Monday, March 30, 2015

Recipe of the Week: Lemony Collar Greens Pasta (via Cookie and Kate)

The weather is warming up and sun is shining. Sooner than we know it, farmers markets will be filled with colorful, juicy, delicious produce. But for now, we must be patient and sustain our farm fresh cravings with greens. Collard greens are low in calorie and high in fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin K. Here is a wonderful recipe from the Cookie and Kate blog that deliciously features collard greens. 

Lemony collard greens pasta

  • 8 ounces fresh collard greens (about 10 big leaves)
  • ⅓ or more of a package of whole wheat thin spaghetti or “spaghettini”
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • olive oil (the good stuff)
  • 2 small cloves garlic, pressed
  • big pinch red pepper flakes
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 ounce Parmesan cheese
  • ½ or more of a lemon, cut into wedges
  1. Bring a big pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to directions. Drain quickly, reserving a bit of cooking water, and set aside.
  2. Cut out the center rib of each collard green. Stack a few greens at a time and roll them up into a cigar-like shape. Slice across the roll as thinly as possible (1/8″ to ¼″). Shake up the greens and give them a few chops so the strands aren’t so long.
  3. Heat a heavy-bottomed 12″ skillet over medium heat and toast the pine nuts until they start to turn golden and fragrant. Pour them out of the skillet and save for later.
  4. Return the skillet to medium heat and pour in a tablespoon of olive oil. Sprinkle in a big pinch of red pepper flakes and the garlic and stir. Once the oil is hot enough to shimmer, toss in all of your collard greens. Sprinkle the greens with salt. Stirring often (try not to let them clump), sauté the greens for about three minutes.
  5. Remove the pan from heat. Scoop the greens into the pasta pot and toss with another drizzle of olive oil, adding pasta water if necessary. Divide onto plates, top with pine nuts and Parmesan shavings and serve with two big lemon wedges per person.
  • Serves two.
  • Watch this video tutorial for a quick overview of the cooking method.
  • Although I haven't tried it, I think walnuts would make a fine substitute for the pine nuts.
  • Vegans, you can totally skip the cheese. It's still great without it.
  • Use a cheese plane to create Parmesan shavings. I'm over grated Parmesan; shavings are the way to go!
  • Peach Crest collard greens, Bionaturae spaghettini, Canaan olive oil and pine nuts kindly provided by Native Roots Market.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

3/28/15 IWFM Vendors

This weekend at the Indy Winter Farmers Market we have a special Kids Activity planned! From 10am-noon, children of all ages are invited to craft with eggs. With a suggested donation of just $1-3/child, our Market Minis can plant seedlings in eggshells to take home and dye and decorate eggs. This is sure to make IWFM enjoyable for all! Drop your kiddos off at the front activity table while you shop. It's a win-win for everyone. See you Saturday!

Recipe of the Week: Market Vegetable Fried Rice (via A Couple Cooks)

At the Indy Winter Farmers Market, we are lucky to be able to call the dynamic duo behind local food blog A Couple Cooks our friends. Sonja and Alex create beautiful and delicious recipes featuring fresh, whole foods. They frequently pick up their ingredients at the Indy Winter Farmers Market. Here is a recipe they have created for Market Vegetable Fried Rice. Make sure you check out their blog for more recipes, beautiful pictures and fun!

Market Vegetable Fried Rice
Serves: 3 to 4
What You Need
  • ½ yellow onion
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 3 carrots
  • 2 turnips
  • ¼ small cabbage
  • 4 small bok choy heads
  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • 4 cups cooked brown rice, at least one day old
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Black pepper
What To Do
  1. Dice the onion, and mince the garlic. Peel the carrots and turnips, then dice them. Shred the cabbage. Chop off the bottoms of the bok choy, then thinly slice (chiffonade) the leaves.
  2. In a large skillet or wok, heat 2 tablespoons sesame oil. Saute the carrots, onion, and turnips 2 minutes. Add the bok choy and cabbage and saute for 2 minutes. Add the 2 eggs and scramble them in for 1 minute. Add the garlic, ½ cup peas, 4 cups rice, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, ½ to 1 tablespoon additional sesame oil, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and fresh ground pepper. Heat, stirring, until all rice is coated. Serve hot.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

3/21/15 IWFM Vendors

Come join us and 40 vendors on Saturday at the Indy Winter Farmers Market. Do some grocery shopping for local, sustainable products all while celebrating the emergence of SPRING with friendly Market faces! Stick around and center yourself at this weekend's IWFM + Yoga Series, which starts at 10:30am at the Indy Bike Hub YMCA. This by-donation class will be taught by Lesli Butler and is appropriate for all levels of yogis. Through our sponsorship with Invoke Studio, 100% of donations made from our yoga series go directly to the IWFM Eat Well Initiative. The EWI, along with the state's Fresh Bucks Program, enable SNAP (aka food stamp) benefit users to double their purchasing power, dollar-for-dollar, on Market products. We are proud to be a farmers market that creates fair food access to all of our Indianapolis community. For more information on the EWI, visit our website.

Here is the complete list of vendors that will be at IWFM 3/21:

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Recipe of the Week: Spring Salads (via A Couple Cooks)

Temperatures are warming, the sun is keeping the evening lighter for longer, and bulbs are peaking their tops out of the soil. It's spring! Here are few spring-inspired side dish recipes from local food bloggers, A Couple Cooks: Radish and Pea Salad with Lemon Oregano Vinaigrette and Grilled Carrots with Lime and Cilantro. If either of these recipes intrigue you, head on over to the Indy Winter Farmers Market on Saturday to pick up the necessary lettuce, radishes, fresh oregano, olive oil, carrots and cilantro. See you Saturday!

Radish and Pea Salad with Lemon Oregano Vinaigrette
Serves: 4
What You Need
  • 1 head lettuce
  • 1 bunch radishes
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen peas
  • 1 lemon (zest and juice)
  • 1 handful fresh oregano
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
What To Do
  1. Wash and dry the lettuce; chop it into bite-sized pieces. Thinly slice the radishes. Zest the lemon.
  2. If the peas are frozen, thaw them in some warm water. If the peas are fresh, boil some water, add the peas and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes, until tender and bright green, then remove them and rinse with cold water.
  3. Chop the fresh oregano. In a canning jar, add the oregano, 4 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, and a generous amount of fresh ground black pepper. Shake vigorously to combine. (Alternatively, whisk these ingredients together in a bowl.)
  4. To serve, place the lettuce leaves in serving bowls or plates. Top with sliced radishes, peas, crumbled feta cheese, and lemon zest. Drizzle with vinaigrette and top with fresh ground pepper.

Grilled Carrots with Lime and Cilantro
Serves: 4
What You Need
  • 1 pound small carrots (or large carrots cut in half lengthwise)
  • 1 lime
  • 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro (chopped)
  • A few pinches of cumin
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
What To Do
  1. Preheat a grill to medium heat. (or, toss the carrots with olive oil and a bit of salt and pepper, and roast at 400°F for 20 minutes.)
  2. Wash the carrots and toss them with a bit of olive oil in a bowl. Place the carrots on the grill and cook until the carrots turn paler in color and a bit wrinkled; flip over and cook the same amount (around 8 minutes total for small carrots; the timing will depend on the thickness of the carrots). When fully cooked, the carrots can be easily pierced with a fork.
  3. Roughly chop the cilantro.
  4. When the carrots are done, place them in a bowl and toss them with juice from 1 lime, a few pinches kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, cilantro, and a few pinches of cumin.

Transformation at the Chase Near Eastside Legacy Center

Transformed: Where there was only soil, now there is an engaged space - and engaged people

Transformed. If given one word to describe what has taken place over the past year in front of the Chase Near Eastside Legacy Center (CNELC), a facility of the John H. Boner Community Center, transformed is the word I choose.

It’s easy to see how the word applies to the physical space. What was an open field of rocky compact soil left from the building of the CNELC, is now a vibrant, living, interactive and engaged place with over 10,000 square feet of raised earth growing produce, two re-purposed shipping containers serving for storage and community education space, as well as two covered decks for sheltered outdoor activities. It is nothing short of an urban agriculture center in and of itself. The transformations don’t end with the place though.

Transformed. Kate Franzman! Kate came to Growing Places Indy as a summer apprentice in 2013. She wanted to leave her professional career in advertising, and get back to the land. Kate was different from most apprentices in that her goal was to farm. We have come to learn that when Kate sets her mind to something, she achieves. When Growing Places Indy received a Specialty Crop Block Grant from the Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) to create this additional urban farm site at the CNELC, we knew Kate was up to the challenge. With barely 6 months training under her belt, Kate fearlessly and fiercely dove into the role of stewarding this site from barren to blossoming. Kate ran the summer farm stand and delighted in welcoming the individuals and families who came for “u-pick” hours. If you walk around the backside of the CNELC today, you’ll see an additional 10,000 square feet wasn’t enough. She’s building out more growing space there for flowers and more vegetables!
The completed outdoor education space by the UPick Site.
Transformed. Students, parents, coaches, friends, fans all pass by this space, as it is located adjacent to the Arsenal Tech High School football stadium. Now they see food growing and people working, learning and purchasing fresh produce. It normalizes gardens and urban farms as part of the urban landscape and invites them to participate as they feel comfortable and curious.

Transformed. Last summer over a dozen families participated in 4-week class series in which they learned to cook fresh veggies and herbs, garden, and do simple yoga stretches and breathing exercises. This summer nearly 20 families will grow together, learning and exploring in the outdoor education space through the Growing Places Indy Family Class Series.
Families got to spend quality time together learning to cook with fresh garden produce and practicing yoga.
Transformed. One day a member of the CNELC stopped on his way out to say, “I’ve been watching you.” He went on to explain how he’d been watching the process we’d used of spreading woodchips 18 inches deep across the whole area, and then building garden beds by layering chopped leaves and compost soil. He went home and applied the same method, and was delighted to share how well his tomato plants were now growing.

Transformed. From June through September, the new growing space made produce available to Near Eastside neighbors through an on-site farm stand on Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings. In addition, customers had the option to “u-pick” available veggies during farm stand hours. This was especially popular with children, such as one little girl who came each week with her mother and delighted in eating the veggies she picked right there and then – even raw eggplant! Also delighted were the individuals who came for our Thursday afternoon by-donation yoga and Ayurveda classes at CNELC. They could double the positive impact of a one-stop trip by combining the class with the farm stand offerings!
Two-year-old Olive enjoys an eggplant fresh off the vine.
Transformed. It is not easy task to spread over 10,000 sq ft with woodchips 18 inches deep, nor to build-out layers of garden beds one wheelbarrow at a time. This project relied on the help of many volunteers who came out and helped wheelbarrow what seemed like endless piles of woodchips and leaves and compost soil into a living urban farm. Some individuals came nearly every week – in the cold, the heat, the sun and the rain - tirelessly contributing to what felt at times like a task that would never be completed. We were transformed by their commitment and their smiles.
Our volunteers hard at work distributing wood chips.
Our vision didn’t end with the transformation of the land. We imagined an outdoor education space for gathering community, a sheltered farm stand, and the addition of so much more growing space necessitated additional storage space, a large walk-in cooler for harvested produce, and a more robust harvest and hydro-cooling station. The John H. Boner Community Center was fully on-board with the vision, and partnered to help us secure funding for the education space through a Lilly Endowment grant. Additional grants from the Indy Food Fund, Subaru of Indiana and Scripps-Howard provided the funding necessary for the additional farm infrastructure. In total, together with the initial farm expansion grant from the ISDA, the project was made possible by $65,200 in grant funding.

Transformed. Architectural design classes must design buildings and structures that exemplify theories on giving form that transforms spaces into places. Many do not get the opportunity to apply their theoretical designs to real projects and built structures. Three classes of Ball State architecture students worked together to imagine, design and then actually figure out how to transform their theoretical renderings into functional form. We are amazed at the results of their creativity and innovation, and they received a deeper learning experience from working with a real client to implement from design to construction.
One of the first renderings created by the talented Ball State design classes.
Transformed. Two used and slightly damaged shipping containers were donated by Pac-Van for the project, providing a structure to work from in building to our vision. Other donated and re-purposed items were given new life through this project, including former RCA Dome material purchased from People for Urban Progress and transformed by Ball State students into an eye-catching dome cover over the deck of the education space. AAA-Roofing in Cottage Home donated sheets of metal, which contribute to a rainwater catchment system by Circle City Rain Barrels. Tom Battista donated old school chalkboards that Ball State students gave new life as tables and message boards in the education space. Larry Jones donated a three-basin sink for the harvest and hydro-cooling station.
The covering of this structure was made from RCA Dome material.
Transformed. As with every grant-based project I’ve ever worked on with a non-profit, the grant funds never quite match the ideal budget. Just as material donations help to transform shortfall to abundance, so to do community relationships and creativity. For many months, Indianapolis tree companies delivered truckload after truckload of woodchips, used as the base for the growing space. When we got to the infrastructure projects, other relationships helped make ends meet. Walk-in coolers require insulated walls, which had to be built inside the shipping container. The education space needed a durable slip-safe floor for potentially muddy and wet feet traipsing in and out. A visit to Sun King Brewing Co. unexpectedly brought solutions to both, and the walk-in cooler now has the same walls as Sun King’s own beer coolers in the Cole-Noble production facility and the education space has the same durable non-slip flooring!

And as is the case in any transformation process, there are a number of other contributors, influencers, and activators involved in the process. This project has truly been a community effort, made manifest by cumulative efforts and contributions of many. In addition to those who have been mentioned above, RATIO Architects, Inc. - specifically Dustin Eggink - was critical, donating time, expertise, and assistance with the permitting process to keep the project in compliance. Dustin also introduced us to the two phenomenal Ball State professors who took on this project with their classes: Lucas Brown and Tim Gray. Lucas and Tim, together with their band of future architects, dedicated great amounts of time, sweat, and brainpower to this project. The team came up with thoughtful designs and clever uses of materials that will benefit the farmers who work on-site regularly, other visitors and those using the education space, as well as providing inspiration for other urban farmers and garden educators.

Transformed. For Growing Places Indy, this project has already and will continue to transform our potential to provide more fresh produce, more educational programs and more community gatherings. Through this project we have created jobs for a new farmer, for small local businesses that helped with fabrication, for contractors who helped on the nuts and bolts of construction. We have connected with community members in new ways, welcomed new volunteers, and sparked many to imagine new possibilities and new potential to “Grow well, Eat well, Live well, Be well” relevant to their own spheres of influence.

In 2015 the Summer Farm Stand will be open on Thursday evenings from 4-7 p.m. beginning June 18 and continuing weekly through September 24th. Customers can shop from what is already harvested, or “u-pick” selected items each week during farm stand hours. Harvest tools and instruction on how to harvest each crop are provided by GPI staff and volunteers. SNAP benefits are accepted and matched through the Fresh Bucks program. By-donation yoga and Ayurveda classes will be offered again this summer on Thursdays from 4-5 p.m. beginning June 18th and continuing through August 13th.  When the weather is nice, classes will be held outside on the covered deck of the education space.

Watch the Growing Places Indy Calendar and Chase Near Eastside Legacy Center Class Schedule for volunteer, educational and community gathering opportunities at the site in 2015.

Laura Henderson is executive director of Growing Places Indy.