Tis the season for eating outside, farmers markets and gardening! Downtown Indy offers. Whether getting your hands dirty and volunteering or enjoying a meal at a local Downtown restaurant, to enjoying a meal at a Downtown favorite restaurant, there are many ways to get involved in Downtown Indy’s farm to table food culture. Summer is the best time of year to learn about and enjoy local foods and here’s a taste (literally!) of what Indy has to offer.
From fruits and vegetables to meats and cheese to baked goods, The Original Farmers’ Market will provide you with in-season, fresh foods by local growers every Wednesday from 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Bring a basket or re-usable bag and spend some time browsing the various tents during your lunch break.
Did you know Indiana is ranked 10th in the nation in agricultural production, yet still imports 90% of its food (study from the Indiana State Department of Health)? It would only take an additional $4.50 per week of purchases made directly from a Hoosier farmer to generate $1.5 billion in additional farm income for the state. This August, DigIN: A Taste of Indiana will aim to bring our state’s rich agricultural heritage into focus with a celebration of farm to fork experiences. Come hungry – there will be samples of food, wine and beer from Indy’s best chefs and restaurateurs!
Growing Places Indy is a non-profit with a mission to cultivate the culture of urban agriculture in Indianapolis. They farm four urban micro-farms around Downtown including the Chase Near Eastside Legacy Center, White River State Park and the Eskenazi Health Sky Farm. Get involved by volunteering with them or signing up for their Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program.
Don’t let summer go by without at least one visit to The Sky Farm – 5,000 square feet of available growing space with rows upon rows of kale, tomatoes, carrots, beets, turnips, fennels, greens, lettuces and more. It is open 24 hours, seven days a week to patients, staff and the community as a space to engage with food and learn how it grows. Bonus: there are great views of Downtown from The Sky Farm (look for the Indianapolis Zoo’s Orangutan Center and Lucas Oil Stadium).
Located in the historic Holy Rosary Neighborhood, Bluebeard offers American cuisines featuring the best local produce and meat from Indiana farmers. Their menu varies daily as it’s inspired by the freshest ingredients from local farmers such as Growing Places Indy, Butler University Farm and Smoking Goose Meatery. This year it was named one of Indianapolis Monthly’s 25 Best Restaurants.
Kate Franzman, urban farmer and beekeeper, is on a mission to save our bees one hive at a time. The bee population has been on an extreme decline for the past 10 years, and when we lose them we lose our fruits, vegetables, nuts and dare I say – our coffee! Bee Public is making Indianapolis a more bee-friendly city through responsible beekeeping practices and education. Think twice next time you go to swat that bee you are eating out on the patio!
Don’t be afraid to start gardening on your own. No green space? No problem! You can get little garden bed kits or use pots. You’d be surprised how much ‘organic and local’ food you can grow yourself with a little dedication, love and care!
Check out Downtown Indy’s full Farm to Table Guide here.
Post written by Emily Sickert, marketing and communications intern.