Thursday, January 21, 2010

IWFM Power of One Challenge

We are truly inspired by the positive energy, hopeful attitude and gratitude overwhelmingly presented by the IWFM community of shoppers and vendors each week. We believe this energy is benefiting our city and State well beyond the walls of the market hall, but sometimes it’s hard for any one of us as an individual to believe that our singular participation, choice, or contribution really makes much difference. Sometimes problems feel so big or overwhelming, that it’s hard to imagine the power of one person to make a difference.

And so we have decided to embark on an IWFM Power of One Challenge. Each week you will be invited (not expected or obligated) to put $1 or any spare change you have in the IWFM Power of One collection jar at the Market Information Table as you enter or leave the market.

A specific project will be selected by the IWFM staff and volunteers to receive those funds each week. Most weeks it will be related to our local food community, but some weeks it may not. You are welcome to submit recommendations to We hope to have an IWFM connection to share about each project supported through the IWFM Power of One Challenge. $1 on it’s own does not go very far, but 1,000 people giving $1…. Together we are empowered to accomplish more than we ever could alone.

This week, January 23, 2010, the IWFM Power of One funds will be donated to Edge Outreach - a Louisville, KY based non-profit humanitarian-aid organization. Edge sent a team to Haiti on Wednesday, Jan. 20th to set-up water purification stations to help address the acute shortage of safe water for drinking, sanitization and medical treatment in the wake of the earthquake. You can follow the team’s work at, and read more here. A reporter and photographer with the Louisville Courier Journal Newspaper accompanied the team and will be providing daily reports. The purification system being used was invented and is still being manufactured by a man in Southern Indiana.

The IWFM connection to Edge Outreach is one very near and dear to my heart. My father has been "working" for Edge since it was basically a three person office in the closet space of a printing press in Louisville, KY. For many years, his service to Edge - like that of everyone involved - was as a volunteer. Through the efforts of truly thousands of individuals making whatever donation they could of time, labor, skills and funding, the amazing work of this organization has spread to seventeen countries on three continents. I have never met a group of people who give more of themselves than the dedicated staff and volunteers of Edge Outreach, and I believe it is that gracious giving, without expectation of anything in return, that has led so many other people to give so generously to Edge when there is a need to be filled - and not just financially.

People give of their time, talents and resources in truly awe-inspiring ways, and that has been critical to the accomplishments of this organization. They do not simply go and "do good." Instead, they empower individuals through education, training, life-experience and relationships. They empower individuals to bring their skills, talents and connections to a project, and they empower some of the worlds most vulnerable people to control and maintain their own safe water source. It seems the folks at Edge never step back and say "We can't do that." or "Sorry, that's just too hard or too big for us to address." Instead, they assess and consider, what and who do they need to bring together to make it happen. Then they start to put the pieces together by reaching out to their every growing network of support.

To me, Edge Outreach exemplifies that there is truly no limit to what we - first as one and then as a community - can achieve when we believe in ourselves, open our awareness to a need, speak the truth of that need with passion and knowledge, embrace the response that is sure to come with genuine gratitude, and empower each other to learn, share and participate - one step, one goal, one achievement at a time. The work they do is amazing, but it's how they do it that changes lives.

On behalf of the staff and volunteers of the IWFM, we are excited to see what our collective ones and $1s can empower through the IWFM Power of One Challenge.

~ Laura Henderson, IWFM founder and co-manager.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Bloomington Eats Green: Discover and Celebrate Local Food

- Three weekend events

Friday, January 22 @ Woodburn Hall 100, IU Bloomington
6-7:30 p.m. – FREE and open to the public
Gary Nabhan: “Renewing America’s Food Traditions”
Nabhan, a native Hoosier who teachers at the University of Arizona, is a conservations and ethnobotanist, and has written more than a dozen books, including Coming Home to Eat and Renewing America’s Food Traditions.

Saturday, January 23 @Woodburn Hall 100, IU Bloomington
6-7:30 p.m. – FREE and open to the public
Joel Salatin: “Holy Cows and Hog Heaven”
Salatin, made famous by Michael Pollan’s best selling The Omnivore’s Dilemma, is an irreverent but passionate voice in the conversation about how we raise our food. He is leading a revolution among small family farms that are raising animals for meat.

Sunday, January 24 @ Indiana University Memorial Union Alumni Hall, 3-6 p.m. Tickets $20 @ Bloomingfoods, $25 @ door
Slow Food Bloomington presents: Hog Heaven
14 chefs, great pork cookery, local beer and wine (cash bar), homegrown good music, good times!

Indiana University Office of the Vice President for Faculty and Academic Affairs
Departments of Geography, Political Science, Anthropology, Business Communication
Slow Food Bloomington

The best web based information we have found for this event is the blog titled My Plate or Yours.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Tuesday Jan. 19th - IUPUI Event

Public Health Forum: Food Safety and Meat Production

January 19, 2010 - Reception 4:30 - Speakers 5 - 7 p.m.

IUPUI Campus Center Room 450 C

420 University Blvd, Indianapolis

Directions at

Tuesday evening’s panel discussion will focus on conversation of the use of antibiotics in industrial-style meat production.

Drug-resistant diseases cost our country billions. Many industrial livestock operations routinely feed low doses of antibiotics to chickens and other animals that aren't sick, which promotes the development of deadly antibiotic-resistant organisms. The MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) infection is resistant to most antibiotics and is linked in part to routine use of antibiotics as growth promoters in meat production. Come learn what we can do to reduce health care costs and protect our families and our communities at the same time.

Topics include:

Public Health Impacts of the Livestock Industry

Robert Martin, Pew Charitable Trust

Stephen J. Jay, MD, IU School of Medicine, Dept. of Public Health

Getting Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone out of Dairy Products

Rick North, Physicians for Social Responsibility

Campaign to Build a Better Meat Industry

William Kramer, Interfaith Coalition for Corporate Responsibility

Success Stories: Panel on Institutional Purchasing Options in Indiana

Sponsors include:

Hoosier Environmental Council

Indiana Public Health Association

Indiana CAFO Watch

IU Department of Public Health in the School of Medicine

Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility

In my opinion, if there is one change we need to make in how we raise, produce and consume food, it is to move away from the practices of industrial-style meat production (no matter the size of the farm). Industrial-style meat production can be directly or very shortly linked to some of the most horrifying food safety, public health, and environmental concerns our nation faces. E-coli outbreaks, antibiotic resistance, air, water and soil pollution, ecosystem destruction and loss of biodiversity in soil and water, severe illness in communities neighboring industrial livestock farms, and more.

Each of the meat and animal product farmers at the IWFM represent the alternative to industrial meat. Brown Family Farm, Circle L Bison, Farming for Life, Peachy Farm/Sunset Acres, Schacht Farm, Simpson’s Farm, Skillington Farm, Trader’s Point Creamery, Vogel Dairy and Wildflower Ridge Honey all raise their animals using methods that are humane to the animals and farm workers, as well as methods that work with the land and ecosystem in which they are farming to maintain the health and balance of nature. In addition to the obvious benefits provided the animals, farm workers, and environment, you as the eating consumer receive direct health benefits. You avoid second-hand antibiotic and hormone consumption, the meat is arguably more nutritionally significant because the animals have been eating a diet natural to their evolution, and the animals themselves are healthier which significantly diminishes the risk of dangerous bacterial contamination of the meat.

Our choice is not meat or no meat. Our choice is good, clean, fair meat raised by farmers on farms like those represented at the IWFM, not industrial-style meat raised in Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) or smaller factory farm equivalents. This is an important choice in Indiana, as we face an increasing number of CAFOs moving into the state and the problems they bring. You express your choice through the meat that you purchase, and we need to overcome hesitation in expressing this truth. If you are looking for more information, this event is a good start.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Yes we are OPEN & we have fresh greens!

If you have not signed up for our weekly e-newsletter, you might like to do so. We do our best to let you know each Friday which vendors will be at market the next day to help you plan your market shopping.

Don't let the snow and cold keep you burrowed in this Saturday. This week at the IWFM you will find four vendors - Good Life Farm, Stout's Melody Acres, Fields Family Farm and Diener Farm - with head lettuce, cut lettuce, spinach and other greens. Diener will even have tomatoes! Ask Darin and Deb of Good Life Farm about their hydroponic growing system, and Randy Stout, Sid and Vicki Fields, and Norman Diener about growing in green houses. There will lots of other vegetable options as well, from potatoes to squash, sprouts from KGAcres, and Fields of Agape will have black beans grown on their farm. Isn't it amazing what you can eat that has been grown right here in Indiana, even in the midst of this winter wonderland!

For those looking for the more indulgent foods as well, A Taste of Philly has joined the market with their melt-in-your-mouth soft pretzels. You can even choose to use IWFM vendor Local Folks Food mustard with your pretzel! For a sweeter delight, let the artisan marshmallows from 240 Sweet take you into a wondrous place of nostalgia with marshmallows unlike any you've ever tasted.

Nearly 50 vendors are planning to make it out through the cold and snow to be at the market this Saturday. Treat yourself to the pleasures of great local food, and let our growers and producers know just how grateful you are by coming out for your weekly shopping needs. The moment you step in to the warmth, sights, sounds and smells of the market, you'll feel transported from the depths of winter to a place of great food and great folks. We hope to see you there!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

From Yoga to Farmers Markets to the World

This post and the previous could seem fairly irrelevant to a farmers market blog at first thought. I think it is simply a matter of perspective.

I'm asked often how the IWFM got started and what motivated me to start it. Now of course, there is the long, multifaceted explanation, but the short and simple explanation is Yoga. After several years of practicing and teaching yoga, I experienced my first weekend workshop with a teacher named Seane Corn. At some point during that first weekend, Seane told us that the sooner we started thinking "Why not me?" rather than pointing blame at others and bemoaning the things we wished were different in our lives, the sooner we'd find our sense of greater purpose and thus happiness in life. It was basically another take on Ghandi's adage to "Be the change you wish to see" in the world.

So, I started doing things that I wanted to see in my life and my community. Among these attempts was the Indy Winter Farmers Market. Two years ago I could not have imagined doing something that would create for me a greater sense of purpose or genuine happiness than the community and energy that has developed with the IWFM.

Another lesson I have learned from yoga is to act without attachment to a particular outcome and to give without expectation of receiving back. I did not set out to run a market that would host nearly 50 vendors or serve over 1000 customers a week. I hoped to make it work for 7 weeks in November/December 2008. The experiences, relationships and opportunities for engagement that have come into my life through this market have given more than I could have ever hoped to receive.

This past summer I began teacher training in a program called Off the Mat and Into the World (OTM). OTM uses the power of yoga to inspire conscious, sustainable activism and to ignite grass roots social change. As more and more people become involved and engaged in the IWFM, I believe it is inspiring conscious, sustainable activism and igniting grass roots social change. Of course the same is true for many farmers markets, gardening projects, recycling centers, community groups and events, etc. You get the idea.

The point here is not that everyone decide to practice yoga, or start a farmers market, or plant a garden or whatever. The point is that we each consider what we can do to be the change we want to see in our life and our community/world, and that we try to do something - even if it's small or doesn't work out as we'd hoped. Activism and social change do not necessarily manifest as big, loud, in-your-face experiences. They can be quiet shifts of awareness and pleasurable experiences in which we recognize that somehow things are fitting together just right. Activism, social change and sustainability do require consciousness. We must actively engage in being aware of our choices, our actions, our words and how each impacts our individual and communal lives.

So, if these ideas interest you and you are looking for some motivation to jump start your steps toward where ever it is you are hoping to take your life and community - and a yoga-based exercise experience interests you - I invite you to join my New Year's Detox Bootcamp at Invoke Studio. The class will be held Fridays in January (8, 15, 22, 29) from 5:45-7 p.m. The cost is $20 to drop-in for a single session or $75 to pre-register for all 4 weeks. The class will be challenging, yet is designed to be achievable for anyone with basic vinyasa yoga experience. It is about a lot more than the physical experience though. Come and begin the process of detoxifying your body and life in order to more fully explore your purpose and potential.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

New Recycling Center on E. Michigan St.

This is not directly IWFM or local food related, but it is entirely relevant to the efforts of those looking to be more conscious in what we consume and how we dispose of those things we've consumed down the road. Additionally IWFM participant, Green Piece Indy has assisted center operator Workforce Inc. with rush hour recycling events. The two organizations joined forces in October to collect more than 25 tons of electronics.

A new recycling center, the Chancellor Keesling Recycling Center, has recently opened on the near eastside. Located at the old RCA plant on East Michigan Street, the center is open Monday through Friday from 8-4:30, and Saturday from 9-3. The center will take just about everything - electronics, paper, cardboard, aluminum and steel cans, glass, and allplastics 1 - 7. Just think how convenient it could be to drop your recycling off before or after visiting the IWFM.

The Chancellor Keesling Recycling Center is a non-profit effort that is not just diverting materials from the landfill, but also helping with ex-offender re-entry by providing much needed training and jobs. The center is operated by Workforce, Inc., a program that helps ex-offenders transition back into society with job training and employment. Those employees wanted to name the center after the late son of Workforce, Inc. CEO Gregg Keesling. Army Specialist Chancellor A. Keesling died in Iraq this past June.