Week four for Farmished saw the heat turned up quite a bit on all fronts. The week included some really great and in depth meetings with people like Michael O’Donnell, the Purdue Extension to Delaware County, and Daniel Wasson of Wasson Nursery. We covered a lot of topics helpful to the cause like other people working on projects that could contribute or benefit from a coordinated effort and just other contacts that we need to reach out to and bring up to speed on what we are doing and our goals.
Later in the week we had a very interesting meeting with Mayor Dennis Tyler and Christopher Allen in the Mayor’s office and discussed many different ways we could partner and work together. There are some exciting things here but I’ll save them for when an official announcement can be made. To say that there is good support for our cause is an understatement and this was a pleasant surprise for me. We will be working with Christopher in the coming days to move things forward in time for some good announcements in the next week or so.
This week included some other big accomplishments that will get a formal announcement soon as well including the selection of our initial Board of Directors! This allowed us to complete and finish our Bylaws and our 501c3 filing document which are both in legal review now. We hope to be able to announce something formal on that next week as it is an exciting next step that will push us out of the forming and start up phase and into official operation!
The week ended on another good note as we attending the local Minnetrista Farmer’s Market vendor meeting to kick off this season. There were many good connections made there with community members and the producers who we want to help. We were able to identify one initial program target for them in the process. Apparently Minnetrista ran a full page add announcing the coming farmer’s market season with old copy proclaiming that they are a 100% producer market, meaning that if you buy food from a stand, that vendor produced that good. That is in fact not their rule. The requirement is currently only 51% of your goods over the course of the full growing season being produced by you. The rest can be trucked in from out of state auctions and sold in the stand competing with local producers. Betty Brewer acknowledged this mistake and plans to run a correction in all the media where the ad was released, but the majority of the producers would rather see them shift to a fully producer model like our other peers are such as Bloomington which is generally considered a great model in a sustainable local food economy. You’ll see a lot more on this one later as Minnetrista still has not adopted Home-based Vendors either as allowed by House Enrolled Act 1309 passed during the 2009 legislative session of the state of Indiana. Both of these measures can improve the local food economy substantially so look for more soon!