2012 Torch Run:

Letter From The President

With the farmer’s market in full swing, it seems like summer is really here and our warm winter has brought a hot summer already. Speaking of hot, we have a couple of HOT events here in the Village coming up soon!

While we haven’t heard any real news about any big development on the Citgo, Stacy, Calico Corners (the 20 acres along Sycamore St from the Citgo corner going west) in quite a while, we also never received a response from the developer when I last invited to share his ideas with us at the April meeting. Those properties, if developed properly, could be a vital and exciting part of the Village and an important part of the growing the commercial tax base in Zionsville. If done poorly, could be a blight and drain on our community for many years to come.

Speaking of development, the June 12 VRA meeting, 7:30 at the Sullivan Munce Cultural Center, will focus mostly on some of the details of the Economic Development Commission Strategic Master Plan which is focused only on the roughly 1000 acres from the Village Business District down to town’s borders on 96th St. We will be having a panel discussion regarding this plan. A member of the RDC, a member of the EDC Strategic Working Group and a Zionsville citizen will be sharing some of their thoughts on the project and pointing out some of the things that may have big impact on the Village.

That discussion leads us to the Public Presentation of the EDC Strategic Plan on Tuesday, June 26th at Town Hall. Both of the these meetings will be important in helping to determine how this part of the Zionsville continues to grow and develop and much like the “citgo site”, development in the EDC Plans focus area could be great, well thought out, interesting new development or just like so much of the generic suburban sprawl around us. Please make a point to attend both of these meetings.

To download the draft of the EDC plan, you can to the town website—


We are looking forward to seeing you at these meetings.

Chris Bucher

 VRA Garden Club News

 By Delma Mindel

Greetings Fellow Gardeners!

A bit of gardening lore: “For a profusion of sweet flowers, bury banana skins and copious amounts of fat (one pound of each bush) around the roots of rose bushes each year in the early spring. (Who knew?) An infusion of horsetail and stinging nettle (run the plants with a bit of water through your blender) will gently cleanse your plants of aphids and other pests, and rotted nettles make a good “green” manure. Pour ale over hollyhocks, lupins and foxgloves to keep them in flower and to enhance their colours.” ~~ Claire Rush, The Enchanted Garden

And here’s what’s going on with the VRA Garden Club: On May 17th we arrived at the beautiful home of Mervyn and Janet Cohen where we were greeted by Doogle the dog Janet and Mervyn. After filling our plates with a variety of tasty and delicious appetizers, our glasses with an array of cooling beverages, we assembled on the shady patio for a bit of refreshment, relaxation and re-acquainting. Janet explained how to use containers in the garden as a way to increase and expand the color palette, and to sprinkle seeds in the pots as a way to create an inexpensive and colorful filler. Think nasturtiums. As we toured the garden, Janet talked about English garden design where plants are placed close together with little or no dirt showing and tall plants are staggered throughout the border, not just banished to the back. The contrasting heights can create a lively and interesting pattern in the garden. It was a pleasant and friendly evening in the Cohen garden.

Next month we will gather in the garden of Brad and Monique Schnable, 180 N.Main St., on June 15th, 7pm. As always, please RSVP to the Schnables that you are or are not planning to attend: fordmoniq at sbcglobal.net

In July: We will meet at the home and garden of Mark and Sally Zelonis, 40 N. 3rd. St., on Sunday, July 8th, at 7pm.

Did You Know? (courtesy of Garden Gate magazine) Hummingbird clearwing moths are often mistaken for hummingbirds, bees or tomato hornworm moths, but they’re one of a kind, a member of the sphinx moth family. They flit from flower to flower, stopping in a near-motionless hover while feeding. It looks as if their wings are not moving at all, but they’re actually moving at about 80 beats per second. If you want to attract these friendly fliers, make sure you plant a few of these hummingbird moth favorites: bee balm, blueberry, honeysuckle, phlox, red clover, snowberry. They’re active in the early morning and at dusk.

Village News

VRA Rain Barrel Workshop
The Rain Barrel Workshop is June 16th at 8AM at Maplelawn Farmstead. We need to know by the June 12th meeting if you are attending and participation will be limited to 10. The cost will be approximately $65 and will include everything you need to make your own rain barrel, and a tour of Maplelawn Farmstead, and coffee and bagels. Check out this historic site along with their current exhibit Aprons: Vintage Kitchen Couture while helping the Eagle Creek Watershed with an easy water collection system. Email president@zvra.com to sign up.

Oak Street Crosswalk “Block Captains” Needed
We are looking for volunteers to be “block captains” to discuss and help generate some interest in examining the possibility of putting a cross walk at 5th and Oak to better facilitate people getting to and from the SMCC, Library and Eagle Elementary. This will take a fair amount of work and probably a good bit of input from many Village residents. But many hands make light work so please email president@zvra.com for more details and to coordinate with the others already working on this project. We definitely need your help to make this happen.

Zionsville American Legion Summer Yard Sales Event
Help us fix our roof by renting a table and yard space to sell your “stuff”. With 100% of table rental fees from sellers going directly to the Roof Fund! No Auxiliary expenses! The Auxiliary will also have tables with items donated to us.

The Got Too Much Stuff yard sale will be every 2nd Saturday from May through August from 8am to 1pm… and if you don’t have anything to sell, stop by to see what bargain you might find! Be sure to visit the Auxiliary’s tables to see our selection of homemade desserts, beverages, and who knows what else!

Rental cost is $20 for a space with one table. Table rental agreements are available at the Legion, 9950 E 600 S (corner of Ford Rd and 600 S)

In the event of rain, the sale will be moved inside.
Questions? Call Linda Koenig 769-4270 or Chrissy Koenig 733-2035

Along with helping raise money for our American Legion, our Auxilliary supports The American Legion Programs for Veterans in various ways: we donate money items for the Veteran’s in nursing homes, Veterans Homes, homeless Vets. We also send items to our current military who are overseas serving our country and support our local community by helping needy families as well as other needs in our community

PZAZ Tree Trimming Soiree

Volunteers Invited!

Three members of PZAZ – People of Zionsville for the Aesthetics of Zionsville will join the Zionsville Street Dept. on Friday, June 22, 2012 to trim village trees along sidewalks and streets. The “party” begins at 8:30 a.m. We will gather at the Municipal Building on Parkway Drive. Please bring gloves, protective glasses, trimmers and/or loppers. We have been doing this fo15 years and the volunteer hours count toward maintaining Tree City designation. It’s fun and it makes quite a difference. We usually work in crews until about 12:00 Noon and then all volunteers are guests for lunch. Location to be determined, but Lana is buying. If you are interested, please contact 873-2484 or lfunkhou@iuhealth.org

Z’Sparkle Party Drag Race to End Alzheimer’s
Friday, August 10th; Main Street
Z’Drag Race Begins at 9:00 p.m. (VIP Tent opens at 7:00 pm Over 21 ONLY)

Food, fun, cash bar, music, DJ, meet and mingle with the “Dragstars!”
Advance Tickets $10.00 , available at Akard’s True Value Hardware

Be on hand to cheer and cheer as some of our community’s finest gentlemen don dresses and high heels and strut, race and wobble down Main Street in exchange for donations to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Free, open to the public, donations encouraged.
For more information or if you’d like to sign up to participate as a dragstar, please contact Amy Lacy at:zsparkle.dragrace@gmail.com

It’s Time to Head to the Market!

by Patricia Scott

If you missed the opening day on May 19th, there is no need to worry. You can still enjoy, through September 29th, all the farm-fresh wonders of the Zionsville Farmer’s Market. The Market is held every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. throughout the summer and has something to offer everyone. Start your day at the Market with fresh, hot New Orleans-style beignets prepared onsite by Le Dolce Vita Patisserie, a Zionsville bakery or try a famous breakfast burrito offered once again by Patrick’s Kitchen, located on Main Street. Take time to peruse the farm-fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables; plan to get in line early
when the peaches, cantaloupes and sweet corn arrive!

As if shopping for fresh produce, flowers, and baked goods is not fun enough, the market also plans to feature monthly chef demonstrations and local musicians. You also will not want to miss the annual Strawberry Shortcake giveaway on Saturday, June 2.Joining returning vendors are a few new additions to the market this season: several types of meat, such as free-range chicken, and bison meat and summer sausage; Old-English pastries, jams, jellies, and chutneys; fresh bagels; and
gourmet candy apples. Several new produce vendors will participate as well.

The market will host an electronics recycling event in June; the specific date to be announced.

The Zionsville Farmer’s Market is also continuing its partnership with Second Helpings, a food rescue group in Indianapolis.
Patrons and vendors gave generously last year, and we’re hoping to expand on that this season. Volunteers for Second Helpings will attend the market every week to disseminate information and collect food and monetary donations. Our market was the first to partner with Second Helpings in an effort to provide fresh, local produce to those in need.

See you at the Market!

Farmers’ Market Vendor Spotlight: Valentine Hill Farm

by Patricia Scott

I sat down with Valentine Hill Farm owner Maria Smietana to learn more about this unique farm, located here in Zionsville.

Tricia: When was Valentine Hill farm established and why did you choose to grow organic?

Maria: We started the farm in 2005 with a commitment to preserve and protect the plant and wildlife on our 5 acre parcel. We built our house and established our planting beds with minimal tree removal or disruption to wildlife habitat. We have 1.5 acres under production and the rest remains wooded and wildlife friendly. The environment matters to us. Although we are not USDA- certified organic, we choose to go above and beyond the requirements; we like to refer to this practice as “Beyond Organic”.

Tricia: What does it mean to be Organic?

Maria: Organic simply means growing produce without the use of pesticides, herbicides, synthetic fertilizers or genetically modified seeds or plants. Again, this was important to us because we wanted to ensure protecting the environment (groundwater, wildlife, plants etc.). Not only are all of the products offered by Valentine Hill Farm grown with organic methods or made with organic ingredients,we adhere to a diet that is almost exclusively Beyond Organic as well.

Tricia: The farm is a true family affair, is it not?

Maria: Yes, my husband, Bill Swanson, runs the bakery side of the business, I run the farm side and my brother, Henry Smietana, helps with the markets and farm chores.

Tricia: What makes Valentine Hill Farm unique in the market place?

Maria: We are proud to be one of the very few whole grain, Organic bakeries in the Indianapolis area. Also, we are one of the few that has a bakery as well as a produce line.

Tricia: Now, I am familiar with some of your bakery products from the Market, but where do you sell your produce?

Maria: We sell all of our produce through a CSA pre-paid subscription program.

Tricia: Can you describe the CSA program for me?

Maria: Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a a program where consumers prepay at the beginning of the season in order to help fund the growing process. Subscribers then pick up a box of seasonal produce weekly, throughout the growing season, at the Market. We grow summer vegetables and herbs, leafy greens, tomatoes, green beans, berries, melons, and peas, among other vegetables.

Tricia: I understand the advantage to the grower, but what is the advantage to the consumer of the CSA subscription?

Maria: For the adventurous cook or someone who does not desire to sort through all that market vendors have to offer each week, the CSA provides a box of the best available seasonal produce. It is easy and efficient. I say adventurous cook because the offerings are never the same, are always a sampling of the season’s best and will vary from week to week.

Tricia: How does one subscribe to your CSA program and are there different options available?

Maria: We do still have openings for this season. We have two sizes available. The small will serve, for a week, two people who love vegetables, but who also eat eggs, bakery, and meats. The large will do the same for 4 people. You can also add on baked goods for a small additional charge. I can be reached at 317-439-0714 or at maria@valentinehill.com to subscribe or for more information.

Tricia: So tell me about the bakery offerings of Valentine Hill Farms. I Know I came to know of your products after becoming seriously addicted to your Brunch Muffins!

Maria: All of our recipes are either developed by my husband or they were family recipes brought from Germany by my folks. All ingredients in our baked goods are organic. We offer whole grain breads, muffins such as whole wheat, whole wheat cinnamon, and the brunch muffin. We also offer lemon cakes, European Spritz cookies, fully dried pastas, bagettes, and whole grain
pizza rounds.

Tricia: Do you have a favorite recipe you would like to share?

Maria: Summer Pizza= Take a whole grain pizza round and drizzle with garlic-infused olive oil. Top with slices of tomatoes and slices of whole milk mozzarella; then top with fresh basil leaves. Bake at 425 for about 10-12 minutes until done to your liking!

Tricia: That sounds great! Thanks for your time Maria. We will see you at the Market!

Village People – Meet Your Neighbor: Jamie Wilkinson

by Beth Bugbee

Do you share your lovely home with anyone?
Yes. I live with my husband, Dave, and our two sons, Simon (6) and Leo (3), and our daughter, Maya (5). Soon we will have our third son, Ozzie, who is four months old and living in the Congo.

How long have you lived in Zionsville and why did you decide to move here?
We moved here from the northeast side of Indianapolis two years ago. We wanted a community where we could walk to the school, library and parks. We love the Zionsville village and the schools.

What do you like best about Zionsville?
I like the small town feel with the easy access to everything. We are looking forward to the opening of the Farmer’s Market.

What is your profession?
In the past, I worked as a Forensic Child Interviewer for the Prosecutor’s Office. Currently, I don’t work outside the home. Dave works for a contract security company.

What are your interests?
When I have time, I like to read. Dave and I also like to work on home projects. Our latest was a tree house in the backyard.

What is your favorite shop or restaurant in the Village?
That is a tough question to answer. We frequent Greeks and Dave and I like to stop at the Friendly for a drink occasionally. Our favorite shops are Ballerinas and Bruisers and Earth Explorers, of course.

What is your favorite movie?
I have never been a movie fan, but Dave is and his favorite is Good Fellas.

What is your favorite book?
My favorite book is any memoir. Dave’s favorite would have to be A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller.

Who would you most like to meet either dead or alive?
Without a doubt, the person I would most like to meet is Ozzie. My husband agrees, but he would also like to sit down and visit with Albert Einstein and Jesus.

Give me a few words that describe your perfect day.

What are your plans for the future?
My plans for the very near future are getting Ozzie here. After that, I want to raise my kids and stay in Zionsville.

My Favorite Room

by Jennifer Bucher

Some evenings, when it’s not quite dark out but the lights in homes have been turned on, I take a walk. This is a nice peaceful time at the end of the day when I can meditate on how my day has gone and quietly plan for the next…but, let’s faces it; it’s also the best time to get a peek into my neighbors’ homes. I know I’m not the only one who slows my pace in front of a house with the lights on, but curtains or blinds open, just to get a quick look at wall coverings or furniture choices. One of the reasons I live in the village is because I love old homes and I desperately want to see what my neighbors-who presumably love old homes as well- have done to personalize their spaces.

Since recently cleaning up and restoring an old Queen Anne style 2 story, I am always inviting my friends and neighbors in for a look. I’m excited to tell people about the banister that I built with my father, the sash cord windows I re-hung myself, or the extra tall screen door that my husband built out of reclaimed wood.

I figured that most of my neighbors had similar stories about their homes that they’d want to share and the rest of us would be just as eager to hear about them. Who doesn’t have a favorite room?

“I actually live out there” Monique Schnabel says of the sunroom she and husband Brad added to their Eastlake cottage in 2006.

Knitting, reading, listening to music (the sunroom is a TV free zone) are among Monique’s favorite things to do in her bright, airy room. A large metal garden table graces the window covered South side of the room. “We eat dinner out here as often as possible,” she says.

When the room was built, Monique wanted to ensure that she had views of her cottage garden. Having the ability to see the outdoors all year is ideal. “We wanted the feeling of being outside, but still have the cats with us,” she says. A garden with a koi pond, bird bath and a squirrel feeder all add to the enjoyment for Brad Monique and their cats-for “kitty video” as they call it.

Monique was able to include many items from unique Zionsville shops in her décor, including a large converted wardrobe from Firehouse Antiques and Lighting which serves as a storage place for dinnerware and acts as a serving station during parties.

Accessories gathered from visits to Zionsville’s annual Country Market (now the Brick Street Market), Altum’s, and the Zionsville Clock Shop complete the look. Even their beloved cat Harry (nicknamed “Harry Monster”), is a Zionsville original who showed up and knew a beautiful home when he saw it.

VRA Legislative Affairs Committee Updates- May 2012

Meeting: Zionsville Parks and Recreation Board Meeting
Date: Wednesday, May 9th

  • Ellen Butz was recognized for her incredible service to the Parks and Recreation Board.
  • The Zionsville Youth Football League has submitted a proposal and are hoping to move forward to create a dedicated football facility at Mulberry Field.

Meeting: Zionsville Redevelopment Commission
Date: Monday, April 23, 2012

Agenda Highlights:

  • Update on the DOW property
  • Micro-Loan Program
  • The Zionsville Road Area Property Owners Association, Inc. (ZRAPOA) requests

Dow Property Update

  • At the March meeting, it was proposed that commission members meet with DOW representatives to bring to their attention an appraisal’s finding that the entire 126.09 acre property was worth $45,205 per acre while DOW wanted to sell the most attractive 99.61 acres of the entire 126.09 acre tract for $100,000 per acre. This meeting took place in April. Dow’s new real estate manager did not disagree with the appraisal and expressed his intent to aggressively market the property, with the hope that it is sold this year.
    • Micro Loan Program. $200,000 was set aside to make small loans to qualified local businesses located in the TIFF district.
  • Commission members met with Noel Kendall at the State Bank of Lizton, administrator of the program, to go over the bank’s responsibilities and procedural details.
    • ZRAPOA Presentation. The Zionsville Road Area Property Owners Association (“ZRAPOA”) requested that the single-family residential properties along Zionsville Road and Old 106th Street, located in the TIFF district and/or redevelopment area under the proposed strategic plan, be removed from the TIFF district and redevelopment area. ZRAPOA argued that inclusion adversely impacted their home values and encouraged change from the current single-family use.
  • The majority of the commissioners felt that inclusion in the TIFF district and/or redevelopment area would not adversely impact the single-family residences. Further, the single-family homes were protected by their recent placement entirely within a single-family district under the strategic plan. The ZRAPOA requests were denied by a vote of 4-1 with Commissioner John Tousley dissenting.

Meeting: Zionsville Town Council
Date: Monday, May 7

  • Council put off until August a decision on the Stormwater Utility Rates
  • Council did not take action on the proposal to fund a feasibility study on a proposed ice skating rink/stadium in light of Dax Nortons’ statement that he could procure private funding.
  • Town approved a resolution to fund the installation of IT fiber optic cable connecting the Zionsville Town Hall with the Zionsville School Complex.

Village Voice Arts

by Sarah Zack

Click to Zoom.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Close Search Window