Council approves farmers market



Farmers with fresh, locally grown fruit and vegetables might soon have another place to feed the public’s penchant for such products — the courthouse square.

The FFA chapter at Brownstown Central High School established and maintained a farmers market in town for several years.

Its location in a town parking lot one block west of Main Street, however, meant it wasn’t very visible to the public and it failed to attract a lot of customers, FFA chapter sponsor Blake Hackman said. It has been a couple of years since anyone has sold anything there.

Brownstown/Ewing Main Street now wants to re-establish the farmers market in the 100 block of East Walnut Street, which lies just north of the courthouse, said Hackman, who also is a member of the nonprofit organization.

Hackman and Main Street board member Brian Wolka discussed the project with town council members during their meeting Monday night.

Wolka said the new location would be visible from Main Street, and there would be signage to help promote the market.

Hackman said the market would initially be open Wednesdays and Saturdays, and vendors would be allowed to back their trucks up to the curbs on the north side of Walnut Street to sell their produce to people on the sidewalks.

He said he has monitored that side of Walnut Street recently, and there are rarely any vehicles parked there during the day.

There will not be any sales on the street, Hackman said.

He said it would be operated similar to Seymour’s market, which is open daily.

Wolka said it has not been determined if growers from outside the county would be allowed, but all produce would have to be grown locally and couldn’t be purchased for resale.

Other food items such as breads, cakes and cookies could be sold, but vendors will be required to meet county health department regulations, Wolka said.

Vendors also would have to fill out an application similar to the ones producers in Seymour are required to fill out, Hackman said.

He said the FFA chapter has funds remaining that could be used to pay for the signage.

“We’re trying to do this without costing the town anything,” he said.

Council President John Nolting said the council, which eventually approved the proposal, appreciated that idea.

Nolting asked about liability, and Wolka said Main Street would provide the liability insurance for the market.

Wolka said the plan is to open the market as soon as possible. Some fruits such as strawberries are available now or will be shortly.

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