Cultivating Your Farmers Market Knowledge

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 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 and the Putnam County Soil & Water Conservation District are hosting the Cultivating Your Farmers Market Knowledge program. This three-night event will take place on January 16, February 13, and March 19 at the Putnam County Extension Office (located at 152 E Columbia St., Greencastle, IN).

On January 16, participants will hear from Laurie Elliott, The Pickery, about their unique marketing/business strategy and how they determine what to grow.  On February 12, participants will learn about current food safety issues and packaging of herbs, microgreens, and other items from the Indiana State Department of Health.  Then on the final night, March 19, participants will learn about pricing, marketing, and more.  They will discuss pricing and price trends with Ariana Torres, Purdue University.  Then they will learn about marketing utilizing taste tests and recipes, along with a few other marketing strategies from Purdue Extension staff.

This three-night program will take place from 6:30-8:30 PM at the Putnam County Extension Office. The cost of the program is $20 (includes all 3 nights). Those interested in participating need to register and pay the fee online at http://www.cvent.com/d/chqszv by January 14. For more information or for reasonable accommodations to participate, please contact Jenna Nees at smith535@purdue.edu or 765-653-8411.  Purdue University and the Putnam County Soil and Water Conservation District is an equal access/equal opportunity institution.

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:

December 6 – 2019 Crop Conference, Beef House, 9-2, Cost $25

December 16 – ServSafe, Putnam County Hospital, 9-3, register at

    https://www.purdue.edu/servsafe/

December 16 – Late Season PARP, Putnam Co. Fairgrounds, 6:00 pm, Cost $10, register

    at https://tinyurl.com/y6mxyjj2

December 23 – Extension Office Closed at 12-noon for Winter Holiday

December 24-January 1 – Extension Office Closed for Winter Holiday

January 16 – Cultivating Your Farmers Market Knowledge – Night 1, 6:30 PM, Extension

                      Office, Cost is $20, register at http://www.cvent.com/d/chqszv

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