market and they worked, they worked really well, all the markets were very well attended last year, all the vendors were very happy."
After having a successful market once a month last year, it encouraged the organizers to hold it twice a month this year.
"By increasing some of the vendors and getting some new ones in here we feel that the demand is there to do it twice a month."
Banks says there's a reason they choose to hold the market Sundays.
"We choose Sunday because we didn't want to compete with the Saturday market, but we also wanted to provide an option for the community down here, there isn't really a grocery store or fresh produce available the Cobden community and we wanted to be that option."
And the timing of 11 to 3 also has a motive.
"People are out and about after church and they want something to do so we've kind of geared it towards come and have brunch after church and then do some grocery shopping for the week ahead."
And speaking of brunch, this market is incorporating a farm to table aspect, each Sunday they will add a special feature to the menu.
"Our menu changes as the season does, we like to have seasonal things and feature a vendor in our menu."
For the first market Banks supplied pasture raised chicken and eggs for chicken salad and beignets from his 5 Hen Farm.
It's a way of bringing farm to table to your table in your home.
"We're planning on featuring a vendor once every market, so that would be like featuring a food vendor, so either buying produce or some of the meats and putting those on the menu and kind of giving the customers a way to try the food before they go and buy it."
If you're of age and want a beer, wine or spirit paired your brunch, then Gary Vorhees with Crown Valley winery, brewing and distillery can help you out.
"Well what I do is I just kind of inform people about them, I have them taste the product, I have them kind of tune in to their own palate to determine what they like, what they don't like."
Vorhees is Crown Valley's Southern Illinois representative and he's here to let customers taste a sample of their product line.
"Essentially we are weatherproof, it's mainly an indoor market." Andrew Banks, Market Manager
"Brooke sells all of our products here at the old feed store, so we are here to inform customers about our product, they can sample from me and they can purchase from Brooke."
Stepping outside you'll find Joshua Buchheit (buk–height) owner of Lick Creek Pork and Beef.
He's been raising grass fed beef and pasture woodland raised pork to sell at farmers markets since 2006.
"Instead of selling our animals to auction it was a means to sell our products directly to the consumer and cut out the middle man."
Banks says something you can count on is the market always being open, rain or shine.
"Essentially we are weather proof, its mainly an indoor market, but there are some outdoor vendors that will be here setup rain or shine they'll be here, but if it is raining the customers can go inside and stay out of the rain."
Last season the market averaged about 150 each Sunday and Miller says they're coming from all over the region.
"People from southern Illinois and actually southeast Missouri and also over from Kentucky, people know about it and like to come over and meet friends and family and have lunch and shop."
The market hopes to grow big enough to be held every Sunday.