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Evansville
Monday, December 5, 2022

Homegrown

From savoring produce at the peak of freshness to meeting the people who grow your food, there are countless reasons to live like a locavore. Taste real flavors, buy in season, support family farmers – navigate our sustainable food landscape with this guide to Homegrown Southern Indiana.

Produce

Raised Right

As Mayse Farm Market continues its 75th year of operation, 67-year-old Paul Mayse says he’s now serving his third or fourth generation of customers.

“Back in the early days, we picked the sweet corn using a horse or mule hitched to a large, wooden sled,” says Mayse, who took the farm over in 1974. “It was a big attraction. A lot of people come in — who were children back then — and still talk about that.”

Mayse’s parents Vance and Minnie Mayse started Mayse Farm Market in the early 1940s at the old farmers market on Fourth Street. After Mayse graduated from F.J. Reitz High School and Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Kentucky, he took over the market. In 1977, he built a roadside farm market onsite at their family farm at 6400 N. St. Joseph Ave., and has continued to expand to a full market. Today, Mayse Farm Market grows produce on 70 of its 90 acres with crops including strawberries, sweet corn, tomatoes, pumpkins, and more. The market also offers an on-the-farm bakery with signature fruit breads, pies, cookies, fudge, and other desserts.

Sherrill & Paul Mayse. Photo by Julie Hope.

“We think back to his parents and how hard they worked,” says Sherrill Mayse, who met Paul at Reitz. The two have been married for 47 years. “Today, we have tractors, more equipment, and things are modernized. It’s a good, busy life. Farming is rewarding. The market is closed February through April, but when we open back up in May, our customers tell us they are glad to have us back open again. Of course, that makes us happy and proud to offer fresh, farm produce for our customers who are glad to see us again.”

In the last 75 years, Paul says the customer base is more conscious now of where the food is actually coming from and exactly whom they are buying from.

“We are established and we are not going anywhere. I think people like consistency,” says Paul. “My mom used to say that retirement on the farm is death.”

Mayse Farm Market picks its produce fresh daily and is open every day from May to October. The farm also participates in the Franklin Street Bazaar, which is held every Saturday until Sept. 19. The farm is hosting a customer appreciation day at the end of August where Paul will re-enact the horse-drawn sled pull and gather crops. The event also will have hot dogs, soft drinks, and promotions. During six weeks in the fall, Mayse Farm Market offers Family Fun on the Farm featuring daily school tours and weekend fun with two corn mazes, wagon rides, pumpkin picking, pony rides, a Jumping Pillow, and several other attractions.

“We want people to have a farm experience here,” says Paul. “They can actually see us coming in with a load of strawberries, sweet corn, or tomatoes, which is something they don’t see in a grocery store.”

For more information about Mayse Farm Market, call 812-963-3175 or visit maysefarmmarket.com.

Ripe for the Eating

Bud’s Farm Market shares the secret behind its tomatoes

We all know the best tomatoes are grown in Southern Indiana, and there also is wide agreement that Bud’s Farm Market offers the best in the area. Therefore, we think Bud’s grows the best tomatoes in the world. Who’s to argue?

Bud Vogt of Evansville has managed the 30-acre farm located at 3301 S. Weinbach Ave. for 19 years and has a few secrets he agreed to share.

Heat and humidity in the region benefit tomatoes. Vogt believes the stress exerted on the plants triggers the perfect combination of sweetness and acidity.

Variety of selection also is important — Vogt currently has 25 to 30 varieties of tomatoes planted and tries five to 10 more every year to judge their quality. He says the most popular is Cherokee Purple.

Vogt, who uses natural fertilizers, says it’s vital to treat the soil like a living organism to produce tomatoes with better taste, quality, and texture.

“I’m using naturally-occurring compounds, and the idea is to increase biological activity in the soil,” says Vogt. “It’s a difference of pumping the produce with steroids versus natural biological activity.”

Passion Fruit

Throughout Bill Engelbrecht’s life of 64 years, he’s been faced with moments where he could have said goodbye to his family’s Newburgh, Indiana, orchard. But to him, those situations were opportunities to say yes to its continuation.

The Engelbrecht family orchard, started by Bill’s grandfather, began growing peaches and apples in 1919 on the North Side of Evansville. Bill’s father Bob and his mother Peg worked to expand it in the late 1940s. Thirty years later, Bill and his wife Debbie took over the operations and moved it to Newburgh.

The orchard eventually was sold in the early 2000s and the land was converted into two subdivisions, but Bill couldn’t stay away. In 2004, he planted a new orchard on Old Petersburg Road and worked it until his son took over and ran it as Joe Engelbrecht’s Fourth Generation Orchard for four years. Bill was then presented with the choice to come out of retirement and he took it.

“We are not as big as we once were, but the Engelbrecht name is still out there,” says Bill, who was selling insurance when he reopened the market in Newburgh three years ago. “We still have the same peaches, but I think they are better than they ever were.”

Today, Engelbrecht’s Homegrown Goodness, 7766 Fruitwood Lane, sells peaches, apples, vegetables, flowers, baked goods, and more at its storefront while farming 60 acres of 2,500 peach trees and 1,500 apple trees.  

Eggs

Happy-Go-Clucky

Jake’s Happy Hens provides supreme care for its chickens

Crack open an egg from Jake’s Happy Hens and watch it hit the frying pan. You’ll see the rich, orange yolk not common in store-bought eggs. Jacob Carneal of Jake’s Happy Hens says his farm’s eggs are more flavorful and nutritious, which occurs from having healthier chickens.

Carneal has lived on the farm his entire life and always has been around animals. His family raised Thoroughbreds, and he also grew up with hens. His neighbors owned goats, and they recommended starting a chicken farm, which he did in the fall of 2011.

As the owner of Jake’s Happy Hens, located at 2700 S. Green River Road, Carneal began with about 500 Golden Comet hens, which are known for their brown egg production. Because he couldn’t keep up with the demand, he now keeps roughly 1,000 chickens. Carneal also formulates his own feed to ensure the hens are healthy, which leads to healthy eggs. Everything about the process is natural.

“We don’t have to jack them up with antibiotics or steroids to keep them alive,” he says. “We don’t give them any hormones. Our top priority is the health of the bird to provide the best product.”

Jacob Carneal with a flock of his happen hens. Photos by Julie Hope.

The upkeep of the coop shows this as well. The system can hold 1,200 hens, but Carneal keeps only 1,000 to provide ample space for healthy living. There are rows of nests, and eggs roll out on a central belt, where 80 dozen are collected every day during peak season. It is vital, says Carneal, to make sure the coop is as clean as possible.

“We maintain the house and keep it clean, and the system makes it easier,” he says. “The nest system is elevated off the floor so the manure falls into a pit, keeping it away from the hens and ensuring their health.”

Outside the coop are four acres of alfalfa and fescue grass, where the hens range free to gather nutrients. Carneal rotates which part of the land on which the brood can range. This makes the process more expensive, but Carneal takes pride in being able to provide the best for his animals. His peacock, Houdini, protects the hens from other wildlife.

Carneal also is planning to use his land for Freedom Ranger chickens. They are raised for their meat during a 10-week process, which would provide another product for customers.

Patrons can buy the company’s eggs at Adele’s Naturally, Elbert’s Natural Food Market, Aihua Oriental Market, and Fountain View Mini Market, all in Evansville; Pearson’s Rivertown Butcher Shop and Paradise Organics, both in Newburgh, Indiana; or right out of the house on the farm.

He credits the Will family of C & C Farms, Inc. in Evansville, the Wathen family of Wathen Farms in Evansville, his own family, including his father Jeff, and various friends for helping him every step of the way.

“I’ve always liked animals,” says Carneal. “I got my first chicken when I was nine. I like being able to provide a real product to people.”

For more information about Jake’s Happy Hens, call 812-476-5558 or visit facebook.com/JakesHappyHens.

Orange is the New Healthy

Ask anyone who grew up eating farm-fresh eggs, and you’ll hear about the difference between the eggs of their childhood and what is sold today in supermarkets. Jacob Carneal of Jake’s Happy Hens explains a few advantages farm-grown eggs have over other eggs.

First, the eggs his hens produce contain a yolk that is more orange than the common egg. Instead of being watered-down, farm-grown yolks also have more substance, which aids in the flavor. Most importantly, they are a healthy alternative because of their natural nutrients.

“The eggs have high Vitamin D and also have high omega-3 fatty acids from the fishmeal we put in the chicken’s feed,” says Carneal.

Purdue University professors from West Lafayette, Indiana, visited the farm in June to teach Carneal more about the bird flu. He is precautious to ensure his chickens and their eggs remain healthy. 

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Honey

The Latest Buzz

Hedgegrove Meadery and Winery provides unique product

The origins of mead date back centuries. Believed to increase fertility and virility, newlyweds were once given honey wine to drink for the first moon, or month, of their marriage, creating the term “honeymoon” we know today. But that tradition wouldn’t even have existed without honey.

Nathan Kluger of Hedgegrove Meadery & Winery. Photos by Zach Straw.

Nathan Kluger, a Gibson county resident, has lived around bees since he was 6 years old. He started his own hive in 2008 with his wife Laura and the two sold honey at the Newburgh Country Store in Newburgh, Indiana, when Nathan’s family owned it. But he desired to create something unique in the region after realizing the apiary’s potential.

“We wanted to grow the business in an effective way so we started the winery and the rest is history,” says Kluger.

Hedgegrove Meadery and Winery currently produces three varieties of sparkling honey wine — Honey Silhouette, Raspberry Silhouette, and Black Currant Silhouette. SweetSummer Mead was released in July, and Blueberry Silhouette is scheduled to debut later this year.

Kluger says naturally sparkling the wine draws out its character by allowing it to remain an all-natural product. He appeals to those who appreciate the taste of a delicate, crisp white wine style, such as pinot grigio wine.

“We want to engineer a product that is crisp and appeals to white wine lovers craft,” says Kluger. “We wanted to distinguish it from other meads. The sparkle and the delicate crispness are what distinguish it.”

Hedgegrove houses 20 to 30 beehives, and the bees produce about 1,500 to 2,000 pounds of honey each year. The Klugers sell mead-grade honey once a year, and patrons can acquire it by signing up for the farm’s newsletter on its website.

Although it is more challenging than boiling or filtering the honey, the key, Kluger says, is using a raw product because it preserves the honey’s aromas. Studies have shown that raw honey has an array of health benefits as well.

The wine also ages in fermentation tanks, which are kept in a room chilled between 55 and 59 degrees. That can take anywhere from one to six months, at which point the wine is transferred into bottles. It then goes through tertiary fermentation, which allows it to sparkle in the bottle like champagne.

The Klugers recommend pairing Honey Silhouette with locally-grown pears and goat cheeses. Salads accompany Raspberry Silhouette quite nicely, and patrons can enjoy Black Currant Silhouette with roast wild game and vegetables.

This practice has been rewarding for Kluger. He hopes to add to the customer experience by building a larger facility that can accommodate the public with a tasting room. Already sitting on the winery’s property is the Klugers’ home, built in the early 1800s. Watermelon patches surround his land, which is lined with alfalfa.

“We like to keep it local so we produce it all here,” he says. “It is an all-natural agricultural product unlike anything else you can buy in the country.”

For more information about Hedgegrove Meadery and Winery, call 812-962-0922 or visit hedgegrovefarms.com.

Bee the Change

Although the honey is sweet, avid beekeepers Dru Perry and Ryan Kilinski say the real treat is in helping the environment.

In 2011, Perry, who lives in Evansville and works at Vectren, and Kilinski, a Newburgh, Indiana, native who now lives in Portland, Oregon, began selling beehives made from Western Red Cedar from Canada — a material durable enough to last outside more than 20 years. Their company Legacy Apiaries, 3113 N. First Ave., also produces organic, fresh, and unprocessed honey and works to educate the community on how bees benefit the environment. The population of bees has declined in recent years, which has worried scientists because of their integral part in pollination of foods we eat and products we use.

“That’s why we got into this business — to support beekeeping throughout the community and the U.S.,” says Perry. “I’m always willing to share my knowledge with new beekeepers. It’s important for Evansville and Newburgh residents to know there is no ordinance that prevents them from having bees anywhere.”

Perry encourages those interested in beekeeping to read as much as possible on the subject and then decide the type of beehive they want. Whether they choose a hive from Legacy Apiaries or another manufacturer, Perry says he hopes to create interest in the hobby.

The first step to beekeeping is to choose a hive. Legacy sells six variations of hives and frames, a key part of the beehive, which holds the honeycomb. Next, purchase the bees — Perry recommends buying insects from Kelley Beekeeping in Clarkson, Kentucky, which offers shipping or pickup.

“A single hive can produce 40 to 60 pounds of honey a year,” says Perry. “There’s a huge market for local honey.”

To learn more or purchase a hive, call 812-202-6233 or visit legacyapiaries.com. Products include this 10 Frame Western Red Cedar Langstroth Beehive.

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Dairy

All Natural

When you peek into the refrigerator and notice the cottage cheese has gone sour, there’s no need to run to the store when you can make your own. Off the Fence Farms, established 10 years ago by Steve and Jetti Willett, is an organic farm located on W. Mill Road in Evansville. Now owned by the Willetts’ daughter and son-in-law Gwen and Kenneth McTaggart, Off the Fence offers a range of food, all ethically grown or produced, including CSA (community supported agriculture) vegetables, a dairy share program for raw milk, and pastured eggs fed certified non-GMO grains free of corn and soy. The raw milk is excellent for making cottage cheese, and although it can be made with pasteurized milk, Gwen says the taste is much better raw with cultures and probiotics. Grab a gallon of milk, then see this recipe Off the Fence uses to create their cottage cheese.

More Cheese, Please

Jerry and Marsha Steckler of Steckler Grassfed believe in raising their farm animals with no antibiotics, hormones, steroids, or any other foreign additives. The Stecklers’ cows and sheep eat grass; the chickens and turkeys eat grass, bugs, and grains. Steckler Grassfed is a family-owned pasture-based, certified organic farm in Dale, Indiana.

Because the cows are 100 percent grassfed, Steckler’s cheese has a much higher percentage of omega-3 fatty acids as well as conjugated linoleic acid, essential to a healthy diet for humans. Steckler Grassfed offers aged, raw-milk cheddar, Colby, Monterey Jack, and pepper jack aged 60 days from its own Dutch Belted dairy herd, pastured poultry and eggs, and 100 percent grassfed beef and lamb.

“Our cheese is much less processed” compared to what’s found in most grocery store chains, says Jerry, whose farm produces 70 pounds of cheese a day. “This is a raw-milk cheese and everything else you’re going to buy is pasteurized. The enzymes are higher and it is processed at quite low temperatures … It is a much more live food product.

“When you keep in harmony with nature, the taste and the flavor is heads and shoulders above conventional cheese.”

Twenty-nine years ago, the Stecklers worked as conventional dairy farmers and kept their cattle in confinement. But in 1994, Steckler Grassfed made a commitment to a more natural way of farming that combines organic production practices with intensive rotational grazing on the 200-acre farm.

“The customers who excite me the most are the couples with young kids because for those young kids, if we can get them good nutrition, we can make a real difference during their whole lives,” says Jerry. “People need to think about that. It’s not something we think about.”

All of Steckler’s products are offered at its on-farm store, which is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays, noon to 6 p.m. Fridays, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays, or by appointment. Its cheese also is available across the Tri-State area at many farmers markets, restaurants, retailers, and winery locations.

For more information about Steckler Grassfed, call 812-683-3098 or visit stecklergrassfed.com.

Photo of Steckler Grassfed cheese by Heather Gray. Photo of Jerry Steckler by Greg Eans.

Meat

You Are What They Eat

Stonewall Farms owners Bobby and Sarah Cannon are taking a step back in time. Located in Posey County, Indiana, the farm raises heritage animals the way people would have cared for the creatures decades ago.

“The difference between heritage animals and commercial breeds are that heritage animals are old breeds designed to live on the pasture,” says Bobby Cannon. “They live their whole life on the pastures. We’re raising our animals the way your grandparents would have raised them.”

Bobby and Sarah Cannon with their daughter Rose, and sons, Davis and Liam. Photo by Jerry Butts.

Stonewall Farms has been operating for 12 years, offering Black Angus beef, Tamworth hogs, Delaware chickens, and Suffolk lambs, among others. They are fed locally-grown feed with no hormones or antibiotics. The flavor of the meat comes from the 15-acre pasture, so it is rich in natural nutrients. The Cannons also finish their beef with flaxseed, which is unique and beneficial for the animals and consumers.

“Nutritionally, there’s as much omega-3 fatty acids in the beef as there is in fish,” says Cannon. “It also increases the Vitamin D content in the beef. Second, we’re boosting the animals’ immune system through their diet. And third, it gives the beef a fantastic texture.”

Cannon says the local support of his farm has been abundant and has created a situation similar to that of a co-op. About 100 families pick up meat from the farm, and he believes the desire to buy local products is growing because of all the parties who handle the products.

“That’s really important to people because they want to know where their food is coming from,” he says. “People are wanting to get back to knowing their farmer.”

Stonewall Farms concentrates its efforts locally as well. Its meat is processed by Dewig Meats in Haubstadt, Indiana, and the farm buys produce from other local farmers. It is important, Cannon says, for local farmers to work together.

“A farm can’t do everything so it’s wonderful we can fill our fridge with local products,” he says. “We rely on the other farms as well. It takes a community to support us. And we wouldn’t have the diversity of food without them.”

Stonewall Farms is preparing to double this year’s production next year. Farming is year-round for Cannon, which has provided tremendous opportunities for him and his family.

For more information about Stonewall Farms, call 812-985-0349 or visit stonewall-farms.com.

Regional Support

Because Mumford Hills’ livestock dines daily on a fresh salad bar, the beef produced from the cows contains vital fatty acids needed in diets that grainfed meats lack.

“Grassfed beef is the best and healthiest you can sell your patrons,” says Mike Mumford, co-owner of Mumford Hills Livestock. “It’s more flavorful. There’s a significant difference between that and grainfed beef.”

Mike and his wife Sandy are the fifth generation of Mumfords to own the farm, which was established in 1847. Located in Griffin, Indiana, Mumford Hills Livestock offers USDA-certified grassfed beef with no hormones or antibiotics. The cattle are raised on the pasture their entire lives and are never fed grain. Grassfed livestock contain omega-3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acids, which are essential in human diets.

Mumford Hills Livestock beef is offered at Elbert’s Natural Food Market, 5614 E. Virginia St., and Dewig Meats at 100 Maple St., Haubstadt, IN. All four Bob’s Gym locations in Evansville and Newburgh, Indiana, offer it as well in their Perfectly Fresh meals.

PG, a restaurant located at 1418 W. Franklin St., uses beef from Stonewall Farms in Posey County, Indiana. Look for more locations in the Tri-State that are getting back to their roots and carrying locally raised meats.

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CSAs/Co-ops

Sharing is Caring

CSAs — Community Supported Agriculture — allow city residents a way to purchase direct from farms.

By joining a CSA, members can buy shares and receive a percentage of what a farm harvests each season. Consumers purchase shares by paying farmers a lump sum before the start of the season. Farmers stay in touch with their shareholders by letting them know what is available each week and when to schedule pick-ups. Some CSAs are customizable, allowing their shareholders to pick what items they would like in their share for that week, while others decide what is included ahead of pick-up time.

Certified Organic

When the community expressed a need for organic, natural food, River City Food Co-op turned a former home at 116 Washington Ave. into a grocery store to make sure the need was met. The co-op was organized in the fall of 2005 by a group of city residents who had a mission to provide these foods to the neighborhood.

“We’re a community grocer that always has had the goal of providing healthy food options,” says Lisa Sutton, general manager of the co-op. “It started out really just in this neighborhood, in one room only, and it’s expanded out to more of this space and of this area.”

Photo of River City Food Co-Op by Hannah Jay.

The store is open daily, with a small café serving fresh, vegan meals Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday. In addition to produce and bulk foods, River City Food Co-op has local cheese, whole butter and butter substitutes, local meat, meat substitutes, milk, and milk substitutes.

Currently, Sutton and her staff are transitioning the store to focus more on whole foods, moving away from processed items. The grocery will still carry the products that sell well and are favorites among customers, but Sutton says the layout will shift to highlight their whole foods.

“Once we condense and everything is shifted into the other room, our focus and belief, which is whole living and whole foods, will be clear and on display,” she says.

River City Food Co-op is open to everyone, not just those who buy memberships. However, members receive discounts and member ownership in a local business. “We really want people to understand their food choices,” she says. “I think people understand that food is important. Now with so many chemicals in the soil and other environmental aspects, if we can at least have our diets free of that through careful choices, it’s all for the good of our health in general.”

For more information about the River City Food Co-op, call 812-401-7301 or visit rivercityfoodcoop.org.

Off the Fence Farms

2739 W. Mill Road, Evansville
offthefencefarms.com 
Vegetable shares depend on season; members receive a weekly email detailing what produce is available. Produce may include spring lettuce mix, mixed greens, cabbage, broccoli, snap peas, etc. Growing season is usually May through October depending on weather. Dairy shares include a gallon of raw milk per week for a full share and a half-gallon for a half share. Raw yogurt shares also are available.
Pick-ups for the vegetable shares are on designated days. Pick-ups for dairy shares are weekly. All pick-ups are made at the farm or can be arranged for pick-up at the Children’s Center for Dance Education on Vogel Road 

Seton Harvest

9400 New Harmony Road, Evansville
812-963-7692, setonharvest.org

Shares include choices of between 50 and 60 different varieties of vegetables and greens, as well as strawberries, blackberries, watermelons, and cantaloupes. Available to all members is an herb garden, with eight to 10 different herbs, and a flower garden.
Shares are available for 26 weeks from mid-May to mid-November and can be picked up at the farm from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays and from 8 to 11 a.m. Saturdays.

Stonewall Farms

9200 Amber Lane, Mount Vernon, IN
812-985-0349, stonewall-farms.com

Single share includes 12 pounds of grassfed beef, including ground beef, roast, steak, and a specialty cut. Shares are customizable with options to substitute some of the beef with chicken, pork, or lamb.
Shares can be picked up at the Downtown Evansville Farmers Market, Historic Newburgh Farmers Market, the Franklin Street Bazaar, or at Stonewall Farms.

Turning Point Farm

9012 Somers Road, New Harmony, IN 
812-270-1717, facebook.com/newharmonyturningpointfarm

Full and half shares offer varieties of naturally grown produce from April through October. Types of produce depend on the season and include greens and vegetables, as well as some fruit in the summer season. 
Shares may be picked up on Wednesdays weekly from noon to 2 p.m. at the farm and from 5 to 7 p.m. at Unity of Evansville Church, 4118 Pollack Ave. Home deliveries also can be scheduled within New Harmony city limits.

Vegetable Land 

3470 Vines Road, Mount Vernon, IN
812-457-1549, vegetableland.com

Shares include fresh vegetables, local pecans, foraged greens, and woodland mushrooms. Included in a share is a seasonal assortment, enough for one to two people.
Shares are dropped off weekly at the River City Food Co-op, 116 Washington Ave. 

Gardens

Giving Spirit

From the busy lanes of the Lloyd Expressway between Stockwell Road and Vann Avenue, some Evansville residents may miss the Southwestern Indiana Master Gardener Association’s display gardens nestled just off the highway. Open to all to explore, the footpaths allow visitors to wander through and appreciate the gardens’ offered beauty.

“We have a lot of people that come through,” says Kay Haller, co-chairperson of the display gardens. “A lot of photographers, people who want to hold weddings, all kinds of neat things.”

The gardens sit on the former site of the Evansville State Hospital; the Master Gardeners acquired the 1.5 acres from the state of Indiana in 2005, making this year their 10th anniversary at the location. Among the sponsored gardens — many of which corporate sponsors make possible — is a victory garden filled with vegetables. The name victory garden hails from the days of World War II, when food rations had many Americans planting their own vegetable gardens to produce food. Haller says when the garden began, it produced 3,000 pounds of vegetables the organization donated.

“We have gone up to about 12,000 pounds of vegetables to the Tri-State food banks every year,” she says.

With 22 gardens and around 100 gardeners tending the plots throughout the year, the display gardens are a beautiful treat in Evansville.

“It’s so unique and not a lot of people know it’s here,” says Haller.

For more information about the Southwestern Indiana Master Gardener Association, visit swimga.org.

Photo of Kay Haller and Julie Mallory, co-chairs of the display gardens, by Julie Hope.

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Garden photos of Dr. Steven Rupert and Mark Schauss, Heather and Mike Wilson, Clint Kern, and Franklin Street Association Community Garden. 

Dr. Steven Rupert and Mark Schauss, both of Evansville, created a garden at the Medical Center for Pain Relief, where they work. With the help of Wayne Hancock and Phillip LaRue, both of Henderson, Kentucky, and Ron Owens and Joel Rupert, both of Evansville, the garden has enough to sell and give away their harvests to food banks.

Heather and Mike Wilson of Wadesville, Indiana, have been gardening for seven years. They grow a variety of fruits and vegetables including broccoli, cabbage, tomatoes, sweet corn, lettuce, berries, and more. The Wilsons wanted to give their kids the experience of knowing where their food comes from.

Clint Kern, owner of Aficionado Farms in Newburgh, Indiana, returned to his hometown of Evansville about a year ago from Fort Collins, Colorado. Along with Brandi Haas, Kern helps improve Evansville’s food choices. The farm stand sells to the public on Wednesdays, Elbert’s Natural Food Market, the Franklin Street Bazaar, and other restaurants.

Started in 2014 by the Franklin Street Association, the community garden located west of St. Joseph Avenue offers neighborhood businesses plots for their employees. However, the first three beds in the garden are open to community access. “It improves the nutrition of the community as a whole,” says Sarah Stewart, chair of the garden.

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Marketing Markets

Some families pass down secret recipes and favorite traditions through generations. For Jane Schroeder, her family passed down a love and knowledge of Evansville’s farmers markets.

Schroeder can trace her family’s involvement with the city’s markets back more than 75 years. Her parents Harold and Martha Jourdan were vendors for more than 40 years. She describes her family as the “bookends” of the former Evansville Municipal Farmers Market, which was held on First Avenue. Her father’s parents were among the first vendors in 1918 and her father and mother were still selling at the final market in 1996.

In 2014, to honor her family’s legacy and her parents’ work with farmers markets, Schroeder published her book, “Market Table Memories: Seventy-five Years of Family Gardening, Vending, and Values.”

“I had three goals in mind writing it,” she says. “The first is that it serves up information, instruction, encouragement, and inspiration to the reader. The second purpose was to bestow honor to my parents. The third was to pay tribute to the farmer and farmers markets.”

She says watching the resurgence of markets in the community has been great to witness. Her plans are to continue “marketing markets” and hopes sharing her multi-generational family’s involvement with farming and vending will help others. Her father held a belief Evansville needs a big farmers market and Schroeder agrees.

“I wanted to continue being his voice,” she says. “I just don’t want to stop. I don’t want the markets to stop.”

For more information about “Market Table Memories,” contact Pattie Davis at 812-421-8032.

Harold and Martha Jourdan set up at the Evansville Municipal Farmers Market. Photo of Jane Schroeder by Hannah Jay.

Tote Note

Evansville Living has teamed up with local screen printer Burnt Prairie Print Shop to create a limited edition, custom-designed tote bag. The Homegrown Market Tote will be sold at St. Mary’s Market Days beginning July 16, and also is available directly from Tucker Publishing Group for $15. The premium cotton tote has a large bottom gusset and includes a copy of the July/August magazine. We think it’s tote-ally awesome. Happy shopping!

Photo by Julie Hope

View the full feature in the July/August issue of Evansville Living for a comprehensive list of area farmers markets and a directory of local food producers.

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