The average fruit or vegetable in your
local supermarket has traveled 2,000 miles from the field it was grown in. At
local orchards, pick your own operations, roadside stands, and local farmers'
markets around the region the fruits and vegetables have traveled less than 50
miles or might have been grown on the spot. At these locally operated orchards,
farmers markets, and roadside stands it is possible to buy freshest produce for
dinner or enough to can for the winter.
There is a wealth of orchards in the area.
A third of Illinois’ substantial peach crop is grown in Calhoun County alone!
Many of these farms have changed hands only a few times since they were given
out as land grants to veterans of the War of 1812. The hills, bluffs, and the
Illinois and Mississippi Rivers help to moderate the climate in southern
Illinois, creating microclimates that protect orchards from drastic temperature
Growers also operate some blueberry,
strawberry, and blackberry fields where customers can pick the fruit right off
the plants. Sweet corn, peppers, tomatoes, summer squash and other vegetables as
well as in season fruits are offered at roadside stands and farmers markets
throughout the summer and early fall.