Category Archives: Indy Adventures
“You are a part of something bigger than you are.”
Those were the inspiring words of Wayne Humphreys during his opening keynote at the 2016 Indiana Farm Bureau Young Farmer Conference this past weekend. Held in Indianapolis, the conference brought together more than 500 young farmers and Ag professionals like myself to learn from industry experts (and each other) on hot topics within the agriculture industry.
At the conference I was joined by five other Marion County Young Ag Professionals. On Friday evening we participated in a new volunteer event to help Gleaners Food Bank – “CANstruction”. We teamed up with the rest of District 6 to create a structure out of cans and decorate it for a competition. Attendees would then vote on their favorite during the conference. There were some really creative creations, but I am proud to announce that our district was voted the winning structure! All of the cans were donated to Gleaner’s after the conference.
Saturday we spent the day attending breakout sessions and recognizing county chapters for their outstanding work during this past year. The breakouts I attended included two round-table discussions on livestock issues and niche markets, as well as a social media session from Brian Scott of The Farmer’s Life on how to effectively communicate your farm story on social media.
All of these breakouts brought some great discussion, updates on current industry topics, and beneficial facts to take back to our jobs and farms.
To wrap up the conference, we enjoyed some evening entertainment with a live auction, Ag Olympics, and performance by country band, Darlington Road.
Leaving the conference I reflected back on something Wayne Humphrey’s said at the start of the day.
“Agriculture is becoming more complicated. Not only because of new technologies, but also because of the challenge of communicating about them and educating consumers. But we’re doing the best we can with what we have in this day. When something new arises, we find out what it is, we visit, we learn, and we grow together.”
His message coupled perfectly with the theme of this year’s conference: United We Grow. And that is exactly what we did – we visited, we learned, and we grew to become better agriculturalists.
Thank you to Marion County Farm Bureau for giving us the opportunity to attend and expand our leadership in agriculture.
If you’re a fan of country music, or an Indiana resident, you may have heard about the story of Joey and Rory Feek. They’re a husband and wife country duo that burst onto the national scene in 2008 after competing on CMT’s ‘Can You Duet?’ Since then, they have written numerous country and gospel albums and won the Academy of Country Music’s “Top New Vocal Duo” award in 2010. Rory has two adult daughters, Heidi and Hope, and the couple has a 21-month-old named Indiana.
Joey Feek has been battling Stage 4 cervical cancer. In June of this year, it was announced that her cancer had returned. She recently underwent surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, but the doctors told them there is nothing more medicine can do. So they made the decision to end her treatments and she is now in hospice care, spending her time with family in her hometown of Alexandria, IN.
As a fan of Joey and Rory’s, I have been following their journey, especially over the last few months, through Rory’s blog “This Life I Live”. It has been amazing to see their courage through this whole journey and the eloquence with which Rory talks about such a difficult situation. But his blog isn’t just about the sad parts of Joey’s illness. In fact, it’s the opposite. With every blog, Rory somehow finds the strength to be more inspiring to others, even if he doesn’t realize it.
The whole time during this heartbreaking journey, I have felt that I wanted to help in some way. Through cards, food, gifts, or even just a kind embrace, people from their local communities, and all across the country have already been helping Joey and Rory. But as I read each new blog Rory posted, the thought of finding some way to lend my support was still in the back of my mind.
So I decided to give the gift of words.
Dear Joey and Rory,
Written, spoken or sung, there is an amazing power in words. They can change your attitude, perspective, and even provide inspiration and strength.
It is my hope that these words can be a small gift to you in return for all of the powerful words you have shared with the world, and the words that inspired me to write this letter. It might not seem like much, but if it can provide even just a small smile to help brighten your day, I will feel like I’ve helped in some way.
A couple of weeks ago, the day after the town of Alexandria and the entire country music community held a nationwide prayer vigil in Joey’s honor, I decided to turn on Spotify and listen to your music.
After coming to your page, I hit shuffle and the first song that started playing was “The Life of a Song.”
I stopped instantly. I had never heard this song, but I was in pure awe as I listened to the words.
Me, I’m just a singer, though I may be well-known.
The truth is I’d be nothing without the power of a song.
I’ve been blessed with fame and fortune, oh but in the end
A song’s what I wish I could’ve been.
A song lives forever and never, ever dies.
Sings enemies together and touches so many lives.
Words and melody will always be long after we’re gone…
Oh, how I wish I could live the life of a song.
I could mend the broke and wounded, I could prove that love is real.
And take someone from China to a Carolina cotton field.
I could comfort every soldier, hum all the homeless home…
I could change the world if I was just a song.
A song lives forever and never, ever dies.
Sings enemies together and touches so many lives.
Words and melody will always be long after we’re gone…
Oh, how I wish I could live the life of a song.
There’s an end for me, it’s my destiny.
But this song will carry on…and it’s just three minutes long.
Oh, how I wish I could live the life of a song.
Oh, how I wish I could live the life of a song.
Even though this song was published in 2008, all I could think after listening to it is how true the words were for what you’re going through today. But there’s one major difference. From where I’m sitting, you are already living the life of a song. Your song.
Your music has touched so many lives and your ability to tell your story through song is simply astonishing. No matter what happens and when your end actually comes, (even though I hope it’s a long time from now) have comfort in knowing that you have been doing what you were put here on Earth to do…writing and performing these inspirational songs to make a difference in this world and help the rest of us. And as the lyrics say above, your song will carry on forever.
Even though God has his timing for everything, it is my wish that you can continue to be here on Earth and make music for many years to come. This morning, I was on Facebook and came across your latest blog about Christmas time. Christmas is also one of my favorite times of year and your words brought me back to some of the great Christmas memories I’ve had over the years.
After I finished reading, I continued to scroll down the page and happened to come across this clip from the Ellen Degeneres Show. A 16-year-old girl from Toledo, OH was battling ovarian cancer and performed Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song” during a talent show. Ellen saw this clip and brought her on the show, where she actually performed the song with Rachel live.
Joey, I couldn’t help but think of you during their entire performance. Through Rory’s eyes, I have been able to see how strong you are, but sometimes we all need a little “fight song” to get us through things. I hope this can give you a little added strength and inspiration as you continue on this journey.
Please know that I am praying for you both and hope you have a wonderful Christmas.
Many times when I get home from work, I find myself standing in front of the pantry or refrigerator trying to decide what to make for dinner.
I try to plan for what meals to make while I’m at the grocery store, but I don’t always have time to think it all through. And when I don’t do that, I end up having an idea to make a certain dish only to find that I don’t have all the ingredients, or even more common, I just throw random things together and hope for the best.
Does this ever happen to you?
Most of the time my experiments turn out pretty well, but wouldn’t it be nice if you could take the hassle out of meal planning and cooking?
If your answer is yes, then you should definitely check out Fresh Artistry! A small Indianapolis-based company, Fresh Artistry focuses on helping the home cook feel and look like a master chef, with none of the hassle or skill required.
How do they do that, you ask? You pick the recipes you want to make for that week, and they send the ingredients and recipes straight to your doorstep!
That seems really simple, but Fresh Artistry goes above and beyond to provide you with a quality service. In each box you receive local meat, fresh produce, and all the spices and ingredients you will need to complete the dish – with all the guess work taken out of it. All ingredients come pre-portioned and prepped so all you have to do is combine and cook.
I first learned about Fresh Artistry from fellow Indy blogger, Sara, at Solid Gold Eats and I was so intrigued! They began by serving the Central Indiana area, and are now providing their service to the whole state of Indiana starting on Friday, December 5, 2014!
Founder, Tom Blessing, and the Fresh Artistry crew are all about making a quality experience for their customer, so before their big launch, they sent a few of us bloggers a meal to test out for ourselves and provide them with feedback on what we thought. I had never used a food delivery service before so I was excited to try it out. And right from the time it arrived at my doorstep I was impressed!
They send their meals in an insulated box with a custom liner that has enough insulation to last a night on your porch if you aren’t home when it arrives. And when you’re done with the box, you can send it back for them to recycle and use again! With their new launch, they’re coming out with a feature where you can print off a return postage label to send back your box, box liners, and freezer gel packs. They will then clean/sanitize them, and reuse them. It reduces their landfill footprint, saves you storage space, and saves them money. Win, win, win, right?
The recipe I got to make was Peach-Chipotle Glazed Chicken with Smashed Potatoes and Green Beans. Besides turning out absolutely delicious, here are some other neat things I learned while making the meal.
1. They literally do take the guess work out of everything, all the way down to storing and keeping track of your ingredients! For each recipe, they separate out the ingredients that are best stored on the counter or pantry, and what should go in the refrigerator, and place them in neat and simple bags with the corresponding recipe on the label so you can’t get things mixed up.
2. The ingredient guides and recipe cards are neatly designed and super easy to follow! They provide cooking and time saving tips to keep all of their recipes to about 30 minutes start to finish. They even go so far as to lay out what size pans and bowls to use!
3. They truly do care about what you think and listen to your suggestions on how they can make their service the best that they can be. While I was making my recipe, I wrote down a few small notes on their cooking instructions and portions of their seasoning and Tom appreciated my comments and sent them to his team to work on. I really appreciated that the staff took my suggestions to heart!
Plan and Pricing
The plans are broken up into 4-plate meals and 2-plate meals, depending on your size of household, and you can choose the menu each week. And with each plan, there are no delivery costs!
- Feeds 2 adults & 2-3 kids
- $29.99/meal ($89.97/delivery of 3)
- Perfect for smaller households
- $19.99/meal ($59.97/delivery of 3)
One other unique thing they do is make sure you have the flexibility to fit your lifestyle. If you know you won’t be home a certain week, or aren’t able to make the weekly commitment at any point, you can easily pause, cancel, and restart your service at any time! Just log-on to your account on their website and adjust your settings.
Overall, I really like the business model that Fresh Artistry has and the food was delicious!
I think Fresh Artistry could also be a great gift for that foodie in your life, recent college grad starting out on their own, or even parents or grandparents who may not have as easy of a time shopping for themselves.
Want to try Fresh Artistry out for yourself?
With their launch, they are rolling out a 1-box purchase opportunity for a limited time that’s not attached to a plan. Food is an experience and they want people to experience their meals!
With Christmas gatherings coming up, this could be a perfect chance to give them a try. Your guests will definitely be impressed!
So head on over to their website and check it out. While you’re there you can also learn more about their menu options, plan details, and more info about the service. And don’t forget to like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter for their latest updates and blog posts!
If you do decide to give Fresh Artistry a try, or have used them before, I’d love to know what you think! Hope you like their food as much as I did!
Agriculture is a component of so many aspects of our lives, even if we don’t realize it. Food is the obvious one, but everything from our clothing, paper and plastic products, makeup, crayons, diapers, medicines, and even those adult beverages we sometimes enjoy are thanks in part to ingredients from agriculture.
A couple of weeks ago, I had the privilege of previewing the newest exhibit at the Indiana State Museum, “American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition.” This era has always been fascinating to me, and I really enjoyed learning more about our country’s history and how the “spirits” of America came to be.
And as promised, I also took the opportunity to focus on how agriculture was involved in the various aspects of the exhibit, the Prohibition era, and the beverage industry in general. I’m excited to share all of the neat facts I learned!
TOURING AMERICAN SPIRITS
The day we visited was the grand opening for the exhibit so they had a little celebration in addition to giving tours through the gallery. We were told we could bring a couple family members and, if we were feeling really adventurous, we could even dress up in time-period clothing!
I brought along my cousin, Jennifer, and her daughter, Sofia. Since it was during the day and we planned to go somewhere afterward, I didn’t want to wear the full flapper get-up, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to wear some fun 20s-inspired accessories!
With our outfits on and camera’s on, we were ready to check everything out! One of the museum’s curators, Katherine Gould took us on a tour for the exhibit and was very knowledgeable about the time period.
The exhibit starts off by setting the scene to why Prohibition was established. One of the main reasons was because Americans drank VERY large amounts of alcohol during the early 1800s. In 1830, America hit rock bottom. During that time, the average American consumed 90 bottles of 80 proof liquor! That is about three times greater than the current levels of today.
One of the first parts of the exhibit showcased examples of the favorite drinks of the pre-prohibition time period and the current drinking habits. In the rural areas, whisky and cider were the drinks of choice. This was because farmers used the grain they grew to make rye or corn whiskey, as well as apples from the area to make hard cider.
Hard cider was much stronger than beer. As a way to keep the cider from spoiling, distilled liquor was frequently added to the cider; giving it an alcohol content of at least 10 percent. It was very common in rural areas because potable water was difficult to come by, while apples were plentiful. Farmers could easily and cheaply turn their excess crop into a never-ending supply of cider for themselves and their families.
In more of the urban areas, saloons were very popular. Saloons of that time served whiskey, which was usually made from rye, but could be made by other grains as well. It came in barrels, and brandnames were pretty much unknown. But all this changed in the 1840s and 1850s when Germans and Irish immigrated to America, turning it into a nation of beer drinkers.
As more companies started brewing beer, brand names also started to become established. Decorations and furniture in saloons would actually be supplies by breweries in exchange for them selling their beer.
From here, we learned about the Temperance Movement and the Anti-Saloon League, which started the fight for alcohol reform and brought the issue into politics, eventually leading to the passing of the 18th Amendment, Prohibition.
There was so much interesting information, and we were only to the beginning of learning about Prohibition! If you’d like to learn the whole back story, this website featuring a PBS special on the rise of Prohibition has a lot of great facts.
Wayne Wheeler, founder of the Anti-Saloon League, was considered to be the most powerful man in America at one point. The exhibit features his “Amazing Amendment Machine” which highlights the process by which he and other fighters for reform, worked to get the 18th Amendment passed.
On Jan. 17, 1920, the 18th Amendment put into place a nationwide ban prohibiting Americans from manufacturing, selling or transporting alcohol. This time period is commonly known as Prohibition.
For the next 13 years until 1933, the “Drys” worked to enforce the amendment, while the “wets” basically disregarded it; leading to the birth of the Roaring ’20s, bootlegging and speakeasies.
This part of the exhibit was very neat in my opinion! There were several interactive areas where you could test your knowledge about the era, learn if you were a “wet” or a “dry”, learn the 20s and 30s lingo, and even visit a re-created speakeasy!
My favorite part of the exhibit was the re-created speakeasy bar! One other thing that was created during the Prohibition era was mixed drinks. Because liquor was typically crudely made, they had to start mixing it with things to mask the strong tastes. The bar featured some of the mixed drinks that were born during this time and created a fun environment to act like you were a bar patron from the time.
Organized crime was also born during this time period due to people trying to get around the ban on alcohol. The exhibit took you through the rise in organized crime, and even featured an “I’m Got Booked” photo area where you could stand in a line-up with Meyer Lensky, Al Capone, and Lucky Lugiano, and then email it directly to yourself as a keepsake!
Prohibition, failing fully to enforce sobriety and costing billions, rapidly lost popular support in the early 1930s. In 1933, the 21st Amendment to the Constitution was passed and ratified, ending national Prohibition. Many Americans were on board with this reversal, farmers included.
AGRICULTURE AND AMERICAN SPIRITS
After the exhibit, I was able to meet with our tour guide, Katherine Gould, where she shared with me even more facts about agriculture as it relates to ‘American Spirits’. I have shared her interview below:
Pre-prohibition beer making was quite regional. It goes back to the early 1800s from transportation limitations – they could only get ingredients and beer so far. Throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, beer making was regional and they also used regional ingredients from area farmers. Breweries would actually buy from local farmers.
When prohibition was passed, the farmers lost those markets. What’s interesting is, most people focused on the farming disaster that occurred during the depression, but agriculture was going through various droughts throughout the 1920s as well. Throughout the 1920s and 30s, agriculture was bit both by droughts, the depression, and food prices going up and down, as well as lost a huge business for a lot of their grains.
So when the idea of repealing the 18th amendment started picking up steam, agriculture got on board. This was interesting because your rural communities tended to be the driest communities. And that’s why they were able to carry a lot of legislatures. But they were also the farmers who needed the market. So a lot of farming groups got behind repeal because they found a new way to market their grains. So it impacted them a lot. When Prohibition went into effect, it put a lot of people out of business. Not only the breweries, but also bar and saloon owners, trucking companies, ice companies, bottle companies, (there a lot of different bottle companies here in the state) lost jobs.
Whisky and hard cider were the most popular drinks until about WWI, mid-century with the immigration of German and Irish who brought with them beer, and they made it very well. So that started to become very popular.
Indiana actually had a pretty robust distilling industry in Indiana, down by Terre Haute and around the Ohio River, with the access to water, which was very important for that. Indiana actually had the first successful commercial winery in the early 1820s down in Vevay, Indiana. They were able to grow grapes successfully there and did advertising in Switzerland to bring people to come work at their winery.
How fascinating! Katherine also told us during the tour that while the “noble experiment” (as Prohibition was eventually known) failed, there were several things that came from it that are still in place today. With the commercial production of alcohol banned, several products were created in its place. Some well-known examples are: Welches grape juice, Vino grape brick, Coca Cola, Root beer, and Koolaid, among many others.
In addition to being a prominent part of the “American Spirits” of the Prohibition era, agricultural products are how we are able to make many more of the alcoholic beverages that are enjoyed today.
Did you know all of these things are made into alcohol? An incredible diversity of grains, herbs and fruits goes into the world’s alcoholic drinks, which means that for the botanically minded, a trip to the liquor store is a little different than it is for the rest of us. Amy Stewart explains what it’s like in her new book, The Drunken Botanist.
This book looks so interesting! I think I may have to make it my next reading project – right as soon as I finish the book I started reading on our honeymoon…almost five months ago. (That’s pathetic, I know.) But seriously though, this does look like an interesting and fascinating read!
Overall, the American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition exhibit at the Indiana State Museum was a great time! It was very interesting, very interactive, and fun to spend a day back in the Roaring 20s! Jennifer, Sofia and I all really enjoyed the whole day. We also enjoyed learning about how agriculture ties into this interesting era! So next time you pop the top on an adult beverage, don’t forget to thank a farmer!
Visit For Yourself!
The exhibit is open until February 15th, 2015 which gives you PLENTY of time to check it out for yourself! But I encourage you to stop by while it’s still at least a teensie-bit warm outside, because if you’ve never been to the Indiana State Museum before, it’s right by the canal downtown which would be a nice place for an afternoon fall walk after the exhibit.
If you’d like to purchase tickets to experience the “American Spirits” exhibit, they are $13 for adults, $12 for seniors and college students, $8.50 for children ages 12 and under. Member admission is included in membership. For more information about the exhibit, special events, online ticket sales and more, visit indianamuseum.org.
Ooh, and I almost forgot! If you’re of age, they’re having this really cool event on October 23 in honor of the history and rise of craft beer in Indiana that sounds really fun! Here’s the 411 on that:
Join Rita Kohn, author of True Brew: A Guide to Craft Beers in Indiana; Doug Wissing, author of One Pint at a Time: A Traveler’s Guide to Indiana Breweries; Anita Johnson, owner of Great Fermentations; and Bob Ostrander and Derrick Morris authors of Hoosier Beer: Tapping into Indiana Brewing History to discuss Indiana brewing history and the rise of home brewing and craft beers in Indiana. This events is 21 & over. Reservations strongly recommended. Call 317.232.1637 for reservations.
Tickets: $35 per non-member / $25 per member. Price includes admission to the talk, a snack and an admission voucher for the American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition exhibit. This event will take place at Tow Yard Brewing Co.
While you’re there, don’t forget to post pictures and use the hashtag #ISMSpirits – I’d love to see if you all dolled up in your best 20’s fashion and accessories!
Museum Social Media Information:
Trip Advisor: www.tripadvisor.com
Hashtag for the exhibit: #ISMSpirits
On Jan. 17, 1920, the 18th Amendment put into place a nationwide ban prohibiting Americans from manufacturing, selling or transporting alcohol which remained in place from 1920 to 1933. This time period is commonly known as Prohibition.
It’s something we all learned about in history class, but most likely, rarely think about today. As a fan of history, I sat down to write this blog thinking that I had a pretty good knowledge of Prohibition and the time period of the1920s and 30s. But I soon realized that there is so much more that I have to learn!
That is why I am excited to be touring the new exhibit in the Indiana State Museum, “American Spirits, The Rise and Fall of Prohibition” this Saturday!
Not only do I get to learn more about our country’s history, I also am looking forward to learning more about the “spirits” we all enjoy from time to time. If you’ve come across any of my Indiana Vino Adventure blogs, you may have learned that I really enjoy a good glass of wine. (In fact, I mayyyy or may not be having a glass as I write this) 🙂
As I was researching Prohibition, I quickly found out that some wine was actually still allowed for religious reasons. Whew – I would have survived! 🙂
Inside the Exhibit
The “American Spirits” exhibit, on view at the Indiana State Museum Sept. 20, 2014 through Feb. 15, 2015 was created by the National Constitution Center. It spans the dawn of the temperance movement in the early 1800s, through the Roaring ’20s, to the unprecedented repeal of a constitutional amendment during the Great Depression. It includes stories of flappers and suffragists, bootleggers and temperance lobbyists and real-life legends like Al Capone and Carrie Nation.
The 5,000-square-foot exhibition, curated by Daniel Okrent, Pulitzer Prize finalist and author of Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition, features more than 100 rare artifacts; recreated environments (from a church where visitors can hear [and deliver] temperance speeches to a speakeasy where they can learn the Charleston and the slang of the time to a law-enforcement office where visitors can explore efforts to stop bootlegging) and several multimedia experiences.
In addition, the exhibition includes interactives such as Wayne Wheeler’s Amazing Amendment Machine, (pictured left) which is a carnival-inspired installation that traces the complex political and legal maneuvering behind the passage of the 18th Amendment.
So cool, right?
Not only does the exhibit share nationwide facts, It also features our very own state, Indiana! Indiana’s stories of the temperance movement, Prohibition and the cultural ferment of the 1920s, are just as colorful helping to shape the national attitude toward Prohibition. Stories like Billy Sunday’s, who moved his family to Indiana in 1911, evolving from a popular professional baseball player to an evangelical Christian. (His strong support of Prohibition played a significant role in the adoption of the 18th Amendment.) Other Hoosier stories include legends May Wright Sewall, a leader in Indiana’s woman suffrage movement, who dedicated her life to peace and Grace Julian Clarke, an influential writer for the Indianapolis Star, to name a few.
Check out a sneak peek of the exhibit below:
Details and Admissions
The exhibit opens to Members on Friday Sept 19th and to the general public on Sept. 20th. Tickets are now on sale for Indiana State Museum members and general admission guests. Tickets are $13 for adults, $12 for seniors and college students, $8.50 for children ages 12 and under. Member admission is included in membership. For more information about the exhibit, special events, online ticket sales and more, visit indianamuseum.org.
I’d love for you to join me!
Agriculture and American Spirits
As a member of the agriculture industry, I also thought this would be a neat opportunity to share some ag facts about “American Spirits”! You may be asking yourself, what role does agriculture play in all this? You probably don’t think about it, but farmers are the biggest source of ingredients for alcoholic drinks! You may have known about corn from Luke Bryan’s song, “Rain is a Good Thing” where he references, “Rain makes corn, corn makes whisky” but…
DID YOU KNOW that crops such as barley, sorghum, rice, hops, apples, wheat, grapes, sugarcane, and even potatoes are also used to make different kinds of alcohol?
This means that when Prohibition was put into place, the demand for crops declined, putting even more economic pressures on farmers.
As I tour the “American Spirits” exhibit this weekend, I am also going to focus on highlighting how agriculture is involved in the various aspects of the exhibit as well as the beverage industry in general. I’ll be live tweeting from the event too so if you’d like to get a sneak peek of what’s inside, be sure to follow me at @Chelsea_PA on Twitter!
And to share all of the fun things I learned while at the exhibit, I’ll post a recap blog as well as provide more insight into all things “Agriculture and American Spirits” – so be sure to check back next week!
Museum Social Media Information:
Trip Advisor: www.tripadvisor.com
Hashtag for the exhibit: #ISMSpiritsCredits: Indiana State Museum Press Release. American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition(italicize) was created by the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia and made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment of the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor. Local Sponsors – Supported by: 21st Amendment; Contributors: Barnes and Thornburg LLP, Republic National Distributing Company and American Harvest Vodka.
Transforming Lives Through the Power of Food – Marion County Young Farmers Volunteer at Second Helpings
Here in the United States, we are very fortunate to have access to an abundant and low-cost food supply, thanks to the freedoms of our culture and the hardworking farmers that provide it. But have you ever had something you swore that you would use when you were in the store, but ended up tossing the entire package because you didn’t use it and it went bad? Or have you ever been to an event where they plated meals that ended up with empty seats and leftover meals?
I don’t like to admit it, but I have guilty of this before. I have gotten better at only buying the food I’m going to definitely use, but the unfortunate truth is that useable food is wasted every single day. With the bulk of that waste being in the food service industry.
And that is how, three chefs — Kristen Cordoza, Bob Koch, and Jean Paison, formed Second Helpings, Inc. They saw firsthand the tremendous amount of waste in the food service industry and were acutely aware that most programs serving the disadvantaged often struggled to provide for their clients’ most basic nutritional needs. So the three chefs set forth to solve all four problems—food waste, hunger, job training, and a source of skilled labor for the local food service industry—with one solution: turn unused food into meals and jobs.
Second Helpings began in 1998.They accept donated perishable and overstocked food to prepare nutritious meals for thousands of hungry children and adults every day, and distributes them free of charge through local social service agencies in Greater Indianapolis. Second Helpings also trains unemployed and underemployed adults for meaningful careers in the culinary industry with their Culinary Job Training Program.
“We’re more than a soup kitchen or a food pantry – we’re a community kitchen. We’re not just teaching people to cook – we’re providing an avenue for people to transform their own lives. We don’t just collect food – we rescue food because we can’t stand to see it go to waste when others have none. Today, the need is so much greater than we ever imagined when we began – so we’ll go on undeterred. ” – via SecondHelpings.org
In their first full month of operation, 37 volunteers helped rescue 7,000 pounds of food and prepare 3,074 meals. Thanks to their founders, partners, board, staff, and volunteers, they currently turn over a 100,000 pounds of rescued food into 50,000 meals every month! What an impact!
To reach this accomplishment each month, Second Helpings relies on 700 regular volunteers to fight hunger in our community. Volunteers chop vegetables and cook meals in their Hunger Relief Kitchen. They deliver food to recipient agencies and lend their expertise to office operations, and they also share Second Helpings’ story and impact in the community.
And last week I, along with the Marion County Young Farmers, got to be one of these volunteers!
We arrived and helped full-time volunteers complete various tasks in their Hunger Relief Kitchen. We prepped ingredients that would later be used to create the delicious meals they serve to the community, and helped clean up the kitchen at the end of the evening. The main ingredient we prepped was chopping onions. I did have to apologize to my fiance and coworkers for the intense onion smell that lingered on my hands (despite many hand-washings), but just knowing that I was able to help in someway made it a very wonderful and rewarding experience.
Marion County Farm Bureau (MCFB) has been a long-time supporter of Second Helpings and wanted to continue that support through volunteering. In addition to monetary donations, MCFB Incorporated and Insurance purchased eight livestock projects from Marion County 4-H youth and donated the meat to Second Helpings. This is the fourth year that MCFB has purchased livestock at the annual Marion County Fair and donating the product to help feed Indiana communities. Over 1,300 pounds of meat was provided to Second Helpings.
As a group, we had a great evening volunteering at Second Helpings and met some wonderful people. We hope to make it more of a regular event and are grateful to be a part of their mission to transform lives through the power of food. Thank you, Second Helpings!
If you live in the Indy area and would like to join us in volunteering, or learn more about Second Helpings, visit their website at www.SecondHelpings.org, LIKE them on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter.
As I scrolled through social media pages and blog posts over the weekend, I started to see the familiar “thankful” posts that are published each November. I always enjoy these. I have never actually written a “thankful” post on my blog or social media pages, but they do make me reflect on all the things I am thankful for in my life.
My health, family, friends, faith, and my job are among the few obvious things I initially thought of, but as I reflected more, I know that I wouldn’t have gotten to where I am now without the solid foundation of skills and values that my parents instilled in me at a young age.
One of the most important of those being reading. Growing up, I can remember learning my ABC’s, my parents helping teach me to read with books like, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” (anyone remember that one?), and taking trips to my local Library with my Aunt Beth.
At the time, I may not have realized how valuable those experiences were, but the very fact that I am able to sit here and share my experiences through words just shows how many things in my life, as well as yours, are affected by our ability to read and write. And looking back, I have really come to cherish those memories.
Last Friday, November 1, was National Family Literacy Day and in support of this cause, McDonald’s launched a National Happy Meal Books Program to invite families to celebrate the joy of reading. Through November 14, children who order McDonald’s Happy Meals will find one of four limited edition books featuring stories that bring nutrition, imagination, and play to life. Each book also comes with it’s very own bookmark that kids can personalize.
I think this is so neat! I mean, the toys we got in Happy Meals when I was younger were cool and all, but books are something interesting and practical that kids can keep instead of hiding them in between the car seat cushions, or leaving them on the floor for you to step on, when they get bored with them.
Have you seen these books in your kids’ Happy Meals yet?
Along with these books being placed in Happy Meals nationwide, McDonald’s of Central Indiana is leading a “Give a Book, Get a Book” campaign! By donating a gently used children’s book, customers will receive a “Be Our Guest” card for a free Happy Meal to say thank you for helping to share the gift of reading with others in the Indy community.
Book donation sites will be set up around the area at the Ronald McDonald House, local libraries, and Indy Reads from Nov 1 – 14. In addition, participating libraries are hosting a “Happy Meal Day” with activities for kids and McDonald’s Happy Meal Books. To find a full list of book donation sites and participating libraries, click here: http://www.indywithkids.com/2013/11/happy-meal-day-give-a-book-get-a-book-locations/
Now, I know not all of you are in the Indy area, but I hope everyone can help me promote this event! To help in promoting the “Give a Book, Get a Book” campaign, McDonald’s Happy Meal Books program, and National Family Literacy Day, I am hosting a give-a-way for anyone who shares this post on their social media pages!
By entering the contest, and sharing these events, one reader will win a week of happy meal coupons, a $10 Amazon gift card and a copy of a Happy Meal Book! (Everything will even be put together in a Happy Meal box!)
Here’s how to enter:
1. Share this blog on Facebook, Twitter and or Pinterest leave a comment below with the URL to your post. Be sure to use the hashtag #mcIndyMoms so we can see your posts as well!
For additional entries: (each of these need a blog comment with the URL as well)
2. Tweet About The Give-A-Way:
Help @Chelsea_PA @indywithkids & @MyIndyMcDonalds promote reading! #McIndyMoms http://bit.ly/McIndyMoms
3.Like IndyWithKids on Facebook
4. Subscribe to Boilermakerag.com
5. Follow @MyIndyMcDonalds on Twitter
6. Follow @Chelsea_PA on Twitter
What was your favorite book as a child?
We have a winner!! Congratulations to Angie MCKie! You are the winner of the McIndyMom’s prize pack! Please email me at email@example.com to claim your prize! Thanks to everyone who shared my posts and followed the social media pages! Stay tuned to BoilermakerAg.com for more blog posts and potential give-a-ways!
Entries were put into a list randomizer via random.org and chosen from the results.
Here is the full list of results:
My last post was about my love for softball so for this post, it just makes sense that I show baseball some love too!
Are you a fan of baseball? If so, or even if you’re just looking for a fun summer outing, I have the event for you! Indianapolis is home to the Indy Indians baseball team and if you’ve never attended a game, you are missing out!
As a non-Indy native, last year was my first time going to see the Indians play but I had a blast!
Next Tuesday’s game on June 11th will be Family Night with Indiana’s Family of Farmers at Victory Field and I have your chance to join us for free!
Thanks to Indiana Family of Farmers, I am giving away a 4-pack of tickets to attend Family Night and join us for the In-Game Picnic in Coors Light Corner!
Gates open 90 minutes before the game and game time is at 7:05 p.m.
This contest will only be open until 11:59pm on Thursday June 6 so hurry up and make sure to enter!
HERE’S HOW TO ENTER:
- Leave a comment below saying that you’d like to join me and Family of Farmers at the game!
FOR ADDITIONAL ENTRIES:
2. Re-post this blog on your Facebook or Twitter page with the phrase:
“I want to go to the @indyindians game w/ @Chelsea_PA & @FamilyofFarmers on June 11th! #FarmsMatter – via boilermakerag.wordpress.com”
…and leave the link to your post in a comment below!
3. Subscribe to my blog!
I will select the winner via random.org and announce it in another blog post, on my Facebook page, and my Twitter page on Friday June 7th!
Hope you can join me at the game!! Best of Luck!
The day is finally here! Today is awesome for two reasons.. A. It’s Friday, no other explanation needed. and B. I have the winner of the two free tickets to Zest ‘N Zing: A Foodie Event For the At-Home Chef on May 7 at the Eugene & Marilyn Glick History Center!
First of all, I would like to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who entered! It means a lot to me that you guys read my blog and participate in my contest so please continue to check back for more opportunities in the future!
Ok, now lets get to the big news! In a drawing via random.org the winner is…….
Rebeca @ The Average Parent!!!!
Congratulations Rebeca! You and a guest will be joining me at Zest ‘N Zing thanks to Indiana Family of Farmers! I will contact you with further details.
For the rest of those who entered, and all of you in general, there are still tickets left for the event and the proceeds go benefit Gleaners Food Bank in Indy! Tickets are $20 and include includes two drink tickets, five food tickets, a swag bag and the cooking competition.
And let me tell you, it is totally worth it! The food and drinks are amazing, the competition is super fun and the swag bag has some awesome kitchen goodies and recipes!
Tickets are ONLY available for purchase online – No tickets will be sold at the door. CLICK HERE to purchase your tickets today! And by attending, you can still have a chance to be the third “Mystery Judge” and get to taste the awesome dishes the teams prepare!
See you next week!
CALLING ALL INDY FOODIES! Clear those calendars and get those appetites ready because Zest ‘N Zing is back!
Join two Indy chefs and two Indiana farmers who will work in teams to create a great new dish during Zest ‘n Zing: A Foodie Event for the At-Home Chef at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick History Center in downtown Indianapolis on May 7.
Indy weatherman, Paul Poteet and WTHR’s Jennie Runevitch will be emceeing the event and last year’s champion, chef Jason Anderson is returning to defend his title! Chef Anderson, joined by cattle farmer Ginny Tauer will go head to head with the new challenger, chef Greg Schiesser from Indiana Downs and hog farmer, Nick Sommers.
Last year I was the #OfficialTweeter for the event and it was a blast! It is a great opportunity to have fun and learn a little more about farmers and food preparation. The recipes are geared toward something you can make in your own kitchen and last year they sent the recipes out after the event so you could try it at home!
I’ll be there again this year and thanks to Indiana Family of Farmers, I have a FREE pair of tickets for you to join me!
*** Here’s how to enter***
Like this post and leave a comment at the bottom saying that you’d like to join me at Zest ‘N Zing.
**For additional chances to win**
Subscribe to my blog and leave another comment saying that you followed me.
Post the tweet below to your Twitter account and leave a comment with the link.
The contest will be open until Thursday at 11:59 p.m.
Judges for this year’s event will be Heather Tallman of the blog, Basilmomma and her radio show “Around the Kitchen Sink” and here’s where it gets even more fun – one of you could be the other judge! The second judge will be chosen out of the audience that night so you have to make sure you’re in attendance!
Doors for the event open at 5 p.m. and you can mix, mingle and eat with farmers from 5 – 7 p.m downstairs. The competition begins at 7 p.m. so be sure to finish up eating a few minutes before to get a good seat!
I’m so excited for this event and I hope you are too after reading this post! Don’t forget that if you want to enter to win the tickets, submit your entry before 11:59pm on Thursday.
If you aren’t drawn as the winner, I hope you will still attend the event!
Tickets are $20, with proceeds benefiting Gleaners Food Bank and can be purchased at this link: Zest ‘N Zing Event Tickets.
Can’t wait to see you all there next week!