Wow! It’s been crazy getting all the ducks in a row for our Indy Food Swappers SUPER Swap on January 28th, and planning author Kate Payne’s visit to Indianapolis! But, finally, the schedule is set, and it’s a doozy. There are LOTS of opportunities to meet Kate, take an interesting class, or attend a variety of free programs on DIY projects at home, in the kitchen, and in the garden. Are you ready? Grab your calendars and mark these dates in PEN, people!

Monday, January 23rd

8:00pm- Online chat with author Kate Payne, Indianapolis Star food writer Jolene Ketzenberger, and yours truly (Suzanne Krowiak)

Log onto www.indystar.com and fire away. Questions about food swapping? DIY craft projects? Thrift store shopping tips? This is your chance to ask. (The fact that you can do it from home in your pajamas is a delightful bonus!)

Tuesday, January 24th

9:00am- Tune in to “Indy Style” on WISH-TV to see Kate’s Indianapolis television debut.

6:30pm- Free Lemon Preserves Demonstration at Uber Boutique & Design (5910 N. College Ave., Indianapolis)

Preserved lemons are a fun staple to have on hand for all sorts of kitchen projects. Kate will demonstrate a small-batch, single jar method with only two ingredients, lemons and kosher salt. She’ll also discuss what you might do with your lemons after their two-week cure on the countertop. ‘Tis the season for the best citrus… make the most of it!

Wednesday, January 25th

6:30 – 8:30pm- Sweet Preserves and Marmalade Canning Class at Indianapolis City Market (222 E. Market St., Indianapolis)

In this fun, interactive class you will learn not only the basics of safe canning, but how to balance flavor and sweetness and achieve the perfect set in the making of preserves and marmalades. Light snacks will be served in class, and every participant will take home a jar of grapefruit marmalade. The class fee is $25, and space is limited. Get more location information and purchase tickets here.

Thursday, January 26th

6:30pm- Free DIY Craft Demonstration at Homespun (5624 E. Washington St., Indianapolis)

Kate will conduct a low-tech home decor and craft session. Learn how to make a Mason jar drop-light using easy to find, inexpensive materials… no power tools required! Space is limited, so please call Homespun at 351-0280 to reserve a spot.

Saturday, January 28th- Indy Food Swappers SUPER Swap

Join us for a full day of fun, free programs on everything from gardening to pickling. The festivities kick off at noon at The Earth House Collective (237 N. East St., Indianapolis), where a variety of interesting and informed folks will share their knowledge and answer your questions.

12:00pm- Ten Tips for Planting Your Own Urban Garden (Cara Dafforn, U-Relish Farm)

You don’t have to have a big backyard to grow your own Indiana bounty. Urban farmer Cara Dafforn will have tips on maximizing the space you have available, including the best plant choices for new and aspiring gardeners.

12:30pm- Composting 101 (Keith O’Dell, Castaway Composting)

Not only does composting reduce the amount of trash sent to a landfill, it’s also the best thing you can do for your garden. We’ll walk you through the do’s and don’ts of composting, with instructions on getting started at home. Various composting methods will be explored, including hot, cold, and worm composting.

1:00pm- Food Swap Primer (Suzanne Krowiak, Founder, Indy Food Swappers)

What is a food swap? What do you need to know before starting your own? Suzanne Krowiak will discuss the current food swap trend, and address issues facing food swap organizers across the country as the popularity grows, including food safety questions and regulatory concerns.

1:30pm- Pickling Demo (Kate Payne, Author, The Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking)

Pickling is one of the quickest and easiest ways to extend the life of your Indiana bounty. Whether it’s vegetables grown in your own garden, or goodies you find at a farmers market, pickling will enable you to enjoy local veggies all year long.

2:00 – 4:00pm- FOOD SWAP TIME! This is where the magic happens.

PLEASE NOTE:  All presentations between noon and 2:00pm are free and open to the public, with no registration or tickets necessary.  The Food Swap that follows is also free, but due to the nature of the event, advanced registration is required.  Our last swap sold out, and the SUPER Swap only has a few spots left, so sign up quickly if you’re interested. Register HERE. (A waitlist will kick-in once we fill up. We always have last minute cancellations, so there is a good chance you’ll get a spot if you join the waitlist.)

So, that’s it in a (rather large) nutshell. Got questions? Don’t hesitate to drop me a line. It’s going to be a great week… don’t miss out!