Original Farmer’s Market in downtown Indy ends outdoor season early


INDIANAPOLIS — The Original Farmer’s Market in downtown Indianapolis is officially closed for the season roughly one month ahead of schedule.

“The season overall has been great, but it’s been challenging for our vendors,” said Mandy Wright-Jarrett, the Indianapolis City Market‘s operations and facility manager.

Beginning in May, the farmer’s market takes place every Wednesday and usually lasts through October. However, this Wednesday, officials announced the market will close for the season at the end of the day.

Wright-Jarrett said it was a tough decision but one made with the vendors’ best interest in mind. She said the market’s second season during the pandemic has been less than ideal.

“For whatever reason, it’s rained a lot of Wednesdays,” said Wright-Jarrett with a laugh. “It’s been very rainy and wet, and we are open rain or shine, but for whatever reason this particular location that we picked to use until our new location is updated creates this crazy wind tunnel, and it’s been pretty dangerous at times.”

The Indianapolis City Market posted these photos to Facebook on Wednesday showing the conditions that vendors say have become far too common:

“It’s been more severe than I’ve ever seen,” said vendor David Lehman with Earth Drops. “I’ve been here 19 years, and I’ve never seen it consistently just hard to deal with.”

Lehman said this season’s sales are only about a third of what they have been in the past. That is why he said he was in favor of shutting the market down early.

“It’s been a struggle to try and make it through this year,” said Lehman. “Not a lot of profit in it this year or even last year as far as that goes.”

On the other hand, vendors with VanAntwerp’s Farm Market voted to carry out the full season.

“We always have produce, you know, all the way through the end of October,” said Lance Goecker with VanAntwerp’s. “So we’re willing to always come, and I think we were maybe one of the only ones that maybe wanted to stay.”

Despite wanting to see the season through, Goecker said his farm stand understands and respects the majority’s decision.

“We just felt like it’d be best to call it quits this season and hold our heads high because we’ve done the best we can,” said Wright-Jarrett.

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