Food for Thought – an Indiana Harvest

by David Hoppe; photography by Kristin HessINHarvest

A beautiful collection of stories and photographs about Hoosiers whose lives revolve around food: production, creation, marketing, research, and sales.  “There is a food renaissance taking place in Indiana. … And it’s happening because of people like you.  Your hunger to support Indiana-grown products and creative, locally owned restaurants has helped this regeneration.”

Published and distributed by Indiana Humanities, the book highlights everything food that you can imagine:  pickles, honeybees, farmers’ markets, ducks, melons, goats, restaurants, recipes, candy, pies, diners, chickens, hogs, dairy, chefs…  Our state has it all!!! Each story is about two pages, including a basic map to indicate the location of the place.  Also, photographs bring the stories to life highlighting the people making our food renaissance happen.

The book provides an opportunity for readers (students) to learn about all of the diverse agriculture happening in their home state.  The photographs bring the stories to reality for the readers/students:  real people engaged in earning a living and conducting real careers, many are life-long.

Questions for discussion:

  • What are the top agriculture products produced by Indiana?
  • Where do these products go after they leave our state?
  • What are other agriculture products that are brought into Indiana?  Why?
  • From where are other agriculture products purchased?  (bananas, lettuce in winter…)
  • How are agriculture products shipped?
  • What type of economic impact does agriculture have on Indiana?

Things to do:

  • Invite a local farmer/chef/restaurant owner… to the classroom to discuss their vision and experiences in Indiana’s agricultural community.
  • Conduct a school-wide (or at-home) survey about the types of foods that people eat frequently (and why) AND that people most enjoy eating.  Analyze the survey: Where do the products come from? How are the products shipped to IN? Is there a way to support local agriculture more through the information from the surveys?
  • Create an info-graphic about the Fun Food Facts and Indiana to share with the school and community.
  • Visit a local food producer.
  • Experiment with recipes throughout the school year — as a class.  Note ingredients, favorite spices, most unliked additions…
  • Analyze maps of regional food production and discuss the national economic impact of agriculture.

Purchase the book from the Indiana Humanities, 1500 North Delaware Street, Indianapolis IN 46202, 317.638.1500;  ISBN: 978-1-934922-75-0; IndianaHumanities.org (IndianaHarvest.com).

Possible Resources:

  • Spotlight on Stewardship http://spotlightonstewardship.blogspot.com/
  • Grow with Us (booklet overview of Indiana agriculture)  https://secure.in.gov/isda/files/GrowWithUs_-_English(1).pdf
  • Indiana Agriculture Infographics https://secure.in.gov/isda/files/AgFactSheet_-_English(1).pdf

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