Waterman’s Farm Market offers fresh produce and annual festival

Waterman’s Farm Market offers fresh produce and annual festival

Back in 1978, when farms within Marion County were a little more common, Bruce and Carol Waterman established Waterman’s Farm Market on what was then their more than 50-year-old homestead. They aimed to create a place where customers could select produce themselves, ensuring the freshest quality without the distribution middleman. Even then, the Watermans wanted to bring the farm-to-table experience to the Indianapolis metro area. 

Over the next 45 years, they found success and Waterman’s Farm Market earned a reputation for Hoosier-grown eats such as luscious strawberries, sun-ripened tomatoes, delectable sweet corn and a cornucopia of other crops. As a family-owned enterprise, they harvested their vegetables meticulously, ensuring freshness, optimal nutrition and value. For other growers, they provided a venue to present such wares as Michigan berries and Georgia peaches and a shop where artisans sell handmade quilts, jams and sauces. 

Like all industries over the past 100 years, farming in Indiana has changed considerably. As Marion County saw growth in tech, logistics and higher education, Waterman’s rooted itself as one of the last farms amongst the disappearing independent growers. Nearby four-lane highways brought sprawling neighborhoods, bustling streets and commerce to what was prime agricultural land, but Waterman’s Family Farm remains dedicated to preserving a historic Hoosier farm legacy and providing a consistent supply of produce to a diverse public. 

In an effort to stay relevant amidst change, the Watermans introduced the now famous 40-year-old Raymond Street Fall Harvest Festival. Originally known as the Waterman’s Farm Fall Harvest, the family-friendly event started with hayrides to the pumpkin patch and has grown to an almost five-week seasonal celebration, bringing families from around the Midwest. Parents and children can pick pumpkins, explore a corn maze and enjoy live music, food bars and a petting zoo. 

The Raymond Street Fall Festival has become a cherished experience for generations of Midwestern families, showcasing the Waterman’s Family Farm and Market commitment to becoming a place for the future, instead of a thing of the past. 

Dates: Through October 31; festival closed on Mondays
Location: Waterman’s Family Farm, Raymond St. Location – 7010 E. Raymond St, Indianapolis, IN 46239
Cost: Weekdays $13; weekends $15

Candymaker Carrie Abbott on favorite foods, cooking for family and what’s in her fridge

Candymaker Carrie Abbott on favorite foods, cooking for family and what’s in her fridge

In 2012, Carrie Abbott, then a caterer, tried to create a homemade Butterfinger candy bar for a wedding client, but what emerged became her signature creation – Frittle. This delightful concoction, a nostalgic fusion of peanut brittle and fudge, would become the cornerstone of her confectionery empire. What began as a humble “mistake” quickly evolved into small gifts for friends and then into a burgeoning brand known as Newfangled Confections.

As her Frittle gained popularity, she transitioned from local Indianapolis artisan to nationally recognized candymaker. Her products found their way onto the shelves of major big-box retailers such as Target, Fresh Market, Fresh Thyme and Barnes & Noble, solidifying her place in the consumer packaged goods industry. In 2020, Carrie acquired The Best Chocolate in Town, an Indy-based craft chocolate company, and earlier this year expanded her goodie empire further by acquiring Fudge in a Cup, an Indiana craft fudge company.

What’s your favorite type of food and why? I must give it to Asian food, specifically the noodles and soup families. I will eat that on the hottest day of the year.

Where do you get your inspiration? My inspiration comes from other passionate food people, whether talking to chefs or dining out. I have also been inspired by someone with more experience, even at the ripe age of 49.

What is your favorite thing to make for yourself and or your family? I like making breakfast for the family. We’ve got a couple of things going on at home. We have a keto and a gluten-free, along with two kids still in school. I’ll eat anything, but that’s one meal that fits everybody.

If you could eat anywhere in the world, where would that be, and what would you eat? I was adopted, and as I grow older, I’m stepping into and embracing being Korean born. I had an opportunity to go there about ten years ago. I plan to go again soon and look forward to that eating experience again. They serve banchan, the vegetable side dishes. (Koreans) don’t sit down for only steak and potatoes; this is an entire adventure of different dishes at once.

If you could choose a favorite place in Indiana to visit, where would that be and what would you eat? I know this seems easy, but I would want a Neapolitan-style pizza. I like going to a place I haven’t been before, and I have heard Diavola in Broad Ripple is excellent.

What items are always in your fridge? I can answer this because everything in my fridge is used for baking. We have half and half, butter and eggs. We always have almond milk or iced coffees. We make ethnic condiments and then typically some version of a steak for my husband.

Fest celebrates Parke County history, food and views

Fest celebrates Parke County history, food and views

By Brian Garrido

Parke County’s annual Covered Bridge Festival begins the second weekend in October and stretches over 10 days, highlighting breathtaking fall foliage and the area’s rich history against a backdrop of nostalgic, rural charm. Boasting the title of “Covered Bridge Capital of the World,” Parke County has 31 historic covered bridges, prompting a group of county residents back in the 1950s to organize an event to draw attention to them. Since then, the festival has grown massively in size and popularity, attracting visitors from across the country and making it one of Indiana’s largest and most cherished festivals.

“Since its inception in 1957,” reported the Tribune-Star in Terre Haute last year, “the Parke County Covered Bridge Festival has become Indiana’s largest festival, luring about 2 million people a year.”

Visitors can download a free self-guided driving map at CoveredBridges.com and meander through Indiana’s rolling hills and countryside. Five color-coded routes let visitors choose route lengths and terrain (gravel roads, paved or both). All include five bridges except for the shortest, The Brown Route, which features four bridges along 24 miles of paved road. Each itinerary can take from one hour to more, depending on the length of stay at each stop.

While navigating through Parke County, sightseers can stop and enjoy the offerings from the small towns, with each community providing local flavors and artisans. Rockville, the county seat, serves as the festival’s hub, hosting various events, food vendors and craft booths throughout the town, with streets closed for pedestrians.

Beyond the bridges, the festival offers plenty of other activities. Art enthusiasts can peruse the galleries and exhibitions. Families can create Instagrammable memories on hayrides, in corn mazes and when looking for the great pumpkin in different patches. Foodies can sample mouthwatering regional specialties like apple butter, chicken and noodles, kettle corn and classic Indiana pork tenderloin sandwiches, and it wouldn’t be an Indiana festival without homemade pies, fudge and other confections. For wine lovers, the fest provides an opportunity to sample at such stops as the Drunk Tank Winery in Rockville, situated beneath the Old Jail Inn, which, as the name implies, served as the county jail until 1998. At Coal Creek Cellars, visitors sip and swirl more than 15 varietals in a century-old red barn.

Ultimately, the Covered Bridge Festival celebrates Indiana’s history and heritage, focusing on the state’s scenic beauty, local crafts and sense of community. For seven decades, it has been a quintessential Hoosier tradition underscoring the fact that every county in Indiana has its treasure.

Vintner Nicole Kearney on wine, food and celebrating every day

Vintner Nicole Kearney on wine, food and celebrating every day

By Brian Garrido

It was the gift of a wine refrigerator that led vintner Nicole Kearney to host her first home wine tasting and marked the beginning of her journey as a wine professional. Eventually, she created a tasting business featuring wines from around the globe, and customers dubbed her the ‘Wine Lady.” Kearney found joy in helping people expand their palates, so much so that guests and friends suggested she become a winemaker herself. Now she is the owner of Sip & Share Wines, one of three black-owned wineries in Indiana.

Sip & Share became a licensed winery in 2018 focused on producing a diverse range of vegan wines, and Kearney’s business took off with her popular handcrafted sangrias. Today, she uses grapes purchased from California’s San Joaquin Valley to handcraft her products, offering consumers a range that includes sparkling wines, chardonnay, zinfandel and red blends. 

What made you want to become a vintner? I grew up in Europe and learned about wine, but drinking it is seen as an elite pastime in the United States. It’s kept black and brown people out of the industry. I want to see more people of color enjoying wine as an everyday option.  

What is your go-to wine? I’m more in the cava/prosecco stage of my life. We can celebrate every day. 

What is your favorite food and wine pairing? My all-time favorite pairing is our Gratitude Red Blend paired with a gourmet peanut butter and jelly sandwich from a friend’s place, PB & J Factory [located at the AMP in Indianapolis]. 

What do you like to cook for you and your family? I wouldn’t say I like to cook, but when I do, it’s seafood boil or seafood pasta. 

If you could choose a place in Indiana to visit, where would that be and what would you drink? I would go to French Lick. I’ve never been there, but I heard it’s a charming resort place to get away, and I heard they have a wonderful wine menu. 

If you could go anywhere in the world, what would you drink? I would go to South Africa to the wine region and drink chenin blanc, and I would eat whatever is the local fare.

What items are always in your fridge? I always have two wines: Intention, the Riesling I make, and Gratitude, my red blend. Those are my two staples. 

Inspiration comes from friends and family for Indy chef Carlos Salazar

Inspiration comes from friends and family for Indy chef Carlos Salazar

By Brian Garrido

Indianapolis chef Carlos Salazar’s culinary journey began in his family’s kitchen, and eventually led him to culinary school. He studied with longtime Indy chef Tony Hanslits at The Chef’s Academy and then worked for chef Steven Oakley of Oakleys Bistro. Under their tutelage, he honed his skills and eventually partnered with restaurateur Ed Rudisell at Rook, which quickly became a destination eatery focusing on Asian flavors. He launched his Lil Dumplings restaurant concept at Fishers Test Kitchen in 2020 focusing on Filipino-inspired dishes, then opened Lil Dumplings Noodle Bar at the Garage Food Hall in 2021. Recently, he launched Lil Rook Food Truck, where he recreates grab-and-go dishes from Rook, which closed during the pandemic.

What made you become a chef?

I was in school for accounting, and my best friend, now my wife, was visiting from college. She asked me how I liked accounting. I told her I couldn’t see myself in a cubicle for the rest of my life. She said, “Why don’t you go to culinary school?” I discovered a culinary school opening in Indy (The Chef’s Academy), and that’s how it started.

What is your favorite type of food and why?

My answer is always everything. I love all food. I could eat pizzas or burgers for a week. But right now, either Thai or Filipino food.

Where do you get your inspiration?

Friends. It used to be reading cookbooks or watching other chefs that I would never meet. Now, it’s being able to eat my friends’ food. That inspires me, especially when they make something with an unusual flavor profile. It gets my head going.

What is your favorite thing to make for yourself and your family?

I like braised meats. We like to do something very quick and simple, so we have more time to spend with each other, because most of my time is in the restaurant. I would pick braised meats over anything grilled or fried.

If you could eat anywhere in the world, where would that be, and what would you eat?
I’ve always wanted to go to India for the diversity of flavors, but there’s also Thailand. And if I picked one dish, I would say pad Thai. That’s my thing.

What items are always in your fridge?

A lot of condiments. Hot sauce. Ketchup. Mayonnaise. Eggs.

If you could choose a favorite place in Indiana to visit, where would that be located, and what would you eat?

I would pick downtown Indy. Out of all the places in Indiana I’ve been, that area has the food that inspires me the most. I often go to Beholder and Bluebeard because those two chefs [Jonathan Brooks and Abbi Merriss] inspire me.