Learn how to scale up vegetable production at a Practical Farmers of Iowa field day – June 29, near Crescent
For Release: June 13, 2014
CRESCENT, Iowa — According to Terry Troxel, if you hope you make a living growing vegetables, “you should be trying to scale up.”
“As a vegetable farmer, you can’t make money unless you have product,” says Terry, who operates Iowana Farm raising vegetables for a 60-member Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) business. “I think it’s very important for novices like myself and most others that we start out small, so we’re not overwhelmed and we can try to develop some momentum. But if you’re going to actually make a living, you’ve got to get to a point where you’re doing volume.”
Terry invites farmers and the public to hear about her vegetable marketing and production strategies at a Practical Farmers of Iowa field day she is hosting on Sunday, June 29, from 4-6:30 p.m., near Crescent. Iowana Farm is located at 17652 Badger Rd., just east of Crescent. The event – “Scaling Up: Machines, Markets and Moths” – is free and open to anyone, and will include a light supper. RSVPs are requested for the meal. Please reply to Lauren Zastrow at (515) 232-5661 or [email protected] by Thursday, June 26. The field day is sponsored by West Pottawattamie Soil and Water Conservation District.
Attendees will get to join in a discussion about Iowana Farm’s machinery, marketing strategies and pest management trials. Chuck Troxel and neighbor Merle Osborn will showcase vegetable-specific adaptations to farm machinery, including the “super weapon,” and Terry will share her strategies for building alternative markets around her CSA, including pricing for wholesale. Terry and Chuck will also lead a tour of the farm and discuss pest management strategies for cabbage moths on brassicas.
Iowana Farm is a 66-acre farm in the Iowa Loess Hills. Of that, 20 acres are under cultivation – 6.5 acres in certified organic vegetables and the rest in alfalfa hay – and the fields are surrounded by oak savannah and grasslands. The farm grows perennial and annual crops and uses three high tunnels. Iowana Farm supports a 60-member CSA and sells wholesale to distributors and schools. The farm also markets to restaurants and sells at the Village Pointe and Aksarben farmers markets.
Directions: Iowana Farm is 6 miles north of Omaha. From I-29, take Exit 61A toward Crescent / Pottawattamie County and turn right on Old Mormon Bridge Road (County Road 988). Head east for 2 miles until Old Mormon Bridge Road dead-ends at Old Lincoln Highway. Turn left (north) and go about two-tenths of a mile into the town of Crescent. Turn right (east) on Badger Avenue / E. Welch Street; the farm is three-quarters of a mile on the left.
Practical Farmers of Iowa’s 2014 field day season features 35 field days around Iowa. All field days are open to the public, and most are free to attend. The guide is available on Practical Farmers’ website, or contact the PFI office at (515) 232-5661 to request a printed copy.
Practical Farmers’ 2014 field days are supported by several sustaining and major sponsors, including: Albert Lea Seed; BlueStem Organic Feed Mill; Calcium Products; Center for Rural Affairs; Featherman Equipment Company; Gateway Market and Café; Grain Millers, Inc.; Grassland Oregon; Iowa Beef Center; Iowa Farm Service Agency (USDA); Iowa Farmers Union; Iowa State University Department of Agronomy; Iowa State University Extension and Outreach; Iowa Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE); Iowa’s Center for Agricultural Safety and Health (ICASH); ISU Graduate Program in Sustainable Agriculture; Klinkenborg Aerial Spraying and Seeding, Inc.; La Cross Seed – Soil First; Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture; Midwest Insurance Corporation; MOSA Organic Certification; Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES); National Wildlife Federation; Organic Valley – Organic Prairie – CROPP Cooperative; The Nature Conservancy in Iowa; Wallace Chair for Sustainable Agriculture; and Welter Seed and Honey Company.
Founded in 1985, Practical Farmers of Iowa 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.
Terry Troxel | Iowana Farm | (712) 545-9300 | [email protected]
Tamsyn Jones | Practical Farmers of Iowa | (515) 232-5661 | [email protected]