Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Introducing Growing Places Indy

Growing Places Indy is committed to developing the “Culture” of agriculture and food in the urban setting of Indianapolis. We are working to cultivate models for urban gardening, to engage community in our local food systems, to nurture the growth of neighborhood farmers markets, to seed entrepreneurship related to local food systems, and to grow leaders in the local food community.

Our vision is for healthier communities, a sustainable future for urban and farm land ecology, a burgeoning local food economy, and a vibrant and diverse food culture in Indianapolis.

Our Initial Project:
The Growing Places Indy Slow Food Garden at White River State Park

To introduce Growing Places Indy and the concept of developing the Culture of food and urban agriculture in the city of Indianapolis, our initial project is the Growing Places Indy Slow Food Garden at White River State Park. This 6,000 sq. ft. garden, located at the intersection of Washington St. and Old National Road at the foot of the State Museum Lawn, offers the visiting public the opportunity to see, read about and get hands-on experience in a working urban vegetable farm.

What’s growing in the garden?

This initial garden location will be planted with: 1) heirloom , rare and endangered crop varieties that preserve agricultural and socio-cultural heritage, as well as crop biodiversity 2) specialty crops that are underrepresented in the marketplace to stimulate consumer demand and subsequently grower supply.

How will the food be used?

The produce grown this year will be sold at City Market Farmers Market and to downtown area restaurants. Additional produce will be donated to feed homeless children in Indianapolis through School on Wheels.

Who will work the garden?

In the first year, this vegetable farm will be managed by Laura Henderson and Matthew Jose, interns from Butler University, IUPUI and Herron High School. YOU can join as a volunteer on workdays or by appointment.

Visit http://www.kibi.org/volunteer_project_calendar to sign-up for scheduled workdays, or email urbanearthindy@gmail.com for other volunteer possibilities.

Why a working vegetable farm rather than an allotment based community garden?

Urban AgriCULTURAL development requires more urban gardens/farms, more consumer access to farmers markets and farm stands, more product to supply cafes, restaurants, grocers, hospitals, schools, and other food service operations. Our goal is to enable individuals to engage in Urban AgriCultural development as a consumer, a grower raising food in the city, a producer creating products and meals from the produce we grow, as well as a teacher or leader helping to do more of the above. The sale of produce enables us to develop a self-sustaining organization operating in service to the community in the development of Urban AgriCulture.

Our sincere gratitude:

We’d like to thank those who are providing the funding necessary to make the Growing Places Indy Slow Food Garden at White River State Park possible:

Indiana State Department of Agriculture
Efroymson Family Fund
Keep Indianapolis Beautiful
Central Indiana Community Foundation
Butler University, Center for Urban Ecology
IUPUI – the Solution Center
Indiana Humanities Council
Slow Food Indy

If you are interested in making a financial contribution, in-kind donation, or other contribution through official partnership to this project, please email Laura Henderson at urbanearthindy@gmail.com.

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