Friday, February 27, 2009

Cider, Cannolis & WTHR at Market 2/28

WTHR's Tim "Tree Boy" Bush visiting the market on Saturday 2/28
Help spread the word about the market! Tell your friends, family, neighbors and colleagues to watch the Sunrise show on WTHR (Channel 13) this Saturday, or better yet, be there at the market! Four live spots will be broadcast from the market - 8:15, 8:45, 9:15 & 9:45 a.m. - this Saturday, February 28th. We are excited about our first live broadcast from the market!

New this Week:

Lucia's - Products made from family recipes representing three generations of Italian heritage, descending from Italian-born grandparents who farmed, marketed and sold in restaurants and bakeries in Italy. This week - cannolis!

Musgrave Orchard - Fresh pressed cider from Indiana apples!

Have you taken the Market Customer Survey Yet?
Thank you to all who have taken time to complete the IWFM customer survey. If you have not yet done it, please take a few minutes to respond. In an effort to continually improve the market, and to prepare for next year's market, it will greatly help us know a bit more about who our customers are, and how we can better serve you through the market. We are also looking for a new market location for November 2009, so we need to know where you are coming from, and where you are willing to go to attend the market! All responses are anonymous. We greatly appreciate your help with this and ask that you complete the survey as soon as possible and no later than *March 31, 2009*. You can complete the survey by following this link: IWFM Customer Survey. Thank You!

Hope to see you at market!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Indiana Local Food Stimulus Package

The following post is shared directly from Victoria Wesseler's Going Local Web Site.
The Indianapolis Winter Farmers Market encourage each of you to support this effort with your purchasing power to buy local, and we are delighted to be able to help you eat fresh and straight from the growers and producers through the winter months.

February 25, 2009

Improve the Economy with My Indiana Local Food Stimulus Package

If you didn't attend the recent February 21 educational event hosted by The Food and Growers Association of Laughery Valley and Environs, you missed a great program. After spending the day with the folks in the Batesville area, I left with a whole new level of appreciation for the incredible efforts that they are making to enhance their local food system.

At that meeting, I had the opportunity to share some thoughts with the participants about the importance of reconnecting with our local Indiana food system. Once again I made an impassioned plea for what I am now calling my Indiana Local Food Stimulus Package noting that 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 that this effort would provide an annual contribution of 300 million dollars into the local Indiana economy. 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. (Click here for an article that I recently wrote about that subject: Download As the Dollar Turns Wesseler )

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. No government handouts, no Senate sub-committee hearings, no bailouts, no loans. Just real people buying real food getting real results.

In these trying times, many of us feel powerless to do anything to improve the economic situation in which we find ourselves. This is something we all can do. When do we start? How about now? Let's get this ball rolling, please send this post to everyone you know.

The Indianapolis Winter Farmers Market hopes you will share this post with everyone you know, just as we have shared it with you. Thank you to Victoria Wesseler for her research and dedication in presenting this plan!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Market Customer Survey & 2/21 Vendor Update

We would like to thank Mayor Ballard for visiting the Indy Winter Farmer's Market last Saturday! We hope that he and Winnie will come back for more Indiana food goodness in the near future.

UPDATE - Black Bird Pies and Sumac Grove Farm will be at market this week! Contrary to what we stated in the e-newsletter, both producers have decided to attend this week as well. We are delighted to have Sumac Grove Farm back with their all natural Icelandic sheep's wool and yarn for one more week before the baby arrives!

Black Bird Pies will be bringing the following Mardi Gras inspired pie-ettes:
French Quarter Fudge
Fat Tuesday Peanut Butter Cream
Crazy Carrot Coconut Confetti

Indy Winter Farmers Market Customer Survey

We need to hear from you, please! In an effort to continually improve the market, and to prepare for next year's market, we ask that you take some time (it will take less than 5 minutes) to complete our customer survey. This will help us know a bit more about who our customers are, and how we can better serve you through the market. All responses are anonymous. We greatly appreciate your help with this and ask that you complete the survey as soon as possible and no later than March 31, 2009. You can complete the survey by following this link .

Saturday - February 21, 2009 - Food, Farm and Energy Conference
Indiana State Fairgrounds (in the Farm Bureau Building). An exciting educational event for food consumers, small farmers, gardeners and energy users who want a more sustainable lifestyle. Find out more here:

Monday, February 16, 2009

IWFM E-Newsletter Sign-Up

Remember you can sign up to receive the IWFM weekly e-newsletter at this link: Subscribe IWFM.

Thank you!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Updates - Mayor's Visit, Corn Syrup Awareness & More

A quick note that I was notified this evening that the time of Mayor's visit has been changed to 10 a.m. He will explore the market for about 45 minutes. So, if you were hoping to be there to see the Mayor, you'll need to come an hour earlier than originally announced.

Corn Syrup Awareness Week Two

We are now two weeks from the initial challenge to become more aware of how much corn syrup you consume, and how completely you can/choose to avoid it. IWFM vendors Leanne and Jeananne, makers of the delightful artisan Black Bird Pies, wanted to share some tips for tastier, more natural alternatives to corn syrup for pies and baking. I'm delighted to pass their tips on to you.

As pie makers, we often come across recipes that sound delicious but they contain corn syrup or karo syrup. Here are a few alternatives:

brown rice syrup
maple syrup
barley malt syrup

We have used maple syrup as a 1to1 direct substitute for corn syrup. The others have a stronger flavor so you may want to mix them such as:

1 cup corn syrup=3/4 brown rice & 1/4 molasses or barley malt

Experiment - not only is it better for you, it tastes better.

How about Popcorn balls made with maple syrup?

~ Leanne & Jeananne - BlackBird Pies

Be our Market Valentine

We have some great Market Valentine goodies to give away from market vendors, local restaurants, and local shops. Throughout the day on Saturday, we will be giving away gift certificates and gifts for you to enjoy as Our Market Valentine, or to give-forward to your favorite Valentine. All you have to do is make it to the market to pick up your weekly local food needs, and you might find yourself the recipient of a Market Valentine!

New Web Site of Resources for Living Green and Going Local

Check it out! This brand new, just went live this week web site is the creation of IWFM frequent shopper Sarah Wiehe. The Indy Tilth site offers an amazing collection of information and resources: upcoming events, a page of "how to" resources, a page of local resources, additional links of interest, and more. Great work Sarah! I believe I can speak on behalf of the IWFM community in offering Sarah a huge "Thank you!" for all the time, energy and dedication she put into creating this wonderful community resource. There is also the opportunity for you to add relevant events and other resources to the lists. Find out how at!

Mayor Ballard to be a Market Valentine!

Mayor Greg Ballard will be making his first visit to the Indy Winter Farmer's Market this Saturday, February 14th, at 11 a.m. We are delighted he is coming out to see our exciting market community in action, and hopeful that his first visit will be just that, the First. Please be sure to tell him how much you value the local food community and supporting local in all areas.

This city has a lot of great talent, great ideas, and people with great energy to make Indianapolis an ever better place to live. We need to preserve the resources, activities, organizations and people we have who offer the quality of life we desire. We must ensure of local government recognizes those local factors that contribute to our quality of life, and provide the resources they can to support them.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Conversations about Eating Local

This week has been full of conversations about eating local, and what that means on a range of levels. On Monday evening over 100 people turned out for the first Urban Farm Forum, held at the Keep Indianapolis Beautiful headquarters in Fountain Square. Frankly, I was amazed at the turn out, and energized by being a room full of people who seemed ready to learn, share and take action. Within the group I recognized folks who are small family farmers, urban growers, food distributors (through CSAs or food delivery programs), members of the food coop venture, regular farmers market attendees, value-added product producers, and those who are interested in being or supporting one of the above. I look forward to future opportunities for these individuals and represented organizations to converse and share what they are doing, resources they have and resources they need. I hope the IWFM can serve as a partner and resource in bringing relevant events, speakers, and workshops to enable collaboration, motivation and further action that will continue to increase awareness and engagement in the movement for - as Slow Food USA says it so well - "Good, Clean, Fair food for everyone."

Feel free to let us know what you'd like know more about, and we'll do what we can to help bring that information to you.

I had another great conversation about eating local this week with one of our vendors. This conversation was prompted by the Corn Syrup Awareness Challenge. As it turns out, the IWFM is not free of corn syrup as I had assumed it would be. I neglected to inform this particular vendor that I would be writing about this on the blog, and so for now they shall go unnamed. This vendor's product labeling indicated corn syrup, and several other additives and preservatives were present on one product, and some of our patrons noticed, and brought it to my attention with concern. So, I called to find out why this was the case. I will admit I had a little trepidation about bringing this matter up to a very well respected and well reputed Indiana producer. However, we had what I felt was a very respectful, open, straightforward and constructive conversation. It was explained to me that those ingredients come from adding a particular sausage product and ketchup used as ingredients. I was assured that in the three cook operation, no additional such unsavory items as corn syrup or malodextrin are added. Additionally, I had the opportunity to learn that the preparation kitchen has been through the arduous process of USDA certification, and therefore they can only buy ingredients from other producers using FDA inspected production facilities. Thus far, this has meant they have not found a local producer of the particular sausage product ingredient or ketchup. And so, corn syrup, etc. appear on the product label. We agreed to work together to look for alternative, local sources of the sausage product and ketchup that are producing free of corn syrup and other manufactured sweeteners and preservatives. All in all, I learned a lot, and understand the situation, and I believe strongly that the intent of this vendor is completely aligned with the intentions of this farmers market. I also believe that we need not fear these types of conversations. If we enter them with respect and a desire to learn and understand, not blame or assume, we only stand to gain and further our combined efforts to bring "Good, Clean, Fair food for everyone." Are you catching on to the theme?

Feel free to ask me more about this at market any Saturday, and don't be afraid to ask questions and express concerns. As we ask, we learn and we grow.

Thanks for reading,