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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Barr Street Market Vendor Series: Plough + Stars Farm
Aug08

Barr Street Market Vendor Series: Plough + Stars Farm

As much as I love jewelry, crafts and pottery, it is a refreshing change of pace to bring you Plough + Stars Farm as our vendor review for this week.  To me, this is what a summer market like Barr Street is all about…delicious, homegrown, fresh produce.  And while Plough + Stars may be only in their second year, they act like pros and have the veg to prove it. I grew up in Noble County on a couple acres of land and watched on as my parents tilled through fresh dirt every spring to plant their (in my opinion) gigantic garden.  And although I had no problem stalking through the rows and making lunch out of fresh green beans, snap peas and cherry tomatoes, you couldn’t pay me enough to be responsible for the maintenance of that land.  So, I have much admiration for the Rash and Tyree families, who have come together as neighbors and created not only a sprawling and beautiful produce farm, but a career in selling their goods. I contacted Seth Rash with the burning question, how in the world do you make this work? It takes neighborly comradery, money and oh so much time. This is what he had to say, “Farming is a lot of work, but if it is the kind of life that suits you, it is deeply satisfying and rewarding.  I (Seth) have a genetic disorder that is causing me to lose my vision.  Growing vegetables, besides being something I just love to do, is an outlet for me and a way to keep me connected to the simple treasures of hard work, the beauty of the earth, eating great food, and time with family.  Scott and I both have young children and watching them grow up on the farm is amazing.  We’ve been growing vegetables for a long time but this is only our second season as Plough & Stars Farm.  We are learning all the time and still have a lot more to learn and discover about small scale, sustainable agriculture.  The challenge of starting and growing a farm keeps it interesting and engaging.  Our expectations at the beginning of Plough & Stars Farm were pretty guarded in that we weren’t sure what, if any, financial success we’d have.  We imagined that we might (a very guarded might) be able to go full time at this at some point in the future but that day could be a long way off. We realize how fortunate we are to have access to such a vibrant, successful market like Barr Street and think the folks at YLNI do a great...

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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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