The owners of eight independent family farms, located in a small pocket of south central Iowa, welcome you to tour their farms this autumn at a Practical Farmers of Iowa Field Day, Sunday, October 2, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The eight Knoxville and Lacona-area farms are Blue Gate Farm, Coyote Run Farm, Dan-D Farms, Pierce's Pumpkin Patch, Reichert's Dairy Air, Schneider Orchard, White Breast Pottery & Weaving and, new this year, Crooked Gap Farm.
Meet the owners of these farms, check out their operations, visit the animals, sample the goodies and learn something new about agriculture as you drive yourself from farm to farm through the beautiful Iowa countryside, and have fun with your family and friends. This year marks the fifth annual edition of Farm Crawl. Many visitors return year after year to enjoy the crawl.
This is fifth year for the Farm Crawl, an interesting way to enjoy Iowa
You will learn about multi-acre vegetable growing, pastured hens and turkeys, mule breeding, grass-fed beef, hay making and growing in high tunnels. Bees and honey, dairy goats, field corn, soybeans and pork will also be discussed. At different stops, you will check out hand-spun yarn, pottery, loom-woven rugs and fresh-cut flowers. The day includes lots of yummy samples such as artisan cheese, local wine, artisan beer and others. You will also see lots of barnyard animals including miniature horses, and make your way through a corn maze at one of the stops. The farmers hosting the tour are all Practical Farmers of Iowa members who continually strive to be better stewards of the land.
Jill Beebout from Blue Gate Farm says, "Since its beginning in 2007, Farm Crawl has expanded from five to eight farms, added special guest farms and businesses and seen attendance grow into the thousands of people from around Iowa and out of state. The excitement of the guests to tour, learn and partake in the farms during Farm Crawl is shared by the host farmers who take great pride in sharing their stories with the public. It also energizes us to continue our efforts to grow and supply the local food markets and to be good stewards of our farms."
"Original Farm Crawl" farmers enjoy sharing their stories with the public
Directions: To participate in the Oct. 2 event, you can start your tour at any of the farms. If you are unfamiliar with the area, it's easiest to pick up the crawl at one of the three farms along Hwy 14, halfway between Knoxville and Chariton. See www.FarmCrawl.com for maps and detailed directions.
Other Details: Prepared food and snacks will be available for purchase at various farms (pork sandwiches, herb lemonade, sliced pie, soup, kettle corn, etc.). More information is available on the web at: www.FarmCrawl.com. Sorry, NO PETS are allowed on the tour. If you have questions, contact Sean Skeehan, 641-203-0758 or info@FarmCrawl.com.
Practical Farmers of Iowa and its members will be hosting more than 30 field days in 2011. Most field days are free, and everybody is welcome to all of them. For a copy of the 2011 Field Day Guide, you can call the PFI office at 515.232.5661 or down load a printable PDF at practicalfarmers.org/events/field-days.html.
Practical Farmers of Iowa recognizes the following sustaining sponsors: Albert Lea Seedhouse, American Natural Soy, Iowa Farmers Union, ISU Extension, Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service, Seed Savers Exchange, USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE), and the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, in addition to the following major sponsors: Iowa Forage and Grassland Council, Midwest Organic Services Association (MOSA), CROPP Cooperative of Organic Valley/Organic Prairie Family of Farms and Iowa State University Wallace Chair for Sustainable Agriculture.
Founded in 1985, PFI is an open, supportive and diverse organization of farmers and friends of farmers, advancing profitable, ecologically sound and community-enhancing approaches to agriculture through farmer-to-farmer networking, farmer-led investigation and information sharing. Farmers in our network produce corn, soybeans, beef cattle, hay, fruits and vegetables, and more. For additional information, call 515.232.5661 or visit www.practicalfarmers.org.