INDIANAPOLIS — Farmers’ markets are a popular weekend activity throughout the area all summer long, but during the winter months, area residents can turn to the Farm to Fork Winter Farmers’ Market at Normandy Farms.
Maria Smietana serves as the market manager for the organization that has been around for many years.
“The winter market runs from the first of November through April,” Smietana said. “We have meats, cheeses, baked goods, chocolates, winter vegetables, pet treats, and soaps — just a wide variety of items.”
The market is year-round and tends to have many more vendors in the summer during the growing months.
Jacob Redwine of Westfield brings his dehydrated herbs to sell during the winter market months.
“We also grow produce, but not much is growning now,” he said. “We have to have something to do in the winter.”
One aspect of this market that makes it appealing is that all vendors must show proof that they’re organic.
“They must use a chemical-free product process,” Smietana said. “Some of our vendors are USDA certified organic.”
The market started at a different location and moved to Normandy Farms about a year ago.
“We just came to this location in May,” Smietana said. “We were looking in this area and wanted to find a farmer that would like to have a market on the property.”
The organization eventually made contact with Ron Robinson and Chris Kleinops, the developers who own the farm and the area around it.
“They’ve been developing these neighborhoods but wanted to keep this historic farm here,” she said. “They thought it was very important to keep the historical character of this part of Pike Township.”
Vendors come from all over Indiana to participate in the Farm to Fork Winter Farmers’ Market at Normandy Farms.
“More and more people are becoming interested in where their food comes from,” Smietana said. “Our customers appreciate the fact that our products are also chemical free. There are no hormones or antibiotics used in the meat production and no pesticides or herbicides used in produce production.”
Julia and Rick Fink are new vendors to the market. They produce beef, pork, and chicken during the winter and garden produce in the summer months.
“We came to visit the market and when they found out how we grow our products they invited us to join,” Julia Fink said. “We’re from Darlington, which is near Crawfordsville.”
They said the bad weather this winter has made participating a challenge.
“This is actually the first week that I’ve not been shoveling snow,” Rick Fink said.
The market runs from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. each Saturday through April.
For more information on the Farm to Fork Winter Farmers’ Market at Normandy Farms, visit the website at www.farmtoforkmarket.org. The market is also on Facebook. The vendors have a newsletter that is also available electronically.