Zionsville Farmers’ Market Thriving Despite COVID-19 Delay
Despite a late start and a new location, the Zionsville Farmers’ Market has been a success in its 23rd season.
The new location at the Town Hall parking lot on Oak Street was necessary because of the previous site’s proximity to the old PNC building, which was demolished as part of Zionsville’s Gateway Development project, according to Market Organizer Kristin Nester.
Nester says procedural changes due to the coronavirus pandemic caused the market to begin in June, instead of the usual end-of-May start time.
“We had some logistics to work out, that’s for sure,” she says.
Market leaders were forced to make some pandemic-related adjustments in the way the market operates. Visitors are required to wear masks, maintain social distancing and follow the suggested traffic flow.
Nester says that while visitors can look at the items each vendor offers, each has to point out desired selections, which the vendors will then bag and hand to customers. Live music and other special market activities have been put on hold for the year, and this season is also pet-free.
Nester says the relocation also brought a slightly noticeable change in visitors, with more people coming from Brownsburg and Lebanon. She has heard a bit of disappointment voiced about the relocation from the village-centered locale, but says the move couldn’t be helped. Next year’s location is still to be determined.
The market has managed to thrive despite these setbacks, and Nester is happy to report that the public is walking the aisles lined with well-stocked vendors once again. The selection is varied, with something to make the whole family happy, such as gluten-free goodies, specialty coffees, houseplants, candles and honey, as well as the ever-popular produce, eggs and meat.
Produce vendors are gearing up for the fall crop of lettuce, carrots, snow peas, and the standard symbol of harvest time – pumpkins. Vendors such as Little by Little Farm will have free-range turkeys available to preorder for Thanksgiving feasts, according to Owner Rob Pinder.
Pinder and his wife Stephanie have shared their crops for the past three years, and he says people in the community tend to shop local because they appreciate knowing where their food comes from.
The market will operate on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. through September 26. For those who find it more convenient, Nester says preordering is a great option. Customers can browse the market website and simply pick up items during market time.
Whether it’s the few remaining Saturdays left or something to remember for next year, Nester says the market can always benefit from volunteers. Tasks include greeting visitors and answering questions, placing signs to direct traffic, and selling t-shirts.