by JANA WILSON
Area farmers’ markets offer consumers the opportunity to buy local foods on a weekly or twice-weekly basis, but those who want to stock up any day of the week and support local farmers have an alternative in the Bethel Lane Farm Stop.
Located at New Ground Farm, 4741 E. Bethel Lane, the store offers a variety of food from four local farms. “The goal of the farm store is to provide [a retail space] for farmers in the neighborhood who don’t do this full time,” says Mike Record, a software engineer who owns New Ground Farm with his wife, Lisel. “We all share the same objective of feeding the community and preserving the farming landscape.”
Bethel Lane Farm Stop is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. “We want to make it easy for people to have access to local food,” Record says. “And we want to make sure that food is available in a convenient way.” Purchases are made on the honor system, which Record says “works out pretty well.”
Record, who sells at the Bloomington Community Farmers’ Market, says he partnered with fellow Bethel Lane farmers Mark and Cindy Tirey of the T7 Ranch, who sell at the Smithville Farmers’ Market, to start the farm stand. The Tireys provide pasture-raised beef, popcorn, and seasonal fruit. Woods Edge Farm (owned by Joe and Seja Brumley) and Twin Springs Farmstead (owned by James and Sara Farmer) have joined on with eggs, chicken, and raw milk for pets.
The Records purchased their farm in 2012, moving to Bloomington from Colorado to grow organic fruits and vegetables. The Tireys purchased their property that same year to raise longhorn cattle. As the neighbors got to know each other and made connections in the local food community, the idea of a farm store grew.
Record says the Bloomington food community is lively and growing, which attracted him to the area. New Ground Farm will be part of the Bloomington Homegrown Farm Tour on October 13 from 3 to 6:30 p.m. You can register for the tour at bloomington.in.gov/farmers-market.
For more information, visit newgroundfarm.com.