5 ways to get the freshest veggies this summer in Indy

Jasmine King, a member of Growing Places Indy’s practitioner program, helps prepare soil for planting Wednesday, April 10, 2024, in Indianapolis. (Provided Photo/ Jenna Watson/Mirror Indy)

(MIRROR INDY) — Summer is coming, and with it, a bounty of seasonal produce. Here are five ways you can buy and eat fresh veggies all season long while supporting Indianapolis organizations that work with farmers, kids, restaurants, and communities across the city. Some places will even teach you how to grow your own. 

1. Growing Places Indy: Rent a raised bed

Garden beds are available for rent at Growing Places Indy on Wednesday, April 10, 2024, on Arsenal Technical’s campus in Indianapolis. (Provided Photo/Jenna Watson/Mirror Indy)

Right next to the Arsenal Tech High School campus, farmers and volunteers at Growing Places Indy are nurturing plants, getting them ready for this year’s subscription boxes. People can pay a one-time fee and pick up a box of seasonal produce every week for 20 weeks. (Some people split the cost and share the box with a friend or two.) 

In early spring, the plants sprouted in the warmth of a greenhouse. As they grow, they’re moved to rows of raised beds. 

If you don’t have the space at home and want to try your hand at farming, you can rent a raised bed for the season. Growing Places will provide water, workshops, seeds and gardeners to help as you grow your own food.

Rates are:

  • Community – $100 (discounted)
  • Sustainer – $125 (pays for you)
  • Supporter – $150 (pays for you and helps support the cost for others)

If you want to harvest vegetables without doing the work, Growing Places has a pick-your-own site at White River State Park. It’s open at any time, but check their website for dates and times when a farmer will be on-site to answer questions.

2. Irvington CSA: Eat well and try new recipes

There are half-share or full-share options, and many people make their own “half-share” by splitting the box with a neighbor or friend. (Provided Photo/Jenna Watson/Mirror Indy)

Alyssa Chase has been a member of Irvington CSA for 16 seasons. CSA stands for community-supported agriculture, which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Members pay an up-front fee to get a box of food each week, and community groups, urban farms and more grow the produce. 

When you join a CSA, you help keep local farms up and running, so they can create relationships within the community. For example, an urban farm in Haughville is partnering with a school to teach students how to start gardens. 

Brother and sister, Ra’shyla, left, and Ralph Brown work in the garden at their local urban farm in Haughville. (Provided Photo/Doug McSchooler for Mirror Indy)

Eastsiders can get a weekly box of produce – mostly veggies – driven into Indy from the Fisher family farm in Parke County for 25 weeks. The program started in mid-May, but a few spots are open.

Each year, about 30 people become members. Each person who joins gets food, yes. But they also are asked to volunteer for the CSA a couple times to give back. 

Pickup is at Downey Avenue Christian Church, 11 S. Downey Ave., from 5:45 to 6:30 p.m. on Fridays. Anything that isn’t picked up goes to the church’s food pantry. The CSA also shares recipes with members and the food pantry, to make cooking unfamiliar veggies easier.

There are half-share or full-share options, or many people make their own “half-share” by splitting the box with a neighbor or friend. You can pay more for extras, like eggs or the farmer’s beautiful bouquets of flowers. 


  • Half-share: $415, plus a one-time transportation fee of $85
  • Full-share: $650, plus a one-time transportation fee of $115

3. Soul Food Project: Support young farmers-in-training

Produce and eggs in one of Soul Food Project's wooden veggie boxes in a 2022 photo.
Soul Food Project offers a subscription for veggie boxes filled with produce. Eggs are available as an add-on item. (Provided Photo/Danielle Guerin/Soul Food Project)

The Soul Food Project sells produce at its urban farm at 2436 Sheldon St. and also from 4:30-7:30 p.m. every Wednesday at the SoBro Farmers Market, 4842 N College Ave. 

The Soul Food Project supports two programs, Youth Grow Indy and a farm fellow program, where people grow the food that will be sold at the market. 

As part of Youth Grow Indy, 14 to 18-year-olds grow food, fill veggie boxes and handle distribution for the project’s community-supported agriculture process, learning leadership skills along the way. 

The paid fellowship teaches four apprentices about the farm’s production, administration and more. 

If you’re growing your own food at home and need access to tools, the Soul Food Project also offers memberships to a tool library for a monthly fee on a sliding scale. 

4. Mad Farmer’s Collective: Learn about slow farming 

Mad Farmer’s Collective will be at the Garfield Park Farmers Market this summer. (Provided Photo/Clockwork Janz for Mirror Indy)

Three farmers run Mad Farmer’s Collective, an urban farm at 2048 S. Meridian St. on Indy’s south side. They help provide produce to some of Indy’s top restaurants and work with specialty producers statewide. 

This year, they added a nursery where you can buy gardening equipment and spring and summer plants native to Indiana.

They’ve been at the Garfield Park Farmers Market since it started nine years ago. You can visit the Mad Farmer’s Collective at the market for vegetables grown using slow farming methods, practices that replenish the farm’s land. The market takes place from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturdays on the corner of Southern Avenue and Shelby Street. 

SNAP, WIC, and Senior benefits are accepted at the market, and you can exchange them for “Fresh Bucks.”

Check out Visit Indy’s list for more local farmers markets. 

5. Order from your couch: Choose from 500+ Indy vendors

People prepare soil for planting Wednesday, April 10, 2024, at Growing Place Indy. (Provided Photo/Jenna Watson/Mirror Indy)

Market Wagon works like a nationwide online farmers’ market. It’s an easy option for those who can’t grow their own food or find time to visit a farm or farmers’ market. Choose your location and which of the 581 Indy-based vendors you’d like to support, then place an order for delivery. 

You can order more than produce, too. Vendors sell eggs, meat, baked goods, and more. There’s even an option that feels very old-school: Milk delivery.