FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Visitors to Union Street Market at Electric Works will soon be able to watch local farmers turn their produce into something tasty to eat.
It could be a delicious soup or could be jams, jellies and apple pie, for example.
Plowshares Food Hub, a local agricultural cooperative, will oversee the production kitchen across the aisle from their Plowshares At The Market, the retail booth where local fruits, vegetables, frozen meats, sodas, eggs including duck eggs and assorted flours are offered.
Plowshares At The Market made its debut with a salad bar in a soft opening about a week ago.
It’ll be another two weeks before the production kitchen is open, said Jain Young, Plowshares owner.
“We’ve been recruiting farmers, going to the farmers markets and talking to farmers about a value-added component to their offerings. Some of them already do. Some of them are paying a pretty high price for renting a shared use kitchen and they want to be able to have that cost reduced,” Young said.
The production kitchen will be at its busiest between July and November.
“We have a grant from the USDA to do this project so we won’t be charging per hour like most shared use kitchens. We will probably ask them to contribute something because the grant doesn’t cover utilities.”
Young is an agricultural activist whose roots go back 50 years to the Three Rivers Natural Grocery Food Co-op & Deli at Spring Street and Sherman Boulevard. She has worked with Burmese farmers at Rose Avenue Farm and said one of the Burmese specialties is making pickles from Daikon radishes.
Besides farmers cooking directly for their customers, Young says the production kitchen will offer artisan baked goods on a daily basis including bagels, smoothies and soup.
Plowshares runs weekly classes at the Electric Works teaching kitchen upstairs on the second floor of the market. Look for classes on the Union Street Market Facebook page.
Typically, there are 20 to 30 people who attend food demonstrations. The glass doors open up for larger catering events, Young added.