Exploring local and ethically-sourced food with Heartland Communities
Oct25

Exploring local and ethically-sourced food with Heartland Communities

Local food and green collar industries have seen renewed interest in recent years. Living Fort Wayne recently caught up with Heartland Communities’ Jain Young and Rowan Greene to discuss the mission of Heartland Communities and their vision for the future. LFW – How does Heartland Communities plan to help facilitate the emergence of “green collar industries”? Heartland Communities – We hear about a “triple bottom line” these days – people – planet – profit or the 3 p’s of sustainability. At Heartland Communities, we have held those values as our mission since before the phrase was coined and we called it economic, environmental and cultural sustainability. As a community economic development organization, we are focused on creating opportunities to put those values into action in business, jobs, and entrepreneurship. To take it a step further, Heartland is organized to help create cooperative and worker-owned enterprises. Heartland’s current focus is bringing green infrastructure to the food industry with Plowshares Local Food System Project, which began in 2014 with a USDA grant through the Local Food Promotion Program for research and planning. Plowshares works with intention and organizing to re-establish local food system infrastructure, which changed over the last 50+ years from local to global. Now, four years into the project, we are launching a local food distribution business called Plowshares Food Hub. It will create efficiencies for local farms and business while making locally grown and processed food more accessible. The Sustainable Indiana 2016 initiative gave Heartland a “Green Light Award” for Plowshares. As we create a local food system, food production is a green collar industry when farmers use regenerative methods that require less water and fuel, build our soil, and protect pollinators. As food moves from farms through the value chain to the consumer, food jobs become “green” when the transportation miles are reduced, so locally produced food is more green than the same food that rides in a truck from California or Brazil. In Indiana, the average meal travels 1,500 miles while we import 90 percent of our food from out of state. So you might think of a green collar industry as a solar panel manufacturing plant but sometimes it is doing the things we have always done but finding a way to be good to the planet and value your people with good jobs, while being successful financially. Another Green Light Award was given to an organization Heartland incubated as fiscal agent and through organizational development over a period of seven years. The nonprofit Save Maumee Grassroots Organization has become a green collar industry in watershed management and jobs have been created with nearly $200,000...

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Pumpkin Patches, Corn Mazes and Fall Farm Fun – Living Fort Wayne
Sep13

Pumpkin Patches, Corn Mazes and Fall Farm Fun – Living Fort Wayne

Newly updated for 2018! What is fall without a trip to one of the local pumpkin patches, complete with an apple orchard and corn maze? NOTHING! That’s what! Luckily, northeast Indiana has plenty of opportunities to take advantage of the fall weather, pick pumpkins and apples, and get lost in corn mazes. Johnny Appleseed Festival – 1500 N. Harry Baals Drive, Fort Wayne Saturday, Sept. 15 – 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 16 – 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Did you know the Johnny Appleseed Festival started way back in 1974? When you head out to the festival today you’ll see more than 100 craft booths, numerous food booths, tinsmiths, apple pressers, blacksmiths, trappers, traders and more. Kuehnert Dairy Farm Fall Festival – 6532 Cook Road, Fort Wayne Friday, Sept. 14  – Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018 Friday: 6 p.m. -10 p.m.Saturday: 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.Sunday: Noon-5 p.m. This 6th generation family farm has opened for its sixth annual fall festival. The farm features a LEGO-themed corn maze, straw mountain, the corn pit, farm tours, tetherball and more. Admission is $8 per person. Children 2 years old and under are free. Military members, both active or veteran, are free. There is also $1 off admission of for service personnel and Boy/Girl Scouts. Season passes are $15 per person. Amazing Fall Fun – 3150 C.R. 43, Waterloo Friday, Sept. 14 – Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018 Friday: 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. Saturday: Noon – 10 p.m.Sunday: 2 p.m. – 6 p.m. Amazing Fall Fun features what’s billed as “Indiana’s Largest Corn Maze.” There is also a pumpkin patch featuring a variety of pumpkins and gourds. Other activities include a jumbo jumping pillow, the barrel roll, straw mountain, duck races, the corn box, farmer foosball and much, much more.  You won’t want to wait! Tickets are $8 for ages 3 and up with additional pricing options for small and large groups. Cedar Creek Produce – 11709 Clay St., Leo-Cedarville Open seven days a week! Cedar Creek has a variety of produce year-round but since fall is in full-swing, they have pumpkins, gourds and plenty of corn. Ridenour Acres – 2935 E. 20 N., Angola Saturday, Sept. 15 – Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018 Friday (only in October): Open 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.Saturday: Noon – 6 p.m.Sunday: Noon – 6 p.m. This farm includes a corn maze, pumpkin patch, and other activities for the whole family! New for 2017 is the Trick or Treat Trail. Admission is $7 per person ($1 off for groups of 15 or more) and children 3 and under are admitted free. Salomon Farm Fall Harvest Festival – 817 Dupont Road, Fort Wayne Friday, Sept....

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United Way of Allen County seeks Community Investment Volunteer
Aug21

United Way of Allen County seeks Community Investment Volunteer

From the United Way of Allen County The mission of United Way of Allen County is to unite our community’s time, talent, and treasure to cultivate and advance community solutions that address the most critical issues around basic needs, education, financial stability, and healthy lives. United Way volunteers possess the knowledge, passion, and expertise required to create lasting change in our community. We invite you to be a part of the change, to share our vision of an Allen County where all individuals and families discover and achieve their potential. As such, we are currently seeking individuals from all walks of life to join us as Community Investment Volunteers. What is the United Way Community Investment Process? The Community Investment Process is the way in which United Way of Allen County determines the amount of funding it provides to non-profit agencies. Trained volunteers work on Community Investment teams, to make funding recommendations after carefully reviewing the applications and documents that potential agencies submit. United Way’s Board of Directors approves final investment decisions. Purpose of Community Investment Teams: Review applications from non-profit organizations and make funding recommendations to the Community Impact Committee. Monitor progress of funded services and programs. Benefits to the Volunteer: Build relationships with community and agency leaders. Strengthen analytical and decision-making skills in a team atmosphere. Enhance understanding of the complex needs and issues facing the broader community as well as potential responses to those needs. Help build a stronger community by ensuring resources are invested as efficiently and effectively as possible. Benefits to United Way: Ensure that a broad range of interests is represented and heard from throughout the Community Investment Process. Ensure transparency for the investment of donor contributions. Increase community awareness regarding the use of United Way funds. Further the mission of United Way of Allen County. A Successful Community Investment Volunteer is: An advocate for United Way of Allen County and its work in the community. Passionate about making a difference in Allen County. A financial contributor to United Way of Allen County. Knowledgeable of and eager to learn about community needs, issues, and resources. Professional in their behavior (i.e., timely, respectful, considerate). Able to work well with others in a group setting. Committed to maintaining appropriate confidentiality of Community Investment team discussions and materials. Committed to diversity and inclusivity. Able to use online grant software (training provided). Volunteer Responsibilities and Expectations: Application Review and Funding Determination: 1. Identify a Community Investment Team on which to participate: Childhood Success, Youth Success, Adult Success, or Safety Net Services. 2. Disclose any involvement with other agencies and any possible conflicts of interest to United Way....

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Atrium’s Highlight on Justin Sheehan / NEI Entrepreneurship Digest
May14

Atrium’s Highlight on Justin Sheehan / NEI Entrepreneurship Digest

The Northeast Indiana Entrepreneurship Digest is a recurring series of curated posts highlighting entrepreneurship, start-ups and small businesses in the Fort Wayne area. Contact Living Fort Wayne at info@livingfortwayne.com if you have stories or information to share. Atrium Member Highlight There are numerous ways to work in Fort Wayne outside of the traditional office space. Start Fort Wayne’s Atrium coworking space is highlighting its members. They have provided this “Member Highlight” on Justin Sheehan of Crown Jewel Marketing. This highlight is by Atrium Team Member Jack Cantey. Age: 25 Hometown: San Diego, CA Months/Years Lived in Fort Wayne: 22 years Business Name: Crown Jewel Marketing Year Established: 2011 (in high school) Atrium Member Since: Early 2017 Current Membership Type: Private Office In one or two sentences, can you describe what your business does? We know how hard it is for businesses to reach the right customers, so we become their marketing team by first creating a clear and compelling message using storytelling. Our clients have marketing that works, more customers in their doors, and the freedom (and less stress) to grow their business like crazy. What do you find most challenging about being an entrepreneur? What’s most rewarding about being an entrepreneur? Challenging: Capacity, time, multiple hats. What do I say yes to and what do I say no to? When I struggle with this, though, I think about that the fact Elon Musk has the same amount of time as I do. Rewarding: We get the opportunity to impact difference makers (like other entrepreneurs and nonprofit leaders), who in turn impact other people’s lives. That’s why we’re in business. In what ways has your membership at Atrium helped you and your business? Atrium stepped in when we needed it the most. My previous office burnt down. I found that out at 6:30 a.m., called Atrium at 8:30 a.m., and had my new “office” unpacked there by 9:00 a.m. Without Atrium, I would have been attempting to work from my house or overpaying for average office space. Not only that, Atrium became a place for me and my team to have a community with other creatives and entrepreneurs. Whether it’s a random white board session or just having engaging and humorous conversations, community is something we really value, but it was missing at our previous office. Where do you see yourself/your business three to five years from now? I see Crown Jewel Marketing as a company that will help build other companies; every startup needs marketing, right?! I do have big visions for Crown Jewel and other companies, but I enjoy the journey way too much to just focus on...

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About The Legendary Trainhoppers
May11

About The Legendary Trainhoppers

UPDATE – Tonight’s Living Fort Wayne Concert Series at Headwaters Park has been cancelled due to the threat of severe weather. Safety is always our primary concern. Mark your calendars for the next Living Fort Wayne concert on June 27. https://bit.ly/1WmUCpn The Legendary Trainhoppers with opening act swimming[into]view are performing at the 2018 Living Fort Wayne Concert Series at Headwaters Park West on Wednesday, May 30 from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Living Fort Wayne recently caught up with the Legendary Trainhoppers’ Matt Kelley to get his thoughts on what the Trainhoppers are all about! Tell us about The Legendary Trainhoppers The Legendary Trainhoppers are a six-piece Americana band based in Fort Wayne, IN. The band was originally active 2005–7, and re-formed in late-2015. The Trainhoppers have recorded three albums of original songs, and have performed at Middle Waves Music Festival, Down the Line (twice), the Living Fort Wayne Concert Series (twice) and more, and have opened for The Avett Brothers, The Cactus Blossoms, Marah, Rorey Carroll and Ike Reilly. Their most-recent album, LET IT BREATHE, was released in June 2017. Current Lineup for The Legendary Trainhoppers Colin Boyd – drums Chris Dodds – vocals, guitars, keys, harp Matt Kelley – mandolin, guitar Phil Potts – vocals, guitar Dan Smyth – vocals, guitar Casey Stansifer – bass “Rays of Light Shine” Short Film from Brad Bores Films on Vimeo. Describe your approach to Americana, roots-rock, alt-country? Well, we keep it loose, especially in live performance—we always get a little anxious if we’re feeling TOO rehearsed! We like to feel like the train could come off the tracks at any minute. The music we make is really just rock and roll, with some winks and nods to roots through some of our particular instrumentation, and of course lots of three-part harmony vocals. How did your band get its name? Thanks for asking—over time, the “legendary” thing is a bit smug, yeah? But, it’s kinda true. Basically, our band formed after my aunt presented me with a photo of my great-grandpa’s band, circa 1905. They had crooked hats, string instruments, and looked like they had just hopped off (or robbed) a train. It was 2005, and we just sat there staring at that photo and wondering, “What would they sound like today?” And then we decided to re-form the band, and find out. The band was originally a project to write songs that sounded like that photo looked. Soon enough, we had so much fun, we couldn’t resist making it a serious part of our lives. Which songs do you perform most frequently? Well, the repertoire is pretty large. We play 80 percent...

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