Thursday, December 16, 2010

Full & By Farm - City Kids turned Farmers

Below is an e-newsletter from our good friends James & Sara. James and Sara are in their early thirties and grew up as city kids in Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, OH respectively. In fact, James and I grew up across the street from each other! A few years ago, they decided to purchase land and start their own farm in Up-State NY. They ended up with 100 acres and endless stories that fortunately seem to match their limitless dedication to farming. I could go on and on about these city kids turned farmers. They have been such an inspiration, and source of life and farm lessons. I wanted to share this latest story from the Full & By Farm. Enjoy!

I woke just before dawn this morning to silence. It was a wonderful sensation after a day and a half of battering wind and rain. It was still dark but I could see from the beam of light coming in the window that the sky had cleared and the moon was gleaming. We faired much better than suspected, only 1.5 inches instead of the 3 that was predicted. Still it's soggy out there in the fields and barnyard.

We have two wonderful interns, Lindsey and Dave, staying with us this week and next from St. Lawrence University. They are taking part of a semester long program in the Adirondacks, studying community and how people interact with the environment. We are supposed to be "reintroducing" them to society after several months in a remote yurt
village near
Tupper Lake. They seem to be enjoying farm life and have already been a huge help with farm tasks in preparation for winter. Their first day on the job they teamed up with James to slaughter two pigs, and will be helping with the butchering today in preparation for pick-up.

It seems like it's been a while since I had any crazy animals tales to tell. This makes for poor story telling, but I like to think indicates better farming practices. I woke, however, as the light was just coming up Monday morning to James storming in the door from chores. It's never good when the sentence starts with "Sara we have a problem"
followed shortly by "the pigs are all gone". I hurtled from bed at this point and stumbled into some clothes.

In the several years that we have had pigs nothing like this has ever happened. In general pigs recognize fence lines remarkably well, even once you've removed a fence line they still don't want to cross it. They are able to remember exactly where the line was and can barely be lured with food to take the big step over that now empty space. We
both quickly imagined our 7 pigs somewhere on South Bouquet Mountain, or perhaps over to Brookfield by now. To our surprise as well as the horses James quickly spotted them in the horse pasture of all places, rather than the woods which pigs are native to.

They were more than happy to come straight to James, seeing through his bucket at the morning grain that was sure to be in there. They came right up and began to follow him as he walked. The main problem now being that we had two streams to cross to get them back to their rightful place. The group made it down the hill and through the brush
to the first opportune spot for a crossing. James managed to get one pig over with a lot of cajoling and a little pushing, thinking that the rest would surely follow. With a lot of fanfare and noise they all refused, turned and started to run in every direction. The single pig that had crossed was distraught over his abandonment, yet refused to cross back over. We decided quickly that this would never work and James should try to gather the pigs once again and head to the road. They could avoid the streams altogether and come up through the vegetable field and head back to the pasture that way. As James lead the now 6 pigs on this longer route I tracked the lone pig up and down the creak trying to keep tabs on him. As the herd made the big U and neared their pasture my pig heard their calls and abruptly went running north, they all met up joyously on the banks of the second creek. I pushed the resistant pig across a sandbar and they were happily reunited and on the trail uphill and back home.

We learned a couple of important facts from this episode. One: pigs really don't like streams. Despite their obsession with a good wallow soak, running water seems to freak them out. And Two: pigs are herd animals. The power of the group blew my mind and it so much easier to control a group than a single animal. Take whatever lessons that you
choose from that.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Food Bliss Workshop

Inspirational Food Journalist and Food Literacy Author Wendell Fowler in partnership with Raw Food Chef and Health Motivator Audrey Barron are organizing a 6 week vegan / rawist cooking workshop in January and February 2011. For more info visit http://www.foodblissworkshops.blogspot.com

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Feeding a Family on Local Food by Katy Carter

Feeding a Family on Local Food
Guest Post by Katy Carter

When I first read Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, I was altogether inspired by the story of one family's year of only eating food sourced on their land or within their neighborhood. It challenged my deepest notions of how we decide what to eat; that as a generation of grocery-store-fed Americans, we've come to expect that anything is possible -- and even rightful -- when it comes to what's for dinner.

But then, as I considered how to feed our family in a similar way, I was struck by the belatedly obvious realization that not only did we not live on a farm, but we didn't even have a decent garden. And that while we were becoming surrounded by farmers and artisans who were selling their wares, our budget did not allow for purchasing all of our food from those sources. In short, Kingsolver's husband says it well in her book when he poses the rhetorical question: "...how can someone like me participate in the spirit of growing things, when my apartment overlooks the freeway and other people's windows? Shall I raise a hog in my spare bedroom?"*

And while our family does have a little more grass than a freeway, our lot is small and our thumbs lacking in green. How can our family eat in a way that supports local foods? And do our best efforts matter?

In short, we decided that yes, our best efforts, even when relatively meager, do matter. Supporting local farmers and artisans is on an economy of scale that allows every purchase to matter. So we currently do what we are able (both financially and organizationally -- with 3 kids ages 7 and under, it's often difficult just to keep up with cooking, much less plan well enough to make much of it local). Some things that have helped us in our endeavor:

1) We joined a CSA.
We've done this for the two years since we moved to Indianapolis, and it's a sure-fire way to get our veggies local. There's no need to grab our greens at Marsh when they've already come in our CSA box. It also forces us to
actually eat our veggies -- we cooked them and ate them because we had already invested in them, and didn't want to waste. We looked up cooking instructions online when we didn't know how to cook a new vegetable.

2) We shop the farmer's market, every weekend, all year.
It was a great day when we discovered that the farmer's market isn't just vegetables. From local cheeses to pastured beef to wild-caught salmon -- there's always a market for local goods. Thanks to the IWFM there is an extended season, allowing for a farmer's market
year-round in Indianapolis. This is a luxury, in our very own city.

3) We buy in bulk from local farms.
The meats offered at the markets are amazing in quality, but can get pricey. You can get the best deal when buying in bulk -- the average price of a beef quarter is about $4.50/lb -- which is the lower-end market price for grassfed ground beef, and an absolute steal for roasts and steaks. Most farmers will offer a price break for bulk orders -- you can buy a bushel of apples, a wheel of cheddar, a gallon of honey -- all for less money than purchasing in small amounts. An investment in a deep freezer is helpful in this endeavor -- we bought one on Craigslist, and sometimes split bulk orders with other families.

To finance these bulk purchases, we put a portion of our food budget each month into a savings account. When we write a big check for freezer beef, we can reimburse ourselves from that fund so it doesn't throw off an entire month's budget.

4) We are working on expanding our garden.
Obviously, the cheapest way to eat local food is to grow/raise it yourself. We are not natural gardeners, but value the results enough that we're working on our skills. This year we grew herbs, tomatoes, arugula, and sweet potatoes. Next year we hope to double our garden size and add many more favorites. Our discussions of the future often include adding a few chickens to our family, but until then we'll stick with the pastured eggs from the farmer's market.

In my experience, the commitment to eating local has been like learning a new language. At first it comes very slowly and is completely foreign; but as you continue to build on your vocabulary, the basics become like a native language. We'll continue to try adding new local items as our language skills evolve, with the ultimate goal being that if we can source a food locally, we will, at every turn.

* Barbara Kingsolver, et al., Animal, Vegetable, Miracle (Harper Perennial: New York, 2007) 180.

Katy Carter is a wife, mother of three, and self-taught home cook. She blogs about her (natural) food obsession — including successes, failures, and nonsensical ramblings — at http://katymcarter.com.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Family Time: Navigating the IWFM

by Carrie Abbott

Bringing children to a winter market has challenges that an open-air spring/summer market doesn't have. It's a little chilly out, everyone is inside and typically it's loud and bustling!

Here are some suggestions in making the most of the winter market shopping trip:

Ages 0-2: Baby wearing or a stroller is recommended. It helps reassure that you are close in a sometimes crazy Saturday market! We want them to have a fun time, not feel lost in a crowded place! (Besides a stroller is great path creator and an instant bag of all your great purchases!)

Ages 2-5: Walking is good. Go in with a plan. Tell them ahead of time that they can pick out one item and maybe just loop around once to look and on the second trip they can make their selection. If they pick farm fresh eggs as their one item, then you're job is done! If they pick the jar of honey, be sure to include it in your next baking project or sauce w/curry and chicken and mustard, oh yeah! If they pick some crazy looking vegetable just because it was eye level, well, you better get the farmer's suggestion or get on wikipedia when you get home. Have fun with it for sure!

Ages 5+ : Make a list or have them write a list with check boxes. Write this on a little notepad or notebook and have your child keep track of the purchases, like a scavenger hunt. Allow them to help keep you focused on the list. It's exciting to see other people that we know, but lingering too long may take the fun out of the whole scavenger hunt. OR, just send them ahead with the list and money needed and THEY can buy the next item. Create a budget that they can spend on anything they want there with two stipulations (1) they try what they buy and (2) they share with the class or their teachers something they learned about the item! Unless your kids are homeschooled, I'm fairly certain that the other kids are not eating as well as yours are...the other kids may want to know more!
Regardless of age, take time to help the kids understand what it means to be a *butcher, a baker and a candlestick maker* and all the other great vendors at the market.

Carrie is a downtown, modern housewife. She raises two daughters, Eva and Maddie who are 3 and 7-yrs old with her IT lovin' hubby, Jake. In her spare time Carrie dreams up sinful desserts, savory soups and tries her hand at international cooking. She is a partner in Full Plate Catering that specializes in in-home catered parties. Her degrees are in Geography w/Travel and Tourism and in Baking and Pastry Arts. Carrie is one of those friends that you can call from the grocery or in mid-recipe and ask any question. Her blog is designed to help her friends get cooking and offer some comic relief in planning and preparing the week-day meal.

5 Myths About Hunger in America


By Robert Egger
Sunday, November 21, 2010

Starving Pilgrims, food-bearing Indians -- in legend if not in fact, Thanksgiving has always been about keeping hunger at bay. Yet, four centuries after the Mayflower landed at Plymouth, Mass., not everyone in the New World can count on a full cupboard when mealtime rolls around. Since donated turkeys and cans of cranberry sauce solve our hunger problem only one day a year, it's worth taking a hard look at some myths about who's hungry in America and why.

1. No one goes hungry in America.

Hunger is supposed to happen in other places - in distant countries where droughts or storms or famine compel us to donate money and oblige our government to send relief workers and food aid. In reality, hunger also hits much closer to home.

According to a new report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 17.4 million American families - almost 15 percent of U.S. households - are now "food insecure," an almost 30 percent increase since 2006. This means that, during any given month, they will be out of money, out of food, and forced to miss meals or seek assistance to feed themselves.

Even those who get three meals a day may be malnourished. Americans increasingly eat cheap, sugary foods whose production is underwritten by government subsidies for the corn and dairy industries. As the New York Times reported this month, the USDA loudly promotes better eating habits while quietly working with Domino's to develop a new line of pizzas with 40 percent more cheese.

Obesity is related to hunger, too, thanks to our poor food choices and the lack of healthy food options in many communities. Many of us may be packing on the pounds, but they are life-threatening. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 30 percent of adults are obese. The number of children who struggle with their weight is increasing, particularly among Latinos. Diet-related illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes are now on the list of the leading causes of death in America. We are dying not because we aren't eating, but because we're eating the wrong things.

Read the full article...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Words for Thanksgiving from author and farmer Wendell Berry

An excerpt from Bringing it to the Table (2009, Counterpoint Press):

" The pleasure of eating should be an extensive pleasure, not that of the mere gourmet. People who know the garden in which their vegetables have grown and know that the garden is healthy will remember the beauty of the growing plants, perhaps in the dewy first light of morning when gardens are at their best. Such a memory involves itself with the food and is one of the pleasures of eating. The knowledge of the good health if the garden relieves and frees and comforts the eater. The same goes for eating meat. The thought of the good pasture and of the calf contentedly grazing flavors the steak. Some, I know, will think it bloodthirsty or worse to eat a fellow creature you have known all its life. On the contrary, I think it means that you eat with understanding and with gratitude. A significant part of the pleasure of eating is one's accurate consciousness of the lives and the world from which food comes. The pleasure of eating, then, may be the best available standard of our health. And this pleasure, I think, is pretty fully available to the urban consumer who will make the necessary effort.

I mentioned earlier the politics, esthetics, and ethics of food. But to speak of the pleasure of eating is to go beyond those categories. Eating with the fullest pleasure - pleasure, that is, that does not depend on ignorance - is perhaps the profoundest enactment of our connection with the world. In this pleasure we experience and celebrate our dependence and our gratitude, for we are living from mystery, from creatures we did not make and powers we cannot comprehend. ..."

(Wendell Berry from the 1989 essay "The Pleasures of Eating" as republished in Bringing it to the Table, 2009.)

From all of us at the Indy Winter Farmers Market, we wish you and yours much to be thankful for and exceeding gratitude to share around your own table and beyond.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Yelpsgiving!

Yelpsgiving!, presented by Yelp, with One Brick, at The Earth House, is an all-volunteer charity dinner on Thanksgiving Day for local shelters in need. Yes, many shelters and kitchens are already having Thanksgiving meals prepared around Indianapolis, and after some outreach & research, Jon Akerman of Yelp Indy found there were three needs to be filled:

*Shelter numbers have increased and there's an increased need for a meal on Thanksgiving.
*Two, for those not hosting or traveling with families for the day -- the holiday is a rare opportunity to give back/volunteer in a major way to those who don't have the opportunity to spend the holiday with family.
*Three, all of the meals on Thanksgiving in Indy are set in the traditional soup kitchen style, which works very well and is tremendous. Yelp wanted to go beyond that and give guests something they rarely have the opportunity for: a sit-down, full-service, restaurant-style dinner with hosts, waiters, servers and menus!

Jon felt Yelpsgiving guests deserve that special treatment that everyone else gets in restaurants every day. This event is a wonderful way to socialize and be together as one in the Indy community.

*Yelp secured a venue, The Earth House, which has a fully stocked kitchen and Ed Stites hosts a "Pay What You Can" meal there so it's a well-suited venue!
*Yelp secured guests from The Wheeler Mission, which is literally next door to The Earth House, so volunteers will walk guests to & fro from the Mission.
*Yelp secured volunteers. Through One Brick and Yelp, volunteers were recruited and professional volunteer coordinators are helping in all aspects.

Leaving only the final detail: The Food. Yelp could very easily secure ample amounts of food for the event. From Butterball to Oceanspray to Idaho, the standards of a Thanksgiving dinner could be met. However, Jon’s goal as the Yelp Community Manager is to connect people with great local businesses. So, he contacted IWFM director Laura Henderson about the opportunity to serve all-Indiana, all-local food to the Thanksgiving dinner guests, specifically, if possible from The Indy Winter Farmers Market! , With a generous grant from Wishard Health Services, this is now possible! From local turkey to local greens, the farmers of the IWFM will be providing many of the ingredients for Yelpsgiving! We are honored to be part of making a true Slow Food Thanksgiving possible, providing “Good, Clean, Fair food” to folks who too often go unfeed or undernourished.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

From TreeHugger.com - There is More to the Local Movement than Just Food

There Is More To The Local Movement Than Just Food

View story source: TreeHugger.com
by Lloyd Alter, Toronto on 11.15.10
Culture & Celebrity

buy local image
Click image to enlarge; credit Local First

According to a study commissioned by Michigan's Local First, "when West Michigan consumers choose a locally owned business over a non-local alternative, $73 of every $100 spent stays in the community. By contrast, only $43 of every $100 spent at a non-locally owned business remains in the community." This year, a coalition of groups is promoting a holiday challenge to shop downtown and support local businesses.

buy local restaurant image
Civic Economics: Local Works

Michael Shuman, author of Going Local and the Small-Mart Revolution, has written:

Going local does not mean walling off the outside world. It means nurturing locally owned businesses which use local resources sustainably, employ local workers at decent wages and serve primarily local consumers. It means becoming more self-sufficient and less dependent on imports. Control moves from the boardrooms of distant corporations and back into the community where it belongs.

The study shows some pretty dramatic differences between the main street and the mall. In restaurants, they found that "local businesses spend a higher portion of their income locally than national chains and also purchased many more local goods than a typical Olive Garden or Landry's."

buy local image

The study concluded that in West Michigan alone, if just 10% of consumer spending was diverted from the mall to the main street, it would result in an estimated $140 million in new economic activity, 1,600 new jobs, and $50 million in new wages.

A coalition of groups in Michigan is encouraging individuals and organizations to do at least 75% of their shopping downtown, in support of local businesses. It is a good idea that should be tried everywhere, to help make our downtowns viable and vibrant again.

More at Think Local First, via Kayla Jonas, who is practising this in Hamilton, Ontario.

More on Local Shopping
Shop Local
NY Event: Get Local! East Village Shopping Guide Launch at Sustainable NYC
Shop Locally, Share Locally


Thursday, November 11, 2010

IWFM Season Three - Grow well. Eat well. Live well.

We are delighted last Saturday, November 13th, began the third season of the Indy Winter Farmers Market. It was a great success for our participating farmers and producers. We look forward to having you join us again in support of our family farms and local food artisans and producers.

Our primary goal is to provide a quality marketplace that connects farmers and producers directly with customers, and customers directly with farmers and producers. In that way, consumers become co-producers, directly supporting the local economy. As a co-producer, you are on a journey to understand where your food comes from, exactly what it is you are consuming, and the impact of how you choose to spend our food dollars.

In addition to a quality market, we seek to connect the IWFM community - that's you - with additional opportunities for learning about, exploring and understanding local food systems. We believe food is elemental to Health as well as to Pleasure. We also believe food is elemental in defining Place as well as the Spirit of a community.

This market was founded on the principles of Slow Food - Good, Clean, Fair food for everyone. We still have work to do to fully realize this ideal, but we actively working toward it. We invite you to be part of the movement each week as you shop the IWFM, read our e-newsletter, and connect to other events and activities in our community.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Say (local) Cheese! We want your photos please.

Dear Friends of the IWFM,

Interested in helping educate the Indianapolis community about sustainable
agriculture?
Passionate about photography?
The Indy Winter Farmers Market wants your photos!

Be a part of an interactive, educational project at the IWFM by sharing your photos of Indianapolis farms, garden, animals, and people. From bees to soil restoration to workers health, the project will educate market-goers about the importance of sustainable agriculture.

We will be working with the Center for Urban Education on Sustainable Agriculture to re-create the Sustainable Agriculture A-Z series for the IWFM. They've developed photomurals for their market, one for each letter of the alphabet-- from animals grazing to mulch to buffer zones to restoring watersheds.We will be re-using their text, which was developed for use by farmers markets nation wide, and combining it with YOUR lovely photos of our own local sustainable agriculture. You can visit the Sustainable Agriculture A-Z series and pick the letter(s) for which you have great photos to share. We will give photo credit on all photos used by including "photo by: Your Name."

Done effectively, this project will create a lasting educational piece for the Indianapolis food community, and will be an opportunity to create a lasting impact on market-goers.

Please contact photos@indywinterfarmersmarket.org to submit your photo or for more information.

Thank you!

Sincerely,
The IWFM

Monday, November 1, 2010

WRITING CONTEST To win a free THANKSGIVING DINNER!

Submit a Thanksgiving story to the Indiana Humanities Council and win a Thanksgiving Dinner, courtesy of Indiana’s Family of Farmers!
Thanksgiving brings an assortment of culturally significant foods that we pass down through generations. In many ways, the traditional Thanksgiving dinner symbolizes a unique shared food heritage, encompassing native crops and “New World” advantages. What does it symbolize for you and your family? How do you personalize the national tradition?

Read more...

Hoosier Environmental Council's 3rd Annual Greening the Statehouse Policy Forum.

Please check out the Hoosier Environmental Council's 3rd Annual Greening the Statehouse Policy Forum. For more info visit: http://bit.ly/ad5REv

Friday, October 29, 2010

Indy's Kitchen -Recipe for Success Workshop!

Indy's Kitchen is going to host a workshop for cooks and bakers who want solid, practical, how-to information that can help you jump-start and/or or grow your food business. Learn more here.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

[Pecha Kucha Indy] Have a great idea about food? We have $5k.

Friday November 12, 2010 8PM
@ the Athenaeum Buy Tickets http://pkindy11.eventbrite.com/

You like food.
You have an idea.
We have $5,000. Let's talk.

Email your idea to submissions@pkindy.org in the form of 500 words that are a description of your project highlighting your vision to benefit your community in Indiana using food, how the project will be executed, and the impact it will have. You have until Sunday October 24th 11:59pm.

Or instead you can watch on Friday November 12th. And decide. $10 gets you entry and a vote as to who wins. Maybe you should buy some tickets http://pkindy11.eventbrite.com.

(Thanks: Indiana Humanities Council, Central Indiana Community Foundation, Asthmatic Kitty Records, Big Car and Method Architecture.)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Write for the IWFM E-Newsletter or Blog

We want to hear from you!

This year we want to feature the experiences, thoughts and sage advise of the IWFM community in our e-newsletter and blog. We are looking for at least 22 essays on one of the following themes.

Email your essay (no more than one page please) to info@indywinterfarmersmarket.org by Monday November 15, 2010.

We'll let you know if your essay will be included in an e-newsletter or on the blog. You are welcome to email us something you wrote previously, or a link to a posting on a blog of your own.

Themes to write on: (Note - The questions are just ideas to get the writing wheels turning. Come up with your own ideas related to the themes as well.)

  • Spirit & Place - Food for Thought - Send us your Food for Thought. How does food, farming, sharing meals relate to Spirit and Place for you? What Spirit & Place Festival events do you plan to attend and why?
  • How to Feed a Family on Local Food - Whether you are a family of one or ten, what are challenges and successes of feeding your family on Local Food?
  • Earth-Friendly Shopping, Eating & Kitchen Tips - How do you minimize the plastic bags and packaging at the market? How do you adjust your diet and food dollars to be more earth-friendly? How do you store produce, breads, and fresh products to keep them fresh longer? Share tips with us and we'll share them with others.
  • Calling All Carnivores - What are your favorite unexpected meats? What are your top considerations in selecting the meat you eat? How do you believe meat fits into, or challenges a balanced agricultural ecosystem?
  • Cultivating Diverse Food Culture - What is your food culture? What does "Diverse Food Culture" mean to you? Does food culture play a role in defining the culture of a place or group of people? What have been your most memorable experiences of a food culture other than your own?
  • Opportunities in Food Entrepreneurship - Do you earn income from a food or farm related business? Do you have dreams of operating a food or farm related business? What are your wildest visions for new food and farm related businesses in Indy? How would it change the food culture of our city? Please share with us.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Help us spread the word about the IWFM new season and location!

Share the Indy Winter Farmers Market experience with your friends and colleagues! Help us spread the word by forwarding this announcement, or downloading our flyer to print and post.
Thank you!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Announcing our 2010-2011 Location!

We are very pleased to announce the 2010-2011 location for the Indy Winter Farmers Market. After months of detailed consideration of generously offer locations, we have selected the Maxwell at 530 E. Ohio Street as our new home for the upcoming season!

The Maxwell offers main-level retail space and four stories of contemporary apartments at the corner of Park and Ohio St. in the Cole Noble District, just south of Lockerbie. This location features:
  • ~6,000 sq. ft. floor space (we had about 4,800 last year), with an easy to navigate rectangular layout
  • Natural light with full store-front windows along the front south-facing side creating a welcoming feel with multiple doors for entry and exit when needed
  • A 30 space attached parking garage available for customer parking during the market (If you are easily capable of walking a block or less please leave this parking for those customers who need it more than you. Thank you!)
  • Multiple customer parking options in the immediate vicinity. We'll provide more details in November.
  • Synergy with neighboring and nearby businesses - the Earth House, Sunking Brewery, the Nature Conservancy, City Market and more!
  • Easy access to I-465, I-70 & I-65
  • Great proximity to downtown to attract city visitors to the IWFM as well.
We feel confident this location will be able to meet the varying needs of our vendors and customers. We were mindful of finding a space with more square footage to help with crowd density, and a physical location that is easily accessible to downtown residents and those traveling from outlying Indianapolis neighborhoods, towns and beyond. The Maxwell's relative proximity to notable downtown destinations such as Mass Ave, Monument Circle, City Market, the Central Library, Lucas Oil Stadium, Conseco Fieldhouse, White River State Park, Sunking Brewery, Easley Winery, the Earth House, Fountain Square, many unique neighborhoods, and more makes the location a great starting point for those traveling downtown who may want to spend a Saturday exploring downtown! Just blocks from the Cultural Trail, much of this exploration can be done on bicycle or foot. Check Indianapolis Downtown Inc and the Urban Times for great ideas and event listings.

We'll be announcing the 2010-2011 list of vendors in October.

Interested in being an IWFM volunteer this year? Email info@indywinterfarmersmarket.org or sign-up for our Volunteer Spot announcements here.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Why Sustainable Farming? A Call to Action...

Please read this post to learn more about one of the many reasons the IWFM works to connect you with farmers raising animals for meat using balanced and sustainable farming practices that nurture and nourish their animals, the environment and you.

Action Needed: Ohio wants to dump factory-farm manure in East Central Indiana


Due to the incredible damage sustained to Ohio’s Grand Lake St. Mary’s as a result of animal waste from factory farms, the state is looking to dump its manure issue on the shoulders of East Central Indiana – literally and figuratively.

We will point out that this is not waste coming from the kinds of farms you choose to buy meat from at the IWFM. These are farms raising animals in extreme confined density conditions. This style of farming is not a necessary fact in order to eat meat. It is a chosen form of farming for producing maximum yields of meat at the lowest possible price to the consumer. However, the costs to public and environmental health are great and rising. Such as the state of Ohio is now experiencing and looking to pass off to the state of Indiana.

The lake, Ohio’s largest inland body of water and one of its leading summertime attractions, is dying mainly due to high phosphorous and other nutrient levels as a result of manure run-off from the 15 or so animal factory farms in the lake’s watershed. The lake also serves as headwaters for two of Indiana’s major waterways: the St. Mary’s and Wabash rivers, which means further contaminated run-off into Indiana.

The Ohio departments of health, environmental management, natural resources and agriculture released a plan on July 30th that proposes hauling manure to Indiana for disposal. Reports indicate that the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) has assisted farmers wanting to transport manure outside of the watershed.


This is of great concern to the residents of Indiana, as the dumping of this manure from Ohio onto Indiana fields will inevitably lead to:
• Contamination and ecological destruction of Indiana lakes and reservoirs in the area,
• Potential (likely) contamination of drinking water in the polluted areas,
• Subsequent need for clean-up of effected watersheds and other related environmental problems,
• The cost of dealing with these problems falling to Indiana taxpayers.


Barbara Sha Cox of Indiana CAFO Watch was called on Saturday about the staging of manure in Henry County. She also received a call on Monday indicating that manure from Ohio was being spread on a field in Randolph County, with a truck dumping every 15 minutes. The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) spokesman Barry Sneed is quoted by the East Central Indiana Star Press as saying, “We have not had any discussions with Ohio EPA to date," Sneed said. "IDEM is keeping abreast of the situation, but there are no laws or rules that allow us to prevent their plans from being executed."

If you find this situation disturbing or unacceptable, we encourage you to contact your state, local and federal representatives (contact information below), urging them to take a stand and encourage the Indiana Department of Environmental Management to talk to EPA Region 5 (the corresponding federal regulatory agency) and come up with a better solution than making Indiana Ohio’s dumping ground.

If you are interested in learning more about this situation and costs to public health and the environment of high-density confined animal farming, please check out the resources below.

Contact Your State & Local Representatives

Indiana Department of Environmental Management
800-451-6027
b.pigott@idem.in.gov

EPA Region 5 Water Division
Tinka Hyde, Division Director
312-886-9296
hyde.tinka@epa.gov

Governor Mitch Daniels
317-232-4567
mdaniels@gov.in.gov (may not work),
Contact Form: www.in.gov

IN House of Representatives
800-382-9841
Hdistrict#@in.gov

IN Senate
800-382-9467
Sdistrict#@in.gov

Senator Lugar
202-224-4814
Indy Office 317-226-5555
Lane_Ralph@lugar.senate.gov

Senator Bayh
202-224-5623

Please contact your Federal Representative - For those in Rep Pence district, email your thoughts to ryan.jarmula@mail.house.gov.

Additional Articles

http://www.thestarpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=20108300315
http://www.journalgazette.com/article/20100829/EDIT10/308299957/0/FRONTPAGE
http://www.naturalnews.com/029517_poultry_arsenic.html
http://epa.ohio.gov/portals/47/citizen/GLSMactionplan.pdf
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-kirby/the-price-of-cheap-meat-a_b_635599.html

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Going Local Week Today Sept. 5 - Sept. 11, 2010

GOING LOCAL WEEK 2010
Starts Today!


GOING LOCAL Week 2010 will be celebrated in the Hoosier state starting this Sunday, September 5 through Saturday, September 11, 2010. It is a one week “challenge” to Indiana citizens to eat at least one Indiana locally grown or produced food at each meal during the seven day event.

“I encourage everyone to take part in GOING LOCAL WEEK,” said Lt. Governor Becky Skillman. “If you don’t already, visit a local farmers’ market this week and buy local grown produce and meats – or try Indiana Artisan special creations such as hot sauces, delicious baked goods or Indiana wines. I have traveled and enjoyed these different local foods all across our state. I am so proud of our Hoosier producers and the high-quality, delicious foods they offer each community.”

The objectives of GOING LOCAL Week are to:

· Create an appreciation for the abundance and diversity of the Indiana food shed.

· Make Indiana citizens more aware of the availability of local foods in their own communities.

· Provide support and recognition for Indiana local food producers.

· Increase Indiana residents’ consumption of locally grown/produced foods in a long-term effort to encourage them to regularly purchase more locally produced items for their weekly meals so that the consumption of Indiana locally grown and produced foods will become the norm, not a novelty at Hoosier dinner tables across the state.

“Here at the Department we are going to celebrate with field trip to the Original Farmers’ Market in Indianapolis on Wednesday and then enjoy an in-office potluck of locally grown foods on Friday,” said Indiana Agriculture Director Joe Kelsay. “I encourage everyone to join us in celebrating Indiana’s incredible local foods and destinations.”

GOING LOCAL Week was created in 2008 by Indiana local food blogger, Victoria Wesseler, who authors the GOING LOCAL site (www.goinglocal-info.com). She notes, “If half the families in Indiana shifted $6.25 of their current weekly food budget to the purchase of Indiana grown or produced local food this effort would provide an annual contribution of $300 million into the local Indiana economy. Is this impressive? Yes, but that's not the final number. Studies consistently show that a dollar spent locally will multiply itself by 3 to 5 times making the actual economic impact of that one dollar in the local community where it was spent far greater than a buck. Initially it may be impossible to believe but, with a subtle shift in our food spending habits, we can make a $900 million to $1.5 billion economic impact on Indiana in one year.”


Ideas to celebrate GOING LOCAL Week:

· Do some of your weekly shopping at local farmers’ markets, farm stands, and farm markets.

· Bring in fresh Indiana fruit for the staff instead of pastries during the week.

· Have an in-office potluck lunch where everyone brings in something they’ve made with a local ingredient.

· Go out to an after-work “happy hour” at a local winery or brewery.

· Dine out at a restaurant featuring locally produced food items.

· Visit an orchard or U-Pick and harvest your own produce.

· Ask your local market if they sell locally grown food. Find restaurants that do the same. Support these establishments.

· Participate in a CSA.

· Take a farm tour in your area.

· Research special foods that may be local to your area and seek them out.

· Take a cooking or food preservation class which features local foods.

· Encourage others to join you in this effort during GOING LOCAL Week. Host a pitch-in picnic or covered dish party and ask everyone to bring something made with local ingredients. Spend the evening talking about the food’s origins and learning about what’s available in your area.

· For more ideas about how to celebrate GOING LOCAL WEEK or information about Indiana local food and producers, visit the GOING LOCAL site at www.goinglocal-info.com.


Information about Indiana food and producers, listings of local food events and farm tours, as well as recipes featuring Indiana’s fresh, local, and in-season foods can be found on the GOING LOCAL site (www.goinglocal-info.com).

GOING LOCAL Week 2010 contact:

Victoria Wesseler

GOING LOCAL

victoria@goinglocal-info.com

www.goinglocal-info.com

Phone: 765-325-1000

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Sept. 17-19: Yoga to Benefit Kelly Funk of Seldom Seen Farm

A weekend of Yoga to Benefit Kelly Funk – September 17, 18 & 19, 2010

Three Indianapolis Yoga Studios are teaming up to support Kelly Funk of Seldom Seen Farm.

Kelly was struck by lightening on July 8th while working on the farm. She is making gradual progress toward recovery, and Kelly’s extended “farm family” has launched a number of efforts to ease the family’s financial burden during this difficult time. You can read more about Kelly’s recovery process at www.seldomseenfarm.com. All donations will go to the Kelly Funk Recovery Fund (www.kellyfunkrecoveryfund.com).

Everyone who knows Kelly knows her warm smile, strong will, and endless positive energy. We invite Indy’s yoga community to join a class - or all three - and send strength, grace and love back to Kelly and her family. If you are part of another studio that would like to participate, please contact Laura Henderson, laura@indywinterfarmersmarket.org.

Friday, Sept. 17th @ 5:45 p.m. – Invoke Studio – 970 Fort Wayne Ave. Suite C – www.invokestudio.com - 317.631.9642

This benefit Vinyasa class will be lead by Laura Henderson. Laura has been lucky enough to know Kelly and her husband John for a few years. Not only have they critical supporters of and participants in the Indy Winter Farmers Market, but they have been mentors and co-inspirers to Laura and her husband Tyler as they have begun their farming path.


All are welcome with a donation of any amount. Additional donations made out to The Kelly Funk Recovery Fund may be left in an envelope c/o Laura Henderson at any time.

Saturday, Sept. 18th @ 11:00 a.m. – The Yoga Center – 6245 N. College Ave – www.theyogacenterofindiana.com - 255-9642

This benefit Slow Flow class will be lead by Karen Fox. Kelly grew up in the Broad Ripple area. Seldom Seen Farm has now been an emblematic grower-vendor at the Broad Ripple Farmers Market for several years. Kelly’s parents and brother frequently help work the market. Since Kelly’s accident, friends and farm patrons have stepped in to help the family work the market.


All are welcome with a donation of any amount. Donations will be received at the studio all day on Saturday Sept. 18th.

Sunday, Sept. 19th @ 1 p.m. - CITYOGA– 2442 Central Ave. – www.cityoga.biz - 317.920.9642

This benefit Vinyasa class will be lead by Jocelin Romero. Jocelin has gotten to know and enjoy John and Kelly through the Trader’s Point Creamery Summer Farmers Market, where she works with her own family selling Raw Gourmet Delights. Her parents are loyal Seldom Seen CSA members.


All are welcome with a donation of any amount. Additional donations made out to The Kelly Funk Recovery Fund will be received at CITYOGA through Sept. 19th.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

DIG IN Promises to be a Feast for the Senses

Check out this article from Breen Fain for Win In Indy - The Indianapolis eNewsletter. To see the photos from the garden, link here. You can also visit the Indianapolis Facebook page and join the "Name that Veggie!" contest to win two free tickets to Dig IN. The photos are all fruits & veggies from the Slow Food Garden.

Dig IN Promises to be a Feast for the Senses
by Breena Fain

Agriculture.

In Indiana, we know the word well. From a historical sense, we're a leader in the field (pun intended). From an economical sense, our state depends on it to prosper. From a sociological sense, the bounty brings people together! But from my sense, it's what makes Indiana so unique. When repeating the word in my head, I couldn't help but concentrate more on the suffix - "culture." Indeed, the prefix "agri" is clearly important, but hear me out.

The (agri)culture of Indiana is more than just farm fresh foods in our markets and restaurants. It's about embracing what our great state has provided us. It's about appreciating what local farmers have provided us. And most importantly, it's about taking the time to just enjoy it all. In my opinion, Indiana natives know how to do this extremely well.

One way to show our gratitude is through engaging in the Slow Food Movement. From seeding to eating, this movement is all about taking the time to appreciate the growth of our harvests, cooking it with care and savoring every bite with others who vow to do the same. The folks from Growing Places Indy - a non-profit organization committed to the cultivating "culture" of food and urban agriculture in Indianapolis - are leaders in such a movement. They have a Slow Food Garden in the White River State Park filled with delicious vegetables that go straight to local markets and restaurants.

Getting hungry yet?

Well, to satisfy both your intellectual and literal appetite, the White River State Park will be hosting "Dig In: A Taste of Indiana" this Sunday, August 29, from 12-6 p.m. The event will feature educational discussion panels, cooking demonstrations, urban gardening exhibits and local chef Q&A sessions.

And, of course, it couldn't be a "Taste of Indiana" without delicious wine tastings, beer and food pairing classes and much more! And this is all included in the ticket price! In advance, tickets are only $15 for adults, $7 for children and those under 3 years old are free. This is a truly tasty event that is perfect for all ages - "A feast for the senses" indeed.

So celebrate all that Indiana agriculture has to offer and remember to take the time to enjoy it, bite by bite.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Join IWFM Founder and Vendors for the Invoke Detox Experience

August 27 | Friday 6p.m.-9 p.m. | The Invoke Detox Experience @ Invoke Studio, 970 Fort Wayne Ave Ste C

Cost: $45 pre-registration; $55 night-of (Pre-registration ends Tues. August 24th)

6 p.m.-7:30 p.m. - Detox Yoga class with Laura Henderson: Laura will lead a balanced and invigorating vinyasa flow class, integrating powerful core work, twists and cardiovascular challenge to deeply detoxify the body and mind while rejuvenating the spirit.

7:45p.m.-9 p.m. - Detox Social Hour: Enjoy fresh juice from Natural Born Juicers, Raw Food sampler platters from Audrey Barron - Be Bliss. (Produce provided by Growing Places Indy). Share the detox experience with other practitioners. Get tips on detoxifying your home and life from Special Guests Renee Sweany (Co-Founder Green Piece Indy) and Tracey Hiner (Founder Tracey Clean). You'll leave feeling part of a community for your continued journey of detoxifying body, home and life. Register online at www.invokestudio.com under "Events." Registration can be made by phone, 317-631-9642.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Is all meat created equal?

We would like to share today's Green Piece Indy tip with you. This is an important issue in Indiana, and one we believe we all should all be aware of, whether you eat meat or not.

Where's the Beef?

You sit down to lunch at a local restaurant, scan the menu, and notice a hamburger made with Indiana beef. Seems like the greenest choice, right? Maybe not. Before you say bring it on to that burger, keep in mind that "Made in Indiana" doesn't necessarily mean sustainable. Sure, it may have traveled a short distance from farm to fork, but did the farming process take a greater toll on our local environment?

Around Indiana, hundreds of Confined Animal Feeding Operations (a.k.a. CAFOs) and factory farms exist. These overcrowded feedlots, where animals gorge themselves on a grain-based diet before meeting their eventual end, often host more than 1,000 cattle, 2,500 hogs or sheep, or 100,000 fowl. Simply put, CAFOs and factory farms create significant air and water pollution. All that animal waste has to end up somewhere, right? And, if you've seen movies like Food Inc., you know that factory farms also pose serious health threats, including E.coli food poisoning.

In response, the Hoosier Environmental Council is hosting a factory farming webinar this Thursday, August 5 at noon or 6 p.m. If you're concerned about where your food comes from, this one's for you. If you can't participate, remember that purchasing meat and poultry raised by local, small-scale farms (like those you would find at your local farmers market) is always the greener way to go.

Of course, all of this begs the question, just how safe is our water? If you're a Marion County resident, round up a group friends, neighbors, or co-workers and contact Marilyn Hughes of the Marion County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), at 786-1776 or marilyn-hughes@iaswcd.org. The SWCD offers a free presentation that discusses water quality and conservation issues in the county and offers educational resources for those wishing to start their own projects.

Piece out,
Renee & Meghan

Monday, July 19, 2010

Thanks to all who came out for Growing Places Indy this weekend!

Many thanks to everyone who came out to our events this weekend to support Growing Places Indy, while stretching your bodies and minds to new lengths!

We had an intimate showing of FRESH the documentary at Perk-Up Cafe on Friday, followed by thoughtful conversation and some great questions. Congrats to Diane & Peter who won the Jack Johnson concert tickets that evening, and special thanks to our gracious hosts - Alice & Jeanette. We raised $85 in donations!

Sunday afternoon we had a small, but hard working group of volunteers show up in
the rain for our Slow Food Garden @WRSP work day. With Kelly Funk* on our hearts and in our minds, we took the KIB truck, tools and materials into the shelther of the parking garage and made great strides in the construction of our 2nd compost bin! Sara, Audrey and Samantha also gave a stellar presentation on composting to those in attendance.

(* Visit the Kelly Funk Recovery Fund site, and keep up to date with John's reports on her progress on the Seldom Seen Farm blog. Please keep sending the positive words, the encouraging energy, and the amazing outpouring of community love to Kelly, John, Laila, and all of their family.)

Sunday evening 30 yogis came out for the benefit class at Invoke Studio.
We shared a lovely evening of yoga, and raised $385 in donations!
Congrats to Dawn, Cary and Andrea who won the evening's Jack Johnson concert
ticket raffle.

All in all that's $470 that will be matched by the Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation, which means a total of $940 to continue our "growing" efforts. It is inspiring and humbling to be part of a community in which people are so willing to give of themselves, their time, money, energy and love, be it to help a friend in need or a fledgling organization grow. Thank you.

You can make a donation to Growing Places Indy and have it matched by Jack Johnson until we reach our $2500 goal by emailing Laura Henderson at urbanearthindy@gmail.com.

Thanks again to everyone for the tremendous support and encouragement!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

FRESH Screening at Perk Up Cafe this Friday to benefit Growing Places Indy

Screening of the movie "Fresh" this Friday, July 16 at 6 p.m. @ Perk Up Cafe, presented by Growing Places Indy.

Cost: Donation of your choosing to benefit Growing Places Indy - Cultivating the culture of food and urban agriculture in Indianapolis. All donations will be matched by Jack Johnson's charitable foundation, AllatOnce.org. Each donation of $5 will enter you for a chance to win two tickets to Jack Johnson's concert at Verizon Wireless Music Center on Friday, July 23rd. If you cannot make it to the movie but still wish to donate, please email Laura at urbanearthindy@gmail.com.

Please R.S.V.P. by Friday, July 16th 12 p.m. Tel. (317) 251-0033.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Support for Kelly, John and Laila

Kelly Funk, wife of John Ferree and co-owner of Seldom Seen Farms, a much loved vendor at IWFM and other Indianapolis markets, was struck by lightning on Thursday while working in the fields. She is in critical condition at Methodist hospital. It will be Monday before doctors know the extent of the damage. Please keep Kelly, John and their 1-year-old daughter Laila in your thoughts and prayers.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A Special Yoga Class to Benefit Growing Places Indy

A Special Yoga Class to Benefit
GROWING PLACES INDY
www.growingplaceindy.org

Laura Henderson @ Invoke Studio
Sunday, July 18 @ 6:15 – 7:30 p.m.
By-Donation

Enter to win TWO free tickets to the July 23rd Jack Johnson concert at Verizon
for EVERY $5 you donate!


Laura Henderson and her organization Growing Places Indy are teaming up with Jack Johnson on his 2010 To The Sea Tour and All At Once, a social action network connecting nonprofits with people who want to become active in their local and world community. YOU can join the effort and the fun by attending this special open level benefit yoga class. Every dollar donated will be matched by Jack Johnson!*

Invoke Studio · 970 Fort Wayne Avenue, Suite C · 317.631.9642 · www.invokestudio.com

Join Invoke Studio’s 200 hour teacher training this fall.
Instruct • Inspire • Invoke.

Growing Places Indy is a non profit committed to cultivating the culture of food and urban agriculture in Indianapolis by nurturing community empowerment through the sustainable development of urban farms, farm stands and markets, and food entrepreneurship.

*100% of Jack Johnson's 2008 tour profits were used to establish the Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation, an endowment founded by Jack and Kim Johnson to support environmental, art and music education now and into the future. As part of the 2010 world tour, the Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation will offer direct and matching donations to All At Once partner non-profits. Jack Johnson will once again donate 100% of his 2010 tour profits to charity.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Indiana Sustainable Living Fair

What: Indiana Sustainable Living Fair
When: Saturday, June 26 from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m.
Where: Marion County Fairgrounds, 7300 E. Troy Ave.

The event is a hodgepodge of environmentally-focused seminars, demonstrations, workshops, exhibits, and vendors. Get your fill of information on local chemical-free food, renewable energy, gardening, holistic veterinary practices, and the like.

You'll find a full schedule of speakers, workshops, demonstrations, vendors and partners on their web site, www.sustainableearth.net.