As local produce moves into its “high” season and farmers markets go strong, Healthy Harvest of North Iowa announces a number of new local food developments. From a new website to a Local Food Sweepstakes on Facebook to the 2013 Buy Fresh, Buy Local Food Guides and a new series of on-farm events, there’s a lot going on for local food in North Iowa.
Thanks to support from CL Tel of Clear Lake, the new Healthy Harvest of North Iowa website at www.northiowafood.org is now available to make finding local food even easier. The website features a dynamic, searchable database of local producers, farmers markets, and food businesses that have a practice of buying from local producers. There are also a number of resources for consumers and producers. The Fresh on the Farm events, described in this article, are also featured on the events calendar on the website.
“We are pleased to see all of this fresh activity in support of local food and especially glad to help Healthy Harvest of North Iowa provide dynamic, up to date information to North Iowans with their new website,” said CL Tel President Jan Lovell. “Consumers are eager to buy locally to support the North Iowa economy and parents are wanting fresh, local food for their families. Providing that “fresh” information online through this website meets all of those needs and has a positive impact on our entire region.”
Three other important new developments are increasing visibility of and access to local food.
A new North Iowa Local Food Sweepstakes contest is taking place over the Healthy Harvest of North Iowa facebook page. Visit the page and sign up for a fall drawing of a free Gift Basket of top quality local food products just by Liking the page!
The colorful and convenient 2013 Buy Fresh, Buy Local North Iowa Food Guide is available in a print form. Copies have been distributed to County Extension offices, farmers markets, Chambers of Commerce offices, libraries, and through some county fairs. These guides feature local producers by product as well as restaurants, grocers and cooperatives who are buying locally grown food. Farmers markets across North Iowa are featured with their schedule and locations as well.
And finally, a new series of on-farm events is scheduled for this September. Fresh on the Farm, as the series is called, is free and open to the public. There are three Fresh on the Farm events scheduled. The first event will take place in Mitchell and Floyd County on September 7, 2-6 pm. Hosting will be Steve’s Sweet Corn, Sugar Creek Farm and Big River Meat Company. On September 15, 2-6 p.m. C’s 270th St. Garden, Boone River Bison and the new Boone River Grill will all host stops in the Eagle Grove area. In addition, on September 22, Carlson Tree Farm, Koenig’s Acres and Enchanted Acres LLC will host stops in Franklin County. Full details can be found on the Healthy Harvest of North Iowa website. Fresh on the Farm provides the public an opportunity to visit the local farms, learn about their operations, sample and buy their product.
New sponsors stepping up to support local food in North Iowa include Ag Ventures Alliance, CL Tel, POET Biorefining of Hanlontown, the following county boards of Supervisor: Floyd, Franklin, Mitchell, Winnebago, Worth, Wright, Albert Lea Seed, CUS Bank of Osage, the following County Extension Councils: Cerro Gordo, Mitchell, Floyd, Franklin, and Wright, and Wright County Farm Bureau.
“We are extremely pleased to have fresh support to go along with all these farm fresh activities. This continues to demonstrate how our community partners value the vital role of local food production in our region”, remarked Jan Libbey, Coordinator of Healthy Harvest of North Iowa.
Contact Libbey at email@example.com or 5151/851-1690 for more information to get involved in any of these activities.
Photo attachment: CL Tel President Jan Lovell and CL Tel employees gather outside the Clear Lake office loaded with local products to demonstrate their support for local food in North Iowa.