INDIANAPOLIS -- It's finally farmers market season!
The Original Farmers Market at Indianapolis City Market, which began in the east plaza on Alabama and Market Streets, returned Wednesday for its 20th season.
Every Wednesday through October, vendors from all over the state will sell fresh produce, eggs, cheeses, baked goods and flowers and other locally-made items.
Joe Perin at Indianapolis City Market said although more than 60 vendors apply to participate in the market, only about 45 are able to snag a spot before they're gone.
“We like to have people who sell fresh produce. We like to celebrate agriculture and it’s just something very near and dear to Hoosier’s hearts,” said Perin. “It’s all Indiana grown. Everything sold at the Original Farmers Market - as far as produce goes - has to be grown here. We’re not bussing in stuff from around the country, we like to support our local farmers and local businesses.”
There are 10 new vendors coming to City Market this year. One of them, Fitness Farm, is from the city's north side.
"We just started a new product and that's shiitake mushrooms," Nathan Hill of Fitness Farm said. "We sell fresh eggs weekly from our 30 laying hands. And anything else you would find normally at a farmers market: onions, potatoes, root crops, carrots, radishes. I mean pretty much everything we sell."
Melissa Mack, an employee at Hunter's Honey Farm, said the business has supported the farmers market since its humble beginnings in 1997.
“We have locally-made Indiana honey. We have honey sticks and spun honey, which is whipped with different flavors. We also have snacks, sauces and skincare products,” said Mack.
Local celebrities will open the market by ringing the bell every Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. There will also be live entertainment beginning at 11:30 a.m. and ending when the market closes every week at 1:30 p.m.
Perin said City Market officials are asked often about why the event is held on a Wednesday. He said moving the event to Saturday – when traditional farmers market events occur – creates competition.
“When we started it was on a Wednesday so we could get the downtown working crowd and it’s been on Wednesdays ever since. We’re going to continue to have it every year on Wednesday,” he said.
Perin said in 2016, the market welcomed more than 60,000 shoppers and City Market hopes to see those numbers again this year.
Find other farmers markets around central Indiana below: