The locally grown food craze returns in the form of the Statehouse Market, which was piloted in 2012. This year it will begin May 23 and continue each Thursday through October 4, for a full 20-week run, according to Libby Fritz, information specialist with the Indiana State Department of Agriculture.
The Indiana State Personnel Department is co-sponsor of the project. The goal is to provide fresh lunches plus fresh products consumers can buy and take home.
Jay Hawley, Frankfort, participated in the project last year. He operates Grandpa Jay's Pork out of his farm. He made and sold pork sandwiches, plus offered frozen meat, at the market last year. Hawley says he was impressed with the number of consumers who participated, and found it was an ideal way to promote his business.
Any downtown workers can visit the booths, which will be set up and open from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. EDT each Thursday. The market takes place in the Robert D. Orr Plaza near the statehouse.
Both food trucks and farmer stands are welcome to participate in the event. However, you must be approved in advance. Find information about the application process at www.in.gov/spd/2737.html. The project also has a twitter account, so if you're into that technology, you can follow the market on twitter at @StatehouseMkt.
Fritz says about 1,000 people participated in the event each week last year.
Officials hope that besides providing an outlet for those who grow food for local resale, it will be an educational opportunity for consumers who work downtown and may not have much knowledge about how food is produced or who produces it.