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April 15, 2014

Farmers market starting in Flora

Volunteers aiming for mix of produce, homemade items

FLORA — Carroll County is getting its own farmers market this summer.

A pair of volunteers are launching a once-a-month market this summer for produce and artisan vendors that has already generated significant interest among local residents.

“We do have the 218 market [a small produce market on Ind. 218] and we do have the corn that comes into town, but everyone has been so excited about this,” said Mary Beth Ruble, who with Shelly Butler has spent about six weeks planning the structure and speaking with potential vendors and sponsors for the farmers market.

“We have vendors that do go to Lafayette and do go to Indianapolis and Logansport and we thought, why not let them stay here?” Ruble explained.

The new market’s Facebook page, launched Friday, had 187 fans as of Monday afternoon.

The Farmers Market of Carroll County, as it’s to be called, is slated to launch June 14 in a few commercial parking lots along Ind. 18. The 25 vendor spots are to be in the Rinehart Real Estate and former NAPA Auto Parts parking lots near Center Street and Ind. 18, and may expand to the parking lot of Flora Family Medicine about a block away.

Ruble and Butler chose to locate the farmers market in Flora since it’s a central location in the county and will be more convenient than downtown Delphi, where many streets and buildings will be under construction while the city completes its Stellar Communities project.

The town of Flora has a young but vibrant Main Street organization that’s backing the farmers market, too, Ruble added.

Farmers market organizers have the support of the county health department as well.

“I’m all for it,” food specialist Randy Myers said. “I don’t think it’ll be a problem.”

He’ll inspect the market regularly for compliance with state health standards. Some vendors may be required to apply for a permit through the state health department, as well, depending what foods they’ll sell.

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