CSA providers for the upcoming growing season. Sponsored by Field to Family
About Field to Family: We envision a strong, community-based Eastern Iowa food system where people eat with the seasons, farmers make a living and our ecosystem is diverse, abundant, and healthy. Field to Family coordinates the Farm to School program, Farm Stands in Food Deserts, an online local farm listing and is launching a wholesale Food Hub that works to expand access to locally-grown food for more people in the community. Visit fieldtofamily.org to learn more.
Abbe Hills Farm
Bountiful Harvest Farm
Buffalo Ridge Orchard
Echollective Farm, LLC
David and Mickey Miller
24051 30th St, Lisbon
Garden Oasis, LLC
Grinnell Heritage Farm
Iowa Grown Market
The Millet Seed Farm
Morning Glory Farm
Muddy Miss Farms at Walker Homestead
Small Frye Farm
11150 New Liberty Rd, Maysville
816 River St
Sundog Farm/Local Harvest CSA
Trowel & Error Farm
Spotlight: The City of Iowa City’s Edible Offerings
Tyler Baird, assistant superintendent of parks for the City of Iowa City, wants to see more people picking his plants. “They are really there for everyone to benefit from,” Baird said.
Last year, Baird began growing a number of edible plants for public harvest — from Swiss chard to sweet potatoes — in medians and planters around town. This summer, herbs are the theme, he said. Iowa City dwellers are welcome to pick rosemary, lavender and St. John’s Wort to dry and make herbal teas. Culinary herbal offerings will include chives, lemongrass and fennel.
“Don’t be afraid that you’re going to ruin them by picking a little bit here or there,” Baird said. “It’s not going to hurt them at all.”
Fruits and vegetables for public harvest can also be found in the Edible Classroom on the south side of the Robert A. Lee Recreation Center. Signs indicate which edible crops, such as kale and cherry tomatoes, are available for free harvesting and when they are ready. Meanwhile, the Wetherby Edible Forest is located in Wetherby Park, just south of Highway 6. Crops available for public harvest there include Egyptian walking onions, rhubarb, peaches, apples and berries. Both projects are led by the educational nonprofit Backyard Abundance, and no synthetic pesticides or herbicides are used in either of the landscapes.
Is it Local?
A few tricks for identifying local on the menu
You want to support a food system that creates and retains jobs in agriculture, enhances our environment and keeps food dollars in our local economy, so how can you tell if a restaurant or cafeteria includes food sourced from local farmers?
1. Check out the chart above for a comprehensive list of fruit and vegetable grow seasons in our region. Learn what grows in Iowa and when. If you’re eating tomatoes in January rather than July, August or September, those tomatoes are most likely not local. If you’re eating a strawberry in June, it might be from a local farmer! Peppers in the spring? No. Sweet potatoes in May? Probably not local, unless stored from the winter. Asparagus in May? Could be local!
2. Check the menu. Does it reflect the season or is it the same menu year-round? If it’s the same year-round, the seasonality of foods probably does not influence their menu choices.
3. Ask your server! Iowa farmers raise livestock for meat and dairy, and grow fruits, mushrooms, vegetables, grains, legumes and herbs. Even it if is specified on the menu, ask if they are currently using their crops. “Who is your produce farmer? Where do you get your Iowa pork? Are these mushrooms grown in Iowa?” Don’t be afraid to get the details. If they can’t name a farm or a farmer, ask them if they work with a local food distribution hub, such as Field to Family’s Food Hub. If the answer is “no,” they are most likely getting their food from non-local sources.
4. Encourage them to source seasonal local foods for their menus. Chefs want to make their customers happy. If you want local, let them know!