Want to learn more about food and other products grown and produced in Indiana. A visit to the Indiana Grown store inside the Agriculture Horticulture Building at the Indiana State Fair reveals just about everything you can imagine is produced right here in the Hoosier state. The program manager for Indiana grown, Suzi Spahr says the selection of items for sale includes edible items, of course.
“Your standard popcorn and some of your jams and jellies, but we also have some baked goods, toffee, candy, coffee that’s been roasted here in the state, and then a ton of different types of non-edibles,” she said. “Soaps, lotions that are all using agricultural products, be that mint or soybean oil in the products themselves.”
She said each day at noon there are free cooking demonstrations on the stage. Want free samples? They have those also.
“Throughout the day we have samples from Indiana Grown members who are sampling their products, and there’ll be somewhere between five and ten different members here every single day, so you can sample your product and then come into the store and buy it. Or you can just gain some information from those different folks about where to find local products in your area.”
Items you can sample correspond to the featured commodity that day at the fair. For example, cheese is featured Friday and the cheese sculpture is also revealed Friday right next to the Indiana Grown Marketplace.
Spahr tells HAT this is the first year Indiana State Department of Agriculture’s Indiana Grown program is managing the store, selling the member products for the members.
More free samples are available at the Indiana Farm Bureau building. They serve free popcorn every day from noon to 5 p.m.
The INFB Women’s Leadership Committee will host “Taste from Indiana Farms” in the Farm Bureau Building auditorium, August 15, 16 and 17 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fairgoers have the opportunity to sample free, locally-grown foods, served by Indiana farm families, and take home a collection of recipes from the event. This year’s featured foods are beef meatballs, cinnamon apple juice, cucumbers and pickles, pretzel snacks, ham slices, semi-sweet chocolate chips, pulled duck, vegetable juice, cheese cubes and lamb burgers.
“We always look forward to opportunities to teach Hoosiers a little bit more about how their food is produced,” said Isabella Chism, INFB’s second vice president and Women’s Leadership Committee chair. “At ‘Taste’ visitors can sample the food we grow and interact with the farmers who grow it. It’s a great opportunity to get answers directly from the source and enjoy quality, homegrown foods.”
INFB also hosts their Old-Fashioned Pancake Breakfast on Farmers Day, August 16, from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. on Main Street. Pancakes, sausage and drinks are available for a $3 suggested donation to support the Indiana FFA Foundation.