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Vendors hurting from Bloomington farmers’ market suspension

(Photo by the City of Bloomington)

GOSPORT, Ind. — The two-week closure of the Bloomington Community Farmers’ Market is having a major effect on some local farmers, some of whom rely on the market for their weekly income.

“We got some chard here, these are new beds of fall carrots that got planted,” said farmer Allen Kitscher.

Kitscher has been farming in rural Owen County for over a decade. It’s turned into a full-time job.

“I’ve been able to quit my other jobs doing construction and other things and focused solely on this and invested more on the farm,” Kitscher said.

He farms a variety of veggies and herbs all by hand.

Every Saturday, he earns his pay at the farmers’ market in Bloomington. He says he makes anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000 a week.

“I thought it was a pretty consistent, reliable situation,” Kitscher said of the market. “I know I had 32 weeks throughout the market season. It’s kind of the window you have to sell all your stuff.”

Now, for two weeks, that money won’t come. Some of what he’s planted won’t last and will have to be thrown out. It’s a big loss, especially this time of year.

“This is a busy time of year,” Kitscher said. “The students are coming back, their parents are in town, it’s summer. The sweet corn is there now and all the melons and all the peaches.”

With two less weeks to make his money, Kitscher hopes the situation is resolved so that his hard work doesn’t go to waste.

“It’s a chunk of money and a lot people… it’s their livelihood. It’s a huge issue,” Kitscher said.

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