As I looked out my office window Wednesday morning the first thing that came to mind certainly wasn’t the Linton Farmer’s Market. Mother Nature didn’t get the memo that spring has arrived and no more wintery weather is allowed.
But we do live in Indiana, so just wait a few hours and the weather will change. And not always for the better.
Anyone who knows me well knows I love to garden. We have a garden big enough to feed a few families, and Deb and I enjoy giving the fruits of our labor to others. Actually, I get “the look” every year from Deb when I come home with several (and I mean several!) tomato, pepper, cabbage and other plants, along with lots of packages of seeds.
I have no clue how big our garden is, but it’s large enough to handle 25-plus tomato plants, 15-plus cabbage and pepper plants (each), many zucchini plants (Can you kill a zucchini plant? I don’t think so.) and so many other rows of vegetables I lose count.
I’ve been encouraged by some to take items to the Linton Farmer’s Market, but never have. Deb and I have visited many times and enjoy going. Not only for the many surprises you’ll find, but it’s also a great place to socialize.
Organizers Mark and Joann Stacey do a fantastic job of providing a little bit of everything for visitors.
According to the Linton Farmer’s Market’s website, it is moving from the southeast corner of Humphreys Park to the middle of the park near the tennis and basketball courts. It will operate at that location every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., May 19 to Sept. 29 (excluding Labor Day weekend).
The market will then move indoors to the Roy Clark Community Building from Oct. 6 through Nov. 17 and run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
This summer will mark the sixth year for the LFM, and it has grown remarkably over time. According to the LFM’s Facebook page, in 2017, the market enjoyed:
• $81,796 in total sales directly to its vendors. “And the vast majority of that money stays right here, supporting our local economy.”
• A 73.2% increase in total sales since 2016. “And since our humble beginnings in 2013, we’ve seen an incredible 227% increase in sales! Wow!”
• 10,699 customers served. “Our customers enjoy many more social interactions then they would at a big box store.”
• 19.6 miles is the average distance food traveled from the LFM vendors to the market. “Now that’s fresh! Most food eaten in the U.S. has traveled over 1,500 miles.”
• $4,125 in SNAP, WIC, and Senior food assistance benefits were distributed. “Our Market Bucks program provides fresh, local foods to low-income families.”
• 2,178 pounds of fresh, local food was donated to the Linton Food Pantry. “That’s over a ton of fresh food our vendors generously donated to our community.”
Those are some impressive numbers.
The Linton Farmer’s Market has a great website — lintonfarmersmarket.com — and any question you might have can be answered by going to the page.
And if you’re ever out our way when the tomatoes and zucchinis are going crazy, feel free to stop and pick some.
Chris is publisher of the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at (812) 847-4487.