Local Food Summit: Bringing Farms to the Table

Food Summit img Join the Muncie Food Hub Partnership, Purdue University Extension, and the Delaware County Food Council for the 4th annual Local Food Summit of Muncie and East Central Indiana.

 The 4th Local Food Summit will explore innovations in delivering local food to consumers and students, the movement of food and its impact on our planet and economies, food stories from here and afar, and the chance to learn about your role in shaping our local food landscape through consumerism, advocacy, and action.

When: Wednesday, November 6, 2019 (Registration and a light breakfast begin at 9:30am; Opening remarks at 10am)

 Where: Ball State Alumni Center, Muncie, Indiana

Cost of Registration is $30 for the full day: Includes breakfast, lunch, and snacks throughout the day. We have scholarships available. If you would like to be considered for a scholarship, please email Ashley Pavey: ampavey@bsu.edu

 Register for the Food Summit here: https://commerce.cashnet.com/BALL_EMS066

 Keynote Address: Kelsey Timmerman – Author of Where am I Eating? A Journey through the Global Food Economy

Guest Speakers include: Tim Lanane (Indiana Senate) and Sue Errington (Indiana House of Representatives); Molly Hunt (Director of Extension, Delaware County, Purdue Extension)

Concurrent sessions this year include presentations/workshops from:

Tim Kean (CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank) on Food Insecurity in East Central Indiana

John Disher (IU Healthy Community Alliance) on the Delaware County Food Council

Bryan Ayers (CEO Open Door Health Services in Delaware County) on the 8twelve Coalition

Tarrah McCreary (Food Procurement Director Crawfordsville Schools) on Farm-to-School efforts

Farmer – Chef Panel: With Wendy Carpenter (Christopher Farm), Shelly Shrock (Shrock Family Farm), Dave Ring (The Downtown Farm Stand), and Chef Tyler Herald (from Patachou, Petit Chou, and Napolese) among others!

If you are interested in these local food issues, you are encouraged to attend. 

Farm-to-school

Community gardens

Policy development

Farming

Sustainable Ag.

Nutrition

Entrepreneurship

Food Access

Food insecurity

Food hubs

Food service

Economic Dev.

Come grow our local food system in Muncie and East Central Indiana!

 Questions? Contact Dr. Josh Gruver at jbgruver@bsu.edu

 

 

 

The Book of Food

-David Kosciulek

Music and art are often considered the universal languages.  By listening to a composition or looking at a painting, we gain unfettered access to a culture or individual we may or may not be familiar with.

muse2     In the same way that music and art transcend language and cultural boundaries, food is a universal medium for experiencing a way of life.  Much as every picture is worth a thousand words, every salad, cheeseburger, plate of enchiladas or bowl of miso soup is the culmination of thousands of years of agriculture and cooking.  The act of cooking takes that which was grown from a tiny seed and transforms it into a symbol of not only the chef, but the culture, time, and space of which it is a part.  Every food item, from the most complex coq au vin to an orange at the grocery store, is but the final chapter in a story with much more than a thousand words.  

cornfield

Now covering much of Indiana’s landscape, the story of corn began over ten thousand years ago.  Corn, or maize, started as a wild grass which was selectively cultivated over time to produce larger and more palatable kernels.  Its origins in Mexico, the crop gradually spread throughout the Americas and finally to the rest of the world after the arrival of Europeans in the late fifteenth century.  Today, corn is a staple food across the globe, rivaling those of wheat, soy, and rice.  The role of corn in Indiana is as much agricultural as it is cultural, and despite a love of sweet corn as the perfect complement to a summer barbecue, the vast majority grown is used for purposes such as ethanol, animal feed, or corn syrup.  Corn can come from small-scale organic producers or gargantuan monocultures, meaning that not all stalks are equal. Muncie Food Hub sources our corn from a local farming family known as Spanglers’. Their sweetcorn is well known in the Muncie community and many of our customers ask for Spanglers corn by name!corn2

If one chooses to eat meat, they are implicated in a highly complicated story, no matter what they select. Visiting a farmers’ market and meeting the individual who raised your food allows one to learn details about how the animal was raised and eventually slaughtered, the quality of life they had and the diet they ate.  Pre-packaged and processed meats from the grocery store aisle do not afford one the same opportunity.  Most industrial meat production comes from concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO’s), and the story which follows often involves concerns for animal rights and pollution, costs which are not included in our purchases.

Even a red delicious apple, grown in nearby states such as Michigan and Pennsylvania, follows an elaborate path from the ground to your hand.  Have you noticed how, despite a growing season shortened by Midwest winters, there is a bounty of apples available year-round?  Upon picking, apples are stored in climate-controlled and cooled warehouses where they can sit for months at a time, meaning that the perfect, crisp apple you pick from the bunch in January may be nearly a year old.  On an industrial scale, apple trees are subject to many of the same troubles as other crops, including pests, reliance on synthetic fertilizers, and despite farms’ proximity to Indiana, shipment of many thousands of miles and the concurrent environmental impacts of transportation.  The trip to a local apple orchard may be more than a relaxing autumn outing—it may be a significant example of supporting and sustaining local food systems, a step whose lessons can be readily applied elsewhere.

the hub

The Muncie Food Hub Partnership stands at the beginning of a new chapter in our story of food.  In contrast to a growing divide between us eaters and the sources of our food, buying locally often results in a cleaner, healthier product, needless to say fresher and more delicious.  Whether you create a Midwestern, Indian, or Mediterranean dish with the Food Hub’s vegetables and herbs, the local food economy is strengthened and the entire community benefits.  Our produce comes from eight farms within 20 miles of Muncie, meaning that the impacts from transportation are much smaller compared to supermarket goods, every option is as seasonal and fresh as you can get, and small-scale farmers in the area are supported. To learn more about us follow our Instagram (@munciefoodhub), visit our facebook page by searching (@MuncieFoodHub), or browse our website https://munciefoodhub.org/ !

Excess Cantaloupe, No Problem!

At the end of this summer season we ran into a problem! a few of our cantaloupes didn’t make it to market due to the extensive heat. No need to worry though, I have made it my personal (and delicious) mission to put all produce to use whether its at peak ripeness, or on its last leg! thus I was given 4 gorgeous cantaloupes and got to work!

BEHOLD: cantaloupe bread (cake) and cantaloupe agua fresca!

So to begin you are going to need :

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup of oil
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 2 cups pureed cantaloupe
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. This will yield 2 loaves so grease two 9×5 pans in preparation.

you will then add all of the dry ingredients together including the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and ginger, mixing well.

In a separate bowl beat the eggs, oil, sugar, vanilla, and puree together.

Stir the flour mixture slowly into the liquid mixture, try not to overwork the batter at this step. If you wish you can add nuts during this period as well, I would recommend about a cup of pecans!

Simply pour batter into the two pans and bake for 55-60 minutes!

A glaze is optional, but super simple! Just take 3 cups powdered sugar, a teaspoon of vanilla, and enough milk to thicken the glaze ( for me that was about 2-3 tbsp)! once the two loaves are cooled, feel free to pour the glaze on top as generously as your heart desires!

As fun as making the loaves turned out to be, I soon realized I still had a ton of melon left. So I cut up the remainder of my melons and decided I would make thirst quenching agua fresca, a common flavored water drink famous in Mexico. This is so simple ya’ll all you need is:

  • half a cantaloupe (chunked)
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • one lime (squeezed)

I made more than one batch but its as simple as juicing (blending works as well) the cantaloupe and separating the pulp from the juice using a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth (if you like pulpy juice keep it)! then simply combine this with the rest of the ingredients and enjoy!

New Locations, New Friends.

The food hub has continued to serve local residents and sell a lot of produce!  We recently added Muncie Power Products to our selling locations! Come on by and see us as we provide the community with healthy, wholesome, delicious, and affordable vegetables! If you haven’t checked out our recipe page on our website you need to take a gander!  https://munciefoodhub.org/recipes/ Recipes are essential for any home cooked, scrumptious meal, and we have combed through to acquire some exquisite ones!

Here are some of our finely selected zucchini!

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Put some of our cabbage in your baggage and have a tasty meal for when you get home!  We even have a cabbage recipe in the nutrition section!

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Why did the tomato go out with the prune?  Because it couldn’t find a date. Luckily our tomatoes all find their dates with you on your dinner plates!  These tomatoes are full of flavor!

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Want to spice up your life with some hot peppers?  We have them ready for you to add some extra pizazz to your dishes!

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Try our red potatoes to create some potato salad!  These will be delicious also as a side dish with some garlic butter over the top with parsley and green chives.  Yum!

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Who doesn’t like the fresh earthy scent of basil?  Excellent for do it yourself pizzas and spaghetti recipes!

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The Muncie food hub is honored to serve the public with these delicious vegetables and we plan on doing more visits at our locations throughout the season.  So, please, stop by and take a look at what we can offer to you!