Around Town

Plant a Row for the Hungry Effort Takes Root

ImageThe 2008 planting season is upon us – pull out your hoes and spades and start that victory garden! Whether you are a seasoned gardener with a yard full of veggies, or you have a window with a few containers, donating some of your harvest to help folks in need have a fresh, local meal will make a difference.

 Are you looking to plant something new this year? There is a market for a more diverse selection of produce – beets, okra, parsnips, turnips, rhubarb and (of course) savory herbs! Tomatoes, potatoes, squash, onions, carrots, pepper, lettuce and zucchini are welcome, too.

‘Plant a Row for the Hungry’ (also known as PAR), has been a successful campaign in Bloomington since 2002. Last year alone 21,811 pounds of local produce were donated to the Hoosier Hills Food Bank, the agency that provides food to over 80 non-profit organizations in our community. Since it began in Bloomington, PAR has been the effort of the following community partners: Bloomingfoods, City of Bloomington Parks & Recreation, Hilltop Garden & Nature Center, Hoosier Hills Food Bank, Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard, and Worm’s Way.

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Big Treetop : Building Community

ImageOn Monday, June 9th, Steve and I attended the launch party for Big Treetop, the first online platform carefully designed to support and sustain relationships between local businesses and their customer communities. We invite you to sign up and participate in the conversation.

We’re on Big Treetop talking about food we love, posting new and interesting products, and telling folks about things that are happening in our stores. We invite you to tell us what you like to eat - do you have a favorite cheese and you want to tell everyone about it? Is there a sandwich from one of our deli's that you really enjoy? Do you have a favorite new wine that you think others might like knowing about? These are the kinds of things that are perfect for Big Treetop.

Participating businesses currently include - Bloomingfoods, YMCA, Goods for Cooks, SOMA, Baked of Bloomington, Max's Place, Opie Taylor’s, Yogi's, and Revolution Bike and Bean.

Sign up, start friending businesses you love, and participate in the discussion.
We look forward to seeing you on the Bloomingfoods Treetops.

- Jenn Hileman

We're on BigTreetop

ImageBig Treetop is an online community that can engage businesses and their customers in conversations that matter. Big Treetop founder, Christian Briggs, was recently featured on WFHB talking about his business model and what co-creative business means and how it has the potential to shape our community in really positive ways. We’re on Big Treetop talking about food we love, posting information on new and interesting products, and telling folks about things that are happening all around Bloomingfoods.

We would like to see you become a part of the conversation and think that Big Treetop is a great way to connect and share ideas.
Sign up, start friending businesses you love, and participate in the discussion.
We look forward to seeing you on the Bloomingfoods Treetops.

- Jenn Hileman 

Lend a Hand, Buy a Foot to Build New Food Bank

In order to keep pace with the growing demand for food assistance, the Hoosier Hills Food Bank is planning to move to a larger facility this year. "Put simply, we need more space to distribute more food to more people," explains HHFB Executive Director Julio Alonso. The effort to build a larger food bank distribution center can use our help.
Hoosier Hills Food Bank has launched a "Lend a Hand, Buy a Foot" campaign to help secure a new space to get more food to more people. "This campaign is not just about a building, it's about people," says Alonso. "A larger distribution center is essential if we are to be able to carry out our mission of providing food to people in need."
After 25 years of service to the community, the need for HHFB and the more than 80 member agencies it serves is greater than ever. Consumer prices for food and energy jumped last year by the largest amount in 17 years, and economic forecasts for 2008-09 project that those prices will continue going up.
"The reality is that thousands of children, families, seniors, and hard-working people – living right here in south central Indiana – are hungry," says Jennie Rasmussen, resource development coordinator for HHFB. "Hoosier Hills Food Bank stands ready and committed to ensuring that everyone's basic right to eat is met."
"We want to take the hunger out of poverty," she adds.

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Red Hot - Salsa Contest!

Red Hot: Salsa Contest! 
10 am Saturday, August 30th, at the Farmers' Market

Rag's Makes Salsa for the CrowdIt's salsa time again! For the 5th year in a row – and the 20th year of this co-op tradition – we are pleased to team up with Bloomington Parks and Recreation to co-sponsor the annual Bloomington Salsa Contest, a shakedown showdown in which we ask local judges to determine who makes the best salsa in Bloomington.

The Salsa Contest is one of our community's most popular summertime food traditions. Held at the end of August, when homegrown chilies and tomatoes are most plentiful, you can catch this event at the Bloomington Farmers' Market at Showers Commons, beginning at 10 am on Saturday, August 30th.

This year we are making an addition to the event format, at the request of a number of previous participants. We are adding specialty salsa as a third category, alongside tomato-based raw and cooked. Specialty salsa may be either raw or cooked, without a tomato base. For those folks who have been hankering to compete with a fruit-based salsa, now is your chance.

Here is how the Salsa Contest works:

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