The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Local Business

March 9, 2013

Farm fresh

Marketplaces benefit farmers, buyers and community

ANDERSON, Ind. — Madison County’s newest market is a little against the grain.

On most Saturdays beginning in June and possibly running through September, the city will host the Anderson City Market at the Athletic Park on East 8th Street, which it hopes to fill with artists, entertainers and vendors selling crafts, produce, honey and other farm-fresh food stuffs.

According to some local growers, that could have benefits for farmers, buyers and the community.

Good for the farmer

“This is going to be a great place for local entrepreneurs to go sell their goods,” said Jody Townsend, who’s helping to manage the development of the market on the city’s end.

While the city hasn’t yet signed any vendors — who will pay $10 a week or $75 for the season — she said she expects a big draw at an info session set for March 21 at the main fire station, 5812 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

“But we’ll have plenty of room at Athletic Park,” she said. “And we’ve seen a lot of interest so far.”

For example, Melody DeLury, who raises chickens and goats on the Anderson-based Solstice Sun Farm she owns with husband Neil. She said she plans to sell goat milk products, such as lotions and soap.

“Making the soap is fun,” she said. “But selling it is a way to break even. It helps cover the costs of feeding and caring for the animals.”

A farm is a business, after all, and their owners are businesspeople.

“Local growers are always looking for outlets to sell,” said Jeremiah Priest, who coordinates the Henry County market. He’s also a member of the Hoosier Harvest Council, which works to expand the opportunities for agricultural producers in the Central Indiana area to sell what they produce locally.

For some farmers, Townsend said, “this is their main source of income. They need a place to sell.”

Good for the buyer

Because farmers have to cover their costs of production, produce likely won’t come cheap for farmers’-market buyers.

But that’s not to say prices aren’t reasonable. In fact, many studies — such as one by students at Seattle University — have found farmers’ market produce often costs less than at supermarkets.

Another cost advantage for buyers, according to the Farmers’ Market Coalition, is that farmers’ market food can often be bought in bulk at peak harvest season, to either “preserve or freeze for later use when the product would otherwise be more expensive, hard to find, or of lower quality.”

For the most part, cash is the preferred method of payment, however many now accept credit cards and federal money such as that from Women, Infant and Children (WIC), the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Almost 2,500 farmers’ markets were authorized to accept SNAP as of late 2011, according to the USDA Food and Nutrition Service Benefits Redemption Division. And the number of SNAP recipients taking advantage is on the rise, increasing by 55 percent between 2010 and 2011.

That’s good, Priest said, because it increases access to fresh produce and gives buyers an opportunity to learn more about where their food comes from.

“You actually get to meet the person growing your food,” he said. “You can ask them about their growing practices and whether or not they use pesticides. That’s something you don’t get at the supermarket.”

Good for the community

Farmers are often willing to travel to find a good market to sell their goods. For example, Priest says, he sold his honey products in four different area markets last year.

But they don’t go too far.

According to a 2006 USDA survey, more than half of farmers traveled less than 10 miles to their market, and 85 percent of farmers market vendors traveled fewer than 50 miles to sell at a farmers market in 2008.

That means “what’s being sold there is local,” Townsend said. “It’s mostly (Central Indiana) farmers, a lot from Madison County, who’ll see the benefits.”

As a result, farmers’ markets often draw lots of people — growers and buyers, alike — from surrounding counties. That’s a little boost for the local economy, Townsend said.

“This is a good thing for the city,” Townsend said, adding the market will be more than just a place for commerce.

The city will let artists and craftspeople show their goods alongside the produce, and is considering opening the space to food trucks. Musicians can come and play free of charge.

“We want this to be an experience, where people can come and walk around, talk, hear some music, get food, and all kinds of things,” she said. “We want it to be fun.”

Find Baylee Pulliam on Facebook, @BayleeNPulliam on Twitter or call 648-4250.

Text Only
Local Business
  • Charo Boyd: 'My Social Security' simplifies your life So many people buzz through extremely busy and complicated schedules these days. A smartphone in one hand, a computer in front of you, and a digital task list that never seems to end. In addition, to complicate things just a little more, there’s another event you need to add to your list — National Simplify Your Life week.

    July 28, 2014

  • nws - hb0725 - colts - jc - 4.jpg Colts camp's impact: pricey or priceless?

    Football fever is here and the city is flooded with fans eager to catch a glimpse of a favorite player. But officials say they are unclear what kind of economic impact the Indianapolis Colts training camp has on the area.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • BIZ - HB0727 - Skill gap 2 Seeking a solution today, not tomorrow Tina Warner-Morton says she wants to open her own healthcare business because it is too difficult to work for an employer with unclear employee expectations.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • BIZ - HB0727 - Cathy Cupboard Biz Profile Business Profile: Cathy's Cupboard focuses on customer satisfaction Cathy McPhearson opened her first storefront in June, but this is not her first venture into business. “I have always wanted to have my own business,” she said. “The problem was finding what people like, but everyone seems to like candles.”

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital named Level III trauma center The Trauma Center at Indiana University Health Ball Memorial Hospital has been verified as a Level III Trauma Center by an ad hoc committee of the Committee on Trauma (COT) of the American College of Surgeons.

    July 26, 2014

  • Clark, Big Joe mug 'Big Joe' Clark: Beat the market or meet your goals? True or not, my experience tells me that goals – especially when written down – undoubtedly serve as catalysts for success. However, danger arises when a goal does not properly focus on the long term result you expect.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_8125.JPG Auction teaches in business, farming

    After 10 years of 4-H, saying goodbye to his animals has become a simple matter for McKennon Heald. But he said he wouldn't be surprised to see some tears from some of the younger participants. He's been there.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • Anderson, Alexandria and Elwood receive grants to tear down abandoned houses Three Madison County cities — Anderson, Alexandria and Elwood — received state grants that will be used to tear down abandoned, dilapidated houses.

    July 25, 2014

  • NWS - HB0715 - Chuck Pagano Pagano breakfast sold out A breakfast with Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano is sold out, organizers said Wednesday.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cellular Connection to host backpack giveaway Residents in Anderson will benefit from a national backpack giveaway campaign on Aug. 2.

    July 23, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide