Practical Farmers of Iowa is hosting a "Buy Fresh, Buy Local" tour in the Quad Cities area July 14 from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. You can join them for a day full of flavor and homegrown goods and tour the farms that grow local, sustainable foods. PFI is also sponsoring a "Saving heirloom seeds and the farmland" field day at Johnston on July 21.
The morning of the tour on July 14 will start at the Davenport farmers market in the heart of Davenport at River Drive and Western Avenue. This Mississippi Valley Growers' Association producer-based market has served the community for over 25 years with local produce, plants, wines, meat products, baked goods and heritage crafts. All farms on the tour sell regularly at this market.
The next stop is for lunch which will be served at Antonella's Trattoria Ristorante and Pizzeria, with vegetables grown in Antonella's own backyard garden. This tour stop will include a meal of Sicilian pizza and pasta made from local products.
Tour will stop at several farms
The tour will then continue on to Geest Farms where local specialty meat is raised on the third-generation farm. A stop at Nostalgia Farms will follow. Nostalgia Farms follows sustainable and organic practices producing fruits, vegetables, plants and poultry while also focusing on education. The final stop on the tour will be at Allen's Grove Greenhouse at Donahue. There you'll learn about greenhouse and garden production of annuals, perennials, vegetable plants and herbs. They also offer a community-supported agriculture subscription and a wide variety of produce.
An RSVP for the meal at Antonella's Trattoria Ristorante and Pizzeria is required. Contact Cedar Johnson at 515-232-5661 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The cost of the meal is $10 for non-PFI members and FREE for PFI members.
Practical Farmers of Iowa field days are sponsored by Animal Welfare Institute, Frontier Natural Products, ISU Extension, Leopold Center for Sustainable Ag, and Organic Valley. PFI is a nonprofit sustainable ag group dedicated to farming that is profitable, environmentally sound and healthy for consumers and communities. Founded in 1985, PFI has over 700 farmer and nonfarmer members in Iowa. Call 515-232-5661 or visit www.practicalfarmers.org.
Saving heirloom seeds and the farmland
Practical Farmers of Iowa and Trees Forever are hosting a field day at Turtle Farm, Johnston, on Saturday, July 21 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. The event will focus on heirloom foods, tree plantings and community agriculture. Angela and John Tedesco, owners of Turtle Farm, have a 20-acre certified organic fruit and vegetable farm supporting 135 community supported agriculture shares, a farm stand and u-pick berries.
The field day will include discussions on Trees Forever buffer strip plantings, heirloom plantings with free seeds from Seed Savers Exchange and Native Seed Search, and preserving farmland in rapidly urbanizing areas.
Trees Forever's "Agroforestry Buffers for Organic Producers" program supports buffer plantings that help organic producers with issues ranging from improving water and soil quality to providing habitat for beneficial insects to addressing problems of drift from neighboring fields. The program is made possible by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Conservation Innovation Grant and is being matched by Trees Forever's "Working Watersheds: Buffers & Beyond" program. Turtle Farm is located on Hwy. 17 at Granger, 0.25 miles north of Hwy. 141 on the east side of the road.
The field day is hosted by Practical Farmers of Iowa and Trees Forever and supported by Polk County Bank and Seed Savers Exchange. Practical Farmers of Iowa 2007 field days are sponsored by Animal Welfare Institute, Frontier Natural Products, Iowa State University Extension, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, and Organic Valley.
Trees Forever is a nonprofit organization based in Marion, Iowa committed to planting trees and caring for the environment. Programs focus on improving air and water quality, increasing wildlife habitat, providing substantial energy savings and beautifying our landscape. Call 800-369-1269 or visit www.treesforever.org.