What’s the value of planning and research on a vegetable farm? Learn more at a Practical Farmers of Iowa field day – Aug. 17, near Tripoli

For Release: July 31, 2014

TRIPOLI, Iowa —Staying competitive and profitable as a small, diversified vegetable farm requires good management, adaptability and the curiosity to test new techniques that could boost efficiency or yield.

At Genuine Faux Farm, Rob and Tammy Faux employ a range of practices, complex rotations and on-farm research to manage a wide array of crops for their 120-member Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) business. Come learnabout some of these practices – which include intercropping and quick turn-around cover crops – at a Practical Farmers of Iowa field day they are hosting on Sunday, Aug. 17, from 3-6 p.m., near Tripoli. Genuine Faux Farm is located at 2345 150th St., about 3 miles northwest of town.

The event – “Planning, Research & Intercropping on a CSA Farm” – is free to attend and will feature a potluck after the program. Chef Chris of the Savory Spoon in Fredericka will provide a main dish; guests are asked to bring a side to share, their own tableware and lawn chairs. RSVPs are requested for the meal. Please contact Lauren Zastrow at [email protected] or (515) 232-5661 by Thursday, Aug. 14. The field day is sponsored by the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service.

“Intercropping is one way a horticulture farm can promote diversity in the field without necessarily sacrificing income potential,” Rob says. “We identify vegetables that make good companions and intercrop them in the hopes that a more diverse landscape will avail us of nature’s services, such as pollination and pest control.”

Rob and Tammy will discuss this technique and share what has worked – and not worked – in their complex rotations and field plans. Attendees will also learn about research the Fauxes are participating in, including a project testing paper mulch in cucurbits, funded by a Sustainable Agriculture, Research and Education (SARE) grant; a yield data collection project through Practical Farmers; and a duck breed trial.Finally, enjoy a tour of the 15-acre farm, which includes movable high tunnels, pastured poultry and vegetable production fields.

“We plan to demonstrate some of the ways that others could integrate more of these concepts in their own operations,” Rob says. “We hope that other growers, regardless of the size of their operation, might adapt some of these ideas for their own use.”

Rob and Tammy started Genuine Faux farm in 2004. Their business focuses on their 120-member CSA and includes certified organic vegetables, fruit, poultry and starter plants. Rob and Tammy have served as mentors in Practical Farmers’ Labor4Learning Program and Savings Incentive Program, and have participated in numerous PFI research projects.

Directions:Genuine Faux Farm is located about 2.5 miles east of U.S. 63 on 150th Street. From Iowa Route 3, go about 8 miles north and turn right on 150th Street. From the intersection of U.S. 63 and U.S. 18, go 10 miles south and turn left on 150th Street.

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.

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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.

Contact:

Rob and Tammy Faux | Genuine Faux Farm | (319) 610-9201 | [email protected]

Tamsyn Jones | Practical Farmers of Iowa | (515) 232-5661 | [email protected]