Visitors Guide to
Orchards and Farmers Markets
in the Meeting of the Great Rivers Scenic Byway Area
Madison, Jersey, & Calhoun Counties, Illinois


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 fluctuations.

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.

  Orchards and Berry Farms
Guide to the region's peach and apple orchards as well as the pick your own berry farms.
  Farmers Markets & Roadside Stands
Guide to the region's farmers markets and roadside stands where customers can find fresh fruits and vegetables.
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