INDIANAPOLIS — Several central Indiana farmers markets are getting ready to kick off their spring season this weekend.
If you’re a regular, you may notice some changes as they work to protect vendors, customers and volunteers from COVID-19.
The Broad Ripple Farmers Market will look a little different when it opens to the public on Saturday. Rather than being held outside the old Broad Ripple High School, it will be in the parking lot east of the Glendale Shopping Center.
Customers are being asked to wear masks and preorder from their vendors if possible.
There will also be no dogs, eating or drinking allowed on-site.
“Not only do we support dozens and dozens of growers and vendors from across the state, we are often times their primary source of income for their families,” said Colleen Fanning, executive director of the Broad Ripple Village Association. “We also support a lot of food insecure customers. We are a great option for our neighbors who utilize snap programs and things like that.”
Some vendors say they rely on events like the Broad Ripple Farmers Market to sell their product.
The owner of Caprini Creamery in Spiceland says it accounts for 10%-20% of his weekly income. He says he's ready for the season to start, even if it does look a little different for now.
“The market is going to be open, but it is not going to be a social market,” said Mike Hoopengardner, the owner of Caprini Creamery. “We are going to make sure that we are following proper procedures – social distancing. The vendors are going to be wearing masks. You are going to see more hand sanitizer at a farmers market than you ever have, and the really neat thing is the farmers take so much care in making sure you get the food and we are going to be giving people say food in a very safe environment.”
Organizers of the Broad Ripple Farmers Market say they'll continue to monitor guidelines from the state and make changes when needed. Other farmers markets, like the one in Fishers, are returning with an online component.