This weekend is the last for many local farmers markets, though for many it’s a quiet farewell. Despite the unseasonably warm weather of recent weeks, the farmers markets have been diminishing for some time. It’s just the reality of October.
October marks the stretch of watching and waiting. Watching the produce looking more and more wilted and unappetizing. Waiting for the farmers markets to open.
The good news is I’m not completely out of options. Winter markets are starting to open in the Indianapolis area and beyond.
The Traders Point Winter Market opens next weekend in northwest Indianapolis, near Zionsville. Bundle up to attend the indoor market, housed in a barn, which is open on Saturday mornings from November through April. As with its summer market, the local vendors sell certified organic products, including winter-grown produce, mushrooms, baked goods, eggs, meats and dairy products. I've found you need to attend early, as fresh products are in demand year-round.
New this year is the Indianapolis Winter Farmers Market, which will open Nov. 15. It will be located at 2442 N. Central Ave. and open on Saturday mornings from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The Indy Winter Market promises to deliver vegetables, fruit, meat, baked goods, herbs, natural cleaning products and other locally produced food & household products straight from regional farmers.
Further south, the Bloomington Winter Market is open January through March in the gymnasium of Harmony School. Past options have included fresh greens, apples, honey, winter squash, sweet potatoes, eggs, goat cheese, mushrooms, fresh and dried herbs, chicken, beef, pork, herb vinegars, mead, baked goods, locally roasted coffee and a variety of prepared foods and wine from up to 25 local winter market vendors for 10 weeks.
Other options for Indiana produce in the winter include:
American Countryside Farmers Market in Elkhart, a year-round facility within a 150-mile radius of Indianapolis, Chicago and Detroit. Since the facility opened in May, 2007, consumers have been able to buy locally grown produce, fresh meat, baked goods, spices, flowers and cheeses; Amish-style prepared foods; and crafts, furniture and home decorating items on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
Yeager Farms offers a prepaid winter produce program. For a minimum prepay purchase of $25, you can select from a variety of winter produce, including lettuces, greens, Asian greens, root crops and some herbs. Drop-offs can be coordinated in downtown Indianapolis on a daily basis or outside of downtown by appointment.