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Meet us at the Terre Haute Farmers Market!

For more than 19 years, the White Violet Center for Eco-Justice (WVC) has proudly participated and supported the Terre Haute Farmers Market, located in the parking lot outside of the Meadows Shopping Center during the summer and early fall.

The Terre Haute Farmers Market has been able to evolve into a yearlong experience, offered every Saturday morning beginning in late May through the end of October, and then at various times from November through April. The market currently hosts 40-plus vendors on a regular basis and has consciously morphed into a community event. Not only can you find “growers, bakers and makers” as John-Michael Elmore, Farm Manager of the WVC likes to say, but it offers live-music, special themed weekends and activities for children. Best of all, you are supporting local, small businesses that are finding their footing in the community.

A ‘Keystone’ Vendor

John-Michael shared WVC was a keystone vendor of the Terre Haute Farmers Market. When the market established its roots in 2005, it only had two vendors. WVC’s booth has now grown to three stalls from its original one, and its growth can be attributed to the public support we receive on a weekly basis. The sales from the Farmers Market make up over half of the income raised by the ministry. The partnership with our local market is powerful and of great importance for the welfare of the center.

Moving beyond the impact that participation in our local market has for the ministry, shopping local can have great health and economic benefits for the community. Produce holds more nutrition when it only travels six miles, versus traveling over a continent to get to one’s plate.

It makes a huge difference when you can ask the person who grew your food directly how they raised their produce and what methods were used, which can give you immediate power of controlling what exactly goes in your body. Having direct access to the farmer can empower you to make different choices that may have a positive impact on your well-being.

The White Violet Center is now working to find ways that we can easily incorporate being able to accept SNAP and EBT benefits to bring more socio-economic diversity to the market. Accessibility and ease of use can help de-stigmatize people actively utilizing the benefits they need.

A ‘Right’ to Nutritious Produce

Access to more nutritious produce should not be a privilege, but a right for others to share in. Making these benefits easier to use can also welcome-in people who have not felt part of a community, and extending that love, care and feeling of belonging to others is one of the pillars the Sisters of Providence was built on: LOVE.

While not everyone who is reading this is a Terre Haute local, we encourage you to find local opportunities available in your own community. Perhaps you are already a supporter of your local farmers market, and if so, we hope you are reaping the benefits of your patronage. We have had many local businesses who originally found their footing at the farmers market and have now expanded to their own store fronts. We have even had a historic neighborhood, 12 Points, completely revitalized by businesses who found their beginnings at the Terre Haute Farmers Market. It is amazing to see how an idea can grow into a movement, and that movement positively changes the face of the community.

Promoting Change and Connection

It is a pleasure for the White Violet Center for Eco-Justice to participate in that kind of change, in our way. It continues to show how connected we can be to one another, how God’s providence will always find a way, and how we can take care of each other, even through one small seed.

If you ask John-Michael or anyone on the team at the White Violet Center for Eco-Justice, they likely will humbly turn down any credit for the work they are doing. But if you have a moment to step back and analyze the impact the center’s participation and partnership with the farmers market has had on the local community, it is evident that good things are growing here.

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Michelle Hart

Michelle Hart

Michelle is the Communications Manager for the Sisters of Providence. She is a bit of a "Jill-of-all-trades" when it comes to her professional experience and background. Michelle studied Theatre at Butler University and has worked in television production, banking, Las Vegas entertainment (Cirque du Soleil), orthodontics, and knows more about turkeys than most people on our staff.

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