It’s that time of year and Strack & Van Til – voted Best Place to Buy Produce in the Times Best of the Region – brings you a bounty of locally grown fruits and vegetables.

Produce that’s picked at the peak of freshness and delivered right to your Strack & Van Til store is the tastiest way to enjoy the season.

Choose from crisp greens, flavorful tomatoes, sweet juicy melons and a cornucopia of other flavorful favorites.

Why does Strack & Van Till sell locally grown produce? First, because it has a shorter trip from field to table, you’re sure to get the freshest produce possible. In fact, some locally grown produce is picked just one day before it appears in our stores. Second, this produce supports local and family businesses, just like Strack & Van Til.

“At Strack & Van Til, we define ‘locally grown’ as produce grown in Indiana or any bordering state,” said Bob Hylka, director of produce. “While we source as much as possible from within Indiana, you can also treat yourself to a full array of local produce from neighboring states including Illinois, Michigan and Kentucky.”

Current Indiana-grown fruits and vegetables include sweet corn, pickles and pickling dill, and select stores sell salads and herbs from Rainfield Farm in New Carlisle. There’s even honey from Laney Honey in North Liberty, Superior Nuts from St. John and Albanese Candy from Merrillville.

Take your pick from a variety of current Michigan-grown produce such as sweet, luscious blueberries, tender green beans, zucchini and yellow squash, crunchy cucumbers, crisp cabbage, sweet corn, rhubarb, pickles and pickling dill, fresh kale and collard and mustard greens.

Selections offered now from Illinois include Dutch Farms greenhouse grown salad mixes from Taylorville and Meyer Farms fresh herbs from Wauconda.

“We have a buyer on the Chicago produce market who inspects the produce we buy to ensure top quality and freshness, regardless of growing region,” said Hylka.

Arriving this month and next in your local Strack & Van Til Food Market’s produce department is an abundant harvest including succulent muskmelons and cool, juicy watermelons from Indiana, a crop of green peppers, carrots and celery from Michigan, and tomatoes from Indiana, Michigan and Kentucky.

“Strack & Van Til is dedicated to providing the freshest produce in Northwest Indiana, and sourcing fruits and vegetables locally helps to make sure we achieve that goal,” Hylka noted. “There’s so much to choose from, as we get an array of locally grown produce from summer through fall.”

This fall, plan on enjoying the season with produce from your local Strack & Van Til. “We’re scheduled to receive freshly picked apples from Michigan and a hearty bundle of pumpkins from Indiana and Illinois,” Hylka said.

“Offering locally grown produce is another way that Strack & Van Til makes people’s lives easier,” said Chief Marketing & Merchandising Officer Michael Tyson. “It also makes meals taste fresher and more delicious.”

With all the local produce available, plus a wide array of other fruits and veggies, organic selections and specialty items, Strack & Van Til has created a “produce paradise.” It’s no wonder that it was voted Best Place to Buy Produce in the Times Best of the Region.