April 9, 2013
Hoosier Harvest Market food hub sets meeting for farmers
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Hoosier Harvest Market Inc., formerly known as Central Indiana Food Hub, will have a meeting April 23 in Greenfield for farmers interested in becoming vendors in the online market for their products.
The meeting will be held 7-9 p.m. EDT at the Hancock County Purdue Extension office, 802 N. Apple St., just north of the county fairgrounds.
Hoosier Harvest Market is a system that coordinates, through online marketing, the weekly sale and collection of local farm products for delivery to customer delivery points across the region.
"The Hoosier Harvest Market is organized with both the farmer and the consumer in mind as a means of conveniently connecting the Indiana shopper with the very best that Indiana farmers can produce," said Roy Ballard, Purdue Extension agricultural and natural resources educator in Hancock County. "All products that you might expect to see at a traditional farmers market will be included in the offerings of the Hoosier Harvest Market."
Because of the approaching growing season, farmers interested in selling through the market this year should attend the meeting to learn more about the logistics of the market and what they can expect if they participate, Ballard said. Farmers will receive an information packet and a member agreement for their consideration and will have the opportunity to ask questions and voice any concerns.
Like other food hubs, Hoosier Harvest Market seeks to increase consumer access to fresh and healthy locally produced foods, including those in underserved areas while at the same time provide wider access to institutional and retail markets for small to mid-sized producers.
The market will provide another access point for shoppers who want to support local farmers and buy the freshest local products from farmers they know and trust but are currently limited to the traditional choices such as roadside markets and community farmers' markets.
Farmers who sell through Hoosier Harvest Market will be able to provide their inventory and prices online weekly. Shoppers, including consumers buying for their families and perhaps restaurants seeking locally grown products for their menus, will be able to shop among all of the listed farmers for an array of products. Shoppers will pay for the products online.
At the end of each marketing cycle, farmers who sold products will deliver them to an aggregation point where the products will be sorted into customer market baskets and delivered to their selected drop-off point.
For more information or to register for the meeting, producers can contact their county Extension educator or Ballard at 317-462-1113 or by email at email@example.com.
Farmers and growers who are unable to attend the meeting but want to learn more about Hoosier Harvest Market can get information on the market's website at www.hoosierharvestmarket.com or look for updates on the Hoosier Harvest Market Facebook page.
Shoppers who would like to receive information about the opportunity to buy products through the market can inquire by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hoosier Harvest Market is funded in part through a U.S. Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop Block Grant administered through the Indiana State Department of Agriculture.
Writer: Keith Robinson, 765-494-2722, email@example.com
Source: Roy Ballard, 317-462-1113, firstname.lastname@example.org