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!, 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 - There is More to the Local Movement than Just Food

There Is More To The Local Movement Than Just Food

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

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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.

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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
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 to submit your photo or for more information.

Thank you!


Monday, November 1, 2010


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?


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: