ELKPORT, Iowa — Beginning farmers Pete Kerns and Natasha Hegmann, of Turkey River Farm, will host a Practical Farmers of Iowa field day on Tuesday, July 16, from 4-6 p.m., on their farm near Elkport (23719 Hazel Road, about 6 miles northwest of town).
The event – “Growing Vegetables for Your Rural Community” – is free to attend and will feature a potluck following the field day at the Deep Mountain Retreat Center, located on the farm grounds. Pete and Natasha will provide a main dish; guests are asked to bring a side dish to share.
RSVPs are requested for the meal by Friday, July 12. Sign up online at practicalfarmers.org/field-days, or contact Debra Boekholder at firstname.lastname@example.org or (515) 232-5661. The field day is sponsored by Beautiful Land Products, Iowa Farmers Union and Sustainable Iowa Land Trust (SILT).
Pete and Natasha farm on ground they rent from a local non-profit, raising vegetables, pasture-raised pork, mushrooms and maple syrup. They sell their products through their CSA and a local farmers market.
When they started their farm, they drew upon their background in farm-to-school work to inform the business’ community-based mission.
During the field day, guests will get to tour the farm and see how Pete and Natasha’s business plan guides their farm activities, including production for their 30-member rural CSA.
Pete and Natasha will discuss how they market to rural communities. They will also share some education and outreach projects they’ve used to promote cooking with and eating vegetables in Iowa.
Directions to the field day are available on Practical Farmers’ website.
This event is part of Practical Farmers’ main 2019 field day season, which includes 40 events across Iowa, and the region, on topics spanning the agricultural spectrum. The field days are meant to help connect farmers with their peers for networking and farmer-to-farmer learning.
Practical Farmers’ 2019 field days are supported by several sustaining and major sponsors, including: Albert Lea Seed; Bio Till; Center for Rural Affairs; Gandy Cover Crop Seeders; Grain Millers Inc.; H.A. Wallace Chair for Sustainable Agriculture – Iowa State University; Iowa Agriculture Water Alliance; Iowa Beef Center at Iowa State University; Iowa State Department of Agronomy; La Crosse Seed; Man@Machine; MOSA Certified Organic; Niman Ranch; PepsiCo; Pipeline Foods; Premier 1 Supplies; River Valley Cooperative; Scoular; Sunderman Farm Management; Sunrise Foods International; Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education; Trees Forever; Unilever; Welter Seed & Honey Company.