The Warrick County Farmers' Market started out as a fruitful venture in the summer of June 2009 for local farmers to sell produce and handmade crafts in Boonville. Now, 10 years later, they just opened up their first ever winter market.

Located in the Bargain Barn at the Habitat for Humanity of Warrick County ReStore in Chandler, The Warrick County Winter Farmers' Market is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday, until Dec. 21.

Mary and Roger Winstead with Beautiful Edibles of Newburgh had the idea to start the winter market from seeing a similar one in Illinois.

"It's like a big party with clowns and balloons," Roger Winstead said. "And they keep it going all the way until Christmas time."

The Winsteads also wanted an opportunity to sell more of the product they grow on their 2-acre farm throughout the rest of the year, including garment greens, herbs, braising greens, spicy greens, radishes and turnips.

"It's kind of a suburban farm and we grow everything very intensely," Mary Winstead said. "We still have veggies in the winters, from salad greens to asain greens, and not a lot of people realize that."

Luckily, the Winsteads are friendly with fellow vendor Mike Raybuck of 4 Gardens Nursery in Elberfeld, who also happens to be on the board of Habitat for Humanity of Warrick County.

"So he helped us find the location," Mary Winstead said. "Habitat also has some great stuff and we want to bring some foot traffic and awareness to them."

The female farmer said she is striving for a bistro atmosphere.

"With hot cocoa and hot coffee and music," she said. "We want this space to be a place where people can have a feel good get together on a Saturday morning."

And on Saturday, Nov. 9, it was Roy Dill of Dirt Roads and Denim serving up some tunes.

Raybuck said the Winter Farmers' Market is a great place for customers to eat truly delicious and fresh, grown-from-the-ground food.

"Our greens actually last longer in the winter when they are chilled then when they are sitting out in 90 degree weather in the summer," he said.

Mary Winstea said they have nothing synthetic on their property as well.

"We've sold edible flowers with Rolling Hills, Pangea's Kitchen and Victoria National," she said. "We even sold cherry tomatoes to the Warrick County School Corp. this year."

Their 10-year-old son Jonathan also helps out the family business when he's not being homeschooled.

"It's science and math and learning how to talk to people," Mary Winstead said.

Becky Brucken with Yoak's Caramel Corn was also at the Winter Farmers' Market on Saturday selling her family's famous gourmet popcorn, in flavors like sea salted caramel and pumpkin pie. Brucken brought the business from Mishawaka, Indiana down to Lynnville three years ago, after her father bequeathed it to her.

"It's a lot of experimenting and trying recipes at home," she said. "And lots of bad batches."

But the good batches make the perfect Christmas gift.

"Everybody just associates popcorn with the holidays," Brucken said. "I think it dates back to when your grandma made that special butter and brown sugar batch of popcorn around Christmas time. It's comfort food."

The Warrick County Winter Farmers' Market still has approximately 10 more spaces for vendors. If interested, contact:

Mary Winstead said she encourages people to not only go to the Winter Farmers Market to try delicious fruits, meats and veggies, but to meet the people who grow them.

"It's a chance to talk to your farmers and learn how they actually grow what you're eating," she said.

Brucken agreed.

"It's a great way to shop local," she said. "And get a good variety of foods, everything from jams, honey, produce and cheese -- there is something for everybody."

Marisa Patwa is a graduate of the University of Evansville with a degree in journalism and minor in political science.

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