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Mad Farmers Collective

July 12, 2017

Regulars who visit the Indy downtown area farmers markets know that farmers Amy Matthews and Matthew Jose sell some of the best local produce around.


Truly an urban farm, South Circle is just 2 miles south of downtown at 2048 S Meridian. Amy Matthews leased the space in 2011 and using expertise gained over years of travel and farming, she remediated the land with a deep layer of woodchips, compost, and new topsoil. Everything done by South Circle ties to their mission:


South Circle Farm strictly adheres to growing practices that are good for the soil, the people, the crops, and the bees on the farm.


A mission like that means that the farm uses techniques like composting, crop rotation, and cover crops, which leads to both beautiful and nutrient dense produce. Row covers and clay sprays are used to help deter pests, and only organically approved fertilizers are used on the farm.




Meanwhile on the East side of the city, farmer Matthew Jose has been doing very similar work with Big City Farms since 2009. At one time, Jose was utilizing vacant lots scattered around the city, but has since concentrated his operations. Big City Farms has the same mission of growing sustainable nutritious vegetables and partnering to improve the community. Jose has offered a CSA share program since the inception of the farm in 2009, but another focus has been working directly with chefs, in order to build up and increase the vitality of the culture around local foods in Indianapolis.




As of this summer, however, Big City and South Circle Farms no longer exist, at least not as separate entities. After meeting Leslie Gottschalk, Amy and Matthew decided to partner with her and form a new business named The Mad Farmers Collective. Similar to Amy and Matthew, Leslie is from Indiana but has traveled, farmed, and eventually came back home. Prior to becoming one of the “mad farmers” in the collective, she grew for Harvestland Farms, another mainstay of local produce at Indy farmers markets. 


This move is good for the farms in many ways. There are now 3 full time farmers to cover two farm sites, yielding more stability and opportunity for growth. In fact, due to a successful fundraiser last fall, they were able to install high tunnels, effectively extending the season for items that before had limited availability. The high tunnels are being used for 3-4 crops per year, such as greens, tomatoes, and peppers.


From the perspective of Wildwood Market, this "farm merger" is the perfect combination. Not on\ly are they located close in proximity to our store, but both farms have always been a primary source for high quality local produce. Starting now and moving forward at Wildwood Market, you will find products that were formerly from South Circle and Big City under the new Mad Farmers Collective name. Favorite products in our store include their kale, greens, carrots, herbs, as well as many other seasonal specialties.


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