Indy Winter Farmers Market returns for another season

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The Indy Winter Farmers Market reopens Saturday for its 14th year of helping people eat local and healthy during the winter months.

“People get excited about tomatoes in the summer. But eating healthy is important in the winter too, especially right now to help your body with the flu or even COVID-19,” said Victoria Beaty, executive director of Growing Places Indy.

The pandemic will alter how the market, which is inside the Circle City Industrial Complex, will look with fewer vendors, no prepared foods or live music and new rules.

“We usually have more than 60 vendors here, today we have around 40 but that is helping with social distancing,” said Beaty.

The market is open every Saturday from 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Nov. 7 – April 24, but the first hour is held for those 65 years and older or those with immune issues. Face masks are required and some farmers are allowing preorders so people can safely pick up produce.

On opening day, about a dozen bags were outside waiting to be picked up by customers but inside was still bustling.

“Buying local is safer. It’s less your food has to travel in unknown environments. Plus, you get to know your local farmers and people have fun with that,” added Beaty.

Some vendors are more local than others. Mad Farmers Collective is a team of six people who farm produce like lettuce and carrots in downtown Indianapolis.

“People don’t think of farming and cities. But we are about a mile and half south of the Circle and have been selling at the Indy Winters Market for almost eight years,” said Matthew Josey, a farmer with the collective.

The Indy Winters Market also has a Triple SNAP program for anyone needing food assistance. The market matches what a person spends up to $20 a visit.

For more information about the program and the market, click here.