Eskenazi Opens Indianapolis Farm

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Eskenazi Health and Indy Urban Acres are celebrating the opening of a new farm on the northwest side of Indianapolis. The acre-and-a-half farm at Eskenazi Health Center Pecar is growing food that will be available at various food pantries in the Indianapolis area.

Farming operations began in June 2017 and, to date, has grown nearly 12,000 pounds of produce, which equals just over 57,000 servings. Eskenazi CEO Lisa Harris says the farm builds on the organization’s efforts to expand food access in central Indiana.

Eskenazi says this year's planting will begin this month with food production expected to total nearly 20,000 pounds. The health system is also planning to expand its farm and pantry operations within the Eskenazi Health Center Pecar "in the near future."

"It is kind of neat to see a patient come to the center to see a doctor and then walk away with fresh produce after the visit," said Tyler Gough, farm manager of Indy Urban Acres who oversees the farm at Eskenazi Health Center Pecar. "During the growing season patients will take home healthy fresh produce that is free and grown right outside the health center, which is amazing. It’s a great arrangement."

The farm complements The Sky Farm at Eskenazi Health, which is a 5,000-square-foot gardening space on top of the Sandra Eskenazi Outpatient Care Center on the health system's downtown campus. The opening of the farm follows Eskenazi's recently-announced plans to offer more locally-sourced options at its food service areas through a partnership with the Indiana Grown initiative.

Earlier this year, Harris appeared on Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick to talk about the partnership with Indiana Grown. You can view that interview in the video below:

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