Family fun: Zionsville Farmers Market kicks off May 18

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By Heather Lusk

Family inspired vendors and family focused events will be showcased throughout the 22nd season of the Zionsville Farmers Market, which runs May 18 through Sept. 28.

Six new vendors will join the Saturday morning market, bringing the total to 47. Zionsville Olive Tap and Kim’s Cookie Café have storefronts off of Main Street, but the owners decided to raise awareness by selling their foods at the market. Kim Estep, owner of Kim’s Cookie Cafe, said she’ll be selling decorated and baked cookies. She’s hoping to connect with people who may not know she’s there.

The Walking Waffle Company has been a part of Carmel’s weekly market for more than 10 years but is new to the Zionsville market. Owner Stephanie Lewis encouraged her four children to help their grandmother’s Salsa Queen booth at Carmel’s weekly market for several years before deciding to launch her own booth of Belgian waffles more than a decade ago. She continues to keep her children involved in the business.

Jadie’s Applesauce is a mother-daughter team that will be at the market throughout after testing its homemade applesauce at the end of last season. Harmon Farms, which sells produce, joined the market thanks to a family member who has maintained a booth at the market for 20 years. Indie Coffee Roasters will join the market for the first time, selling cups and bags of coffee roasted in a popcorn machine.

“We’re really excited that some of these new vendors are family operations promoting work ethic with their children and encouraging entrepreneurship,” Market Manager Sara Martini said. “We like that they view the market as time to spend with family.”

The market also is encouraging submissions for a youth T-shirt for the market. The deadline for designs submissions is May 25 at farmersmarketzionsville@gmail.com. The community will vote on their favorite design June 1 at the market, with the winner announced June 3. The winner will receive a free shirt with their design. The market launched the contest last year.

Martini hopes that a variety of new events coupled with the re-introduction of former events will draw more visitors.

In addition, the Zionsville Farmers Market has an entirely new board. The former board consisted of three members who served three years each. Last year’s members chose not to return, so six volunteers were selected to join the board to better split responsibilities, such as arranging musicians, assisting vendors and coordinating more than 160 volunteer hours.

“(The previous board members) were ready to pass the torch,” Martini said. “We have some new voices and more people to support the market.”

Pam Hillman, president of the board, plans to sell a variety of reusable produce bags during the market to reduce the number of plastic bags used every Saturday. She said the board will offer a selection of gardening and cook books at their table.

“I think people in general are trying to eat healthier and eat clean,” Hillman said. “It’s a social event, and so many people stroll up and down Main Street on that Saturday helping local businesses.”

The market is open from 8 to 11 a.m. in the parking lot at the corner of Hawthorne and Main streets. In the event of severe weather, cancellations will be posted to the Zionsville Farmers Market Facebook page.

Special Saturdays

Seven special Saturdays will be featured during the Zionsville Farmers Market.

  • Opening Day May 18 – Boone County Humane Society Adoption event.
  • Bike to the Market Day May 25 – Mayor Tim Haak will lead a bike ride from Town Hall to the market and eBoom electric bicycles will have a surprise for anyone who bikes to the market.
  • Strawberry Shortcake Day June 1– Free strawberry shortcake will served starting at 8 a.m., using 2,000 shortcakes from Klein Brot Haus and 17 flats of strawberries from a local farm.
  • Dog Days of Summer June 29 – To celebrate Zionsville being a dog-friendly market, free bandanas and a treat will be given to dogs while supplies last.
  • It’s a Cornival! July 27 – Free grilled corn on the cob, courtesy of the Lions Club and Zionsville Farmers Market, will be given to patrons.
  • National Farmers’ Market Week Aug. 10 – Every year, the market has a surprise giveaway to visitors.
  • Free Cider Sept. 28– Celebrating the approach of fall and the last market of the year, free cider will be offered.
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