Thank you, Bill! – Bill’s Smokehouse
Dec03

Thank you, Bill! – Bill’s Smokehouse

My husband and I have a lot of trouble eating out. Over the last ten years or so, we’ve become what I would call “at home chefs.” Between Food Network (with a heavy lean towards Alton Brown), ChefSteps (YouTube) and Bon Appetit’s YouTube channel, we’ve learned how to make phenomenal meals at home. We invested in an immersion circulator several years back and it’s changed our meat game like nothing else. We can pretty much make a restaurant quality meals at home, for a fraction of the cost, and have it cooked to perfection. Now, that’s kind of a double-edged sword . . . one, we don’t get the feeling of getting all gussied up and ‘going out’. Two, we don’t get to sit and relax and be waited on. Finally, the restaurants we might splurge on have disappointed us. Steaks aren’t cooked to the right temp. Asparagus is fibrous. Dishes were just lacking proper seasoning. I sound like a huge food snob, I’m sure, but when you can make food to a certain standard, you expect a restaurant to be able to hit the same standard, especially when paying so much. So, this brings us to Bill’s Smokehouse. Naturally, we were leary. We hold a special place in our hearts for barbecue. It’s smokey, succulent and just plain delicious. Also, it’s something we can’t do at home . . . yet. 😉 So we have our favorite place in town to get it and hold all others to that standard. As we walked into Bill’s on a cool, dark evening, we could smell the smokers from the back. The restaurant was quiet as there were only a couple other tables with guests. The room was moderately lit and looked nice with a classic, high-end look with a lean towards the a western theme. Booths and tables are both available and our booth was comfortable. Soon, we were the only table. Considering the menu is full of local, organic meats, it’s kind of hard to make a choice.We had a nice basket of corn bread while we made our decisions. While the inside was tender and sweet, the sides were dry. I went with the 28-day wet aged USDA choice tenderloin filet, six oz, a ⅓ rack of ribs, a side of apple slaw and fried Brussell sprouts. My husband got the pulled pork and brisket with sides of collard greens and green beans with bacon and onion. We also tried the sausage sampler as an appetizer. The sampler came with a smoked pork sausage, a chicken sausage, a couple cheeses and two mustards, as well as plain and...

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Festival of Trains to return to Science Central
Nov05

Festival of Trains to return to Science Central

Release from Science Central Looking for a family-friendly activity for you and your child in November? Spend Thanksgiving weekend doing something different at Science Central’s 22nd Festival of Trains! Starting the day after Thanksgiving, explore the world of model trains at this annual festival in Fort Wayne’s Science Central museum. Hours are: Friday, Nov. 23: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 24: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 25: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. All train enthusiasts and their families are welcome to join us during this fun weekend event. Admission is $9 for ages 3 and up, and free for 2 and under. Science Central Members get in free. For more information about Festival of Trains, contact Elyse Faulkner, school and public programs manager, at efaulkner@sciencecentral.org. Visit Science Central’s website...

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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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