GREENCASTLE -- Building on the success of last season, Greencastle will feature two weekly farmers' markets beginning in June.
The Saturday morning Downtown Farmers' Market is set to return on June 5, followed by a Tuesday evening Parkfest Farmers' Market in Robe Ann Park on June 15.
The expansion is the result of consumer and vendor surveys, which show support for a weeknight market and additional demand for locally grown produce. Returning and new vendors are encouraged to apply by contacting Friends of the Farmers' Market chair Cathryn Ensley at email@example.com or 653-1737.
Recognized as a great source for both local food and community, the Downtown Farmers' Market is positioned for further growth in 2010. Shopping at the farmers' markets is among the most effective means of supporting local agricultural producers.
"The 2009 Downtown Farmers' Market was the best ever. I have done it for three years and it was always hit and miss on customers, but last year with the extra advertising, town square banners, yard signs and weekly e-mails, I tripled my revenues," vendor Yvonne Clifford of Belle Union said.
In addition to local fresh food and distinctive goods, the farmers' markets will continue to showcase local musical talent. While the Saturday Downtown Farmers' Market features folk, jazz, bluegrass, rock and other great sounds, the Tuesday Parkfest Farmers' Market will combine with the Civic League tradition of live community concerts in Robe Ann Park.
"The Downtown Farmers' Market was the place to be last summer," said Mayor Sue Murray. "I remember on the few Saturdays mornings when I was out of town, I really felt like I had missed out. I look forward to watching this tradition continue to grow not only downtown, but also at Parkfest."
Expanding the farmers' market was among the recommendations of The Sustainable Greencastle Report created by more than 100 local citizens in March, 2009. Examples of other outcomes include:
* Local Food for Neighbors in Need, a pilot relief program that distributed 3,000 pounds of locally harvested food in November and December;
* The Greencastle Community School Corporation Energy Challenge that led to some schools conserving electricity by as much as 26%;
* Community Garden plots now available for spring planting; and
* A Buy Local campaign led by the Greater Greencastle Chamber of Commerce.
To gain more information on Sustainable Greencastle initiatives, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 720-0673.