Organic Consumers Association

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"Your Neighbor's Garden" Creator Helped Grow a Movement

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For longtime farmers' market vendor Ross Faris, it all started with a lemonade stand.

It was 1981, and his children, then 9 and 12, had asked to have a stand in front of their house. But Faris said they might have more success selling produce from his backyard garden.

It turned out he was right.

For 30 years, Faris sold fruits and vegetables from his home market, Your Neighbor's Garden, on the Northside.

Faris, 69, died Saturday at St. Vincent Indianapolis Hospital from injuries suffered in a bicycling accident earlier in the day.

His impact on the local food community spread far beyond his home market at 5224 Grandview Drive. He was a fixture at farmers' markets throughout the area and was instrumental in making fresh Indiana produce available to local chefs, said local food writer Terry Kirts.

"He almost single-handedly allowed for local, seasonal menus to get their footing in this city," said Kirts, a writing instructor at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, "and he inspired so many to take risks and find a market for their produce among local foodies and chefs."

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