Market Feature: Black Hills Farmers Market
By Chelsea LeBlanc, BHFM Intern
The Black Hills Farmers Market was founded in 1989. The market was first located in the Pigeon Building at the Central States Fairgrounds. The farmers market was eventually moved to Founders Park, where it was held for many years, until changing locations in 2017. The market was moved to Market Park in 2017 due to the customer base outgrowing the space available at Founders Park.
As the demand for fresh, local, healthy food grew, the Black Hills Farmers Market teamed up with Western Dakota Technical Institute to provide an indoor market that would be open for the winter season. The indoor market opened November 2nd, 2019 and highlighted the diversity of our vendors products with new seasonal items being available such as eggnog and caramel apples, along with winter produce. Unfortunately, the winter market season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
With new obstacles and challenges presented by COVID-19, Market Manager Barbara Cromwell, with the help of others, had to create an entire new system in order to hold the Black Hills Farmers Market safely. Within a few months, the entire farmers market was moved online to a brand-new website, with a soft opening held the week of April 28th– May 2nd. At this moment, in person shopping is not available.
Starting now online orders can be placed during the order window of Tuesday through Thursday. Orders will be available for curbside pick-up on Saturday. This will be running through October. A pick-up time will be emailed to customers upon placing the order.
A few vendors will be present to assist with the pick-up process. Vendors will be wearing face masks and disposable gloves. They will also be disinfecting their booths every hour and will maintain physical distancing. Customers need only to drive up to the canopy that has the first letter of their last name on it, and the vendor will bring the order to them. We ask that customers remain in their car to promote social distancing. Orders may be placed at https://blackhillsfarmersmarket.org/.
The Black Hills Farmers Market is happy to let the community know that we accept EBT. When registering on our website as a customer, simply select EBT instead of Retail. When picking up your online order, drive up to the canopy with EBT signage and someone will handle your order.
Our market also uses the program Double Up Food Bucks. Double Up Food Bucks doubles the value of SNAP benefits spent on items such as produce, meats, dairy, eggs, baked and canned goods, and plant starters. This allows people to bring home free fruits and vegetables, while also supporting our farmers. The program provides a one-to-one match in free Double Up Bucks for customers using SNAP benefits with a maximum of $20 a day.
The Black Hills Farmers Market plans to hold an additional market at the Prairie Berry Winery near Hill City. Details as to when this will take place will be posted onto our website shortly.
A huge thanks to the sponsors of the Black Hills Farmers Market; without their support the market would not be possible. Monument Health, The Black Hills Area Community Foundation, GP Local, Black Hills Energy, The South Dakota Community Foundation, AAA Sheds, The South Dakota Specialty Producers Association, and Black Hills Federal Credit Union all share the same value of supporting the local community and its farmers, and for that we are eternally grateful. Again, thank you to everyone who has made this market possible.