Fishers Farmers Market Returns With New Vendors & Second Location at Saxony
Writer / Renee Larr
Photographer / Sam Zachrich
Shopping local is the backbone of any good farmers market. The Fishers Farmers Market, presented by IU Health Saxony, has returned for the 2022 summer season, and runs from 8 a.m. to noon each Saturday through September 24 at the Nickel Plate District Amphitheater (NPDA). Local vendors from Central Indiana abound, showcasing produce, baked goods, meat and eggs, specialty food items, honey, coffee, plants, and even homemade dog food.
Each week more than 65 vendors line the NPDA. This year 10 to 15 new vendors are selling their goods to Fishers residents.
“We’re always excited to welcome back our vendors from previous years, but we’re always happy to bring new vendors into the fold,” Sarah Sandquist, director of Parks and Recreation. “We’re so excited that the Nickel Plate Trail has officially opened to provide another way to access the market.”
The event caters to the whole family, including children and pets. The Farm Hands kids program offers kids aged 2 to 12 the opportunity to engage in the local food system through educational games, crafts, demonstrations, and exposure to new fruits and vegetables. Once per month, kids can participate in the two-bite challenge. By taking two bites of the featured fruit or vegetable, kids will earn $2 in Market Bucks to spend on their choice foods at the market.
This year the market leaders expanded the popular Biz Kids program. Each week young entrepreneurs are given space to sell their handmade or homegrown items. Biz Kidz Day is July 9 and features more than 40 young vendors.
Man’s best friend can not only attend the event, but also even find some items created specifically for them. Collins Universal Foods sells homemade dog food and is making its first appearance at the market this year.
“We have a Great Dane and he was experiencing a ton of allergy issues, so we decided to try and make his food at home,” says Monika Collins, owner of Collins Universal Foods. “We noticed it really made a difference in his skin and coat, so we decided we wanted to share that with others. We know Fishers residents love their pets, so participating in the market was a natural fit for us.”
For those who want to shop local but can’t commit to a Saturday morning, the Fishers Farmers Market at Saxony, presented by IU Health Saxony, formerly Saxony Market, offers shoppers a secondary location and time to buy. The market takes place every Wednesday from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., beginning June 1 and ending September 28. Sandquist says it’s an excellent opportunity for a midweek restock of fresh produce.
Debbie’s Daughters Bakery and Cafe is participating in the Fishers Farmers Market at Saxony for the first time this year. They offer small-batch baked goods from scratch, with a changing weekly menu.
“We’re very excited to participate because this gives us another group of people to bring our products to each week,” says Jessica Walls, co-owner. “Each week we’ll offer baked goods that showcase local items grown in Hamilton County. When strawberries are in season, we’ll do a strawberry muffin or a strawberry cookie.”
This year several specialty days are returning to the Fishers Farmers Market, including Biz Kidz Day on July 9, Nonprofit Day on July 23 and National Farmers Market Week Celebration on August 13. Additionally, each week a new, local yoga studio offers free, socially distant yoga at 8 a.m. on the Nickel Plate District AMP stage.
Local musicians take the stage each Saturday to entertain guests while they shop. It’s an excellent opportunity for shoppers to stick around after their shopping is done to enjoy free, local entertainment.
The Fishers Farmers Market works closely with the Fishers Health Department to implement COVID-19 precautions. While the market is outdoors, social distancing and hand washing are strongly encouraged. Hand washing stations are available throughout the area, as well as restroom facilities.
“Last year we saw record attendance at the market,” Sandquist says. “We really hope to top that this year. With the addition of the Fishers Farmers Market at Saxony, we hope to grow our farmers market opportunities. We’re excited to see everyone again this year.”
Free street and garage parking is available throughout the Nickel Plate District. Garage parking is available in The Depot and The Flats at Switch located to the east and west of City Hall, and in the new police station garage and One North garage located at the corner of Maple and North streets.
The market leaders are on a mission to reduce waste, so they strongly encourage shoppers to bring reusable bags, carry small, reusable containers from home for berries, cherry tomatoes and other small produce, and also walk or bike to the market.