Seymour farmers market to kick off summer season Saturday

The Seymour Area Farmers Market will open for the 2019 regular season Saturday.

A total of 35 vendors will be set up from 8 a.m. to noon in the Walnut Street Parking Lot located south of the railroad tracks near the Jackson County Public Library. The market also will be open from 8 a.m. to noon Wednesdays.

The number of vendors is about the same as the past two years, said Carrie Smith, chairwoman of the farmers market committee.

“We usually get a couple of registrations after the season starts, and I would expect that to be the case again this year,” she said.

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Most of the vendors are returning from last season, but customers can expect some new offerings, too.

“We have a vendor who will have tree fruits at various times during the season, which is something we haven’t really seen a lot of,” Smith said.

There also will be a vendor selling homemade pottery and a youth vendor selling homemade slime for the kids, she added.

Another favorite of the Seymour Area Farmers Market returning is the book wagon, where all children receive a free book each Saturday they visit. All other books can be purchased for $1.

Last year, 563 books were handed out free to local children through the book wagon, Smith said.

The wagon is being sponsored this year by Old National Bank with book donations coming from Friends of the Jackson County Public Library.

Low-income residents will be able to use their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits at the market again this year, Smith said. Last year, SNAP sales doubled from the 2017 season.

“The word is getting out, and more people are taking advantage of that benefit,” Smith said.

Every third Saturday of the month beginning in June, the market will include children’s crafts, live music and cooking demonstrations. In addition, local nonprofit organizations can set up booths to distribute information to customers.

“It really fosters community connectivity and awareness of what our local nonprofits are all about and how they are serving our community,” Smith said.

New this year to the Third Saturday Farmers Markets are interactive activities at the market information tent.

“We will have things such as scavenger hunts, games pertaining to farming and the market and other activities that encourage customers to get around to visit all of our vendors,” Smith said.

There also will be contests, including a Post Your Plate contest, where customers are challenged to prepare a meal using three or more items from the market and post the pictures on Facebook, tagging the Seymour Area Farmers Market.

The winner of last year’s Post Your Plate contest took home more than $100 in market goodies donated by vendors.┬áVendors also could participate to win a free market registration for this season.

“It was a huge success and a lot of fun,” Smith said.

Kids had the opportunity to participate in an art contest by drawing a picture of the market. The winning artwork will be featured on this year’s farmers market T-shirts.

“We hope to do more fun contests like that again this year,” Smith said.

On average last season, around 600 customers visited the market, with that number increasing on Third Saturday events.

Market maps that highlight each vendor and what they offer as well as their location at the market will be available this season at the market information tent to make it easier for customers to navigate.

Smith said the reason attendance is high at the market is because of the variety of vendors and the work of the farmers market committee to promote healthy food options in the community.

“For the past three years, the market committee has participated in a lot of the local health fairs,” Smith said. “This year, we really noticed that the majority of people that we talked to had either been to the market or had at least heard about it and are familiar with where we are.”

The last day for the market will be Sept. 28. This year’s seasonal sponsor is Schneck Medical Center.

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The Seymour Area Farmers Market will open its 2019 season from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday in the Walnut Street Parking Lot.

The market has 35 vendors signed up for the season and will be open Saturdays and from 8 a.m. to noon Wednesdays.

Special market events are planned for the third Saturday of each month and include cooking demonstrations, children’s activities, music and more.

The market accepts SNAP benefits.

There will a book wagon as a partnership with Old National Bank and Friends of the Jackson County Public Library.

The last day of the market will be Sept. 28.

Information: Email Jo Boehlke, market manager, at [email protected]

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