SOUTHPORT, Ind. — The growth of the local food movement has
gained momentum over the years, and leaving its own footprint is Global Peace
Initiatives. The group promotes peace through helping feed the world’s
Linda Proffitt, the founder and executive director of the
local GPI chapter, said that the organization had been growing power for more
than 20 years through mature food systems, which produces millions of dollars in
revenue in return nationwide.
She noted that GPI is leasing a piece of city property in
Southport, which has been dubbed Peaceful Grounds, and this area will be used
for promoting sustainable, urban agriculture.
“We are creating, in terms, a model for central Indiana for
a surge of interest in people growing food,” she said.
Proffitt added that the goal of GPI is to have a mature
year-round food system, along with showing people how to work with their food
She mentioned that some people try to plant a garden in
urban areas where houses have been demolished and at one time may have contained
lead that now can contaminate the soil.
There is a different environment in ag land, and she hopes
people come to the property as a destination to learn more about producing
fruits and vegetables locally and the community.
Proffitt said that Peaceful Grounds, which used to be an old
concrete factory, will be a community development project that will happen one
volunteer at a time.
She noted that when GPI leased the property, there was no
soil on the property, so they had to re-grow it, which is why they used the
process of sericulture, which is raising earthworms for their castings.
All the soil at the location is a direct result of what the
worms have produced, she said.
“It’s important because what goes in the worm comes out
perfectly organic, and the worm casting creates fertility in the soil,” she
Also on the property are two hoop houses that volunteers
have built from recycled material.
They propagate seedlings, such as herbs, in the houses that
will help generate a revenue stream for the grounds.
“We want to create a market, that is more affordable for
people,” Proffitt said.
The organization also has 47 gardens throughout
Indianapolis, and some even grow produce for local food pantries, she added.