The Seymour Area Farmers Market officially opens for the season Saturday morning.

Hours are 8 a.m. to noon, rain or shine, and customers will be able to pick up a wide variety of locally produced items.

Throughout the week, the market will be open from 2 to 6 p.m. Mondays and from 8 a.m. to noon Wednesdays.

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Items available will include early-season produce, beef, chicken, pork, eggs, baked goods, hot coffee and roasted coffee beans, dog treats, breakfast burritos, popcorn, flowers and vegetable plants, cheese, ice cream and more.

This marks the second year for the market, located in the Walnut Street Parking Lot south of the railroad tracks, since it underwent several changes last year.

Those changes, which included having set times for vendors to sell and a market manager, have attracted more vendors and customers, organizers say.

On one Saturday mid-summer last year, there were more than 800 customers at the market.

Another change increasing the number of shoppers and making healthy food more accessible to all, regardless of income, is the market’s ability to accept SNAP EBT (food stamp) cards and WIC vouchers.

To encourage the use of SNAP benefits, the market is offering a Double Bucks program, where it will match SNAP dollars spent at the market.

“If a customer uses their EBT card to buy $20 of SNAP tokens, we will give them an additional $20 of tokens at no cost to them or the vendor,” said Sara Bane, chairwoman of the farmers market committee.

Also, the book wagon returns and will be open. After being repaired by students at Seymour High School, the wagon has been stocked with new materials for all ages and interests provided by the Friends of the Jackson County Public Library.

Children, ages 18 and younger, can receive one free book each Saturday they visit the market. All other books are $1. Customers also can drop off donations of gently used books to help keep the wagon stocked.

If you go

What: Official opening for the season of the Seymour Area Farmers Market

When: 8 a.m. to noon Saturday. The market also will be open from 2 to 6 p.m. Mondays and from 8 a.m. to noon Wednesdays during the week through the end of October.

Where: Walnut Street Parking Lot south of the railroad tracks. Parking is available across the street in the Robertson Parking Lot.

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January Rutherford is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. She can be reached at jrutherford@tribtown.com or 812-523-7069.