I look forward to seeing you at 901 N. East St. from Nov. 14th through April 24th. We have a fabulous group of vendors forming. We've received nearly double the number of applications from last year, and we will be releasing a list of vendors as soon as all decisions have been finalized. A great group of individuals have come together for the market advisory committee this year, as well as other wonderful volunteers. We have some fun activities in store to make the winter months seem a little more warm and bright when shared in community.
Many thanks to everyone who took time to send an email or make a phone call to the Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission (IHPC) supporting approval of the variance needed to allow us to operate as a temporary "food store" at 901 N. East St. The necessary variance was approved by unanimous vote of the Commissioners. That feels like quite an accomplishment!
Special thanks to those who were able to be at the Chatham Arch Neighborhood Association meeting on Sept. 29th or the IHPC hearing on Oct. 7th. This was truly a community effort, requiring the support of each and every person who sent an email, made a phone call, went door to door, told a neighbor, attended the necessary meetings, expressed gratitude and excitement for the existence of the market last year and coming up, and certainly each and every one of you who supported the IWFM last season by shopping there. We would not have had the strength of our proven success, or the excitement for our second season without each of you. Also, I can't say strongly enough how important this support was to my motivation. The IWFM is not something worth doing for myself, and it would do nothing for our farmers and producers without you. Your emphatic confirmation that this truly is a community supported service/event is what makes it worthwhile for all involved.
The events of the past month have assured me plenty of people - farmers, producers and customers - are not only still excited but willing to go above and beyond to help me make sure this market happens. This is exciting to me because I believe it shows the IWFM is about much more than a 3 & 1/2 hour farmers market on Saturdays in the winter.
What I have taken from the "variance incident" as I call it, is that the IWFM is part of a collective effort to determine the future of our community, our city, our state, and even well beyond. We are thinking about not just where, but who our food comes from, how it's been grown/produced, how the dollars we spend on food support either families or corporations, the farming practices we want to support and thus the choices we are making in caring for the balance of soil, life and environment.
Evidence is growing that the vast "food system" spectrum critically impacts our health (and the cost of health care), the environment, soil and water pollution, climate change, international development, "food security," world hunger, the economic and social vitality of communities (some would say nations) and the overall ability to sustain modern life on the planet. So, by considering our food choices and purchases, and becoming aware of what we need to know in considering our purchasing choices, we directly engage in determining the future. It's rather obvious, but sometimes we forget.
On a more fundamental level, the IWFM reminds me, and I'm guessing maybe you too, that life is more fun and more fulfilling when we experience it in relationship to others. By enabling the purchase, preparation and consumption of food in the context of relationships, the IWFM has provided pleasure and satiation beyond checking off the grocery list to fill our bellies for another week.
The IWFM is not unique in providing such experiences or services. I just needed to say how grateful I am for all the support that has allowed the IWFM to be a contributor to providing these experiences and services.
Many thanks, and keep eating pleasurably & consciously!
IWFM Founder and Market Manager