April showers bring May flowers, but in Bloomington, flowers aren’t the only thing that pop up when the weather gets warmer.
The Downtown Bloomington Association Farmers Market is a staple spring event that provides both students and townies with an astounding variety of homegrown foods and handmade products.
While opening day is Saturday, customers have many opportunities to purchase products and take part in activities at the market. The outdoor season lasts from Saturday until the last Saturday in October.
The farmers market has a multitude of veggies, including classics like potatoes, broccoli and green beans. There are also more out of the ordinary vegetables including turnips, squash, jalapeno peppers and asparagus.
Fruits like berries, melons, apples and peaches are also for sale, along with many types of meats, breads and European cheeses, such as Havarti, Gouda, mozzarella and blue. An assortment of cookies, infused honey, pies and pastries will also be offered.
Not only does the market offer delicious groceries but also many goods for the home. Local artists display art, spa products, flowering plants and fruit and vegetable home growing kits.
This season, shopping will also be accompanied by other fun events that the whole family can enjoy.
“This year we will have a specific area designated for kids called the Kids’ Zone. Our demo area will house a mini Champagne British Car Show for two weekends in May and in June [it] will house the Shakespeare Festival’s mini production series,” Marisa Brooks, the outreach and marketing director for the Downtown Bloomington Association, said.
“We will have cooking demonstrations and classes once a month provided by the head chef at the Parke Regency Hotel, as well as instruction on canning, freezing, pickling and/or preserving items.”
People of all ages will enjoy the fun of the farmers market, but the season-long event isn’t restricted to people; pets are welcome too.
“We have a wide variety of customers,” Brooks said. “Many people bring their dogs, which is a big thing for customers whether they own a dog themselves or just like dogs.”
The local farmers market is different from other markets in that it is producer-only.
This means that the people who sell the product are the ones who made it. You won’t find anything store-bought or re-sold at this event, ensuring quality products.
“Many customers, as well as vendors, see value in having a producer-only market because they can talk directly with the person that has grown and produced the food they are buying or the artist that has created the piece they are interested in learning more about,” Brooks said.