"The soil is the great connector of our lives, the source and destination of all," wrote Wendell Berry in The Unsettling of America. While he may have been considering the impact of dirt -- and farming -- in the United States' development and culture, he might as well have been talking about stories. Tales set alongside seedlings and harvests have long been a part of American literature and, increasingly, nonfiction explorations of how we eat and make food.
- Erin K. Drew
- Farmers will tell their tales of plants, dirt and adventure 6-9 p.m., Aug. 27 at Flat12 Bierwerks.
So it's little surprise that the rich soil that supplies local farmers' markets also serves as a source for intriguing stories. Cases in point: A part-time farm manager and full-time firefighter grows organic Chiogga beets and mushrooms. After years working in urban farms outside of her hometown, an Indianapolis-raised woman establishes a business that supplies other growers, both commercial and residential, with organic seedlings. A man leaves his family's six-generations-old acreage and spends 15 years in the engineering business, but gets pulled back to the farm by the concept of small-scale pasturing of livestock.
On Wednesday, Aug. 27 at Flat12 (414 N. Dorman St.), lovers of local flavor will have the chance to hear firsthand from each of the farmers described above. They'll talk about how they came to tend the soil and animals and what their careers mean to them. Attendees will also have the chance to nibble on the fruits of Central Indiana food makers including Juniper Spoon catering, Amelia's bread (if they have the seeded bread, try it!) and Caveman Truck. Flat12 beer will be available for purchase -- and a dollar from each fill will benefit the Indy Local Food Guide, a print resource promoting fresh, local food options. More details are available on Facebook.