Last Thursday we hosted a group of producers and local food advocates to discuss the local food system in North Iowa, specifically meat production. If you weren't able to attend, we've included video footage from the majority of the discussion down below in this week's blog.
Want to know more about the women on the panel?
Jan Libbey (far left) runs One Step at a Time Gardens with her husband, Tim, near Kanawha, Iowa. Tim and Jan are in their 23rd year of raising quality food for their CSA members and other local customers, and they are an integral part of Iowa's expanding local food movement. Local organically raised carrots, squash varieties and potatoes are among some of the OSAT garden products you may have purchased from Simply Nourished. Here's what Jan has to say about their farm: "Quality and diversity are our top priorities. We grow more than 70 different vegetables, along with scrumptious chicken. We love to eat farm fresh and invite you to join us in the bounty of delicious and nutritious food." Jan is also the Executive Director of Healthy Harvest of North Iowa. Healthy Harvest is a network of local food leaders across North Iowa. This network works together to foster the health and vitality of our North Iowa communities through development and support of a sustainable regional food system.
Laura Tidrick (second from left) manages Mossycup Farms just north of Clear Lake, Iowa. Laura and her family raise pastured, free range and organic fed chickens, ducks, turkeys, pigs and cattle. When Laura and her husband bought their farm, their goal was to feed their family the healthiest food possible. However, their farm grew quickly and they decided to begin selling to their friends and neighbors who also valued eating animal products raised in a humane and natural way, free from confinement, hormones, chemicals and unnecessary antibiotics and medications. Mossycup Farms currently offers custom processing and meat bundles direct from their farm as well as retail cuts of beef and pork at Simply Nourished in Clear Lake.
Andrea Evelsizer (third from left) is the buyer for North Iowa Fresh, North Iowa's aggregator and online marketplace of locally grown and produced food. North Iowa Fresh (NIF) makes it possible for farmers to work together to meet the growing demand for local, sustainable food in the North Iowa area. Farmers benefit from the marketing, selling, packaging and delivering of their farm fresh produce. Since its inception in 2014, NIF has been selling wholesale produce to local grocery stores and restaurants. Simply Nourished is one of these local stores. In fact, during the in-season months in North Iowa, Simply Nourished sources all of its chemical free produce from local producers before ordering from out of area distributors.
Wendy Johnson (far right) operates Joia Food Farm with her husband Johnny near Charles City, Iowa. The goal of Joia Food Farm is to be completely self-sustainable, where their livestock feeds their soils and the soils feed the plants they grow. They believe in the principles of agroecology, a whole systems approach to agriculture: linking ecology, culture, economics and society. They focus on having "biodiversity, with the sharing of animals and crops working together to create healthy soils, healthy animals, healthy plants, a healthy environment, and most importantly healthy food." They currently sell lamb, pork, chicken, turkey and eggs. To find out the specific details of their production, check out their website.
We are very excited to announce that Simply Nourished will be selling local meat bundles to expand the exposure of local meat beyond our retail customers. Be watching for details on how to preorder your bundle in the next week. Quality local meat is within reach here in North Iowa and we are honored to play a part in this beautiful system.