EVANSVILLE, Ind. – Summer Farmers Market season begins early this year with an Earth Day Market Saturday by the Evansville Farmers Market in partnership with Evansville Goodwill at the Washington Square Mall.
The Evansville Farmers Market began after the downtown Evansville Saturday Market ended three years ago. In the summer of 2019, it popped up on Saturday mornings in the American Incubator building on the south side of the Lloyd Expressway.
COVID stopped the program in its tracks. This year, it starts again, with some major changes.
“The first year has gone really well,” said Jason Gerteisen, who founded and runs the market with his wife, Tricia. “During the pandemic, we didn’t have an in-person market, but we were promoting our vendors online. In March, Goodwill asked if we would like to help organize a market to celebrate Earth Day. We thought that would be great. If all goes well, we will continue to have the market in Washington Square.
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Second-hand shopping has become fashionable not only because it saves the buyer money, but also because it is more environmentally friendly to reuse something that has already been made and shipped. The link with a farmers market and sustainable local products is natural for Goodwill.
“We really like that they’re renovating Washington Square Mall as a sort of mecca for thrift shopping,” Gerteisen said. “The old Sears building will be the new Goodwill store, and Evansville Rescue Mission and AnnaLe’s Twice Chosen Bridal have stores there.”
More time for sellers
In addition to the new location, the market will run monthly rather than weekly. Each month will have a theme. A May market, for example, would focus on raising awareness about foster children and the foster care system, etc.
“If you do this every week, the crowd size varies and vendors will have good days and bad days,” Gerteisen said. “We think having them once a month and themed will attract a larger crowd of vendors, and it gives us more time to prepare and promote each event.”
It also gives sellers who don’t want to set up shop in a market every week a chance to sell their wares there without binding commitments. Many market participants will remain constant from month to month, but others could move in and out depending on the season.
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The April market already has more than 30 stalls on board, not counting the food trucks. As summer progresses, expect to see a lot more fresh produce.
“For the Earth Day Market, we have everything from plants and produce, to honey and eggs, to crafts, clothing and jewelry,” Gerteisen said. “Smokin’ Joe’s barbecue, Crazy Daisy’s, Bruce Li and Chino Taco will be the food vendors. It will be a good market as far as variety goes.
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Watch for eco-friendly Earth Day specials like plants and trees, reusable shopping bags, and themed clothing.
Other delicious foods to expect in the market include ready-to-eat baked goods from Sprinkles and Sweets, Sweetly Baked from Christina and Bridgid Bakes; freeze-dried sweets from Kryo Krunch; microgreens from Cheshire Curiosities; plant-based treats from Green Witch Kitchen, popcorn from Pappy and Granny’s Popcorn and more.
The Goodwill Earth Day Market of Evansville
Or: Washington Square Mall, 5001 Washington Ave.
When: Saturday, 10am-2pm
Social media: facebook.com/events/481397113635309
Contact Aimee Blume at [email protected]