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SB 150: Farm to table movement flourishes in South Bend

One South Bend woman is using the farm to table movement to change the face of her childhood neighborhood. 

Judith Rubleske is the president and founder of Kankakee Wetland Organic Gardens.

The series of seven gardens are located in her childhood neighborhood on the west side of the city. 

“Farm to table means to me farm to fork as well,” Rubleske said.

Neighbors now participate in the gardening with Rubleske. They grow everything from vegetables to fruit to flowers.

“Farm to table is for everybody, not just when you eat at a restaurant,” Rubleske said.

She donates one third of the gardens' produce to nonprofits.

Rubleske said she's also seen her neighborhood become cleaner since she started the gardens.  

“It used to be a pretty crummy block. But now, everyone is taking care of their properties, keeping it neat and clean and green,” Rubleske said.

Some of the produce is sold to local restaurants, like Fiddler's Hearth and LaSalle Grill.

“I think the farm to table movement has really gained some steam in the past few years,” Chef John Bulger of LaSalle Grill said.

Bulger says it's easier to buy from corporations, but local organic tastes better.

“This way you know your money stays local. You can put a face to the lady or gentleman who is actually farming it,” Bulger said.
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