Advertisement

Meet a farmer: How Shanti Sellz works to make fresh food accessible

  • 227
    Shares

Zak Neumann/Little Village

Located down a rolling gravel road just about eight miles west of Iowa City is Muddy Miss Farms at Walker Homestead, where farmer Shanti Sellz grows vegetables for her 22-week CSA share. The season begins in early May and continues through October, when her members regularly visit the farm to pick up a weekly supply of vegetables.

“I know our customers have appreciated the relationship to where their food is being grown and having access to it,” said Sellz of her farm. “I want people there, I want them to be a part of it.”

Those who visit Muddy Miss Farms can also explore Walker Homestead, the 85-acre plot of land on which Sellz’s farm sits along with a growing orchard, vineyard and winery, and an agriculture education and celebration center. When members come to pick up their shares, Sellz invites them to have a glass of wine and watch the sun set.

Last year, Sellz was awarded the 2018 Woman in Sustainable Agriculture Award for her work as a farmer, as well as as an advocate for food access. Joining a CSA is a big commitment to a seasonal way of eating, and Sellz hopes to make her own vegetables more accessible to those who may feel hesitant to become CSA members. While members traditionally pay upfront, Sellz said she is happy to arrange payment plans with families. This year she will present a handful of “work-for-share options,” which offers those who may have limited financial resources a weekly share in exchange for volunteer hours.

“I know a CSA is not necessarily accessible to everyone, and I want to support anyone who wants to make that commitment and needs to make it work for their budget,” Sellz said.

Sellz also encourages members to split shares with other individuals or families to lighten the load, picking up a share every other week. Because local produce is not spending a week or two in transit across the country, it can hold that much longer in the refrigerator.

“Everything that you’re getting from our farm, unless it’s a storage crop [such as cabbage or potatoes], has been picked within a day or two,” said Sellz.

Sellz is also a regular fixture of the Iowa City Farmers Market, with in-season offerings on colorful display for those passing through. But becoming a regular CSA member is the most direct way community members can support farms, said Sellz. “It’s the epitome of putting your money where your mouth is.”


  • 227
    Shares
Thoughts? Tips? A cute picture of a dog? Share them with LV » editor@littlevillagemag.com

Advertisement

Advertisement

Summer Programs 2020

Get 150+ local restaurants delivered to your door in the Iowa City & Cedar Rapids areas!

Advertisement

New Year, New Career!

Free Help Desk & Systems Admin Education available to Iowans impacted by COVID.

Sign Up Today

Advertisement

Apply for a seat on the Human Rights Commission

Apply Today

The Future is Unwritten

You look to Little Village for today’s stories. Your sustaining support will help us write tomorrow’s.

Regular

$10/mo or $120/year
(AUTO-RENEW)
The cost of doing this work really adds up! Your contribution at this level will cover telephone and internet expenses for one month at the LV editorial offices.

Italic

$20/mo or $240/year
(AUTO-RENEW)
$240 is enough to cover one month’s costs for sending out our weekly entertainment newsletter, The Weekender. Make a contribution at this level to put a little more oomph on your support and your weekend.

Bold

$30/mo or $360/year
(AUTO-RENEW)
LittleVillageMag.com connects eastern Iowa culture with the world. Your contribution at this level will cover the site’s hosting costs for three months. A bold move for our boldest supporters!

All monthly and annual contributors receive:

  • Recognition on our Supporters page (aliases welcome)
  • Exclusive early access when we release new half-price gift cards
  • Access to a secret Facebook group where you can connect with other supporters and discuss the latest news and upcoming events (and maybe swap pet pics?) with the LV staff
  • Invitations to periodic publisher chats (held virtually for now) to meet with Matt and give him a piece of your mind, ask your burning questions and hear more about the future plans for Little Village, Bread & Butter Magazine, Witching Hour Festival and our other endeavors.

Advertisement

Randy's Flooring is a local, employee-owned retailed that has been part of the Corridor for over 40 years, delivering quality and value through the largest selection of carpet, tile, hardwood, window treatments, and specialty products supported by the knowledgeable staff and in-house flooring designers who can help transform residential and commercial spaces.

 
Get Started