YLNI Farmers Market: It’s Almost Summer!
May06

YLNI Farmers Market: It’s Almost Summer!

Though it might be hard to believe, summer is just around the corner here in Fort Wayne. It’s warming up outside, college students are wrapping up finals week, and the days are getting longer. Still not convinced? I’ve got more proof: the YLNI Farmers Market kicks off the summer market season this month! On Saturday, May 21, the YLNI Farmers Market returns downtown on the corner of Barr Street and Wayne Street for its twelfth season of local eats and treats! From fresh produce and homemade baked goods, to handcrafted soaps and unique gifts, there’s something for everyone at the YLNI Farmers Market. One of my favorite things about it is that it’s a producers-only marketplace. Every single vendor either personally made or grew each product they sell. In addition, all of the vendors hail from Allen or a surrounding county. If you’re dedicated to shopping locally, this is the place to do it. You can also enjoy other things to do at the market, like live music by local musicians and kid-friendly activities, such as cuddling one of the pups available for adoption from the ASPCA! No promises that you won’t accidentally fall in love with one, though (I speak from experience). The YLNI Farmers Market opens for the summer season May 21 and runs every Saturday from 9:00am to 1:00pm until September 10. Free parking is available in the lot of the History Center along Berry Street and on the streets in the surrounding blocks, with ample opportunities to lock up a bicycle if you choose to ride downtown instead. Learn more about Opening Day for the summer market here. For updates and the inside scoop at the YLNI Farmers Market, check out their Facebook and follow them on Snapchat (@ylnifarmmarket). In the coming weeks, we’ll be featuring YLNI Farmers Market vendors on the Living Fort Wayne blog. Be sure to check back for these cool insider looks at local businesses! YLNI Farmers Market 302 East Berry Street Fort Wayne, IN 46802 (Directly behind the Fort Wayne History Center at the corner of Barr and Wayne...

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NEI Food Swap: Get Your Swap On!
May01

NEI Food Swap: Get Your Swap On!

I have to admit I was nervous about the Food Swap…I loved the concept, I really did! And I knew it had the potential to be incredibly fun, but I was nervous about bringing something myself. Food is such a personal thing; it was strange to realize how the thought of my food being rejected by other swappers literally gave me cold sweats. So, with the thinly veiled excuse that I’d had a really ‘hectic’ week, I walked into the swap empty handed and decided to just check it out. Biggest mistake I made all week. First, there were tables of delicious food and drink. (Yes! Home brewed beer!) And samples. Lots and lots of samples. But, alas, I had nothing to trade, so I could try all I wanted. I could not, however, take anything home. It’s really tough to describe how depressing it was to know that after walking in and seeing all of the food and drink available, nothing was coming home with me. So, here’s how it works. When you come in (if you are smart enough to bring food), you get a table and set up your wares. You fill out a short form listing what your food is and any pertinent information you want to share (is it gluten-free, vegan, chock full of peanuts, etc). Below your description are spots for other swappers to bid on your item. After you set up your table and samples, you’re free to walk around and check out everyone else’s goodies. If you see something you like, you put your name on their form and what you’re willing to trade for it. Really want that bottle of organic honey? You can try to coax the swap by offering 2 bottles of beer. After everyone has had a chance to check everything out, the swapping begins. There’s no rule that you have to trade (so if you’re a vegetarian, you don’t have to accept the homemade beef jerky offer someone made for your premium apple butter). It’s very easy going and friendly. As far as I could tell, there were no fist fights or tears as the trades took place. I can’t do justice to the wide variety of food and drink that was available at the swap, but I can tell you that it was amazing and delicious. Everyone was friendly and welcoming, and it was just as low pressure as founder Mary Willems-Akers had promised. The next swap is June 22nd, so if you want to see what I bring after spending the next 2 months agonizing over it, join us at Wunderkammer. Don’t forget registration...

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Calling All Foodies in the Fort: NEI Food Swap
Apr12

Calling All Foodies in the Fort: NEI Food Swap

If you consider yourself a bit of a homemade food and/or drink fanatic and want a chance to meet and mingle with other like-minded individuals, then come check out the April NEI Food Swap on Sunday, April 27 from 12:30-2:00 pm at Wunderkammer Company. For those who are new to ‘food swapping’, a food swap is a small barter/community event where people who love food get together to taste and trade (ergo, the ‘swap’) homemade, homegrown and homebrewed food or drink.  There are no limits to what you might find at a swap, anything goes, as long as it’s homemade.  Be prepared to peruse (and sample!) anything from homemade cheese to handcrafted tea blends and everything in between.  No need to bring cash to a swap, the only currency allowed is homemade food and drink.  If you see something you want to swap, then be prepared to negotiate a trade! April will mark the 5th NEI Food Swap.  The swaps are held bi-monthly and are the brainchild of Mary Willems-Akers, who started the swap after a season of homemade canning  left her with an overabundance of food and a hankering to come up with a way to get access to more homemade foods from other families, locally.  After researching the Indy Swap, she went all in and started the NEI Swap with the help of the 509 Community in Huntington, where the first swap was held.  Now Wunderkammer supports the swap thanks to Dan Swartz and his confidence in the swap community. According to Mary, food swaps are beneficial because they’re a “great way to expand on community, build our home pantry, and to look for local and sustainable options for ourselves and our families”…and they are a ton of fun. If you’re as hooked on the concept as I am, feel free to stop by the next swap. If you’re interested in participating, you MUST pre-register at this link: 0414swap.eventbrite.com. Participation is limited to 35 registrants, so be sure to register early to make sure there’s still an opening. Otherwise, you can stop by the swap and just check it out, but know that you won’t be leaving with any delicious goodies! For additional info, check out their facebook (www.facebook.com/neifoodswap) or Twitter (@neifoodswap) or if you have a burning question, you can email the swap directly at neifoodswap@gmail.com. Hope to see you all on the 27th! April NEI Food Swap April 27, 2014 12:30-2:00 pm Wunderkammer Company 3402 Fairfield Ave Fort Wayne IN 46807...

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