Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Indy Winter Farmers Market Vendor: Becker Farms

Every week during the Indy Winter Farmers Market season, we'll be profiling one of our local vendors! You can find the full list of IWFM vendors and past profiles here.

Becker Farms, 3rd season at IWFM

Kyle and Emily Becker established their farm in the small town of Mooreland, located in northeast Henry County. Starting in 2007 with grass-fed, high quality, safe freezer beef, their operation has since grown to include chicken, turkey, pigs, lamb, goats, rabbits, ducks, hens. And if that wasn't enough, Becker Farms also grows a variety of produce. 

What do you love most about IWFM? We love the variety and quality of vendors at the IWFM--patrons can find a wonderful assortment of meats, produce, soaps, ice cream, baked goos, and much more.

What is your most popular item? Our customers tend to stock up on whole chickens during the winter months--perfect for roasting or putting in the crock pot and making favorite dishes such as soups, casseroles, and pot pie.

What is something most people don't know about you? We have a dream of retiring on a dairy farm on the back side of Maui!

What is your favorite local restaurant? It is so hard to choose just one, but we are glad that we found Bakersfield--we are big fans of their fish tacos, quest dip, and black beans.

What is your favorite thing to do in Indy in the winter? Since we do not live in Indy, it is enjoyable for us to simply walk around, stop for a coffee and a pastry, and take in all of the pretty lights.

What is your favorite holiday recipe? Sweet potato casserole and turkey!

Connect: / Facebook / Twitter / 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Indy Winter Farmers Market Vendor: Farming Engineers

Every week during the Indy Winter Farmers Market season, we'll be profiling one of our local vendors! You can find the full list of IWFM vendors and past profiles here.

Farming Engineers, first season at IWFM

Engineers turned farmers, the power behind Farming Engineers is husband and wife team Lisa and Matt Burke. Located North of Indianapolis in Pickard, IN, the Burkes have been farming since 2008. 

What do you love most about IWFM? I love the great diversity of customers, vendors, and products.

What is your most popular item? It's our first season, so we don't have a most popular item yet.

What is something most people don't know about you? Our farm name gets a lot of questions! We both graduated from a college whose mascot was "The Fighting Engineers," so when we started farming, we came up with a similar name for our farm.

Connect: Blog / Facebook

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Season Eating in Central Indiana, All Year Long

The December/January issue of Urban Times was delivered all over downtown Indianapolis neighborhoods last week. For those of you unaware, Growing Places Indy (the nonprofit behind IWFM) contributes an article each issue on a broad range of topics. Staying on topic for the holiday season, Liz Wertz, our social media strategist, wrote about the benefits of eating seasonal foods and how to prepare delicious, seasonal meals. Continue below to read the full article. A special thank you to A Couple Cooks, a local blog, for contributing one of their many delicious recipes to our piece.

Seasonal Eating in Central Indiana, All Year Long

As terms such as “locavore,” “foodie,” and “slow food” become more prevalent in everyday conversation, I think it is safe to say the trend of eating whole, fresh, locally sourced foods is on more and more people’s minds. After spending my summer as a Growing Places Indy apprentice and now as an employee, my grasp of the local food system and my love for sustainability has grown; however, this growing emphasis on eating local is not just for the crunchy, free spirited generation. There are plenty of reasons why we should all, as an urban community in an ever-improving Indianapolis, take a closer look at where our food comes from and explore the benefits of eating local, fresh foods.

Just think about the impact you can have on carbon emissions by eating food that is grown near you. When food travels tens of miles instead of thousands of miles on trucks, planes, or boats to get to your plate, carbon emissions are greatly reduced. Another reason to eat locally is the tremendously positive community impact created by sourcing local foods. Farmers market patrons develop relationships with growers and producers, which cycles money spent on food directly back into our own community.  Finally, when your food is grown near you, you know it is in season when you buy it!

Seasonal foods are picked at the peak of their freshness. This freshness provides higher nutritional content and flavor. Just ponder for a second, which tastes better: a deep red tomato picked from your backyard garden, still hot from the summer sun, or a hard, mealy tomato you pick up at a mass grocery store in the winter? Exactly: the juicy, summer tomatoes are the winners all the way! This is because in Central Indiana, garden- and farm-grown tomatoes hit their peak in the summer. Many people believe their options for eating seasonally year-round here in Indianapolis are too limited by the weather as the winter months blow in. A visit to the Indy Winter Farmers Market, though, should convince you otherwise and open up a whole new world of seasonal eating. Come peruse all the wonderful produce that our area farmers grow all winter long.

If better flavor, nutrients, and relationships still have not convinced you to eat seasonally, perhaps the fact that eating what is in season locally is better for your wallet and the local economy! If a crop is in season locally, that means there is more of the crop available. It is also important to note that buying local, seasonal food directly supports the growers and producers in our community. Instead of giving your money to big box stores, shopping for seasonal produce at farmers markets and other direct farm-to-consumer networks sends your money directly back into your own community.

Now that you are (hopefully) convinced to give seasonal eating a go this winter, here is a list of vegetables and fruits you can devour in the coming months and a few festive recipes to enjoy at
upcoming holiday parties:
  • Beets
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Carrots
  • Greens (arugula, cabbage, kale, lettuce mix, spinach, Swiss chard)
  • Kohlrabi
  • Micro-greens
  • Potatoes
  • Radishes
  • Turnips
  • Winter Squash
Growing Places Indy Farm Manager Tyler’s Easy & Festive Brussels Sprouts
  • 2 c Brussels sprouts, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • Pepper to taste 
1) Heat olive oil in skillet. Add onions, sauté for approximately 5 minutes.
2)  Add Brussels sprouts and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3) Add soy sauce, stir and cover for 5 minutes.
4) Add pepper and serve!

Roasted Acorn Squash with Wild Rice Pistachio Stuffing
*Recipe courtesy of A Couple Cooks, a local blog from writer and photographer husband and wife team, Sonja and Alex Overhiser.
  •  4 acorn squash
  • 1 ½ c wild rice
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 bunch kale
  •  3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 4 oz crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/3 c pistachios, chopped
1) Preheat oven to 450F.
2) In a medium pot, add 1 ½ c wild rice, 4 ½ c water, and a few pinches of kosher salt; bring to a boil, then simmer for about 45 minutes until tender. Drain any remaining liquid from the pot.
3)  Meanwhile, chop each of the acorn squash in half and then in quarters. Using a spoon, scrape out the guts and seeds. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the squash on the sheet and drizzle with olive oil on the cut sides; sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper. Turn cut side down on the sheet and roast until tender, about 40 minutes.
4) While squash roasts, finely dice garlic cloves and shallot. Cut the kale into thin strips (chiffonade). In a large skillet, heat 1 to 1 ½ tbsp. olive oil; add garlic and shallot and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes until the shallots are soft. Then add the kale and sauté for about 2 to 3 additional minutes until the kale is tender and bright green. Turn off the heat and stir in the rice, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp kosher salt, and fresh ground pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning if desired.
5)  To serve, place squash quarters on plate. Top with wild rice stuffing, then sprinkle with feta and chopped pistachios. (Alternatively, feta and pistachios can be mixed into the wild rice stuffing).

All of these seasonal crops, free-range, hormone free meats, and much more can be found at specialty groceries like Indy Food Co-op Pogue’s Run Grocers and the Indy Winter Farmers Market (IWFM). The IWFM runs Saturdays through April 25th from 9 am-12:30 pm in the Platform, located in the west end of the Indianapolis City Market. Open up a wintery world of possibilities in your own kitchen this winter by making a commitment to seasonal eating! Happy holidays from everyone at Growing Places Indy!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Dec 6 Indy Winter Farmers Market Vendors

Get some local holiday shopping taken care of at Market this Saturday from 9am to 12:30pm inside the warmth of The Platform, in the west wing of the Indianapolis City Market.   We are back to our full line up of vendors this week. Here is the list for 12/6:

Indy Winter Farmers Market Vendor: Muddy Fork Bakery

Every week during the Indy Winter Farmers Market season, we'll be profiling one of our local vendors! You can find the full list of IWFM vendors and past profiles here.

Muddy Fork Bakery, 4th season at IWFM

Located just north of Bloomington, Muddy Fork Farm & Bakery specializes in small batch, hand mixed and shaped breads baked in wood-fired brick oven and offers a variety of equally impressive baked goods--croissants, granola, pretzels, sweet rolls. They source all of their whole wheat flour, honey and eggs locally. Best of all, they even offer workshops to teach bread lovers their baking secrets, and how to get results in your own kitchen.

What do you love most about IWFM? We love the community of people who put on the market and make it succeed. The team of staff and volunteers are so dedicated and helpful.

What is your most popular item? Our new croissants are flying from the booth. We've been working many months to perfect the recipe and bake a croissant that's flaky and crisp on the outside and delicious and soft on the inside. Look for more sweet and savory fillings in the next month.

What is something most people don't know about you? We offer monthly artisan baking workshops at our brick-oven bakery, where we teach participants how to make great sourdough bread at home. The highlight for many folks is the pizza lunch we share together. Find more details here.

What is your favorite holiday recipe? Cristopsomos, a Greek Christmas bread--light and slightly sweet, with dried fruits and nuts. Those curled Greek crosses are so much fun to make!