Nine local people have signed up to sell products this season at the revamped Brownstown Farmers Market.
The market’s first day is from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday at Heritage Park, 121 E. Walnut St., Brownstown, on the north side of the Jackson County Courthouse square.
Heather VonDielingen, a member of the Brownstown/Ewing Main Street farmers market committee, said eight of the people who have filled out vendor applications are from Jackson County, while the other one is from Jennings County. Vendors must live in Jackson County or within a 60-mile radius of Brownstown to sell at the market.
VonDielingen said all of those people have signed up to sell produce, but she’s not exactly sure what or when they will be selling.
To encourage as much participation as possible, the market is free for vendors this year. A signed agreement must be on file with the Purdue Extension Jackson County office in the basement of the courthouse before selling.
“We’re just excited to see how it goes this year,” VonDielingen said.
“It’s totally changed, a different day. They used to have two days a week, 12 hours a day, so it was hard for people to know when a vendor was going to be there, so we’re trying to make it a little more concentrated. Hopefully, that will help get people there.”
The market, which is a partnership between Brownstown/Ewing Main Street, the town of Brownstown, Purdue Extension Jackson County and Brownstown FFA, will continue the same time frame and location Fridays through Oct. 27.
Vendors can arrive as early as 8 a.m. to find a spot on a first-come, first-serve basis.
They can set up in the grassy area of the park, and if more space is needed, the stage will be used.
A few parking spots in front of the park also could be used for vendors using their trucks to display produce or for mobile food trucks.
Products that can be sold include produce, meat, eggs, honey, baked goods, nursery crops and homemade products or crafts. Temporary food booths must be permitted by the Jackson County Health Department before setting up at the farmers market.
Vendors must supply the equipment necessary to display their items, and they are responsible for removing everything from their space by 1:30 p.m.
The farmers market committee hopes a set day and time period will attract more vendors and customers.
Committee member Blake Hackman suggested the day and time of the market. In previous years, a lot of the consumers were courthouse employees, so they were able to visit the market on their lunch break.
The committee also didn’t want to conflict with the Seymour Area Farmers Market, which has Monday, Wednesday and Saturday hours.
If there is enough demand, the Brownstown market could be expanded to another day of the week.
“It’s an experiment,” VonDielingen said. “We’ll see how this goes. We’re testing it out, and we hope that the community supports it.”
She said the committee already has set goals for growing the market in the future.
One is to accept SNAP (food stamps) benefits, but that may require a little more manpower, including a paid market manager. All of the committee members this year are volunteers.
The committee also hopes to draw in more vendors.
“We’re hoping that it just grows,’” VonDielingen said. “If it’s a success, we hope to get more vendors to jump on.”
What: Brownstown Farmers Market
When: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fridays through Oct. 27
Where: Heritage Park, 121 E. Walnut St., Brownstown
Who: All vendors must live in Jackson County or within a 60-mile radius of Brownstown
Cost: Free for vendors (vendor setup starts at 8 a.m., and teardown must be done by 1:30 p.m.)
Register: Before selling products at the market, vendors must register with the Purdue Extension Jackson County office, 111 S. Main St., Suite 10, Brownstown, and sign an agreement
Information: Richard Beckort at 812-358-6101 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Products that can be sold at the Brownstown Farmers Market
Produce: No contaminated, rotting or infirmed goods may be offered for sale.
Meat/eggs: Must meet inspection guidelines.
Honey: Must be produced from bees owned by the seller.
Baked goods/foods: All home-based vendors must be labeled as “This product is home produced and processed, and the production area has not been inspected by the Indiana State Department of Health.”
Nursery crops: Must be grown locally.
Homemade products/crafts: Must be completely homemade. No commercially prepared products may be sold.
Temporary food booths: Must be permitted by the Jackson County Health Department before setting up at the farmers market.
Donations made to the Brownstown Farmers Market are tax-deductible. Checks should be made payable to Brownstown/Ewing Main Street, P.O. Box 75, Brownstown, IN 47220.
Donations will be used to further the mission of the Brownstown Farmers Market for generations to come.