Sunday, January 30, 2011

farm to fair - the barn

 The Normandy Barn

The Indiana State Fairgrounds is the third home for the beautiful Normandy Barn. Originally built in 1936, the beautiful barn was moved to the north side of the Fairgrounds in 2008, settling west of Pioneer Village. This 120 ft. long by 35ft structure is available for a wide range of events. 

In the early 20th century, the Traders Point area became the location of choice for some of the city's wealthier residents, including Department Store pioneers William H. Block & L.S. Ayres, Eli Lilly, J. K. Lilly, Industrialist Harold Ransburg, and Herman Krannert.

An industrialist who in his later years became a prominent philanthropist, Herman C. Krannert, founded Inland Container. One of his quieter achievements was a meticulously planned estate, located between Noel Road and Marsh Road on the south side of West 79th Street.

The rolling estate was accessed by driving through a two story gatehouse which still stands. Krannert and his wife lived on the 600 acre property they purchased in 1934. Years later following Mr. Krannert’s death, trustees sold their property and it was eventually developed into the Normany Farms subdivision.

The original Normandy Farm not only included the Krannert’s private residence, there was also an elaborate and modern (for its day) dairy farm operation. The farm was managed by agricultural experts and assisted by Purdue University. It was reputed to be one of the most advanced dairy farming operations in the nation.

Mrs. Krannert named the property Normandy Farm after the province in France called “Normandie” because it reminded her of the French countryside with its picturesque landscapes of rolling hills, farms, and forests.

Mr. Krannert died in 1972 at the age of 84. 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

food for thought - farm to fair

Douglas David Paints Farm to Fair is made possible through the Food for Thought initiative.
Food for Thought, a program of the Indiana Humanities Council, is an examination and celebration of the ways food helps to define Indiana’s culture, considering food in the context of history, law, politics, science, the arts, religion, ethnicity and our place in the world. Through this program, Hoosiers will share and sample the cultures reflected at the state’s table and address the local and global issues of hunger, nutrition, food production, obesity, food security and safety.

What a perfect fit!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

the writer - nora spitznogle

Nora Leona Spitznogle is a Hoosier born writer, growing up on a working farm in Boone County. She survived her teenage summers of pulling weeds in the soybean fields by daydreaming of where the beans would ultimately wind up and how they would be used. 

Nora is an Indiana State Fair junkie. She attended every single day of the Fair for the last several years and blogged about her experiences for NUVO newsweekly. Her favorite Fair food is the Pork Producers pork chop sandwich.

Nora Leona is named for both of her Cass County grandmothers and has inherited their farm woman sensibilities and connection to the land. Her Grandma Nora kept a daily journal recording the vegetables she grew and the number of quarts she canned to help feed their nine children. Just a county road over, Grandma Leona raised their six children on one of the largest farms in the county and was a great storyteller.

She is a long-time columnist for the Broad Ripple Gazette and a freelance writer for NUVO newsweekly and the print magazine, Ghettoblaster. Her blog can be found by clicking here.

Nora is the Director of Operations for Second Helpings, a food rescue, job training and hunger relief organization. Second Helpings rescues over one million pounds of food and prepares and delivers over 600,000 meals each year. 

Friday, January 14, 2011

the artist - douglas david

Douglas David is one of Indiana’s most recognized and celebrated artists.

Governor Daniels honored him with the Distinguished Hoosier Award in 2006 for his contributions in establishing the Indiana Governor’s Residence art collection. Douglas's design for the 2003-2008 Indiana license plate was chosen by popular vote and his work graced the bumpers of over six million cars in those five years. Governor Daniels presented his paintings as gifts to his hosts on an Asian trade mission.

Douglas grew up on Hoosier Homestead Centennial Award farm in Howard County with his artist mother, fire marshal father and Aviation Hall of Fame grandmother.

Douglas has a BFA from Herron School of Art/Indiana University. He has won numerous awards for his painting from Indiana Arts Commission, Lilly Endowment, Hoosier Salon and the Kokomo Art Association. Indianapolis Mayor Gregory Ballard presented Douglas with the 2010 Mayor’s award at the Penrod Art’s Festival. Douglas was chosen from the juried pool of 300 artists from around the country.
His work has hung at the Indianapolis Museum of Art and the Richmond Museum of Art. He’s had many one-man shows, including the Christel DeHann Fine Art Gallery, Richmond Art Museum, Wabash Indiana’s Honeywell Center and Chicago’s Palette and Chisel Academy.

Douglas attends the Indiana State Fair several days each year – his favorite Fair food is the ribs from Delia’s.

He’s excited to share his perspective of the Indiana State Fair food with fair goers. 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

farm to fair - the project

The rich food legacy of the Indiana State Fair is often overlooked by the sensationalism of deep-fried butter and chocolate covered bacon.

Each year over 900,000 visitors come to the Fairgrounds from every county in the state to sample Indiana-grown food and celebrate the state’s deep agricultural roots.

When the first Indiana State Fair was held in 1842 the state’s entire economy revolved around farming and agricultural products. Until 1925, most of the population resided in rural areas or on farms and lived the connection between livestock, crops and food.

Almost a century later, most Hoosiers are generations away from rural life and the connection from soybeans to dairy cows to butter have been lost. This exhibit would connect the Normandy Barn – Central Indiana’s most recognizable agricultural building, with the talents of Douglas David – Indiana’s most celebrated painter.

Douglas will create a series of paintings what will illustrate the connection of crops and livestock to the food that is served at the Indiana State Fair. The show will be hung in the upper level of the magnificent Normandy Barn and be open for all seventeen days of the State Fair in August of 2011.

The exhibit will include text by writer, Nora Spitznogle connecting the fair food to the commodity origins, to further add to the educational component of the show. The gallery will appeal to art lovers, fair food aficionados, farmers, producers and children.