Johnson's Strawberry Farm Tour with the Blueberry Growers of IN

photos ©2017 Sarah Highlen

Thank you to the Blueberry Growers of Indiana for inviting us to join their group for a tour at Johnson's Farm Produce

The Johnson family has been growing food for the region for 75 years! How cool is that? It all started in 1940, when Ethel Johnson began selling extra tomatoes from her garden. Soon, Ethel, her husband Clark, and their son Rod saw the little business grow, and converted an old barn to use as a market. Unlike many farmstands, Johnson's still grows almost everything they sell — a true local food tradition in Northwest Indiana!  🍓  

You'll even find farm-to-table baked goods next door at Marilyn's Bakery, launched in 1986 by Marilyn (Johnson) Pearson. They prepare fresh food and baked goods daily, including strawberry whipped pies made with strawberries harvested fresh from Johnson's.

Thank you for joining our first round of Meet-Ups!

 
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Based on popular request from FED attendees, we kicked off a new series of meet-up events!

These meet-ups are an informal opportunity to relax, enjoy some local beer, and talk to others interested in eating local, supporting local food businesses and farms, and advocating for our local food systems. These events are family-friendly, with free admission, and all are welcome! Keep an eye on our event calendar for future dates and locations.

Coming soon to a spot near you!

The first two events took place in Hammond and Valparaiso in May, and we look forward to scheduling more meet-ups across the region this summer and fall. Want to plan a meet-up in your neighborhood? Let us know! 

 

 

Council Helps with Sunday Supper

We were pleased to facilitate the local ingredient sourcing for Sunday Supper with Farms, Forks & Foodies at Lubeznik Center for the Arts on Sunday! (And by "we", we mean our Anne — thank you, Anne!) This delicious and beautiful evening featured ingredients from Acorn Acres Farm, Garwood Orchards, Gunthorp Farms, L E Garden, Native Roots Farm, Steckler Grassfed, plus foraged mushrooms via CoThrive Timebank, all prepared by Chef Barry Smith and his team from Shoreline Brewery. After dinner, we were treated to discussion with David Hoppe (author of Food for Thought: An Indiana Harvest), Joe Vuskovich of Yats, and Greg Gunthorp of Gunthorp Farms.

We'd love to keep helping with farm-to-table events, as our schedule allows. If you need local food sourcing or you're a local farmer/food producer and we don't know each other yet, please get in touch!

Council Members Attend Indiana Healthy Food Access Policy Forum 2016

Last week NWI Food Council board members Dominique Edwards and Arleen Peterson traveled to Indy to attend the Indiana Healthy Food Access Policy Forum. They joined partners around the state in exploring a comprehensive approach to healthy food access. Topics included improving food environments; teaching nutrition education in schools; working with corner store owners to increase healthy offerings and helping customers make healthier choices; managing farmers' markets in communities that lack access to affordable produce; and encouraging grocery store development in underserved communities.

Council Team Pitches in at Gary Urban Farm

Last week, NWI Food Council board members and volunteers joined dozens of other volunteers in constructing hoop houses and garden beds at Gary's Faith Farms, next to Progressive Community Church.

The project was organized by the church along with Faith CDC. They brought in Will Allen, the grandfather of urban farming, and his organization, Growing Power, to lead the work. The hoop houses will allow year-round growing for their Faith Farms. Keep an eye on this area, friends. Amazing ideas are growing here!