Posts tagged farms

Conservation tour for women landowners

Women who own or manage farmland in three eastern Iowa counties – Johnson, Jones and Linn – are invited to participate in a free conservation tour on Wednesday, March 25, 2009. The tour is for women who are farm partners, sole owner-operators, or inheritors of any size farm.

 

The tour is a part of a conservation education program called “Women Caring for the Land,” which began with informational meetings in February in each of the three counties. All interested women are welcome to attend the tour, whether or not they attended the meetings. They will visit several farms in the three-county area that have implemented good conservation and resource management techniques on their land.

 

The group will meet at 9:30 a.m. at St. John’s Catholic Church, 212 7th St. SE, Mt. Vernon. Women may drive their own vehicles (carpooling is encouraged) or for those who prefer not to drive, a van will be provided. The tour will take several hours, with a lunch stop around noon at Gwen’s Restaurant, 119 W. Main St., Lisbon. Participants should bring money for lunch, and wear shoes that can get muddy.

 

For more information, contact project coordinator Laura Krouse of Mt. Vernon at 319-895-6924. This project is sponsored by Women, Food and Agriculture Network in partnership with USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), with funding from the McKnight Foundation. A final informational meeting will be held April 15; call Laura for more details.

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Practical Farmers

   Practical Farmers of Iowa will host a two-part event on Saturday, August 2. The field day will begin at 4 p.m. at the home of Eric and Ann Franzenburg. Discussion will include: culture and post-harvest handling of medicinal herbs, high tunnel tomato and flower production, adding an enterprise to the farm, making more profit on fewer acres, corn boiler heating systems, and organic certification.

    At 6:30, the event will move to the Tara Hills Country Club for a gourmet fundraiser dinner by Ben Halperin, executive chef and owner of the acclaimed Augusta restaurant. Reservations are required for the dinner. To register, contact Cedar Johnson at (515)232-5661 or cedar@practicalfarmers.org

    Eric and Ann Franzenburg started farming in 1993 with Eric’s parents Don and Pat. They added herbs to the conventional farm in 1995 as a way to diversify and increase profits. The new enterprise was quite a success, and the Franzenburgs now grow 130 acres of medicinal herbs. 2008 will be the third year of tomato production on the farm, and the first year for flower production. The Franzenburgs constructed three new high tunnels on the farm this year to accommodate their new enterprises.

   Ben Halperin recently moved to Iowa via New Orleans with his wife Jeri. They opened Augusta Restaurant in Oxford this past January. The restaurant, serving “comfort food with a Cajun twist,” has become a destination place for many. The gourmet dinner Saturday evening will feature food from local farmers.

    Direction to the farm: 6925 19th Ave., Van Horne. From Hwy 30, turn north on CR-V42 for 3 miles. Turn north on CR-E44 for 4 miles. Turn north on 19th Ave. for .7 miles. The Franzenburgs’ farm is on the right.

   Directions to Tara Hills Country Club: 1846 70th St., Van Horne. From the Franzenburgs, go south on 19th Ave. for .7 miles. Turn west on CR-E44 for .4 miles. Tara Hills is on the left.

   This event is sponsored by the Ceres Foundation. Sustaining sponsors for Practical Farmers of Iowa Field Days are the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Iowa State University Extension, Iowa Pork Producers Association, American Natural Soy, Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service, Midwest Organic Services Association, Henry A. Wallace Endowed Chair for Sustainable Agriculture, and the CROPP Cooperative of Organic Valley/ Organic Prairie Family of Farms. Major sponsors for the Field Days are Wheatsfield Cooperative Natural Foods Grocery, Hubbard Feeds, Michael Fields Agricultural Institute, Iowa Forage and Grasslands Council, King Corn and Mosaic Films, and the North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education. 

    PFI is a non-profit sustainable agriculture group dedicated to farming that is profitable, environmentally sound, and healthy for consumers and communities. Founded in 1985, PFI has over 700 farmer and non-farmer members throughout Iowa. For more information, call (515)232-5661 or visit www.practicalfarmers.org

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