News From Terre Haute, Indiana

July 8, 2013

Fifth annual Blueberry Fest coming up Thursday in Terre Haute

Dianne Frances D. Powell
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Another summer festival is just around the corner.

Terre Foods Cooperative Market will present the fifth annual Blueberry Festival on Thursday at Central Presbyterian Church, 125 N. 7th St.

“They can get some great, organic, local blueberry ice cream (that is, ice cream with blueberry compote), sit underneath a tent and listen to music,” said Holly Hudson, Blueberry Fest coordinator.

Live music begins at 11 a.m. featuring Papa J Otis, The Coon Hollar Kids, Tom Roznowski, Eli Van Sickel and Brent McPike & Solly Burton. The festival will run through 7 p.m.

Local vendors will also be selling goods and sharing information. Flavours, a local catering company, will have food available for purchase.

Terre Foods started the festival five years ago “to celebrate fresh, local food,” Hudson said.

This year is no different.

Customers can purchase blueberry compote sundaes for $5. Fresh, organic blueberries will also be available for purchase at $7 per quart. Ten-pound boxes are $35 for Terre Foods members and $45 for non-members, according to the organizers.

Hudson said previous festivals have raised about $1,500 to $2,000, which was used to offset the cost of organizing the festival. She said about 60 volunteers have served in the past.

This year, 1,500 pounds of blueberries have been ordered; some of them will be used to make compote, while others will be for sale, Hudson said. The Blueberry Ranch of Mishawaka will supply the blueberries for this year’s festival.

More than just a festival, it is also a membership drive for Terre Foods Cooperative Market, a member-owned, natural foods grocery store forming in the area.

Terre Foods board member Lorrie Heber said that the annual event — attended by as many as 1,500 people in the past — is an opportunity to “introduce Terre Foods to people and talk with them closer about becoming a member-owner.”

 Heber said their goal is to sign up 50 new member-owners at the festival. If Terre Foods reaches that number, it will be over its overall membership goal of 600. Having 600 members will enable the group to move on to the next stages of opening a cooperative grocery store, which plans to offer local and organic foods in the Wabash Valley.

Those who sign up will also get some free stuff.

Aaron Warner, also on the Terre Foods Cooperative Market board and owner of Yellow House Farm, said he will give a free blueberry plant to anyone who signs up as a member-owner and pays in full at the festival.

Anyone who signs up to be a Terre Foods member-owner at the festival will also receive free blueberries, organizers said.

They also said that if attendees bring a reusable bowl and spoon, they will be registered to win a rain barrel and other prizes.

“It’s meant to be a fun afternoon reminding people about fresh food and membership,” Hudson said.

Tribune-Star reporter Dianne Frances D. Powell can be reached at 812-231-4299 or dianne.powell@tribstar.com