Hoosier Heritage Farm story in local magazine
(This article was originally published in the Noblesville Towne Post, June 2017.)
By Allison Yates
When Hoosier Heritage Farm owner Ron Thieme moved back to the farm he grew up on six years ago, he realized something. Looking out to the fields of corn and soybeans, he says, he felt that this area was meant to have a better purpose. And he wasn’t referring to a “final harvest,” he jokes, a term used to describe turning fields into housing.
Hamilton County has grown at an impeccable rate over the last two decades. Thieme welcomes this change, but recognizes that we’ve lost touch with rural heritage and have further distanced ourselves from the source of our food.
He believes that it’s important to provide people with food that they can feel comfortable with, food that they can verify was raised and grown in a healthy way.So, in 2013 after Thieme had found the local food movement, he and his wife Sally found that developing this farm of local and sustainable products and providing their neighbors with a green space for growth and learning was the right thing for them to do.
Hoosier Heritage Farm opened in 2013 and now raises cattle, pigs, chickens, turkeys, goats and sheep on their 70 acre farm along 146th Street near the Fishers and Noblesville border. The farm raises their animals in a way that allows them to follow their natural instincts, to roam, graze and frolic. The farm, Thieme notes, almost never has sick animals, a sign that they’re being cared for and fed the right kind of diet to keep them healthy.
Their farm provides people in the area with a variety of products, such as free range eggs, grass-fed beef and pastured turkeys, which are especially popular around Thanksgiving. For now, their products are sold online and delivered locally or can be picked up at the farm.
Even if you’re not yet buying, interested people are always welcome to come stop to pet the animals — baby goats are favorites — and take a look around. Thieme notes that while many farms don’t allow visitors, either for fear of contamination or to hide some potentially shameful practices, Hoosier Heritage Farm encourages it.
“Customer inspection is the best inspection,” Thieme says. Just make sure to call ahead if you’d like to make a visit.
The farm also gives a rural experience to the next generation of Hamilton County Hoosiers through hosting school field trips. This is a great opportunity for children to understand the source of their food, something that has been lost as landscape continues to shift.
“We want them to know that food doesn’t originate in the grocery store,” says Thieme with a laugh.
Thieme, who also works in healthcare, sees the benefit to providing Hoosiers with local, healthy alternatives.
“There’s a lot of goodness in this model,” he explains, noting that it’s more environmentally-friendly, more sustainable and equitable for the workers involved.
Thieme hopes that Hoosier Heritage Farm complements the continued development of Hamilton County. His goal is to provide the type of farm that people want to live by, the kind that still provides beauty, heritage and flavor along with the area’s changing landscape.