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Upstart Stockwell Farmers Market in running among Indiana’s best
A monthly farmers market in the tiny town in southern Tippecanoe County is looking for your vote … and a visit. Plus, more happening on a busy Saturday in Greater Lafayette.
Thanks today to Based in Lafayette sponsor Grupo Empresarial Hispano de Lafayette, which is welcoming a free performance by Mexico en el Corazon at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 29, at the Long Center for the Performing Arts. The national touring act includes more than 40 musicians and dancers celebrating Mexican culture. For more details, go to mexicoenelcorazon.org/edicion-2023 or to longpac.org.
Gracias hoy al patrocinador del Grupo Empresarial Hispano de Lafayette, con sede en Lafayette, que dará la bienvenida a una presentación gratuita de México en el Corazón a las 6 p.m. martes 29 de agosto en el Long Center for the Performing Arts. El acto de gira nacional incluye más de 40 músicos y bailarines que celebran la cultura mexicana. Para más detalles, ingresa a mexicoenelcorazon.org/edición-2023 o a longpac.org.
UPSTART STOCKWELL FARMERS MARKET IN RUNNING AMONG INDIANA’S BEST
A couple of things about Saturday’s Stockwell Farmers Market …
Market organizer Sunshine Bickett was watching the weather, hoping it would hold for the morning, because she had baby goats coming for kids to feed.
And Saturday would be the first of the monthly market days – always the last Saturday of the month, from June to October on Church Street in the tiny town in the southeast corner of Tippecanoe County – since Stockwell had been nominated among 30 across the state in Indiana Grown’s Ultimate Farmers Market Challenge.
Voting continues into mid-September for a shot to be featured by Indiana Grown to represent the state’s 260 farmers markets.
All of which is super exciting, as Bickett put it, for the Stockwell Farmers Market, still in its early days.
Question: How did the Stockwell Farmers Market get started? And how has it grown?
Bickett: I moved to Stockwell in 2019 and felt a need in the community to connect with each other more. Our initial market started in 2020, but due to COVID we only had a couple. We returned in 2021, but our numbers were still pretty low. We had an average of five or six vendors at first and gradually grew to what we are today.
Q: How often do you have them? And how many vendors do you typically field?
Bickett: Our markets are catered to the busy vendors. There are so many events locally, I wanted ours to be simple and easy to fit in. We operate once a month, the last Saturday of the month, 8-11 a.m. We currently average 30-plus vendors every month.
Q: With busy markets in Lafayette and West Lafayette, have you had any issues with getting vendors to a market in a small community?
Bickett: I’ve been very lucky with local support, and how I’ve structured the markets schedule, it really only competes with the Lafayette market once a month. Since we are about 15 or 20 minutes from Lafayette, our small towns in the area really support us, too.
Q: What sets Stockwell’s farmers market apart?
Bickett: I try very hard to make this market stand out and be unique compared to other markets. We do themes every month that focus in one or two areas. For example, our first market was Plants & Crafts. This allows me to make those vendors more prominent and VIPs. We still allow our normal vendors, but I focus on bringing in more vendors in that particular area. This also allows for vendors to attend our market at least once. I also make it a point to make joining our market as easy as possible. With the Indiana cottage laws in place, I can encourage home vendors to come out. We focus on making the vendor experience easy with no paperwork, permits or high fees. It is only $5 to set up a table, and I do not restrict the size of the vendor booth. The time of 8-11 a.m. allows vendors and customers to get home by lunchtime and before the heat kicks in. We do have a large nice, shaded area to pick your spot, too.
Our current themes:
June: Plants & Crafts (a plant swap area will be set up)
July: Farms & Fruits (melon and sweet corn trailers, 4-H and local farm promotion)
August: Garden Harvest (focus on garden produce)
September: Baked Goods & Books (recipe collection for a local cookbook, book exchange area)
October: Halloween and Fall decor (fall picture shoot, costume parade, firetrucks, pumpkin contest, hot apple cider)
Q: How did Stockwell get into the Ultimate Farmers Market Challenge? And how do you like Stockwell’s chances against that competition?
Bickett: We were nominated by several vendors, and I wrote a letter sharing the details of our market. I am honored we were selected with over 260 markets in Indiana. I am hopeful we win, but that really depends on how many take a moment to vote. We are a small community and do not have the numbers of a large city to get votes. I hope by sharing this story, we might get the word out and more votes
Q: What other context should people know?
What you can do: For the list of the 30 Indiana farmers markets nominated in the Ultimate Farmers Market Challenge – including Stockwell, Attica, Crawfordsville, among those close to Lafayette – go to https://infmcp.org/discover-more. Voting continues there through Sept. 15.
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ICYMI, FOR THE WEEKEND …
Catch up on Based in Lafayette correspondent Tim Brouk’s weekly “Tim’s Picks,” five choice things going on in Greater Lafayette this week. (Four of the five, including today’s Indiana Makers Market Summer Pop-Up and Beers Across the Wabash – both today in downtown – are still good to go.)
ADD THESE TO THE POSSIBILITIES, TOO …
Ouibache Roots Music Festival returns Saturday for a night of Americana at Columbian Park Amphitheater in Lafayette. The lineup for the free shows: Blue Flame (bluegrass), 5 p.m.; Jennie DeVoe (singer-songwriter), 6:30 p.m.; Henhouse Prowlers (bluegrass), 8:30 p.m. For more details: ouibache.com/
Delphi’s annual Indiana Bacon Festival runs from 3-11 p.m. Saturday in downtown Delphi. Bands, cookoffs and, yeah, bacon. Details: www.indianabaconfestival.com/
Sounds like a full field Saturday for the Wabash River Cycle Club’s 45th annual Wabash River Ride. Online registrations were shut down midweek, organizers said. But they were still taking registrations the morning of the ride at Fort Ouiatenon, 3129 South River Road. The ride includes marked loops ranging from 33 miles to 100 miles. Registration the day of the ride is $50. For more last-minute info: wabashriverride.com/
Thanks, again, to sponsor Grupo Empresarial Hispano de Lafayette, which is welcoming a free performance by Mexico en el Corazon at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 29, at the Long Center for the Performing Arts.
THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING BASED IN LAFAYETTE, AN INDEPENDENT, LOCAL REPORTING PROJECT. FREE AND FULL-RIDE SUBSCRIPTION OPTIONS ARE READY FOR YOU HERE.