PENDLETON (April 24, 2015) - This morning “Your Town Friday” is headed to Pendleton! You'll find the Madison County community 31 miles northeast of downtown Indy. The town dates back to the early 1800s and a family-owned farm that was started back in that time is still in business today. In fact, they’re about to expand!
“The original farm was started back in the 1830s. Several generations moved back West and settled here and started here. It was the lifestyle back then. Everyone had farm animals and the farm continued on since then,” said Neal Smith, co-owner of Smith Family Farms.
The farm has been passed on through the generations. Today Neal and his wife Jennifer run the show. Their kids even help out and hopefully one day one of them will be in charge.
“For years and years we’ve sold some freezer beef to family and friends, we’ve expanded that providing it to the public and going to farmers market selling beef we’ve raised directly to the consumer. We hope we’re providing a quality product that people enjoy, a premium product. We raise it ourselves, it’s processed locally by a family owned business, everything is local,” said Neal.
Smith Family Farm is taking their business from the farm to a storefront that's set to open in just a few weeks.
“We’re expanding into this store in town. This store front will provide our beef, local pork and eggs, and other products, several different local type products, and we’ll provide them in a year-round farmer’s market type thing,” said Neal.
Smith Family Farms is also passionate about educating people about agriculture. They like to show and tell.
“Everybody in the family for a long time has been passionate about wanting to tell our story and educate the public. There are so many people who are removed from the farm now and don’t understand where their food comes from, how it’s produced and the size/scale of most farming operations involved,” said Neal.
During the fall season, as part of their agro-tourism business, they open up a pumpkin patch and petting zoo for families!
As the weather gets nicer and you head outside, consider visiting Pendleton for some fun in the sun and food in your belly!
“It’s touched the emotions of people for decades, so it creates this feeling of belonging to the community and it’s like number one on the list here when you talk about what Pendleton means to them,” said Ron Barnhart, superintendent of Falls Park.
Falls Park in Pendleton has been around almost 100 years and just a block from the downtown area.
“The park was conceived back in 1919 by one of the local hardware store owners. They said it had been the town dumping ground and they wanted to clean it up and make it a place of beauty and a place for people to relax, so that’s what they did. They got a community effort going and put it all together and opened a pool and things took off from there. Over the years they’ve had additions, shelters and the lighthouse was built in 1928,” said Ron.
A golf course was added in 2014, bringing the park's total acreage to 284.
“We have about 24 annual events here like concerts, the heritage fair in the fall, June jamboree, car shows, 5k runs…and a multitude of parades,” said Ron.
After a day at the park head over to The Stable to fill up and recharge.
“Our prices are always lower than what you’ll find and that was kind of the thing, we wanted people to come in and try new craft beer and good food without breaking the budget,” said Brian Souders, co-owner of The Stable.
Souders and his lifelong best friend wanted to bring the vibe of a Mass Ave. restaurant and bar to Pendleton. They opened The Stable five and a half years ago. They feature a base menu with rotating beers, wines and food based on what's fresh and local.
“We do a variety of specialty type burgers. We like to work with a local meat producer, a butcher, so all the meat is local. Our customers say they can taste a difference. We have an elk burger, artisan type pizzas, a few appetizers, everything is fresh. With beverages the majority of our sales come from beer and craft beer. We try to focus on Indiana stuff,” said Brian.
They have a number of unique wines as well and live music three nights a week.
“You wouldn’t think a little town like Pendleton could produce local music but we can go 2-3 weeks and have local people here every night,” said Brian.