I think everybody will be ready to get outdoors and head to the farmers markets this season.
While we may still be under the Governor’s social-distancing guidelines for the COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease) pandemic, we can help our local farmers market vendors by shopping at the markets.
“The Noblesville Farmers Market is going to play a special role in this pandemic,” said Lorna Steele, executive director of Noblesville Main Street, a downtown nonprofit that coordinates the market, which will open on May 16 at Federal Hill Commons, 175 Logan St., Noblesville. “One of providing our community with the safest, healthiest food and produce that you can currently get.”
She said, “We encourage everyone to put on a mask and do all the grocery shopping you can at our local Farmers Market.”
When Noblesville Farmers Market opens for the season, the market will have changes put in place due to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease) pandemic.
The Farmers Market will follow the Hamilton County Health Department guidelines. Vendors will spread out and be masked and gloved.
“Shoppers are also encouraged to wear masks and gloves,” Steele said. “Shoppers will have to stand 6 feet back from vendors.”
The pandemic has affected the market. “We definitely don’t have as many vendors currently registered as we usually do at this point. But I am confident once everything opens up, our registration will go up,” Steele said.
“All vendors deemed essential by the Health Department are allowed at the market as of right now,” she said.
Noblesville Main Street is encouraging everyone to come out and support the local farmers and vendors with their shopping. “Kroger will survive this pandemic, our local vendors and farmers whose livelihood depends on their sales at the market will be the ones who suffer,” said Steele, who has creative ideas planned to help the vendors later in the market season, which runs through Oct. 24, with its traditional 8 a.m. to noon hours.
Westfield Summer City Market is getting prepared to open the first Saturday in June at Westfield City Hall parking lot at 130 Penn St., Westfield.
Colleene Quinn, the market’s coordinator for the Downtown Westfield Association, is still working on the details regarding changes to adhere to social distancing guidelines.
“Since we are a smaller market and do not open until June, I have more flexibility and am holding off on some decisions until we see if current restrictions lessen following the lifting of the stay-at-home order,” Quinn said on Wednesday.
However, some of the changes that will be in place include:
-Significant distance between vendors at our venue site.
-Vendors will be required to wear masks and gloves.
-Shoppers will be encouraged to wear masks
-A no-contact, curbside pick-up service will be offered to customers who would prefer to pre-order and pay online.
-No food trucks, on-site prepared foods or samples will be allowed.
Opening day is June 6 and operating hours are yet to be determined, either the traditional 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., or shortened hours.
The Westfield market normally has about 25 vendors on site on a given Saturday. “Due to the COVID-19 health crisis and the health department guidelines in place, our physical market will likely have around half this number in June,” Quinn said. “They will include vendors offering fruits and vegetables, meat, dairy, eggs, flowers and vegetable seedlings and pre-packaged dog treats.”
She plans to launch an online market in mid-May. Items may be pre-ordered and paid for online with a no-contact, curbside pick up available on Saturday mornings at the market venue. “By launching the online option, we will be able to continue to offer all the fresh, locally raised, locally grown and homemade goods the Westfield market goers are used to finding every Saturday throughout the summer months,” Quinn said.
The Carmel Farmers Market Winter Market moved outdoors on April 4 and is open 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays at Carter’s Green in front of the Palladium in Carmel.
Their posted rules? “Strictly observe social distancing. Do not pick up or handle food unless you intend to purchase it. Do not linger once you are finished shopping. Cover your cough. If you have not been feeling well, go back home please. Be kind, be patient, be nice.”
Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard has strongly suggested that everyone wear a mask. Neither an ATM nor bathrooms are available. There are no prepared foods sold by vendors for consumption at the market. There are no tables and chairs and no music or entertainment. Once life gets back to normal, the Carmel Farmers Market Summer Market will return.
The Fishers Farmers Market will go virtual beginning at 9 a.m. Sunday and offer online orders (www.fishersfarmersmarket.localfoodmarketplace.com) from 9 a.m. Sundays to noon Wednesday with shoppers (in vehicles, no pedestrians or bicyclists) to pick up their items between 8 a.m. and noon Saturdays, beginning May 2, at Holland Park. The farmers market, which has 40 online vendors, will operate with home delivery or no-contact pickup through May, and depending on the COVID-19 situation, will continue with the online model or revert to an in-person market at the Nickel Plate District Amphitheater for the remainder of the season, which runs through September.
“The health and safety of our customers and vendors is our top priority,” said Stephanie Perry, assistant director of public relations for City of FIshers. “We intend to have a physical market at some point this season and are evaluating and monitoring the situation.”
Perry said, “We are closely monitoring the situation and will make adjustments as new guidelines are released.”
She said a few of the vendors have chosen to wait to sell products until the physical market returns, but the majority of the 40 vendors have participated in prior years. “Ranked one of the top farmers’ markets in the region, the Fishers Farmers’ Market showcases vendors from Central Indiana that offer fresh produce, baked goods, honey, meats, cheeses, coffee, plants, and more,” Perry said.She anticipates reaching new customers with the online service.
“We are excited to start the market season, and are grateful the market community, made up of customers and vendors have been so flexible with the changes,” Perry said. “Fishers Farmers' Market strives to produce a high quality market in any setting whether online or onsite. The online market will provide Fishers residents with a safe, fresh, and local way to shop their favorite farmers’ market items.”
The Saxony Market in Fishers is usually open mid-May and runs Saturdays through the second Saturday in September at Olio Road and 131st Street. This year, in compliance with the state government’s guidelines for farmer’s markets, Saxony Market presented by IU Health Saxony Hospital has made the decision to delay the opening for the 2020 market season. “We are hopeful that the opening date will be June 6, however, this is dependent on when the government will permit in-person markets,” said Candi McKinnies-Shreve, Saxony marketing manager. “It is our plan to adjust vendor booth set-up to allow for social distancing among vendors and market shoppers as well as provide necessary hand-washing stations. Any additional safety directives from the state, county or local government levels, along with the CDC guidelines, will be reviewed and implemented as required.” The market will be open 9 a.m. to noon.
Gatewood Vegetable Farm & Greenhouse in Noblesville is open daily for pickup with extended items that include fruits, vegetables, bakery, dairy, meat, chicken, frozen pies and more. Heinzman Farm Market in Noblesville is open. Wilson Farm Market has dairy, yeast and various foods plus some hanging baskets and all kinds of fruits and vegetables. Stuckey Farm, which has fruits and vegetables, is readying for this summer’s sunflower festival. Spencer Farm in Noblesville is readying for strawberry season with the market open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays, with curbside pickup available.

-Contact Betsy Reason at betsy@thetimes24-7.com. Read more about the Noblesville Farmers Market in a Noblesville Main Street press release published in today’s edition of The Times.