At F.C. Tucker we talk a lot about “paying our civic rent,” so for the month of November, we would like to express our gratitude to the many organizations and individuals who serve their communities tirelessly and make Indiana a better place to live and work. We obviously can’t highlight everyone, but we would like to salute these 30 organizations that are making a difference.
30 Days of Thanksgiving – Day 1: Growing Places Indy
Growing Places Indy was founded in 2010 with the mission to “empower people to cultivate personal, family and community wellness through urban agriculture, access to fresh local food, and mind-body education.” Initially, they unveiled this mission in the form a single urban garden in White River State Park in 2010. You may have seen this plot situated between the JW Marriot Hotel and the Indiana State Museum. Since 2010 they have significantly expanded, adding four additional gardens totaling 5.1 acres and numerous community-centered programs.
Their products are available through several community-based channels:
- On Thursday evenings, 4-7pm, from June to August, customers can buy fresh produce at the GPI Farm Stand at the Boner Fitness and Learning Center. To increase accessibility regardless of income level, GPI also developed the Eat Well Initiative. This initiative involves customers using Veggie Bucks or Eat Well Bucks funded by the Indiana State Department of Agriculture and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) respectively to pay for fresh produce.
- If your family wants a more hands-on experience, GPI’s program U-Pick allows customers to pick their own vegetables during Farm Stand hours. In the U-Pick experience, customers learn how food is created and have the opportunity ask a real farmer about how to plant their own crops.
- The third channel is a Veggie Share program which involves a 10-week vegetable and fruit box subscription from GPI farms over the summer. However, they only have 25 shares available, so be sure to sign up soon if you are interested!
- Lastly, GPI sells their products to phenomenal Indianapolis restaurants such as: Bluebeard, Delicia, Milktooth, Oceanaire, Petite Chou, and Rook. Check out these restaurants for Growing Place Indy’s featured produce.
Outside of urban farming, Growing Places Indy also has several programs designed to help the community embrace wellness. The first program is their Yoga series which takes place throughout the year during various times. Yoga classes are free but donations are welcome to help support the Eat Well Initiative mentioned earlier. However, if yoga isn’t your thing, GPI offers Live Well Classes centered on cooking, gardening and mind-body education. Upon request, they also offer tours and custom workshops.
Growing Places Indy is certainly making a significant impact on the food education and restaurant scene in Indy. If you are interested, please volunteer to help with one their urban farms, buy food at a farm stand, attend one of their yoga classes, or simply donate money to further their cause on Growing Places Indy’s website. We at F.C. Tucker cannot wait to see what they do next!