Published Jun 10, 2009


By Teresa Opheim









I spent yesterday at One Step at a Time Gardens, run by Jan Libbey and Tim Landgraf. Team members were processing greens, onions, garlic and radishes in anticipation of today’s delivery to subscription members in Des Moines.

  • I was struck by the Libbey/Landgraf vision (unmentioned yesterday, as they hustled around cleaning onions, washing lettuce, trellising tomatoes). They were preparing to deliver a lot more than vegetables, including:
  • Strong community connections—five locals were out there helping with the harvesting and processing;
  • Future farmers–three recent college graduates are interning there;
  • Wildlife habitat–their pockets of restored wetlands, tree buffers and prairie areas are quietly sunk roots.

    The lunch of greens, eggs, and soup (food that traveled zero miles from field to plate) was one of immediate gratification. But for the most part, Jan’s and Tim’s operation is such a strong contrast to national business, social and policy strategies that are robbing our children’s future. The Libbey/Landgrafs are delivering on a well-thought-out plan with many rewards they and I won’t live to see. No wonder they named their farm “One Step at a Time”!