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Natural Awakenings Indianapolis

Indy Sustainable Farming Movement Booms

Mar 01, 2016 01:06PM ● By Lanette Er

Demand is up for food produced free of chemicals and pharmaceutical drugs, like glyphosate used on corn crops and growth hormones in cattle. Indianapolis has become a boomtown of interesting farming techniques and sustainable options. Community and personal gardens are also popping up all over Greater Indy as many realize the safest food is the food we grow ourselves.

When it comes to finding sustainable produce, farmers’ markets are a great place to start. A few markets are open year-round, and the number rises to over 30 markets throughout the Indy community during the growing season. Small-scale sustainable farming is often well represented, but don’t be too shy to ask how the food at a farmers’ market was produced.

For those that are too busy to make farmers’ market hours or simply like everything delivered, Tyner Pond Farm delivers legitimately pasture-raised beef, pork, chicken and lamb to your doorstep. Tyner also plans to open a small-scale grocery store in Irvington this year.

There’s no safer way to know what goes into food than to grow it yourself, and there is no better time to start learning than right now. The Internet provides many guides for the novice urban farmer. New gardeners can expect failures, but shouldn’t get discouraged. For those that want help in getting started, the Greenscape Geeks consult on and install personal and community urban farms.

As the farming movement goes through some drastic changes, indoor farming may be the wave of the future. Hydroponics is a farming method that utilizes 90 percent less water, negates the need for harmful pesticides and can be done year-round despite climate zone limitations.

Sustainable Local Foods of Indiana (SLF) is converting a 61,000-square-foot warehouse on South Rural Street into an urban farm. Using a tiered, organic, hydroponic growing system, the farm will grow produce year-round to be sold in Indiana grocery stores.

The do-it-yourself crowd can receive help with hydroponics from Maximum Grow in Irvington. Maximum Grow provides materials for and assists in the building of home hydroponics systems.

Finally, sustainable farming isn’t just for food these days. When planning your next wedding or event, the Indy Urban Acres Flower Farm is the solution to traditional pesticide-doused bouquets and centerpieces. Indy Urban Acres Flower Farm is the sister farm to Indy Urban Acres Organic Farm, a sustainable farm on Indy’s East side that donates all of its produce to food pantries.

For more information on delivery from Tyner Pond Farm, visit

For more information on the Greenscape Geeks, call 317-801-5833 or visit

For more information on Sustainable Local Foods, visit

Maximum Grow is located at 6117 E. Washington St., Indianapolis. For more information, call 317-359-4769 or visit

For more information on Indy Urban Acres Flower Farm, visit

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