There are so many reasons to shop at five area farmers’ markets, which are poised to open (please see box for specifics).
“Produce is the freshest and tastiest around. It comes directly from the farm and is in season,” points out Sarah Robinson, executive director of Main Street Greensburg, which oversees the Greensburg/Decatur County Farmers’ Market. “Food purchased at the market is minimally processed and, therefore, more nutritious.” She adds that shoppers are even protecting the environment. “Foods grown at the market travel much less distance than food at the grocery store and is generally grown using methods that minimize the environmental impact on the earth. Also, there is no packaging, which equals less trash.”
By purchasing items at a market, “you are helping a neighbor while they are helping you,” says Carla Hacker, a Sunman Area Chamber of Commerce director who is in charge of the Sunman Area Farmers’ Market. “Plus the prices are reasonable.”
Market master Ann Salatin of the Batesville Farmers’ Market, a program of the Food & Growers Association of Laughery Valley and Environs, observes it’s a time to socialize, “meet with friends and make new ones. It is always an educating experience to be surrounded by passionate people who are contributing to the local economy.”
In Osgood, at first consumers can expect to find late spring and early summer vegetables – including some new varieties of favorites – plus eggs and local honey, predicts Ripley County Farmers’ Market contact person Arlene Knudson.
In addition to crops, the Brookville site, overseen by the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service, will offer handcrafted items, breads, barn quilts, flowers, meats and jams, says Bob O’Bryan, who is working hard with Darlene Kohlsdorf, Joann Koch and Gary and Elaine Dorrel “to make this the best market we’ve ever had.”