FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Local farmers spent the past week giving the community an inside look at how they grow food.
Holy Cross fifth graders spent the afternoon learning where their food comes from at CASS Housing’s hydroponic gardens.
“In the old times, everyone used to know where their meat and their vegetables and their fruit came from,” said Robert Johnson, Director of Garden Operations for CASS Housing. “We don’t know that anymore. Most food is coming from 1500 miles away. Most kids actually believe their food comes from a grocery store, but what they don’t know is that there’s food being grown in neighborhoods in the middle of Fort Wayne.”
Local Food Week is organized by the Northeast Indiana Local Food Network during the height of harvest season. The week aims to connect farmers and the community around them through one topic that everyone can relate too.
“It helps to grow our local economy, it helps people connect,” said Janet Katz, Founding Director of the Northeast Indiana Local Food Network. “Whether it’s through community health, whether it’s through gardening, whether it’s through an interest in the environment, whether it’s just liking to support local, it helps people connect with something that they hopefully do three times a day, and just enjoy that.”
At CASS, they’re hoping to break down the stigma kids often associate with veggies.
“The big takeaway for the kids that are coming in is that green does not mean gross, is that green food can actually taste flavorful,” Johnson said. “We have things like sorrel that tastes like lemon. We have things like scarlet frills that tastes like horseradish. We’re growing carrots that are circles, we’re growing. All sorts of things that have way more flavor than you can get at the big box store.”
Local Food Week ends on Sunday. You can find a list of available tour spots on the Northeast Indiana Local Food Network website.
CASS Housing will also give tours of their facility on Friday, October 1 due to popular demand. You can inquire about scheduling your tour by contacting email@example.com.
Next up for the Northeast Indiana Local Food Network is their first-ever Local Food Throwdown. The event, which is happening Monday, October 4 at The Landing Beer Company, will feature nine chefs and three mixologists will be competing against each other in challenges featuring local ingredients. The event is the first fundraiser the organization has held. Tickets are still available on their website.