INDIANAPOLIS — The Indy Winter Farmers Market is helping Indianapolis residents lead a healthier lifestyle by offering locally grown produce and other sustainably grown foods.
Victoria Beaty, Growing Places Indy's recently appointed executive director, said food in the U.S. travels an average of 1,500 miles to get to your plate — contributing to large amounts of pollution and unnatural resources negatively impacting your food and the environment.
Keeping meals fresh and natural during the winter can pose a significant challenge for those who want a healthier lifestyle.
GPI's Indy Winter Farmers Market at the Circle City Industrial Complex helps Indianapolis residents sustain that lifestyle every Saturday morning with locally grown produce and other sustainably grown foods.
"When you shop at your local farmers market, you are helping to support local growers and their families," Beaty said. "The dollars you spend directly impact your local community and allow farmers to continue to provide fresh, sustainable produce directly from their farm to the table."
What to Expect
The IWFM has over 80 vendors that accept EBT or SNAP payments.
"The Tripe-Match SNAP program allows us to turn $20 into $60. That means when a person comes to the IWFM and swipes their SNAP card for $20; they receive an additional $20 of market tokens and $20 of Fresh Bucks checks," Beaty said.
In its 12th year, the IWFM showcases a weekly donation-based yoga series, live music, kids play area and live cooking demonstration.
Some of the most popular vendors at the market are, 'Amelia's Bakery,' selling freshly baked bread, 'Full Hand Farm' selling locally grown produce, and 'Mrs. Murrays' selling a variety of ready-to-eat vegan items.
'Tulip Tree Creamery,' offers European-style specialty cheeses and butter. The creamery also produces a line of fresh and aged pasteurized cows' milk cheeses and cultured butter. They work with fresh milk from Indiana family farms that don't use hormones or antibiotics in their milking herd.
As mentioned, there are so many more local vendors who add raised meats, baked goods, honey and maple syrup, pasta, and also clean beauty products.
How are farmers able to sustain produce during the winter months?
Beaty: "The technology of winter farming has come a long way. A lot of farmers can grow a variety of crops all year long with the right infrastructure. Farmers who thrive in the winter months, do so with the help of hoop houses, heated greenhouses, or small "low tunnels." These structures provide farmers with an attractive environment protected from snow, frost, wind, and excess rain, and allow the grower to control the humidity, moisture, and temperature. Additionally, there are a lot of crops that are grown in the winter season."
Indy Winter Farmers Market
Circle City Industrial Complex, located at 1125 East Brookside Avenue
Saturday, 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.