December 29th, 2017

Indy Urban Acres

by Doug Enas

“An empty stomach is not a good political advisor”

-Albert Einstein

As you pull into the lot of Indy Urban Acres, you are met with an elegant wooden canopy that stretches across the majority of the organic farm’s front property. It has a dirt floor and is lined with various flowers. As you walk through this beautiful crafted fixture you can start to imagine how thousands of volunteers have been introduced to the eight-acre farm. Indy Urban Acres is run in partnership with the Indianapolis Parks Foundation and is a place where groups of youth and other volunteers can come to serve and learn about sustainable farming. The farm’s main focus is providing those who are in need with healthy, organic produce. In conjunction with Gleaners Food Bank, Indy Urban Acres grows over 30,000 pounds of produce every year and serves over 70,000 food pantry clients. 

I visited Indy Urban Acres on a grey winter afternoon. It stays open year round because of its partnership with the Indianapolis Parks Foundation, but there is very little activity during the winter months. Amongst the winter farm life is a live chicken coop. Eight to ten chickens roam happily in their cage. The scientific names of the chickens are outlined and explained on the outside of the coop for educational purposes. They reflect the beauty of the farm and the richness of the environment. Also in operation is the greenhouse which is producing crop that is winter friendly. The point is that there is never a dull moment in urban farming. Yes, it is popular for visitors and animals alike, however there is always something to take care of, always something to grow. There is something about the power of urban farming in this respect that I find inspiring. I wrote this song in response to my time at Indy Urban Acres:

Indy Urban Acres:

Indy Urban Acres
farm out in the east
honeybees and chickens
keep you on your feet
powered by the Indy Parks Foundation
bring a group of youth for exploration 

over 30,000
pounds of produce
harvested a year
then they get their use
all the fruit and veggies harvested
donated to local food pantries