Smokey The Bear visited Farmers on the Square in Carlisle this week providing information on preventing forest fires.
But, for many vendors, 2012 sales have been ablaze and the market has been far more bull than bear as Farmers on the Square has, perhaps, seen its most productive year yet.
“We probably increased our profits by 40 percent this year,” said John Henry Smucker of Sunset Valley Farm, a Perry County farm that sells goods at the Carlisle market. “What people have to realize is that everything takes time, and this market was once really small and people thought it was more of a church thing.”
“But, it picked up, and we’ve sold more butter, more yogurt and ice cream,” he said.
As it does each year, the market will move away from the square and into the warmer confines of the Depot on the Dickinson College campus on Cherry Street.
The move inside is scheduled for Nov. 7.
Farmers on the Square is a producer-only farmers’ market that highlights some of the region’s most flavorful agricultural products, all of which have been raised or produced within 50 miles of downtown Carlisle, according to the market’s management.
This year, there had been expected to be an average of 25 vendors each week, representing a 33 percent increase over last year’s numbers.
“Our market size has grown by leaps and bounds this year. When we move indoors, we will continue to work at the max capacity of 25 vendors,” said Ann Light, the market’s manager.
“It’s been a good year and the market is good indoors too,” said Ellen Strickler, owner of Willow Hill Springs Farm and a vendor at Farmers on the Square. “People take a lot of pride in this and being a part of it is neat. It feels good to be a part of something that is trying to create good for the community.”
Jacki Mack, who runs Dawg Gone Bees, agreed that it’s been a good year outdoors, and she’s also looking forward to seeing what being indoors will bring.
“We’ve grown,” she said. “The popularity of the market has grown having more local and natural products. The consumers are a lot more aware, and now is a good time because we have lots of things available like our honey for holiday meals.”
Despite changing locations for the winter, the market will continue to operate from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesdays through Dec. 17.