Carmel Farmers Market Returns This Summer
Writer / Megan Arszman
Kicking off its 24th year, the Carmel Farmers Market will run on Saturdays through the last weekend of September.
“We have a mission in bringing the best fresh, wholesome, safe foods that are locally grown by Indiana farmers to the people of Carmel and the northside,” says Ron Carter, president of Carmel Farmers Markets. “We make sure all of our vendors are from Indiana and the products are grown and/or produced in Indiana.”
It began with only eight full-time vendors and has grown to now offer 72 full-time vendors at Carter Green. The location, which is on the campus of Carmel’s Center for the Performing Arts, was designed to be the home of many outdoor events including the market. Each space, which measures 20’x20’, has its own electrical connection and allows for vendors to park their vehicles conveniently at their spot.
“The supply chain from our vendors to our market is very short compared to the supermarket,” Carter says. “We know that the average food prepared or produced by our vendors comes from 26 miles away from the market. The average travel for supermarket food is 1,500 miles.”
As a way to ensure the validity of their push to offer only Indiana products, Carter says the Carmel Farmers Market is unique in that it includes a committee that visits vendors at their farms to ensure they have the space to grow what they’re selling at the market, and that they are producing in a certified commercial kitchen.
“We don’t allow any homemade products in our market, only those made in a certified commercial kitchen,” Carter says. “Certified commercial kitchens mean that they were inspected and certified by the county health department, thus guaranteeing food safety and quality.”
Live music will be featured each Saturday in the pavilion. Volunteers are available at each entrance to assist shoppers in finding what they’re looking for upon entering the market. Families are invited to relax in the seating area.
The market is known for the variety of vendors for every taste. As always, new vendors will showcase items that are hard to find in typical grocery stores. Such vendors include American Dream Nut Butter based out of Greenfield, as well as a vendor that sells vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free spreads.
The 2021 market saw more than 110,000 visitors, and Carter hopes to welcome even more this year. “We’re all – and I mean all the volunteers – very, very excited about the Farmers Market this year,” Carter says.
Visit the Carmel Farmers Market every Saturday through September from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Visit the official website for parking information and a full event calendar at carmelfarmersmarket.com.