Winter farmers market to begin

The summer tradition of Columbus City Farmers Market will reopen for a winter session next week.

The winter version of the market will open Dec. 5 with locally and regionally grown meats, produce and vegetables at FairOaks Mall. Plus, a Christmas market will begin Dec. 12, featuring handmade wreaths and the like.

Weekly installments will continue through March 26.

Columbus resident Sande Hummel, organizer of the outdoor, summer version of the mall market, is the coordinator. For the first few weeks, it will include 15 vendors — mostly farmers growing produce in greenhouses or through high-tunnel farming — in curved arches — done under cover.

Besides fresh food for those concerned about healthy eating, Hummel said, the free event from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturdays will be a boost in other ways.

“It will mean more foot traffic for the mall’s shopping,” she said. “And I think having it inside will make for a relaxing atmosphere.”

She mentioned she would like to see 200 to 300 people ideally each of the first few weeks as shoppers look over produce, meats such as chicken, lamb, turkey, beef, pork, bread, jams, jellies, dog biscuits and other items.

Mackenzey Shatto of North Vernon’s Poseys and Pumpkins said she has asked a number of people in Columbus to consider hosting a winter market for several years. Her family regularly has manned a vendor stand at winter markets in Bloomington and Indianapolis for some time.

Shatto said she will sell greenhouse vegetables such as broccoli and red cabbage, which she said do better in controlled winter-growing conditions, plus items such as radishes, carrots and kale. For the Christmas market, her family will sell 12-inch to 30-inch Christmas wreaths priced from $12 to $60.

She believes the area is ready for a winter market.

“I think that, for some time, Columbus has been heading in the direction of cities more like Bloomington (in offerings),” Shatto said.

Hummel said that growers using hydroponics — growing plants in mineral-nutrient solutions with water instead of soil — also will join the market by January.

The new market

What: Columbus City Winter Farmers Market, featuring greenhouse-grown vegetables, fresh produce, meats and other items.

When: 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturdays, Dec. 5 through March 26. A Christmas market begins Dec. 12. The only closings will be for city-declared snow emergencies.

Where: In FairOaks Mall, 2380 25th St., Columbus.

Admission: Free.

Information: Facebook page at Columbus City Farmers Market.

Author photo
Brian Blair is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at bblair@therepublic.com or 812-379-5672.