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Discovering Local Farmers Markets: Fresh and Organic Produce Near Park Forest

As summer unfolds, the vibrant colors, fresh scents, and lively atmosphere of local farmers markets become irresistible.

For residents of Park Forest, Illinois, and the surrounding areas, farmers markets offer an excellent opportunity to enjoy fresh, organic produce, connect with local farmers, and support sustainable agriculture.

people shopping at Park Forest Main Street Market

This blog will guide our members through the best local markets, with a special focus on Park Forest’s own Main Street Market.

We’ll also explore nearby markets in Homewood and Crete, providing you with everything you need to make the most of your summer shopping.

Main Street Market: A Community Gem

Located in the heart of downtown Park Forest, the Main Street Market is a beloved local institution that has been serving the community for since 1974. Open every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. from May through October, this market offers a wide variety of fresh, locally grown produce, artisanal goods, and unique crafts.

What to Expect:

  • Fresh Produce: From juicy strawberries and crisp lettuce to hearty potatoes and vibrant bell peppers, the Main Street Market boasts an impressive array of fruits and vegetables. Many of these items are grown organically, ensuring that you’re getting the healthiest options for your family.

  • Artisan Vendors: Beyond produce, you’ll find vendors selling homemade jams, fresh-baked bread, honey, and even handmade soaps. These unique products make great gifts or special treats for yourself.

  • Community Atmosphere: The market is more than just a place to shop; it’s a community hub. You can chat with the farmers who grow your food, learn about their farming practices, and even get cooking tips. It’s a great way to connect with your neighbors and support local businesses.

Tips for Shopping:

  • Go Early: To get the best selection, arrive early in the morning. The market opens at 8 a.m., and the most popular items can sell out quickly.

  • Bring Your Own Bags: Help reduce waste by bringing reusable bags for your purchases.

  • Plan Your Meals: Think about what you want to cook for the week and buy accordingly. This can help reduce food waste and ensure you use all the fresh produce you buy.

Exploring Nearby Markets: Homewood and Crete

fresh foods at a local farmers market in Park Forest

In addition to the Main Street Market, there are several other fantastic farmers markets in the surrounding towns that are worth a visit.

Homewood Farmers Market: Located just a short drive from Park Forest, the Homewood Farmers Market is held every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Homewood Village Hall parking lot. This market is known for its friendly vendors and wide variety of goods.


  • Organic Produce: Homewood’s market features a robust selection of organic fruits and vegetables, ensuring you have plenty of healthy options.

  • Local Artisans: From handcrafted jewelry to homemade candles, you’ll find unique, locally made items that you won’t see anywhere else.

  • Live Music: Enjoy live music performances as you shop, creating a lively and enjoyable atmosphere.

Crete Farmers Market: Another great option is the Crete Farmers Market, held on Wednesdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Crete Park. This market is perfect for mid-week shopping and offers a relaxed, family-friendly environment.


  • Fresh Produce and Meats: In addition to fruits and vegetables, Crete’s market often features vendors selling farm-fresh meats and dairy products.

  • Prepared Foods: Pick up ready-to-eat meals and snacks, perfect for a quick lunch or dinner.

  • Family Activities: Crete’s market frequently hosts special events and activities for children, making it a fun outing for the whole family.

Making the Most of Your Farmers Market Experience

fruits and vegetables in Park Forest

To truly enjoy your farmers market visits, here are some additional tips and ideas:

Get to Know the Vendors: Take the time to talk to the farmers and artisans. They can provide valuable insights into how their products are made or grown and might even share recipes and cooking tips.

Try Something New: Farmers markets are a great place to discover new fruits and vegetables that you might not find in a typical grocery store. Be adventurous and try something you’ve never had before.

Bring Cash: While many vendors now accept credit cards, having cash on hand can make transactions smoother and faster.

Support Local: Remember that by shopping at farmers markets, you’re supporting local farmers and small businesses. This helps boost the local economy and promotes sustainable practices.

Plan a Picnic: Use your farmers market finds to plan a summer picnic. Fresh fruits, cheeses, bread, and homemade treats can make for a delightful outdoor meal.

Ash Street Housing Cooperative - More than a Membership

Not a member yet? Imagine living in a community where you have easy access to fresh, organic produce and vibrant local markets.

Give our office a call today to learn more about our cooperative homes and how you can become part of our thriving community in Park Forest. Embrace the benefits of cooperative living and enjoy everything this wonderful area has to offer.

Ash Street Cooperative homes in Park Forest

Visiting farmers markets not only provides you with the freshest food but also connects you with your community and supports local businesses.

Whether you’re shopping at the Main Street Market in Park Forest, exploring the Homewood Farmers Market, or enjoying the Crete Farmers Market, you’re sure to have a rewarding and enjoyable experience.

So grab your reusable bags, head out early, and enjoy the bounty of summer!

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