Supporting Farmers through the Local Growers Guild

ImageYou've probably noticed the logo for the Local Growers Guild in Bloomingfoods, where we sell t-shirts and tote bags emblazoned with its golden sun and rolling landscape. But what is the purpose of this networking organization? 
"The Local Growers Guild exists to educate, support and connect local growers, consumers, businesses and communities in Southern Indiana," explains Director Maggie Sullivan, quoting the mission of the LGG.
The LGG publishes The Local Growers' Guide, updating it annually with information about how, why, and where to buy local food. You'll find the Guide, as well as "Eat Local" bumper stickers, for sale at co-op locations.
It also helps coordinate the Bloomington Winter Market, an indoor farmers' market held on Saturday mornings from late January through March at Harmony School.
Other activities include sponsoring "Dine Local Night" at area restaurants, an event taking place on Thursday, July 24th this year. The LGG also publishes a bimonthly newsletter, maintains a website, and hosts an educational Winter Guild Gathering for growers, buyers, and interested community members.
In addition, the Local Growers Guild is very involved with a USDA-funded project to build a kitchen incubator in Bloomington. This project will eventually time-share a new commercial kitchen with MiddleWay Food Works in the old Coca-Cola building adjacent to Third Street Park. 
 MiddleWay House is overseeing the construction and operation of the new kitchen, with help from a "Building a Healthy Community" grant secured by Econmic Development Director Charlotte Zietlow, of MiddleWay House.
"These projects – a guild connecting growers, businesses, and consumers; a grower-owned farmers' market that extends the direct-from-farmer-to-consumer selling season; and a kitchen incubator to encourage the production of artisan foods – all represent positive efforts to strengthen our local food economy," says Bobbi Boos, task force leader of the kitchen incubator.
The Local Growers Guild is an agricultural cooperative whose membership includes farmers, retailers, and community members. Membership is open to anyone wishing to support our local food economy. Membership forms for can be found at the LGG website.
If you are are involved with food issues and interested in joining the kitchen incubator advisory board, please contact Bobbi Boos: bobbiboos at gmail.com. 
LGG board meetings are held monthly at the Caldwell Center for Culture and Ecology, 323 South Walnut Avenue, Bloomington IN 47401. Meetings are open to the public.  Please contact Maggie Sullivan for dates and times, at 812-345-1592 or by email, localgrowers at localgrowers.org. And remember that you support the Local Growers Guild every time you buy produce marked with its logo at the co-op!