The Emerson-Garfield Farmers’ Market will celebrate the end of its first full season Friday. The afternoon will include fresh apple cider from an old-fashioned press.
The market started in July 2013, just a couple of months after friends E.J. Ianelli and Dave Musser came up with the idea during a chat about their neighborhood.
“We like food, we like markets,” Ianelli said.
Musser said he had a vision of bringing neighbors together.
The market is a partnership between Project HOPE and the Emerson-Garfield Neighborhood Council. Project HOPE runs a booth and provides market with tokens which shoppers purchase if they are using debit cards.
Ianelli is the president of the Emerson-Garfield Neighborhood Council, and this year the group used the market to help reach residents. The neighborhood boundaries are Cora and Fairview avenues on the north, Belt and Monroe streets on the west, Indiana and Boone avenues on the south, Division Street on the east.
The group also used the market to distribute the neighborhood dump passes, which introduced the market to even more people.
During market hours, Ianelli and other volunteers talk about neighborhood issues with residents. Ianelli said many residents are now attending council meetings thanks to the market.
“We’re out here putting a face on things,” he said.
The market is staffed by volunteers. Vendors pay about $100 for the season to participate. The fees are used to pay for musicians at the market, as well as fliers and other promotional tools. He estimates about $2,000 in sales each week, which goes to the vendors. In exchange for the use of the parking lot, members of Knox Presbyterian Church can have their vendor fee waived.
Jim Howells of Howling Wolf Sauces said he’s been setting up his booth at the Emerson-Garfield market since last year.
“They are definitely community centered,” he said of the market. He enjoys the people who come and the fun of the market. He remembers last year when there were only about 12 to 15 vendors and now estimates it has doubled in size.
Stacy Blowers of Petunia’s Marketplace, 2010 N. Madison St., often brings the shop’s 1949 Dodge pickup truck to the market. During Friday’s season finale, she’ll be distributing free jars of spiced apple jelly to members of the Corbin Senior Center and clients of the Women and Children’s Free Restaurant.
Cody Miles is 16 and has been working at Project HOPE over the summer, growing produce in West Central and helping to sell it at farmers markets.
“This is one of the friendlier markets,” he said.
Ianelli said the produce sold at the market is often cheaper and of better quality than that found at grocery stores. The market also participates in the Fresh Bucks program, which gives customers and extra $2 for every $5 of tokens purchased with their EBT card.
“This is more affordable,” he said.
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