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At Home: Martha Hoover's Barnyard

Back in the day, Martha Hoover pioneered Indy’s locavore dining movement. Now she’s raising the profile of the homesteading trend. This shouldn’t come as a surprise—but how does someone who owns 10 (soon to be 12) eateries and just launched a foundation make time for chickens and goats? Yes, she has help, but Hoover is no absentee urban farmer; she knows her animals well. “Chickens will eat anything humans will,” she says, though hers maintain a healthy diet of Petite Chou leftovers. “Goats, on the other hand, are strictly vegetarian. And picky.” (See outtakesuttakes from the photo shoot here.)


The Patachou Foundation launched last month to tackle hunger among local children. All profits from Public Greens, Hoover’s restaurant slated to open in Broad Ripple this year, will support the foundation.
Gardens of Growth, a local company, built the enclosure.
How dope is it that Hoover named her goats Tupac and Biggie, a nod to her hip-hop habit? “I love the old-school guys best—Outkast, Run-DMC,” she says.
“I bake a lot. Fresh farm eggs make a huge difference,” Hoover says. She also shares these with the Patachou team, but she’s not authorized to supply her restaurants.
Agrarian, a new shop in SoBro, carries all the accouterments for city farming—except the animals.
Hoover wears Italian riding boots from a tack shop to climb into the coop. “I can hose them off,” she says.
An actual lab beaker. Did you expect a bright plastic can?
BONUS: See outtakes from the photo shoot here.
Photo by Tony Valainis
This article appeared in the September 2013 issue.

Fernandez began writing for Indianapolis Monthly in 1995 while studying journalism at Indiana University. One of her freelance assignments required her to join a women's full-tackle football team for a season. She joined the staff in 2005 to edit IM's ancillary publications, including Indianapolis Monthly Home. In 2011, she became a senior editor responsible for the Circle City section as well as coverage of shopping, homes, and design-related topics. Now the director of editorial operations, she lives in Garfield Park.

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