Farm to Fork Seeing Results as Innovative Farmers’ Market
My Local Indiana, a grassroots organization of small Hoosier family farmers, recently conducted the first statewide Farmers Market Economic Impact Study to collect information to track the often-underestimated contribution of small agriculture to local economies.
“Results will be released later this year,” says Maria Smietana, market manager for the Farm to Fork market at Normandy Farms, “but we were pleasantly surprised at our own market’s questionnaire results. Our customers spend an average of $50 to $60 at our market. In addition to from within Indianapolis, they also come from surrounding counties, most making the trip only to shop at our market.”
“We drive about 20 minutes from SoBro to get here,” says Nick Abbott, a frequent shopper at Farm to Fork. “We have other markets close to us that are great, and this one is worth the drive—the selection, attention to the source and product quality are all wonderful.”
Farm to Fork is a chemical-free and locally sourced farmers’ market with many of its vendors being Certified Organic or Certified Naturally Grown and follow specific guidelines, including that all products are produced with no middlemen, prepared food can only be made with organic ingredients, and produce and meat are raised with no artificial chemicals.
Farm to Fork also improves access to food for food-insecure families. Through a partnership with the Boone County Chapter of Habitat for Humanity (HFH), Farm to Fork connects each year with an HFH family. Vendors donate some of their products each week to provide healthy meals families could not have otherwise afforded. Last year’s family was a Marine sergeant severely wounded during the Gulf Wars, his wife and their two young children.
“Even their service dog wasn’t left out thanks to Pet Lovers Bakery,” Smietana says of the organic pet treat vendor.