What We Do
The Local Growers Guild is involved in many projects throughout the year, helping promote local foods and supporting growers in many different ways throughout Indiana and the United States. Here are some of the projects and events we coordinate.
The Local Growers’ Guide is produced annually and distributed
throughout south central Indiana to promote LGG member farms, retailers, and supporting organizations. The guide assists patrons of local food to learn how, where, and why to buy local food. LGG members are also promoted on our high visibility website and promoted in our monthly newsletters. A new video education initiative has spotlighted the operations of our grower members to reach an even wider audience. In addition, the LGG serves as a connection point for retailers, to help them find local food products suitable to their needs.
The LGG collaborates with local and state partners to create and promote learning opportunities for growers. The LGG offers grower workshops and webinars on a range of topics such as grant opportunities for growers, implementing irrigation, conservation programs, and scaling up your operation. In addition, we hold monthly potlucks at a member farm around a particular theme like growing medicinals, crop planning, and small hand tools. We send out a monthly newsletter with events and news of interest and our website is continually updated and includes blog and events, resource, and video pages, useful for both experienced and new growers.
Farm Connect, the Locavores’ Login
In an effort to increase local food sales, the Local Growers’ Guild is
piloting Farm Connect, an online buying club. Growers will be able
to sell their farm products at retail or wholesale prices and buyers will
be able to shop in a virtual market and view products from different
growers in one place. Farm Connect will work to ensure the grower
is receiving the best possible price for their product, while increasing
food security and agricultural sustainability of our region.
Small Farm Advocacy
The Local Growers’ Guild shares legislative updates and policies with members that effect small and medium-sized growers. In our advocacy work we focus on efforts that effect our local food economy and small and medium-size farms. Our website and newsletter updates our members and supporters on ways they can engage with these issues of importance to them.
LGG members are able to take advantage of discounts made possible by our group purchasing power. Throughout the year, we coordinate purchases of organic fertilizers, soil amendments, cover crop seeds, and other farm and garden supplies.
Monthly Potluck Gatherings
The Monthly Gatherings are held at member farms and offer opportunities for long-time practitioners and new farmers to connect with each other and learn new growing techniques. Some discussion are geared towards the general public and community supporters of local foods, while others give growers a change to delve deeper into topics that might help them extend their season, build their capacity to support themselves with specialty crops, or develop value-added artisan products. Most discussions are moderated by members of the LGG, experts in our region who have valuable information and expertise to share.
Previous topics include:
- Growing in Drought
- Growing Medicinals
- Using Small Hand Tools
- Crop Planning
CSA Day – February
CSA Day is an event designed to educate community members about what CSAs are available as well as provide a forum for grower members to promote their CSAs.
Local Growers Guide – Spring
The Local Growers Guild (LGG) publishes a guide containing information about where, how, and why to buy local food in southern and central Indiana. Free copies of the 2011 Guide are now available from retailer members of the Guild, as well as at other locations around south central Indiana. The guide includes profiles of our member farms, a list of CSA programs offered in the area, information about our member retailers who offer locally grown food, a listing of area farmers’ markets and local food resources, and information about why it’s important to eat locally.
LGG Annual Meeting – Summer
Our Annual Meeting is s potluck than gives guests a chance to visit, learn about the LGG, and tour a local farm.
Past hosts of the annual meeting include Butler Winery, Schacht Farm, Creekbend Vineyard, Howard Family Farm, and Liberty Pastures Family Farm.
Homegrown Indiana Farm Tour
In collaboration with the City of Bloomington and Bloomingfoods, residents are invited to spend an afternoon immersed in an LGG member farm’s diverse ecosystem and enjoy a farm-fork meal. This year’s tours took place at Sun Circle Farm and Ewenique Farm.