Local Foods Connection Blog

Local foods, hunger relief, sustainable agriculture

The 2009 CSA Guide is Here! February 20, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — caroline@LFC @ 5:22 pm

Hot off the presses!  Download your pdf of the 2009 Iowa City CSA Guide here.

Thank you to Edible Iowa River Valley, New Pioneer Co-op, and the City of Iowa City for their help with the guide.  Check inside to find information on area farms offering CSA subscriptions for the 2009 growing season.  And don’t forget to join us at the Robert A. Lee Community Center in Iowa City on Saturday, March 7th from 12pm-4pm for the 2009 CSA Fair.  Hope to see you there!


2009 Community Supported Agriculture Farms
This list is provided as a community service. No endorsement is being made for any individual farm. Farms are listed in CSA name alphabetical order. We apologize for any mistakes. Prepared by Local Foods Connection.

Abbe Hills Garden
Laura Krouse
825 Abbe Hills Road
Mt. Vernon, IA 52314

General Farm Info: Abbe Hills Garden CSA serves about 200 families in Mt. Vernon, Lisbon, Iowa City and the Cedar Rapids/Marion area. We offer a wide variety of vegetables from the first week of June until Halloween, plus movie nights, guided garden walk-arounds and a mid-summer farm open house. We use a number of low input and sustainable practices, including compost, cover crops, beneficial insects and integrated pest management tools to produce tasty, healthy and safe food for our shareholders. Soil conservation and water quality improvement are practiced over the entire 72-acre farm. Everyone is welcome to visit the farm and to participate in the CSA.
Season: 20 weeks from early June until Halloween.
Contents: Wide variety of vegetables in season.
Sizes: Regular: Suitable for a family of 4. Large: twice as much.
Distribution: Pick up on farm near Mt. Vernon Mondays and Thursdays, 5:00-7:00 pm.
Cost: Contact farm for information.
Other Products: Heirloom variety of open-pollinated corn for seed, plus soybeans, oats and hay.

Derek Roller & Christy Andersen
879 Echo Avenue
Mechanicsville, Iowa 52306
515.201.5593 (Christy)
319.325.3910 (Derek)

General Farm Info: Echollective CSA is a farming enterprise on an intentional community located 25 minutes from Iowa City. A cluster of farmers, interns, and volunteers cultivate 14 acres with a wide array of vegetables, herbs, flowers and hay. We steward 20 forested acres including a creek. We’ve been farming for 10 years, always using organic and sustainable practices. You already know our produce from New Pi Co-op, Iowa City’s finest restaurants and of course the downtown Iowa City Farmers Market. The CSA project is part of Echollective Farm’s broader mission to support and educate the public about: sustainably & locally produced food, renewable energy and green building construction. We conduct hands-on workshops, host internship programs and harvest & market products that make our community healthier.
Season: 20 weeks May-October.
Contents: Head lettuce, asparagus, salad mix, braising mix, garlic, onions, potatoes, tomatoes, basil, shallots, leeks, spinach, kale, collard greens, peas, beans, broccoli, chard, squashes, eggplant, carrots, cabbage, sweet corn, bok choy, turnips, daikon radish, bell & hot peppers, strawberries, rhubarb, beets, melons, a variety of fresh herbs and more…
Sizes: Family Share: Suitable for a family of 3-5. Couples’ Share: Two people.
Distribution: Shares are delivered to Iowa City for distribution at the Farmers Market.
Cost: Contact Echollective CSA for prices. Labor exchange possible.
Other products: At the Iowa City Farmers Market: veggies, herbal tinctures & salves and information on workshops!

Gooseberry Hill Subscription Produce
Dianna Fuhrmeister
3310 Lynden Heights Rd. NE
Iowa City, IA 52240

General Farm Info: 2-3 acre ever-expanding garden area. A wide variety of produce is grown and others may be added upon request. Note that fruits are also included in shares. We are not certified organic, but it is our philosophy.
Season: June through September. CSA since 2000.
Contents: Potatoes, green onions, sandwich onions, sugar snap peas, lettuce, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, bell peppers, sweet corn, green beans, carrots, tomatoes, asparagus, okra, kohlrabi, beets, horseradish, turnip and beet greens, cucumbers, summer squash, radishes and more. Fruits: cherries, apples, white Iowa peaches, rhubarb, plums and country fresh eggs. Printed recipes and labeled produce.
Size: Wicker basket is filled with enough for a family of four to supplement meals with garden fresh produce.
Distribution: Delivery to your door.
Cost: Call farm for details.

Grass Run Farm
Ryan, Kristine and Eliza Jepsen
2712 Hoover Drive
Dorchester, Iowa 52140

General Farm Info: Grass Run Farm, located in Iowa’s northeast corner, raises 100% grass-fed Angus beef and sources 100% all-natural pork raised by our neighbors. Both our beef and pork products are certified drug- and hormone-free. Our farm is certified organic by Midwest Organic Services Association, and our meats are processed at USDA-certified Lorentz Meats in Cannon Falls, Minnesota. We prioritize low-stress animal management, moving our herds to fresh pasture each day during the growing season and feeding organic hay in the winter. Our products consistently receive rave reviews and have been featured on the menus of the Motley Cow, Devotay and Vesta, among others, in the Iowa City area.
Season: Our 4-month long meat CSA shares are available April 1 (and can begin any month thereafter).
Contents: Flavorful grass-fed Angus beef and Iowa pork packaged in quantities easy for a family to use. One box containing 15-18 lbs of our best-selling grass-fed beef and pork cuts, along with recipes and farm news, is delivered each month.
Size: A typical box contains: (6) 1-lb pkgs ground beef; (2) 1-lb pkgs hardwood smoked bacon; (2) 1-lb pkgs bratwurst; (2) 1-lb pkgs pork breakfast sausage; (1) 2.5-lb beef chuck roast and (4) 8-oz top sirloin steaks.
Distribution: For families living in the Iowa City area, shares will be delivered to a convenient pick-up location (502 Kimball Road).
Cost: Call or e-mail us for more information. Sign-up is available at

Grinnell Heritage Farm
Andrew and Melissa Dunham
1933 Penrose St.
Grinnell, IA 50112

General Farm Info: Grinnell Heritage Farm is a transitioning-to-organic farming operation owned and operated by Andrew and Melissa Dunham. Andrew is a 5th generation Iowa farmer. The 80 acre farm, located northeast of Grinnell, has been in the family for over 150 years, hence the heritage designation. In 2008 Grinnell Heritage Farm served over 120 CSA shareholders in Iowa City, Cedar Rapids and Grinnell; we were a vendor at four weekly markets and one monthly market we sold produce directly to various institutions. The vegetable fields are eligible to be organically certified in 2009, with the remainder of the farm gaining eligibility in 2010.
Season & Sizes: CSA shares on offer include: Spring: greens starting in May. Full:
Veggies for 2-4 people for 20 weeks beginning in June. Half: veggies for 1-2 people for 20 weeks beginning in June. Winter Share (in planning).
Contents: You can count on a wide variety of vegetables and herbs, including familiar (e.g. carrots, potatoes, and beans) and unusual (e.g. Romanesco and celeriac) items – and heirloom varieties. Our Grinnell Heritage Farm CSA newsletter complements the share with news from the farm, recipes and storage tips.
Distribution: Iowa City: Farmers Mkt. Saturday 7-11:30 a.m.; Wednesday TBD
Cedar Rapids: (Sayde’s) Wednesday TBD; 4th Ave. SE; Wednesday TBD
Cost: Contact farm for more information.

Heritage Breeds Meats
Kevin Powell and family
12942 338th Street
Strawberry Point, IA 52076

General Farm Info: We raise mulefoot pigs outside of Strawberry Point, IA. Mulefoot Hogs are a rare heritage breed that is on Slow Foods Ark of Taste. This is truly meat like Grandma used to make, with a dark red color, extensive marbling, and a sweet flavor, and works well as an accompaniment to many egg, bean or lentil dishes. Our pork is naturally raised, with a diet that combines pasture, barley, and corn. The pork is processed at a USDA facility in Edgewood.
Contents: A CSA box will contain approximately 10 pounds of meat for $50.
Sample box of meat: 3 pound roast, 4 chops or pork steaks, 2 pounds ground pork, 1 package bacon, 1 ham steak.
Distribution: This will be delivered on a monthly basis to Iowa City on the second Saturday of the month. Drop shipping is available for an additional cost.
Cost: Per package cost and leaf lard available on request
Other products: During the summer we raise chickens and eggs, which are processed at a facility in Decorah.

Local Harvest CSA
A collaboration of ZJ Farm, Hue Hill Farm, Life is Sweet, Red Cedar Farm, Simone’s Plain & Simple.

ZJ Farm
Susan Jutz
5025 120th St NE
Solon, IA 52333
319.624.3052 (message number)

General Farm Info: Susan and her four children (Frances, Reuben, George and David) share in the work of their 80-acre farm. Growing vegetables for Local Harvest CSA is only one component of their small, diversified farm. The diversity of the ZJ Farm extends beyond the products they sell to the environment they promote and maintain. Community education is central to the work they do. On-farm events include a spring potluck, annual prairie burn, fall barn dance & more.
Season: 18 weeks May to October. CSA since 1997.
Contents: Over 150 varieties of more than 40 types of vegetables grown using organic and sustainable practices. Almost all vegetables are harvested the same day as delivery.
Write or call for more info. Email newsletter.
Sizes: Large feeds a family of 4 (2 adults, 2 children); Regular feeds two vegetable-loving adults.
Distribution: Monday: Cedar Rapids at Red Cedar Farm, Northside drop site.
Wednesday: Iowa City Farmer’s Market. Friday: drop sites in Iowa City, North Liberty, and Cedar Rapids/Red Cedar Farm. Pick-up at the farm by arrangement on M & F.
Cost: Call farm. Staggered payment & volunteer exchange options.
Other Products: Lamb, community events

Hue Hill Farm
Jean Donohue
319.339.0624 (h)
319.631.1628 (c)

General Farm Info: Hue Hill Farm, north of Iowa City, has been a family farm since 1900. The Donohue family grows fruit, vegetables, herbs and poultry on the small 40+ acre farm.
Season: 18 weeks May to October.
Bread: Jean will be grinding flour fresh each baking day. One of the grains used will be Wheat Montana’s Prairie Gold white wheat, a chemical free grain; it is noticeably sweeter and has a much lighter color. When mixed with red hard winter wheat, it produces a lighter whole grain bread. A variety of whole grain breads throughout the season will include:
• Pugliese: Olive oil bread made with whole wheat and whole white wheat flours.
• Focaccia: Semolina and whole white wheat bread with rosemary or variety of fresh and dried herbs.
• Hi-Rise Cornbread: Yellow cornbread with fresh corn kernels, cornmeal & white whole wheat flours.
• 7-grain Seed Bread: whole grain bread with a soaker of 7 grain cereal and seeds galore.
Eggs: We have a small flock of 140 chickens who wander in & out during the day to feed, scratch around and lay their eggs. The greens, bugs and exercise produce healthy, happy chickens who give us healthy, great tasting eggs. Eggs from our chickens should be higher in omega-3s and alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E) than conventionally-fed chickens. There is a direct relationship between feed, yolk color and the nutrient content of the egg.
Size: Bread: One loaf per week. Eggs: One dozen per week.
Distribution: See ZJ Farm listing above.

Life is Sweet
Regina Miller

General Farmer Info: Regina has been baking since she was a little girl. Her mom taught her the basics (2 loaves at a time), and while she was in college she worked for a bakery and learned more (20 loaves at a time!). Regina started working with Simone 6 years ago and learned even more, particularly about artisan breads.
Season: 18 weeks May to October.
Contents: The CSA bread: Pain au Levain – The sourdough starter for this bread is a traditional French levain. It is made with half-whole wheat and half bread flour – and some steel cut oats thrown in for texture. No dairy or oils are used. It is a wonderful loaf-chewy and wholesome. Occasionally we will also have a bit of variety: baguettes, Moroccan bread, white wine garlic, or Focaccia might show up in the basket!
Size: Regular: One loaf per week. Large: Double loaf (3 pounds!).
Distribution: See ZJ Farm listing above.
Cost: Contact farm for details.
Other: At the Iowa City Farmers Market: croissants, brioche, shortbread, biscotti, scones and granola.

Red Cedar Farm
Kate Hogg
2750 Otis Road SE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52403
Red Cedar Farm is the Cedar Rapids pick up location for Local Harvest CSA.
Other Products: Organic, free-range eggs.

Simone’s Plain & Simple
Simone Delaty
1478 470th Street SW
Wellman, IA 52356
319.683.2896 (h)
319.631.0146 (c)

After ten years of serving you, Simone is taking a sabbatical year. Check back in December 2009 for more updates.

Oak Hill Acres
Andy & Christina Tygrett
Terry & Lorraine Tygrett
978 310th St.
Atalissa, IA 52720
563.946.2304 (Andy & Christina)
319.560.4826 (Terry & Lorraine)

General Farm Info: Family owner and operated certified organic farm on 278 acres since 1997. Thirty acres certified organic vegetables. The remainder of the farm is in timber and small grains and is seeded down in mixed hay. We are dedicated to marketing high-quality vegetables, bedding planting and small grains directly to customers. Heirloom vegetables and bedding flowers are produced in four greenhouses. We built a 30’ x 96’ greenhouse to produce earlier vegetable crops. This greenhouse will also extend the season into the fall. Open houses, potlucks, and farm tours are held throughout the season. Annual CSA picnic in June.
Season: Minimum of 22 weeks May-October. CSA since 2001.
Contents: Beets, broccoli, bok choy, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, carrots, cucumbers, cauliflower, green and yellow beans, kohlrabi, sweet and hot peppers, lettuce and greens, herbs, potatoes, tomatoes, summer and winter squash and much, much more.
Sizes: Half: Household of 1-2 people; Full: Family of 3-5 people.
Distribution: Weekly drop-off sites: Iowa City/Coralville, West Liberty, Muscatine and Iowa/Illinois Quad Cities. Shares can also be picked up at the farm.
Cost: Call farm. Payments due in April and July.
Other Products: Small grains, hay and cut flowers.

Sass Family Farm
Maurice & Sherry Sass
3060 160th Street
Riverside, IA 52327
319.648.3788 (Maury & Sherry)
319.629.1220 (Chris Sass)
319.653.4205 (Cara Sorrells)

General Farm Info: Enjoy an authentic working 1950’s Iowa farm. Visitors are always welcome! We invite you and your family to come experience our relaxed country atmosphere. Kids can play on the playground or enjoy the petting zoo while you shop at the Country Market, or the newly established Country Store. We have 80 acres: 15 acres in garden crops and the rest in pasture, hay and corn. Our CSA vegetables are chemical-free.
Season: 20 weeks May-October. CSA since 2005.
Contents: Lettuce, onions, spinach, asparagus, rhubarb, squash, herbs, cabbage, peppers, sweet corn, beets, okra, tomatoes, cucumbers, green beans, radishes, potatoes, pumpkins, gourds, brown eggs, jams, honey, jellies, baked goods and more. Printed newsletter and recipes.
Sizes: Full and half shares available.
Distribution: Share picked up at the farm.
Cost: Contact farm. Payment by season, month, week allowed.
Other attractions: Newly built pond, antiques, fall decorations, Indian corn, gourds, straw bales, hayrack rides and picnics. Special fall/Halloween activities designed with families and children aged preschool to third grade in mind. Pumpkin Festival every October. Accept school, church, birthday parties, special groups and bus tours.

Scattergood Friends School Farm
Mark Quee
1951 Delta Ave.
West Branch, IA 52358

General Farm Info: The CSA is a program of Scattergood Friends School (a small, Quaker boarding school serving a diverse population of 60 students in grades 9-12). Includes 6 acres in IDALS-certified organic vegetable production. A cow-calf beef herd and a small flock of sheep on 35 acres of pasture; a few feeder pigs and heritage hogs; honeybees; a laying chicken flock as well as a few turkeys. 35 acres more in restored prairie.
Season: 22 weeks May-October. CSA since 2004.
Contents: Salad greens, root vegetables, heirloom tomatoes, peppers, sweet corn, cucumbers, zucchini, asparagus, peas, beans, sweet potatoes, garlic, onions, cabbages and more. Strawberries.
Size: Family: Four vegetable-loving adults.
Distribution: Pick up at the farm; or a central distribution point in Iowa City.
Cost: Call farm. Reduced cost and work for shares offered.

Sponsors of Guide & CSA Fair

Local Foods Connection
PO Box 2821
Iowa City, Iowa

Local Foods Connection purchases produce, bread, eggs, meat and other products from local earth-friendly farms and donates these goods to families who do not have access to such nutritious, tasty and fresh food. We provide opportunities for families to visit a farm and to learn healthy cooking methods. With your support, we assist families in need of a helping hand, strengthen our local foods network and empower the farmers who live and work just outside of your neighborhood.

New Pioneer Co-Operative Fresh Food Market
22 S. Van Buren St.
Iowa City, IA 52240
Hours: 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
1101 2nd St.
Coralville, IA 52241
Hours: 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

New Pioneer Food Co-op is a full-service grocer offering a huge selection of natural products, from delectable deli favorites to hand-crafted hearth breads and pastries. We specialize in bringing locally-grown items from Iowa family farms to your table. Bring home the fresh flavor of Iowa-raised eggs, meats, and artisan cheeses from your member-owned Co-op! Our produce department features a wide array of locally and regionally-grown favorites from farmers you know and trust. Since 1971, New Pioneer has been a cooperatively owned business fully serving the needs of our member owners.
We emphasize high quality, fair prices, and product information. We are an environmentally and socially responsible member of the community we serve.

Edible Iowa River Valley
22 Riverview Drive NE
Iowa City, IA 52240

Edible Iowa River Valley is a seasonal magazine celebrating the local farmers, food and food artisans of Central/Eastern Iowa, from the bluffs of Decorah to the Des Moines metro area, to Mississippi river towns to the fertile farms and fields in between. With stunning photography and rich content, Edible Iowa River Valley showcases the family farmers, chefs, food artisans, farmers’ market vendors and other food-related businesses for their dedication to using the highest quality, seasonal, locally grown products.
Edible Iowa River Valley is locally owned and operated, and is a fabulous regional guide for local foods.
This seasonal magazine is available for free at over 100 points of distribution in Eastern and Central Iowa. Please check our website at www.EdibleIowa.com.

The CSA Fair would also like to gratefully acknowledge the generous support of the City of Iowa City and the Robert A. Lee Community Recreation Center.


Vilsack in the Washington Post February 18, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — caroline@LFC @ 9:17 pm
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Hear what the new Secretary of Agriculture, Iowa’s own Tom Vilsack, has to say about the importance of local food and nutrition education in this Q&A  from the Washington Post and this profile, also from the Washington Post.  Happy reading!


5th Annual CSA Fair on March 7th! February 16, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — caroline@LFC @ 6:02 pm
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Join us March 7th for the 5th Annual Iowa City Community Supported Agriculture Fair!

Local Foods Connection, in cooperation with Edible Iowa River Valley, New Pioneer Food Co-op, and the City of Iowa City, will host local family farmers at the 5th annual Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Fair on Saturday, March 7, 2009 from 12pm to 4pm in the Social Hall of the Robert A. Lee Community Recreation Center in Iowa City (220 S. Gilbert St.). This event is free and open to the public.

Eastern Iowans are invited to the CSA Fair where they will meet local farmers and learn how they can enjoy fresh produce throughout Iowa’s growing season; they are encouraged to become part of a larger community of farmers and consumers that offers four to five months of weekly, fresh, seasonal produce while guaranteeing income for farmers who support proper farmland stewardship.

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a relationship of mutual support and commitment between local farmers and community members who pay the farmer an annual membership fee to cover the production costs of the farm. In turn, members receive a weekly share of the harvest during the local growing season. The arrangement guarantees farmers an income for the year and enables many small- to moderate-scale family farms to remain in business. CSAs create “agriculture-supported communities” where members receive a variety of foods harvested at their peak of ripeness, flavor and vitamin and mineral content.

CSAs support a sustainable agriculture system which:

•    Provides farmers with direct outlets for farm products and ensures fair compensation;
•    Encourages proper land stewardship by supporting farmers in transition toward low or no chemical inputs;
•    Strengthens local economies by keeping food dollars in communities;
•    Directly links producers with consumers allowing people to have a personal connection with their food and the land on which it was produced; and
•    Makes nutritious, affordable, wholesome foods accessible and widely available to community members.

The goal of the 2009 CSA Fair is to connect Iowa City eaters with the farmers just beyond our city limits. As farmer, writer, and activist Wendell Berry maintains, “how we eat determines to a considerable extent how the world is used.”

Local Foods Connection has worked for the last ten years to purchase produce, bread, eggs, meat, and other products from local earth-friendly farms and donate these goods to families who cannot afford such nutritious, tasty, and fresh food. With the community’s support, Local Foods Connection assists families in need of a helping hand, strengthens the local foods network, and empowers the farmers who live and work just outside of our neighborhood.

Read more about CSAs at the Robyn Van En Center for CSA Resources.


Volunteer and Sponsor of the Week February 9, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — caroline@LFC @ 8:35 am
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Volunteer of the Week: Scattergood Community Service class. Johnny, Misha, Elizabeth and teacher Prudence are creating a scrapbook for LFC and helping in the office.

Sponsor of the Week: The North Liberty Ragbrai Committee donated $200 to Local Foods Connection for its service to the North Liberty Food Pantry.


Volunteer and Sponsor of the Week! February 2, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — caroline@LFC @ 1:24 pm
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Volunteer of the Week: Heidi Fister. Heidi keeps the office and the accounting organized!

Sponsor of the Week: The Spaide Family from Connecticut, who discovered us on Idealist.org, donated $400!

Thank you for your support!