Farmers markets popular in Illinois -

Farmers markets popular in Illinois

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- The number of Illinois farmers markets has nearly tripled in the last 10 years.

Data from the federal government also show farmers in Illinois sell about $114 million in specialty crops a year. Victoria Clemens coordinates the farmers market in downtown Springfield. She says her market has vendors on a standby list.

Delayne Reeves is a marketing specialist with the Illinois Department of Agriculture. She's in charge of grant money to support locally grown foods. Reeves says there's demand from the public for farmers market fruits and vegetables.

Last week, the state said it had access to $435,000 in federal grants to help expand access to Illinois specialty crops, such as pumpkins, strawberries and snap peas.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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