The Food Movement is Alive and Well in Wichita. If you don’t believe it, check out all the new restaurants and retailers in the ICT Food Circle directory who source, support, and focus on LOCAL.

Change is happening on many different fronts: we see restaurants, government entities, non-profits, and service-based companies cropping up to highlight the intrinsic strengths of our local economy and community.

Judging by growing interest in and use of the ICT Food Circle directory – and our growing audience on social media – the people are hungry for locally sourced art, ingredients, food, and supplies. All are shouting out that we are #WichitAwesome!

If you’re looking for more ways to connect with Wichita’s food “circle,” check out these resources:

Reason #1 and #2: Farmer Newsletters

If you reach out to some, you’ll find that many farmers love to share the fruits of their labor through online resources like a blog or newsletter. Just to name a couple… Based out of Comanche County, the Dale Family Farm shares updates on the farm and event announcements through their newsletter The Cattle Rattle. Serenity Farm – out of Sedgwick – has a blog to subscribe to. These are great ways to stay connected with farm-related events and statewide agricultural shifts.

Reason #3: Farmer Events

Farmers are often very hospitable – some will host farm-to-table dinners or “U-picks” during harvest season. Dale Family Farm just announced their 6th Annual Customer Appreciation event for September 17th. Stay tuned for more!

Reason #4: Extension Center

Who knew? The Sedgwick County Extension office in west Wichita does more than just host farmers markets every week. What an incredible resource for farmers, gardeners and families. They host cooking classes, and other agriculture-related events. Any questions you have about your urban garden? Ask them – or just subscribe to their Demo Garden Blog to stay up-to-date.

Reasons #5 and #6: Food Deserts

Strengthen your community by learning about issues facing your community. Organizations like Wichita Area Sustainable Initiative and Plant a Row are leading programs this year that address needs of families and children in Kansas who have limited or no access to affordable and healthy food options.

Reason #7: Food Waste

Travis Folds is heading an operation unlike any other in Wichita: CompostICT. For a nominal monthly fee, you could have your food waste picked up, collected and turned into compost. That means, less commitment to adding more and turning your own food waste into compost. And it also means putting your food waste to good use.

Reason #8: Foodie Bloggers

Move over Denise Neil… Foodies are coming out of the web-works all over:

Reason #9 & #10: Markets All Week Long

Looking for a Farmers Market out of the common “weekend early bird” hours? Most recently, farmers have been featured at the 1st Saturday Community Artisan Market from 10AM-2PM. And don’t miss the Green Acres Bradley Fair farmers market every Tuesday 3:00PM-6:30PM.

The Food Circle is expanding and your participation in its ever-growing network is a vote for making your city even more special than it already is. If you haven’t yet… mark your calendar the Food Circle’s first ever Farmer Festival this October 8, 2016. We’re excited to kick off fall and showcase our farmer’s a big way. See you there!