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Region 1

JAVIER’S BISTRO

“In Puerto Rico, everything is about love, and so it is with the art of making food. It’s about nurturing it.” So says Javier Mendez, of Javier’s Bistro in South Bend Indiana. His burgers are exceptional, as well as his varied menu, partly because he doesn’t believe in just tossing something in a pan to cook it. His burgers are rubbed with herbs and spices before cooking, and entrees are seasoned and balanced across the food groups. Puerto Rican flavors begin with fresh vegetables and spices, blended to impart that layered flavor that is much more satisfying than adding more…
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Kankakee Wetlands Organic Gardens

It hit her right where she lived, environmentally, financially, socially.  She was sharing a ride to work with her friend, passing vacant lots around her neighborhood:  a 2007 winter of hunger, abandoned homes and vacant lots, and global warming.  “What a waste…” she noted to her friend. Judith Rubleske, of South Bend, Indiana’s west side, characteristically frugal, ecto-vegetarian, civic and environmental activist, nutritionist, gardener, and full-time WIC employee, could not ignore this triple threat right at her front door.   She began discussing, sharing, and exploring possible solutions that morning on the way to work.  So many overwhelming challenges.  How to…
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Krueger Middle School Receives Environmental Excellence Award

Krueger Middle School, Michigan City, won a 2013 Indiana Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence. 41 organizations and companies were nominated; five won awards and Krueger was the only school included among the recipients. Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) administers the award, which is given annually to “companies or organizations that utilize innovative environmental practices through programs and technologies that reduce waste, save money and contribute greatly to Indiana’s environmental protection efforts. These successful projects benefit the health and welfare of Indiana’s communities and the state as a whole.” Krueger is fortunate to be situated on a 100-acre campus, which…
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SHIRLEY HEINZE LAND TRUST – BRINGING NATURE HOME AWARDS

    Location: 109 W 700 N, Valparaiso, IN 46385, Porter County Valparaiso – Shirley Heinze Land Trust (SHLT) was established in 1981 as a charitable trust to preserve and protect the unique ecosystems of the Indiana Dunes region. It manages nearly 1,300 acres in Lake, Porter and LaPorte Counties. SHLT preserves these natural areas for present and future generations to enjoy. SHLT advocates landscaping with native plants to counteract displacement of local ecosystems due to massive development. Each year they host an award ceremony to honor institutional landscapers that use native plants in their projects. The 2013 winners were …
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Why Local Food Is Fair Food

Why Local Food Is Fair Food

Local food is more fair—for growers, for consumers and for communities. When we started our farm six years ago, our goal was to sell as much of our food to the local community as possible. Only once we’d exhausted local demand would we consider selling at wholesale prices to far away places. To this day, we sell most of our food to customers who live within 15 minutes of our farm. We rely on local markets because we can’t compete with larger farms selling to national and international markets. Many small farms do not qualify for farm subsidies that benefit the owners of corporate farms. Agriculture is…
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