2017-10-25 / Front Page

Farmers Market vendor series

Purdue Extension Corner

Farmers Markets are a vital part of Indiana’s local food system. They allow consumers to interact and develop relationships directly with the farmers who grow the produce. This process has allowed knowledge to be shared on how to utilize the produce and about food safety.

Between the desire for locally sourced food, the increase in local growers, and the excitement associated with the farmers market experience, Indiana has witnessed an increase in the number markets. To be exact, since 2009, the number of farmers markets in Indiana has doubled with over 177 markets taking place. The surge in farmers markets is an important component in Indiana’s local food system and is a great starting point for new or beginning farmers, or those interested in diversifying their consumer base.

Farmers markets operate in a wide range of locals including rural towns, parking lots, and on downtown city streets. Most operate during the standard growing season of June to November; however, some deviate from this by having winter markets. Due to the differences between markets, it is important to contact the market master or sponsoring organization early on when you decide to become a vendor.

To help those who want to become a farmers market vendor or currently are a vendor, Purdue Extension is hosting a Farmers Market Vendor Workshop Series. Workshops are on the second Tuesday of each month from November through March from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Topics include: Establishing Your Business (Nov. 14), Setting Up at the Market (Dec. 12), Food Safety and Home-Based Vendor Rules (Jan. 9), Local Networking Night (tentatively Feb. 13), and Marketing (Mar. 13). Attendance at every workshop is not required, but certification will be awarded to those who attend all workshops.

The Farmers Market Vendor Workshops will occur at the Putnam County Extension Office (12 Central Square, Greencastle). To register, please call 765-653-8411 or email smith535@purdue.edu. Although this program is geared toward those interested in or currently selling at Farmers Markets, we do encourage individuals who operate roadside stands and other direct to consumer venues for locally sourced items to participate in one or more of these sessions.

Visit our homepage at www.extension.purdue.edu/putnam or you can contact the local Purdue Extension Office by calling 765.653.8411 for more information regarding this week’s column topic or to RSVP for upcoming events. It is always best to call first to assure items are ready when you arrive and to RSVP for programs. While many publications are free, some do have a fee. Purdue University is an equal access/equal opportunity institution. All times listed are Eastern Time.

Upcoming Events:

October 24 – Beef Barn Meeting, York Automotive Community Building East, 7 p.m.

October 25 – Putnam 4-H Education Pledge, Fairgrounds, 7 p.m.

October 30 – Putnam 4-H Junior Leader Kickoff, 3G Bowl, 6 p.m.

November 5 – Putnam 4-H Member Achievement & Volunteer Recognition, Fairgrounds, 2 p.m.

November 5 - Putnam 4-H Education Pledge, Fairgrounds, 7 p.m.

November 14 – Farmers Market Vendor Workshop Series – Establishing Your Business, Extension Office, 6:30 p.m.

November 20 – Planning for Retirement, Fairgrounds, 6 p.m.

November 29 – Farmland Rental in Indiana, Fairgrounds, 6 p.m.

(by Jenna Nees, Extension Educator, Ag & Natural Resources, Adult Education Coordinator, Purdue Extension - Putnam County Putnam Co. SWCD)

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