The Indiana Insider Blog

Recipe for Simple Living Downtown

Making one’s way back to basics is easy as pie for Downtown dwellers

  • ½ cup o’ learning something new
  • ¼ cup cooking at home
  • ¼ do-it-yourself projects
  • ¾ cup urban farming

Whether it be for more family time, saving money, the environment or simply a hobby, interest in simple and self-sufficient living is growing and Downtown offers the tools and education to make it happen.

½ cup o’ learning something new

IUPUI offers several Continuing Studies courses for those looking to broaden their skill set. Summer 2012 options include baking and desserts, floral arranging, furniture design and more.  Curious about fermenting your own krauts and veggies? Learn from Indy’s own Fermenti Artisans April 19 in the Clark Demonstration Kitchen at Indianapolis City Market. Local gardening guru Cara Dafforn of U-Relish Farm and author of Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking, Kate Payne, will hold a brief Q & A session on spring gardening at the Indy Food Swappers Potluck Dinner April 20 at Earth House Collective. Come curious, hungry and with covered dish in tow! For more Downtown classes, visit www.indydt.com/events.cfm.

¼ do-it-yourself projects

I’ve always wanted to try (fill in the blank). Winemaking. Quilting. Woodworking. Jewelry crafting. Home brewing. Downtown’s businesses make it easy to put whatever your crafty skills are to use by supplying resources and expert advice. Visit Mass Ave Wine Shoppe for all your beer making supplies including mixes, bottle caps and carboys.  If you’re looking to make your own clothes or pick up quilting, stroll across the street to the fun and quirky Crimson Tate modern quilt shop. Store owner and modern quilter extraordinaire, Heather Givans, is sure to get the creative juices flowing with her vintage fabric, patterns and classes. Pay a visit to self-acclaimed “mom and pops” shop Heirloom Classics Jewelry and Beads in historic Fountain Square to explore their vast bead collection that includes everything from turquoise and glass to wood and seeds.

¼ cooking at home

Who knows your palette better than you? Embrace your inner chef by getting in the kitchen. Looking for a stash of new recipes? Look no further than Central Library – home to over 10,000 recipe books ranging from cooking for children to gourmet professional textbooks! Embrace seasonal cooking and eat the best of the seasons! Indianapolis’ ideal location in the heart of the bountiful Midwest makes for ideal produce diversity at the market. Find local and fresh produce, meat, honey and more at the Wednesday Original Farmers’ Market at Indianapolis City Market starting May 2 – Oct. 31.

¾ cup urban farming

Your knowledge of gardening is as miniscule as a seedling, but your horticultural dreams are BIG! Self-reliant food systems such as gardening and backyard chickens have become extremely popular Downtown over the last few years. Have a heyday and find flower, vegetable and herb seeds at Fusek’s True Value and Marsh O’Malia’s. The Indianapolis Office of Sustainability offers helpful resources including the ins and outs of starting an urban garden or community garden, composting and vegetable information and more.  If tackling an urban garden is too much of a commitment and you’re still looking to get your hands in the dirt, consider an herb garden or volunteering with a local community garden.  Stop by the Indiana State Museum to purchase seed packets harvested from the native plants grown between the Indiana State Museum and the Eiteljorg Museum of Native Americans and Western Art. In recognition of National Public Gardens Day, the Indianapolis Museum of Art invites you to pick up something fresh from their garden. Stop by the Greenhouse parking lot to receive a bundle of lettuce grown at the IMA and packet of seeds to start your own garden May 11. Enjoy your own incredible, edible eggs with the help of Naptown Chickens, an advocacy organization for urban chicken farming in Indianapolis. Who said you have to live on a farm to enjoy the benefits of backyard chicken farming? Join the group this fall for Tour de Coops Sept. 16.

For a complete calendar of events, a Downtown parking map and hotel and travel information call Indianapolis Downtown, Inc. at 237.2222 or visit www.indydt.com.

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Written by : As the Yelp Community Manager for Indy, Brittany uncovers fun and unique ways for locals to connect with the Circle City's cream of the crop businesses and events. The best part of her job? Working with Hoosiers who are bubbling over with pride for their community and passionate about discovering what makes their community unique.