Granger Farmers Market more than doubles vendors in new location

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By: Kate Stoltzfus

Lydia Karacson

Before Granger Farmers Market moved from Bittersweet Centre to a new location in early June, it was, as co-founder Lydia Karacson put it, “bursting at the seams.”

The market opened June 3 in its new home at the historic white barn on 12650 S.R. 23, Granger, and has more than doubled its number of vendors, from nine to 21 — with even more vendors to come. Karacson said space was the primary motivation for the market’s move.

“We only had 950 square feet in our old location,” Karacson said. “We had five parking spaces and not enough room for vendors.”

Granger Farmers Market began as an outdoor market in 2010 after Karacson and the market’s other founder, Marianne Christy, decided to make their conversations about opening a local market a reality. Christy and Karacson, who co-owns BackYard Produce, had sold at other local markets together, and decided to bring a new farmers market to the Granger community. For a year and a half, the market occupied 12435 Adams Road at Bittersweet Centre, but the move, said Karacson, has been “terrific for business.”

“We’re right off the road,” Karacson said. “It’s much easier for folks to find us now. The only way people can’t see us is if they’re taking a nap in the back seat.”

The new space has allowed for an increase in variety and an influx of sellers, with the main floor completely filled. The market sells local cheese, milk and butter, jellies and jams from Big Head Farm in Benton Harbor, heirloom flour from Edwardsburg, and locally roasted coffee and tea from Toccoa Coffee in Mishawaka.

The market has also expanded to offer more fresh meat, such as Scottish Highlander grass-fed beef from Ceres & Co. in Walkerton, and non-GMO certified beef and chicken from DC Meats in Osceola.

A series of classes on food-related topics will be offered beginning in July, with subjects like canning, freezing and gardening.

There will be a grand opening on Saturday, June 21, with outside food vendors, local art decorations, and other activities. Karacson hopes to have a “living history exhibit,” and plans to put old news articles about local agriculture on the walls. She is also seeking a local artist to paint a mural in the fall; applications will be accepted on Granger Farmers Market’s Facebook page until June 30.

“We can’t do everything overnight but coming along wonderfully,” Karacson said. “Farming has been and still continues to be an important part of this community. Amazing, wonderful things are happening here and we want people to know about them.”

Granger Farmers Market’s summer hours are 2 to 7 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

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