Letter from the Publisher and Editor

summer 2007 FEATURES


grist for the mill 

4 go back to school by taking a bite out of history By Michael Knock 23 the paw paw
A Tropical Fruit in the Iowa River Valley

5 7

subscription form
A Day Trip Exploring Des Moines’s Ethnic Markets

what a difference a day makes

By Anna Wilson

By Riki Saltzman

24 local ice cream worth screaming for
Moo Roo, Isaac’s, and Heyn’s 

notable edibles

Tasty Tidbits to Savor around the Region

By Eugenia E. Gratto 

3 this season: week by week

26 i can and you can too!
A Tale of Canned Tomatoes

Tomato Basil Pie

By Criss Roberts

By Leah Wilson 

6 how i spent my summer vacation
An Update from Iowa’s Buy Fresh, Buy Local Campaign

28 muscatine melons
Iowa’s Summer Tradition

By Mallory Smith

By Sue Futrell 

7 behind closed doors

30 edible at market

With Jazz Musician (and Peanut Butter Lover) Dan Knight

and Other Noteworthy Events

By Rob Cline


8 edible imbibables

Apples and the Art of Cider with Vinton Farmer Allen Israel

By Katie Roche

2 incredible edibles By Brian Morelli

18 26 7

Real Food Finds a Home in Fairfield

32 farmers market directory

35 edible endeavors

Johnson County Local Food Alliance: When was the last time you were this close to your food?

36 advertiser directory cover: Ice Cream Dreams By Kurt Michael Friese EDIBLE IOWA RIVER VALLEY SUMMER 2007 




grist for the mill
Dear Eater, Clink, Clink! That’s the sound of us toasting Edible Iowa River Valley’s fourth issue, and the close of our first year! We think it’s been delicious so far and our thanks go out to all of you for helping to make it so! You read us cover to cover, save each issue with your cookbooks, share the magazine with friends and family, and support our local advertising partners—all in the name of Iowa’s local foods, season by season. Thank you for making year one so much fun! What’s a celebration without ice cream? In this issue of Edible Iowa River Valley, Eugenia Gratto invites you to beat the heat in three Iowa towns with their best ice creams. You’ll also read about how Leah Wilson steels herself for summer and the season’s inevitable tomato glut by canning. Newcomer Michael Knock is here with a back-to-school story, and Katie Roche returns with some apple cider stories. Brian Morelli journeys to the town of Fairfield and has the goods on what’s good. Meanwhile Anna Wilson traipses off into the woods with Wapello farmer Tom Wahl to answer the question, “What exactly is a paw paw?” and Sue Futrell rounds up some Muscatine melons. Once you’ve settled in, check out what’s been going on with local food advocacy organizations such as Buy Fresh – Buy Local and the Johnson County Local Food Alliance. You can also fill out your summer recipe collection with our series This Season: Week by Week (the entire series is on line at And when in Des Moines, make certain you visit all the wonderful ethnic markets the capitol city has to offer. That, and more, is in this issue. As our first birthday approaches in October, we want to hear from you about those hidden gems of eastern and central Iowa that no one knows about, but should. The ones that make you proud to eat, live, play and visit Iowa. Got a picture of the local food, rural agriculture, or environmental scene in eastern or central Iowa? Send us these images for our upcoming community slide showat Iowa City’s Englert Theater on September 7. How about a tip on the farmhouse baker with the authentic German rye, or the great grandmother’s special recipe for ground cherry jam or the Iowan dessert wine you can’t live without? Tell us about it by joining our table at or visiting us on line at www. Your opinion, your knowledge and your pride matters to us, and we want you to help us make each issue your go-to guide for Iowa’s freshest, most delectable food. So enjoy the summer, enjoy the summer issue, and we’ll be harvesting our next issue (and the start of year two!) in late October. With Relish, Kurt & Wendy

iowa river valley
PUBLISHER Wendy Wasserman EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Kurt Michael Friese CONTRIBUTORS Rob Cline John Gaines Eugenia E. Gratto Sue Futrell Michael Knock Brian Morelli Criss Roberts Katie Roche Riki Saltzman Mallory Smith Carole Topalian Anna Wilson Leah Wilson STAFF Criss Roberts, Contributing Editor Anna Wilson, Production Assistant Cheryl Koehler, Designer CONTACT US Edible Iowa River Valley 22 Riverview Drive NE Iowa City, Iowa 52240-7973 Telephone: 319.400.2526 customer service Edible Iowa River Valley takes pride in providing its subscribers with fast, friendly service. Subscribe • Give a Gift • Buy an Ad Change Your Address • Correct Your Subscription 319.400.2526 letters: To write to the editor, use the address above or for the quickest response, email us at:
Edible Iowa River Valley is published quarterly by River Valley Press, LLC. All rights reserved. Subscription rate is $28 annually. Call 319. 400.2526 to inquire about advertising rates and deadlines, or email Wendy Wasserman at No part of this publication may be used without written permission of the publisher. © 2007. Every effort is made to avoid errors, misspellings, and omissions. If, however, an error comes to your attention, please accept our sincere apologies and notify us. Thank you.








subscribe today!
Just fill out the card on the right, send it in, and we’ll make sure you don’t miss a single, mouthwatering issue. Purchase online at: or call 319. 400.2526. Subscribe to Edible Iowa River Valley this season, and we’ll make a contribution to the Johnson County Local Food Alliance.

Yes, I want to become a subscriber to Edible Iowa River Valley. I have filled out the form below and I am sending it, along with my check made payable to Edible Iowa River Valley in the amount of $28 (for 4 issues) to: Edible Iowa River Valley, 22 Riverview Drive NE, Iowa City, Iowa 52240-7973 Start my subscription with the Renew my subscription ❇ ❇ ❇ Gift Subscriptions Available ❇ ❇ ❇ current next issue

You may photocopy this form.

Name: _____________________________________________________ Address:____________________________________________________ City: ____________________ State: _________ Zip: ________________ email (optional): ______________________________________________
For more information or to submit story ideas, call us at 319.400.2526 or email us at
Edible Iowa River Valley is published quarterly by River Valley Press, LLC. 22 Riverview Drive NE, Iowa City, Iowa 52240-7973. Telephone: 319.400.2526. Distribution is throughout the greater Iowa River Valley region and nationally by subscription. All rights reserved. Subscription rate is $28 annually. Call the number above to inquire about advertising rates, deadlines or subscription information, or email us at Info@EdibleIowa. com. No part of this publication may be used without written permission of the publisher. © 2007 All Rights Reserved. Edible Iowa River Valley is printed on recycled paper.







what a difference a day makes A Day Trip Exploring Des Moines’s Ethnic Markets
story and photos by riki saltzman

Members of the Sac (Sauk) and Fox tribes, French explorers, monks, and missionaries first arrived in the Des Moines area in the early 1800s. While some of the first non-Indian settlers of Des Moines were military regiments and their families (many originally from New England), those who contributed to the city’s growth during the second half of the nineteenth century included people from the upland South via Missouri as well as Germans, African Americans, Norwegians, Swedes, Danes, and Czechs (known then as Bohemians). Russians, Mexicans, Greeks, German and then Eastern European Jews arrived in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Many of these immigrants came to the region to work in coal mines and in meat packing plants, though by the 1920s, mining was in decline. During the middle years of the twentieth century, Des Moines’s population growth came from employment in the insurance and service sectors and not from any one ethnic group. In the last quarter of the twentieth century, Des Moines has welcomed Southeast Asians (primarily Tai Dam, Vietnamese, Lowland Lao as well as Cambodians and Hmong), Chinese, Thai, Taiwanese, Korean, and Filipino, Asian Indians, Pakistanis, and an increased Latino (largely Mexican) population. Bosnians, Nuer, and Somali came in the 1990s, and, most recently, refugees from Burma have started to settle in Des Moines. Now, there a variety of ethnic markets scattered around the city—each offering culinary traditions to savor. In a day, it’s easy to eat your way around the world without ever leaving town at some of these stops.

treats include homemade prepared foods available at the checkout counter: Lao beef jerky, batter-fried bananas or yucca, tasty pork and cilantro stuffed baguettes.

jung’s (thai market)
a southeast asian staple

Owned by Bonary Macvilay, Jung’s (Thai Market), feels like the inside version of an outdoor market in Laos. There are refrigerator cases of coffees and teas, bubble tea, coconut drinks, and more as well as fresh produce from greens of various sorts to long beans, snow peas, onions, and coconuts. Fresh and frozen fish, chickens, soy products, frozen dumplings, beef, and chicken can be found in the freezer and refrigerator compartments. A huge variety of fish and soy sauces, curry pastes, pepper sauces, hoisin sauce, coconut milk and cream, line the shelves. Browse for sweets (cookies, candies), savories (chips made from plantains or taro, wasabi peas), and a huge variety of rice, beans, flours, and soup mixes. If Ms. Macvilay is available, she can lead you on a guided tour of the shop, and offer tips on how to make a variety of Laotian dishes with what Jung’s has available. Utensils, cooking pots, spoons, mats, steamers, ladles, teapots, strainers, or just about any other equipment needed for an Asian inspired kitchen are available too. Near the register, there are also some fresh made, ready to eat foods as well as packaged moon cakes and such.

the new oriental food store
a world away

For just about any food from Southeast Asia, India or central Africa, the East Village’s New Oriental Food Store is the place to go in Des Moines. First stop should be the refrigerator case, stocked with traditional Southeast Asian cold coffee, loaded with sugar and Thai tea, a strong black tea also flavored with milk (sometimes sweetened condensed) and sugar. Canned and bottled fixings for curries (red, green, yellow, massamun) and several kinds of fish sauces, soy sauces as well as teas, cookies, and candies are also at the ready. But the store’s real delights are in its perishable departments: with produce like small and round Asian eggplants, lemongrass stalks, ginger, galangal, coconuts, limes, cilantro, parsley, fresh duck and chicken eggs. The refrigerators and freezer cases also contain dumplings, tofu, prepared foods, seafood and fish, chicken, beef, pork, and gluten. Ready to go EDIBLE IOWA RIVER VALLEY

Everything and more can be found at Jung’s



croissants and rolls—all made on site by Javier Hernandez, La Tapatia’s experienced baker. Skillful butchers are at the meat counter, and can slice and prepare a variety of traditional meats such as carnitas (small pieces of deep-fat fried pork) and carne adobada (pork in a special marinade). If you’re lucky, it might be a fresh homemade tamales day at the shop, which are perfect for eating right away or storing in the freezer.
des moines’s sausage and olive source for nearly 100 years

graziano bros. italian foods

Fresh baked pan dulce at La Tapatia’s bakery

la tapatia
a latin favorito

East of 14 Street along East Grand are several of Des Moines’s primo Latino markets. La Tapatia is a bit further north on east Des Moines Street. Since 1993, the Mora family has owned and operated this Latino food store, which started out on East Grand. The business grew from a Spanish-language video store to a full-service tienda (shop) that provides a variety of Hispanic products including fresh tomatillos, habanero chiles, cast-iron tortilla presses, freshly made tortillas (flour and corn), an array of refrescos (sodas and juices), as well as a variety of ripe mangos, papayas, avocados and more displayed in colorful bins. A special feature of La Tapatia is fresh pan dulce (sweet bread), fresh-made

Family owned and operated Graziano Bros. Italian Foods on South Union opened its doors in 1912, and has been filled with the pungent smell of garlic and other seasonings ever since. It is the only south-side Italian grocery store to survive in this onetime stronghold of Des Moines’s southern Italian (not Sicilian) community. Originally a full-service grocery store serving the south-side, Graziano Bros. today is largely a wholesaler of Italian specialty foods, as well as a retailer of such Italian staples as fresh parmesan and other cheeses, imported pasta, bulk spices, condiments, and an array of olive oils and balsamic vinegars. Frances Graziano Parrott, who grew up in the store comments “People love to tell stories here. They can come here and hang out or chew the fat with somebody. This store is a very strong symbol of the Italian community.”




Graziano’s however, is famous citywide for its tasty homemade Italian sausages and unique spiced green olives, neither of which are like any other in town. Served in many Italian restaurants throughout Des Moines as well as in HyVee and Dahl’s, the sausage, and the home-cured and spiced green olives (as well as black, wrinkly, and earthy tasting calamata olives) are more fun to buy right from the source. Don’t miss the cavatelli (inch-long little “rolls” of pasta, homemade by Mrs. Sitoneto a local community member famous for her home-rolled pasta) conveniently frozen or ready to serve with a red sauce.

The flavors of Eastern Europe at European Flavors

Meanwhile, Maccabees, on the west side of Polk Blvd., just south of University, also features a wide variety of glatt (strictly) Betty and Mohammed Khan run Hilal Grocery in the Drake kosher frozen Jewish meats as well as halvah, a sesame paste conneighborhood. Like the rest of these markets, this one manages to fection (sometimes flavored with chocolate, almonds, vanilla, or pack an amazing range of foods on its shelves. While the freezers pistachios), two kinds of frozen gefilte fish, ritual objects, and the contain halal meats (butchered and processed according to Mus- knowledgeable commentary of Rabbi Yossi Jacobson. lim dietary rules), the refrigerators contain hummus, yogurt, pita namaste bread, and pastries. An array of beans, rice, and spices and dried a taste of india fruits line the shelves as well as canned stuffed eggplants, grape leaves, vine leaves, chutneys, honeys, jams, and jellies. Ankeny’s Just west of Windsor Heights in Clive is Namaste which features Adriatic bakery delivers fresh pita bread every other day. Also the foods of southern India, many of which are available no where available at the checkout counter is fresh spongy yot-yot (Nuer) else in central Iowa. Namaste’s kitchen staff is primarily from Hyor injera (Ethiopian) flat bread (made from a fermented batter of derabad, which is known for its biryani (a traditional and popular corn flour and milk and used as a both a plate and utensil to hold mixture of rice, spices, vegetables and yogurt). There are shelves and pick up the savory stews that Des Moines residents from the full of chutneys, beans, rice, and spice powders in front and fresh fruits and vegetables in the back of the store. The first aisle in the southern Sudan make). front has a range of teas and snacks and even the prepared foods europa market are ready to be filled out with naan bread and mango ice cream A Bosnian Bounty for a complete meal. Namaste also serves homecooked meals to The Bosnian owned and operated Europa Market stocks a large order, on every day but Monday. variety of Bosnian specialty items. In 1999, the store opened in Beaverdale; within a few years, it had outgrown its walls and moved to its current location on Merle Hay. Imported cheeses, hard sausages, pepper & eggplant spread, fine chocolates and pasNew Oriental Food Store tries, crème frâiche, herbal and black teas, vanilla sugar, baking 515 E. Grand Ave. Des Moines. 515.243.3911 supplies and spices fill the shelves of shops, providing the tastes of Jung’s (Thai Market, Inc.) home for Des Moines’s Bosnian population, which topped 6,000 1140 East 9th St. Des Moines. 515.262.1663 in the past decade. Also available are specialty pans for baking La Tapatía pita (a strudel-like pastry filled with meats, vegetables, or fruit) 1440 E. Des Moines St. Des Moines. 515.262.8097 and coffee services for serving fragrant and strong coffee—a staGraziano Bros. Italian Foods ple in every Bosnian home. 1601 South Union St. Des Moines. 515.244.7103
mouthwatering middle eastern

hilal grocery


european flavors and maccabees
two tastes of the old world

Halal Groceries 1163 25th St. Des Moines. 515.274.8943 Europa Groceries Inc. 3839 Merle Hay Rd. Des Moines. 515. 277.5524 European Flavors 1150 73rd St. Windsor Heights. 515.279.1431 Maccabees Deli 1150 Polk Ave. Des Moines. 515.277.1718 Namaste Groceries and Kitchen 7500 University Ave # A. Clive. 515. 255.1698

European Flavors, offers a huge range of cheeses, smoked fish, dried sausages and cheeses and is the only market in Des Moines that sells whole smoked white fish—excellent for just eating or for mixing with cream cheese to make smoked white fish salad (an Eastern European Jewish favorite). There is also an amazing variety of teas—black, herbal, flavored—as well as European chocolates galore. Check out the freezer case for pirogis and other specialties.


SUMMER 2007  




notable edibles
Tasty Tidbits to Savor around the Region
It’s always teatime somewhere, and Leaf Kitchen at the corner of Gilbert and Kirkwood is the go-to destination for tea lovers in Iowa City. The shop, run by Harriet Woodford and Masae Yoshino Judge, offers an incredible selection of international loose-leaf teas. Sniff a whiff from the sampling row, pick your flavor, and match it with scones baked on site—so light and fluffy they pass for biscuits any day—for an afternoon tea service. But the real delight at Leaf Kitchen is the crepes, especially the buckwheat dressed with lime and finished with local honey. Although they are technically on the breakfast menu, the crepes are a perfect pick-me up any time of day. Leaf Kitchen 301 Kirkwood Avenue Iowa City, 52240 319.338.1909

tea time anyone?

Chile Pepper Magazine recently awarded Wellman’s own Cheryl’s Salsa with the “Golden Chile” for their Inferno salsa. Fresh (never cooked) and fiery hot, it’s a feisty blend of tomatoes, onions and—of course—chile peppers. They also make milder but just as tasty versions for the more delicate palates. It all started with a secret family recipe Cheryl Miller used in her previous life running a commissary in a local factory. Soon it was on the shelves of HyVee stores and 30 other retailers too. Now Cheryl is ready to branch out, introducing barbecue sauce and soon, fresh dips as well. 888.641.2629

local inferno

Made in Rock Island since 1889, this Dutch-style stone ground mustard contains no artificial preservatives and is made with water, vinegar, Mustard Seed, sugar, and salt— that’s it. The deep, rich flavor calls out for a good sausage or all-beef hot dog. It’s also a great base for vinaigrette. Boetje’s Mustard 2736 12th Street Rock Island, Illinois 61201 309.788.4352

mustard made right

Photo by Kurt Michael Friese

That intoxicating aroma wafting through the Iowa City Farmers’ Market (among others) these days is Dill’s Original Kettle Korn, the old fashioned kind, made right before your eyes in (you guessed it) a huge, propane-fired kettle. The secret to the addictive munchable is in the right blend of sugar and salt, added at just the right moment, seconds before the hot corn actually starts to pop. Watch out though, one taste and you’re hooked. Dill’s Original Kettle Corn Cedar Rapids 319.366.6809
Dill’s Original Corn about to pop. EDIBLE IOWA RIVER VALLEY SUMMER 2007 

sweet & corny 




Photo by Carole Topalian

THIS SEASON: WEEK BY WEEK Ivy’s Tomato Basil Pie
by criss roberts

Fort Madison’s Martha Wolf, along with partner Sue Saunders, began selling baked goods off coffee tables in Sue’s basement back in 1992. From there, they opened the Ivy Bake Shoppe a bakery and cafe in downtown Fort Madison. The cafe became a national fixture when reporters covering the Iowa presidential caucuses eight years ago came in for a snack. Wolf and Saunders have since branched out to West Burlington, where they have a second Ivy in the Shottenkirk Superstore, and Wolf has recently published her first cookbook, “The Ivy Bake Shoppe Cookbook.” But, some of Wolf ’s favorite recipes have just walked in the shop. Such is the story of her summer favorite, Tomato Basil Pie, when a regular customer gladly shared her family’s recipe with the Ivy. “This is a wonderful pie,” Wolf says, “However it is made more wonderful at The Ivy, because we only make it seasonally with fresh basil and home-grown tomatoes.” (The season runs from July through early October, if all goes well.) “And then people have to learn patience, and enjoy the winter and spring seasonal foods before the Tomato Basil Pie returns,” Wolf says.

(serves 8) 1 ½ cups grated mozzarella cheese, divided 1 baked 9 inch pie crust 3 medium-size home-grown tomatoes, diced and drained 1 cup fresh basil leaves, loosely measured and ripped 1 -2 cloves of garlic, chopped fine or crushed ¾ cup mayonnaise ½ teaspoon black pepper ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese Put ¾ cup mozzarella cheese on the bottom of the pie crust. Cover with tomatoes and layer the basil leaves. Mix garlic, mayonnaise, remaining mozzarella, black pepper and Parmesan cheese until well blended and spread on top of pie. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until cheese is golden. Serve warm or room temperature! This Season: Week by Week is a regular recipe posting at www. where some of Iowa’s best chefs share their fresh, seasonal inspirations every Wednesday. Log on to for the full recipe collection. EDIBLE IOWA RIVER VALLEY SUMMER 2007 3

ivy’s tomato basil pie

go back to school by taking a bite out of history
by michael knock

History sometimes can taste pretty good. Sometimes the flavor is like freshly baked bread or sweet churned butter. At other times, it can taste a lot like chicken. At least a seventh grader in Michael Zahs’ Iowa history class at Washington Junior High might think so. Zahs, who also teaches Iowa history at Mt. Pleasant’s Iowa Wesleyan, wants his students to understand that taste buds can help them connect with their past just as effectively as textbooks. It’s a tactic he’s employed since he started teaching 37 years ago. “I became addicted to food when I was quite young,” Zahs said. “I just wouldn’t consider separating it from other forms of education.” Thus, in Zahs’ classroom, junior high students get to press their own apple cider using his 120-year-old apple press and make sour dough starter by capturing wild yeast from the air. They also are required to select a project such as sewing a quilt or interviewing relatives that teaches them something about their family history. Many students opt for projects that involve food. Once, a student brought in bread, butter and grape jam to share with the class. Zahs said that few of her classmates were impressed until they learned that she had worked with her grandmother to bake the bread, had picked the grapes for the jam herself, milked the cow, skimmed the cream and churned the butter. Zahs said that through these projects the students not only learn about food, but also about the family stories that go along with the things they eat. “I encourage them to collect recipes or stories,” Zahs said. “Who is it connected with? Where did that recipe come from? If it came from the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, we’re not as interested as we would be if we found out that your great great grandmother brought it over from Germany and that many of the measurements are in half-eggshells.” Last fall, one of Zahs’ students, Ella Peterson, put together such a recipe collection. Ella’s mother, Tallulah, helped her get started. “We figured we’d better write some of these recipes down because the people who make these things are getting older,” Tallulah said. To put together her collection, Ella sat down and talked with some of her relatives. Especially helpful was her Grandmother Peterson, a woman, Ella says, “Knows everything,” including a recipe for homemade noodles that has long been a family favorite. One of the recipes was for her Great Great Grandmother Peterson’s vinegar candy. Zahs said that single recipe says a lot about the lives Ella’s ancestors lived. “This was a candy that was fixed around Christmas time… It didn’t taste like vinegar; it tastes like taffy.” Ella wrote in the cookbook. “But this is easier to make (than taffy)…We would love to have (Great Great Grandmother 

Peterson) make it again.” Food also figures prominently in Zahs’ classes at Iowa Wesleyan, which consist of seven different bus tours around the state. One, which he led this past July, covered northeast Iowa and southwest Wisconsin, exploring the area that was settled by lead miners. The point of these classes is to study the things that go into making up a culture, with subjects ranging from architecture to music to food. Zahs arranges meals with people he knows around the state to ensure that students get to taste the cultures they are studying. Usually, he said, the cooks are proud to show off a bit of their heritage. “One of the last things to leave from a culture or a society is food,” Zahs said. “We adapt to many things, but we still keep many of our food habits.” For example, in the lead mining district, which Cornish immigrants settled 175 years ago, the foods like pasties (meat pies filled with potatoes, onions, beef, and rutabagas) and figgy hobbin (a pastry stuffed with raisins or other dried fruits) were made to be eaten in the mines. Each was self-contained, fit inside a pocket and could be eaten without silverware. Occasionally, the menu can be a little exotic. During a trip to the Marshallese community in Dubuque, for example, Zahs’ students were served fish that their hosts brought with them from the Marshall Islands. “[In the Marshall Islands], the guests are given the choicest parts,” Zahs said. “And the choice part of the fish is the head. So you would eat the head and the eyes, which is a stretch for Iowa people.” Zahs said he encourages his students to try everything, but no one is forced to eat anything they don’t want to. But the culinary lessons go beyond simply trying new and different foods. Another lesson Zahs likes his students—both in Washington and at Iowa Wesleyan—to learn is how important the simple act of eating is to a culture. Sometimes, that means sitting down with family and enjoying a meal without distraction or rush. One such meal is served by a Lebanese family in Cedar Rapids. “It takes four hours to eat,” Zahs said. “That’s how people should eat, but we don’t usually. It just makes such a big difference if you add time to food. The social part of it… it’s wonderful.” His junior high students get a similar lesson during a field trip to an old order Amish home. There, the students eat a traditional meal with their host family including fried chicken, roast beef, mashed potatoes and gravy, etc. The 12-year-olds, Zahs said, are sometimes surprised by the act of enjoying food as a group. One told him it was the first time he’d ever eaten without watching television.

“I’ve had students say after the Amish meal, ‘We had chicken that had the bone in it.’ They don’t ever have that,” Zahs said. “Or, ‘We had a meal where we had to use silverware.’ You know, there are just things that some of us take for granted that aren’t part of ordinary experiences for a lot of people.” Zahs knows these experiences will stick with his students more than the things they read in a textbook or on their computer. “There are lots of very simple things you can without playing with the Internet,” Zahs said. “Most really neat things in education don’t plug in.”

great great grandmother peterson’s recipe for vinegar candy ( from Ella Peterson’s family cookbook) 3 cups of sugar 1 ½ cups vinegar
Photo by Carole Topalian

Stir sugar and vinegar together on low heat until candy reaches the hardball stage (290 degrees). Pour onto a buttered plate. When cool enough to handle, pull until the candy is white and firm. Snip into pieces.


SUMMER 2007 


how i spent my summer vacation An Update from Iowa’s Buy Fresh, Buy Local Campaign
story and photo by mallory smith

This summer season began in the spring, when the work that by Julie Ohde, the Executive Director of Louisa County Consermakes the busy summer activities possible was underway. Our vation who also volunteers for Buy Fresh Buy Local Iowa. Her eight chapters’ oversight committees spent the early months of travels took her to Columbus Junction, Wapello, Waverly, Des each year compiling lists of potential members, mailing registra- Moines, Fairfield and Iowa City where the responses were always tion information, soliciting donations, applying for grants, creat- enthusiastic or at the very least, inquisitive. The final two weeks of the road show coincided with the first ing databases of current members and supporters, developing a budget and work plan and designing their local food directories. two weeks of the visit to our household of a Lion’s Club exchange All this, mind you, while ordering seeds and baby chicks, plan- student from Mongolia. In the US for the first time, in Iowa for ning menus, running offices and all the other important things only a matter of hours, and jet-lagged, Bilguun hit the ground running. On his first evening here we attended a picnic hosted these volunteers do in their professional lives. This year, while all the committees were as busy as they by the Sustainable Agriculture and Food Funders Association thought possible; a special request was added. Tim Schlitzer, the where he mixed, mingled and even pitched horse shoes. In the Executive Director of FoodRoutes Network (www.FoodRoutes. days that followed Bilguun and I attended events in Washington, org), the group that founded Buy Fresh Buy Local came to Iowa Davenport and Iowa City. The Prius finally headed back to Des Moines to meet Tim at June 3 through 13. Each Chapter was assigned a date and asked to plan a full day of events that would best serve their group’s the airport. The Buy Fresh Buy Local Mobile went back to its needs and provide the public with a great opportunity to learn owner so he could continue his travels. The next stops were Kanmore about our program. Proving true the adage “if you want sas City, Missouri and points east. The goal was to visit all 50 something done ask a busy person.” The results were impressive. chapters by summer’s end, by which time their might likely be In his ten-day visit, Tim traveled nearly 3,000 miles in the more than 50! Buy Fresh Buy Local Mobile—a snazzy blue Prius decked out buy fresh buy iowa in colorful images of fresh foods and our eye-catching logo. He Buy Fresh, Buy Local Iowa visited all the chapters of Buy Fresh Buy Local Iowa and met Practical Farmers of Iowa, support agency hundreds of Iowans supportive of family farms, local restaurants ( and great food. The tour included one parade, numerous local Mallory Smith, statewide coordinator foods dinners, many farm visits, farmers market appearances (, 319.627.2922 cluding time at the extremely popular Downtown Des Moines Market), stints in grocery store parking lots, meetings with sustainable agriculture workers, funders and researchers, more local foods dinners, presentations to groups small and large, radio and newspaper interviews galore and even a meeting with Iowa’s Secretary of Agriculture, Bill Northey. We made good use of Tim’s time and were exemplary in upholding Iowa’s reputation for friendliness and hospitality. Tim never had to stay in a hotel because homes were open to him and he certainly never was wanting for something good to eat or drink. On June 14, Tim left for three weeks in the FoodRoutes office in Pennsylvania leaving us the Buy Fresh Buy Local Mobile to continue to make public appearances. The first week the rounds were made Tim Schlitzer of (in red) visits with the Quad Cities’ Buy Fresh Buy Local Leadership Committee 

behind closed doors Raiding the Refrigerator of Jazz Musician (and Peanut Butter Lover) Dan Knight
story and photo by rob cline

Dan Knight is a pianist and comA packet of Tyttebaer, another poser whose performance credits Norwegian treat, can also be found include three consecutive appearin the Knights’ refrigerator. The fruit, which is apparently dried ances at the famed Montreux Jazz cranberry, is a deep red and looks as Festival in Switzerland. While his though it might be delicious with schedule takes him around the country and beyond, he also finds peanut butter. And while the blue and white jar time to perform in a variety of venin the icebox might not be peanut ues closer to his Iowa City home. butter, Dan keeps a sizeable jar of Though perhaps best known as a Jif Extra Crunchy in the easily acjazz musician, his interests—musical and otherwise—are quite cessible. He calls it a “staple of my diverse. For example, he recently existence,” and Julie confirms this, released a recording of “The Walt revealing that her husband eats a Whitman Suite,” a composition peanut butter sandwich over the that merges poetry from “Leaves of sink most every day. Grass” with Dan’s hybrid of classi“If it wasn’t for me,” says Julie, cal and jazz inflected music. “Dan would eat three meals or more Just in time for this past Christa day over the sink. He eats over the mas, Dan composed a jazz number sink because then he doesn’t have for my son, a 10-year-old jazz afito clean up his own crumbs.” cionado. Dan premiered the piece, Self-described “vegetable freaks,” Dan Knight and some of his favorites “A Song for Bryan Cline,” during the Knight refrigerator is generally his most recent “Jazz at Riverside” a repository of broccoli, cauliflowperformance, a tribute to the great Bill Evans. In his introduction er, peppers, cucumbers, various kinds of lettuce and whatever else to the piece, he called Bryan, “tragically hip”—a compliment of is in season. As for meat, there isn’t much to speak of, with the the first order for a jazz fan. exception of some Hillshire Farm Deli Select ham. It isn’t there How to repay such a kindness from an artist? It seemed only so Dan could have a sandwich sans peanut butter. The ham is for appropriate that I would honor him in my own artistic setting— their bichon friese, Emily. by composing a paean to the contents of his refrigerator. Apparently, she loves to play hide and seek with the ham. “Emily stays in the kitchen,” Julie explains, “and we hide the meat That’s not Skippy and she finds it. It’s her favorite game.” There’s a large jar with a blue and white label in the Knight refrigThe lack of meat, the emphasis on vegetables, the Omega3-rich erator. A quick glance might lead to the conclusion that Dan and herring indicate the Knight foodstuffs are pretty darn healthy. his wife Julie have mistakenly refrigerated their Skippy… or that And that health-conscious theme continues with Dan and Julie’s they are terribly fond of Miracle Whip. But this is no sandwich breakfast cereal of choice: Uncle Sam Cereal. A visit to www.USspread. This is Vita herring. reveals that Uncle Sam Cereal (“A unique blend Julie Knight is of Norwegian stock, and while Vita Food of toasted whole grain wheat flakes and whole flaxseed.”) is apProducts is a Chicago company, Dan’s impulse to eat the herring proved for the Snack Factor Diet, the Gold Coast Cure, and the comes from two trips to Norway to visit his wife’s cousin. Dan South Beach Diet. The Knights insist that it tastes good, too. acquired a taste for herring as well as for gjetost—caramelized As I snapped my final photograph and gathered up my notes, goat cheese. Dan sent me on my way with not one, but two of my favorite in“It looks really gross until you eat it, and then it tastes wonder- dulgences: Dove Miniatures featuring ice cream dipped in Dove ful,” Dan reports. chocolate. Dan made sure I had both a chocolate and a vanilla The Knights get their gjetost at New Pioneer Co-op in Iowa treat. I must admit I was pleased to be leaving with ice cream City. rather than herring and g jetost. EDIBLE IOWA RIVER VALLEY SUMMER 2007 7

edible imbibables

Apples and the Art of Cider with Vinton Farmer Allen Israel
by katie roche

Allen Israel had no intention of becoming a fruit farmer. His grandfather and father were fruit farmers. Forays into the family farm had caused Allen and his father to stand at a generational divide, his father on the side of conventional farming and Allen pushing to restore the soil to its natural balance through organic practices and what he now calls “stewardship of the soil”. Though he respected the hard work and family tradition of the Israel family fruit farm, he knew he had to find his own way. So, when he hit his twenties, Allen set off to hitchhike around the country from his native New York State to find something else to do with his life—anything that had nothing to do with apples. Much to Allen’s surprise he found himself accepting work on farms to fund the next phase of his adventure. He exercised his inherent knowledge of an orchard’s complicated ecosystem, taking joy in the act of farming and caring for the land. The very travels that were meant to lead him away then took him home again where he finally accepted his father’s offer of a piece of the family farm in New York. Even though his father thought he was messing things up by going organic, Allen knew that it would take time to do things the right way. More than 20 years have passed since Allen thumbed his way around the country and now this suntanned farmer has a glimmer in his eye and content smile on his face when he talks about farming. He often uses the words passion, love and grace to describe his relationship with the land. Allen gets especially fired up when talking about conventional pesticide ridden farming practices. Not only do these practices damage the land and the trees and produce an inferior fruit, but Allen dislikes how it has damaged the consumer’s ability 

to see beauty in an imperfect fruit. The day I went to visit Applecart Orchard it was cider day and I saw plenty of fruit in various shapes. These are organic apples and Allen jokes that I may never want to drink cider again, after seeing how it’s made. It’s a bit like seeing a movie star without her make up on—there is a mystique to the delicious simple cider and as an avid cider drinker I was ready to see the process unveiled: curlers, mud mask and all. As Allen jumped on the fork lift to take a huge crate of apples from the cooler to be sorted and cleaned he tells me how the frost the year before left them with a small crop for this years cider and that it is more difficult to get the desired eight to ten varieties of apple in each batch cider. Luckily, he’s been making cider as long as he’s known how to pick an apple, so his familiarity with each variety allows him to build the flavor of each batch. A frost is a particularly frustrating natural disaster for a fruit farmer, but much better than some of the farmer caused catastrophes that Allen has witnessed over the years. While we sorted the apples assembly line style he told me about orchards so built up with chemicals that the trees could only fruit every other year. He explained how this has made him patient. If you give an orchard false strength, it’s like a body builder on steroids, the orchard is out of balance and it pays for being pumped up. As we cut away some rot and bumps on the fruit that he says were caused by some sort of beetle, he told me about some of the less invasive treatments he has put into dedicated practice over the years. Allen, with the help of his young son, uses pheromones to let male predators know there are no females around. It’s that simple. The males will only take up residence in a fruit tree that has a female population. The

Photo by Carole Topalian

males leave and there is no harm done to them, or to fruit. In this way he takes his cues from nature. Next the cleaned apples were ground into a thick applesauce. As the stuff was poured out onto stacked flats, the juice was already running down the sides into containers. We sampled this juice from a spigot in the side and everyone agreed that it needed something. Allen selected another crate of apples to add to the mix and the difference was amazing. What was sweet but bland became delicious and complex. Next came the pressing. Twelve slats of the thick stuff were stacked on top of each other, each layer wrapped in a cloth filter. The stack was over seven feet tall and Allen and his workers had to pull the heavy, awkward tower to line up with the press. The juice ran out, into tubes and was ready to be pasteurized. Allen took care to explain to me why that temperature is important. “Most cider is pasteurized at a higher temperature, but it’s not necessary. At 108 degrees for 5 seconds the cider is free of contaminates and it doesn’t get cooked. The flavor is fresh and the cider actually lasts longer. You can tell when a cider has been cooked when you see a lot of sediment on the bottom of the container.” He added. Applecart Cider has very little sediment, and usually keeps about two weeks. With a small container of fresh cider in my hand we set out for a walk in the orchard where Allen showed me a diseased branch that he is waiting to cut until winter. It is better to wait for winter to come to cut a diseased branch, he explained, because when the world is frozen there is less danger of spreading the disease. Kneeling, Allen looked closely at the soil and said, “I have fallen in love with what is happening in the soil and how it affects the tree.” We looked out at some younger trees, planted in rows and already benefiting from this steward of the land. I promised to come back to help harvest and he says that others are welcome to come help pick too, but only if they are willing to do it with care and patience. He doesn’t want the masses to come and haphazardly pick the trees clean. He is a farmer who has something to teach and standing in his orchard, sipping the fresh cold cider, the result of his delicate attentions, I felt lucky to have learned how this juice came to be. Applecart cider is available at many eastern Iowa retailers, farmers markets, and directly from Applecart Orchard. Applecart Orchard 2083 61st Street Vinton, 52349 319.472.3900 If you are interested in helping to pick apples or make cider please call the farm for more details. Applecart Orchard operates a farm store, which is well worth the trip to Vinton. Class trips and learning tours are encouraged. They plan to start a guided U-Pick operation later this summer. EDIBLE IOWA RIVER VALLEY SUMMER 2007 




incredible edibles Real Food Finds a Home in Fairfield
by brian morelli

Photo by Kurt Michael Friese

People in Fairfield are excited about their local food, and it is pretty hard for it not to rub off when you get a personal tour from Fairfield resident and food activist Mary Carter. Carter leads the Buy Fresh Buy Local campaign in Fairfield, and seems to know everyone and anyone that has an interest in creating a sustainable local food system in town and makes sure all those people know each other too. I had never been to Fairfield, but there is a certain mystery about the 10,000 person community in Jefferson County. After all Greg Brown wrote a song about them. The Maharishi spiritual movement, practitioners of transcendental meditation, chose the town in the 1970s as a place to start the Mahirishi University of Management. Now, driving into town, ornate worldly-styled structures and Golden Domes for mass meditation replace the farmhouses of the rolling Iowa prairies. But, in town, there is a familiar oldtimey city center with brick buildings and a green town square with a familiar Saturday morning tradition in Iowa: a farmers’ market. That is where I first connected with Carter and start to explore Fairfield. On a typical Saturday, at least 40 vendors are at the square.

Francis Thicke

Customers and growers come from all over. Vendors described their clients as interested in “unique” produce and meat cuts, and it shows in the range of produce: bok choy, garlic scapes, rare heirloom strains and herbs of all types. “The thing we find about this market is people looking to try unique types of produce, as opposed to other markets where people just want the basics,” said grower Doug Webster of Rolling Prairie Acres, who has been coming to the Fairfield market with his wife Tanya and boys Dalton, Drayce and Dawson for five seasons. “People here are less willing to see food as a commodity,” said Jocelyn Engman, of Pickle Creek Herbal, who sells primarily organic herb varieties. “Here they start to understand that different foods have value. I can get lettuce at Hy-Vee for $1, but I never really tasted lettuce until I was 19, and I had it out of the garden.” After about an hour at the market, capped off with a bite of a rose gooseberry tartlet from the Canary Café’s baked goods stand, we headed off to check out the Maharishi K-12 school’s four season teaching greenhouse. Diana Krystofiak, who leads a sustainability course, walked us through the garden irrigated by a solar powered rainwater pump. Younger children learn more basic lessons of planting, while older students dive into concepts of water conservation, comparison planting in different types of soil and calculating how far commercial produce travels from ground to retailer. “We want them to know where their plants come from. We want them to love vegetables. We really talk about buying fresh, buying local,” Krystofiak said. “They love it. I don’t have one child that doesn’t like coming into the greenhouse. They get to plant it; they get to see it grow; and they get to eat it.” “Those kids are the future,” Carter mused. “We need to get them thinking about where their food comes from.” Next stop: Radiance Dairy, a local favorite for organic milk, yogurt and cheese, which sells only in Fairfield. Carter used to work there. She pulled open a yogurt contain, puts it in front of my face and squirts a thick spoonful of the cream that had risen to the top into my mouth. “Have you ever tasted anything like that?” Carter exclaimed, knowing I hadn’t. “People stop us in the street and thank us for making the milk,” owner Francis Thicke said. Thicke has owned the dairy since 1992, and he expanded and moved it to its current 236-acre location on the northwest part of town in 1996. We hop on a supped-up golf cart and cruise through his picturesque acreage. “I guess I never thought you needed chemicals to farm,” he says as we roll into one of the cow pastures.
SUMMER 2007 2


It’s anyone’s guess when projecting human emotions onto animals, but I’ve never seen cows quite as happy as his herd of Jerseys, a breed Thicke prefers because he says they produce richer, higher quality milk. When we stop, they Diana Krystofiak teaches sustainability at the surround the cart. Maharishi School in Fairfield Thicke drove us to another section with a mama and her four-hour-old calf. They were sheltering from the sun in a stand of oaks and maples near a small stream. Flies swarmed around them. Thicke pulled out a bottle of organic soybean oil and sprayed them liberally. “It is good for bug control,” he explained Back in town, Carter had lined up a lunch date at Revelations, a business that started 10 years earlier as a bookstore, expanded to a coffee shop and then into a café. One of the founders, Julie Stephens, who started Revelations with her two sisters and mother, had a private dining room reserved and joined us for lunch. The main course was a brick oven pizza with mozzarella cheese from

Farmers’ All Natural Creamery in Kalona and locally grown zucchini. For dessert, ice cream made with milk from Radiance. Stephens appears won over in the push for local and organic products, and is trying to push it further. “I think it is a better quality, and the food is always fresh,” Stephens says. Each table displays a Buy Fresh Buy Local card and the bookstore has Buy Fresh Buy Local shirt for sale. “She is integrating throughout the community and really making an impact,” Carter said of Stephens, who is also the head of the Fairfield Chamber of Commerce and the first restaurateur to join the Buy Fresh, Buy Local campaign in Jefferson County. The day ended at the expansive Maharishi Vedic City Organic Farms, a wind energy powered enterprise that grows mass quantities of produce ranging from peppers, eggplant, flowers and tomatoes to bitter melon and strawberries, among others. This farm sells directly to customers and restaurants in Iowa and is also a major supplier of organics in the Chicago area. But before we left town we had to stop at Everybody’s. The local co-op grocery holds the pulse of a community, plus I hear they have mango ice cream made by Radiance Dairy. Most markets have signs that identify the organic section but Everybody’s is a little different. It has a small section labeled “not organic.” The organics case clears out three times a week, says manager Paul Praither. “Again, it’s community living. They want organics,” he said. Carter and all of Fairfield would agree, and they are lucky to have such abundance.

Fairfield Buy Fresh Buy Local 1805 West Jefferson Ave. Fairfield 52556 641.472.6177 Radiance Dairy 1745 Brookville Rd. Fairfield 52556, 641.472.8554 Everybody’s Whole Foods Store 501 North 2nd St. Fairfield 52556 641.472.5199 Revelations 112 North Main St. Fairfield 52556 641.472.6733 Maharishi Vedic City Organic Farms 1973 Grand Dr. Maharishi Vedic City 52556 641.470.7000




Photo by Kurt Michael Friese

the paw paw A Tropical Fruit in the Iowa River Valley
by anna wilson

Tom Wahl loves many things that grow and that are unusual. Much of what he produces on Red Fern Farm, near Wapello is unique. Wahl’s interest in sustainable agriculture led him to create a biodiverse farm where persimmons, chestnut, and hazelnut trees surround goats, and heritage turkeys. (See Edible Iowa River Valley, Fall, 2007 for more about Wahl’s turkeys) Wahl has carefully searched out each crop, fitting it together in an intricate puzzle, which he hopes will minimize pests and disease. But no discovery was ever as sweet to him as the paw paw. Fifteen years ago on the shore of nearby Lake Odessa, Wahl found a wild paw paw tree with fruit growing on the top. He shook the tree and tasted the wild fruit. “They are the best tasting fruit I’ve ever encountered in my life,” said Wahl of the paw paw. “That’s what got me interested in paw paws.” Wahl’s has seven test paw paw trees growing outside his farmhouse door. Each tree was grafted from trees throughout the United States. Related to the custard apple, paw paws were once a prairie staple and were abundant enough to be the subject of their own song, but were seldom cultivated outside the mid-south. The heirloom fruit became less popular in the last century, and up until recently, few knew of the raw fruit’s custard-like texture, which differs between varieties, but reminds most first-timers of tropical flavors. Wahl describes their “impossible to describe taste” as a combination of banana, pineapple and cantaloupe. Wahl’s wife, Kathy, uses the fruit in lieu of bananas in most recipes, since paw paw-specific recipes are as hard to come by as the fruit itself. But, Wahl always keeps one of his favorite concoctions—paw paw oatmeal bars— on hand. Wahl is committed to doing what he can to increase the paw paw’s popularity. Iowa is the northern boundary of the tree’s prime growing requirements of deep, fertile and well-drained soil and Wahl has more than 200 trees in production on a nearby acreage. They are deciduous, and can grow approximately 20 feet tall, producing burgundy colored flowers. The fruit can be three to five inches long. Wahl’s trees are expected to produce commercially in two years. While he buys some of his stock, other trees are grafted from wild varieties. He also sells the trees, when they are available, from his farm. They must be bought in pairs, since they come in male and female versions and they need each other to reproduce. “Growth from buds is genetically identical to the original [tree],” said Wahl, “Grafted varieties are generally better than wild varieties.” For the time being, however, it may be that growing your own is the only way to get paw paws. The fruit travels poorly so don’t expect to see it in grocery stores. While growers could make it available at farmers markets, most, like Wahl, are overwhelmed with requests from high-end restaurants. If growing your own isn’t an option, Wahl said there are “many hundreds of pounds” of paw paws along the Iowa River between Wapello and Columbus Junction. The problem? Since trees don’t really like strong winds, they thrive better in spots sheltered from Western drafts and often, the only way to get to the wild fruit orchards is by boating or hiking to the location. EDIBLE IOWA RIVER VALLEY

Tom Wahl, owner of Red Fern Farm, shows off paw paw fruit on his farm near Wapello, Iowa. There are 28 varieties of the sweet fruit which grow on small trees.

1 ½ cups whole wheat flour 1 ½ cups quick or rolled oats 1 cup brown sugar ½ teaspoon baking soda ¾ cup butter 1 – 2 cups paw paw purée

paw paw oatmeal bars

Photo by John Gaines/

Stir together flour, oats, sugar and soda. Cut in butter till crumbly. Pat ⅔ of the mixture into the bottom of a 13 x 9 x 2 inch ungreased pan. Spread puree on top. Sprinkle on remaining crumbs. Bake at 375° for 25 – 30 minutes. Cool and cut. Makes around 30 bars. Tom Wahl Red Fern Farm 13882 I Street Wapello, IA 52635 319.729.5905
SUMMER 2007 23

local ice cream worth screaming for Moo Roo, Isaac’s and Heyn’s

Vernetta Kayser of Waterloo used to avoid ice cream. She’s not a fan of preservatives, after all. But once she discovered the preservative- and hormone-free ice cream at Waterloo’s Moo Roo, she decided to succumb. On a recent Saturday, Kayser settled in to Moo Roo’s cheery seating area, holding a homemade waffle cone packed to the brim. Jeanne Hansen, one of the owners of the ice cream and dairy store noticed Kayser’s cone. “Is that butter pecan?” she asked Kayser. “It is,” Kayser said. “I get that every time. One of these times, I’m going to change. Then, with a sly grin, she admitted “That’s my lunch.”

At Moo Roo, making waffle cones from scratch is a daily activity. 24 SUMMER 2007 EDIBLE IOWA RIVER VALLEY

Photo at left by Eugenia Gratto, at top by Kurt Michael Friese

Kayser started purchasing milk at the store, and then tried the ice cream. Now she’s a regular, although she won’t disclose how often she stops by. Like any good product, Moo Roo’s ice cream arose from supply and demand. “We were selling a lot of skim milk, which left us with a lot of cream,” said Hansen, who runs the 150-head J&J Dairy in Hudson, Iowa, with her husband, Jay and four sons. They opened Moo Roo in June 2006 to provide a location from which to sell products from their Hansen Farm Fresh Dairy business. Prior to that, the Hansens sold their products exclusively from their farm. They also supplied milk to 25 grocery and convenience stores and more than a dozen coffee shops and restaurants within 25 miles of their property. The Moo Roo shop has a variety of products, including prepacked and dip ice cream, ice cream pies and cakes; milk, cream and white cheddar cheese curds from the dairy; ground beef; and Iowa Farm Families pork and ham products ( Cheese from small creameries in Wisconsin, range-fed eggs from a local farmer, hormone-free yogurt and sour cream, local honey, and locally-made soy candles round out the inventory. The store got its name from their son Blake’s fascination with wallabies, a small species of kangaroo that he first encountered on a trip to Australia. The Hansens now keep five wallabies on their dairy farm, and their company logo features a wallaby drinking a glass of milk with a small calf in its pouch - incorporating elements of both the animals the Hansens hold most dear. “It’s a fun place,” Hansen said. “I come in here and I can’t help talking to people. This is the perfect place for me.” The Hansens take pride in the fact that many other ice cream makers said you couldn’t make smooth, creamy ice cream from non-homogenized milk. The cream in non-homogenized milk is not dispersed evenly before it is sold. The cream rises to a layer on the top, and can be mixed in by shaking. When asked if customers notice any difference between ice cream made from homogenized milk and the Moo Roo ice cream, and Hansen shakes her head vigorously. “Never,” she says. “It’s as smooth as any other ice cream.” Chris and Andrea Roberts of Coralville also sport an addic-

tion for locally-made ice cream. The couple visits Isaac’s Creamery in North Liberty at least once a week. They shared tastes of cappuccino and mint chocolate chip ice cream with their toddler as they explained how they discovered Isaac’s Creamery. Chris had simply noticed the store after a softball game on the fields across the street. “Every flavor we try has been delicious,” Roberts said. “We love to come here because we run into other families. And on nice nights, we get to plan a whole evening around it.” Isaac’s Creamery focuses exclusively on hand-scooped hard ice cream, providing 16 flavors at a time. It is attached to Naomi’s Kitchen, a “make, take and bake” business owned and operated by Troy and Lora Miller. The Millers opened Naomi’s Kitchen three years ago, but added Isaac’s Creamery just last April. “My wife and I really like ice cream, and we saw it as a great opportunity to better use our facility,” Troy Miller said. “It’s a really nice fit.” Isaac’s Creamery is named after Troy and Lora Miller’s son, following in a tradition that started with their naming Naomi’s Kitchen after their daughter. The Millers renovated the 100-year-old Koser’s grocery store to accommodate their two businesses, and decided to sell ice cream after Liberty Cones, a North Liberty stand-by, decided to close last year. They buy their ice cream from Paul Heyn of Heyn’s Ice Cream in Iowa City. “Paul Heyn had the best ice cream that we tried,” Miller said. “We try to shop locally as much as possible—you get a level of service that’s better.” Miller said he appreciates that he can get “just-in-time delivery” from Heyn. “If I run out of a flavor, I call him up,” Miller said. “It’s likely he has some right there that he just made.” Heyn says that, indeed, he and his staff will happily deliver ice cream to Miller—or any of his other ice cream store customers throughout the area—seven days a week. After all, Heyn’s Ice Cream makes its product daily in its First Avenue store in Iowa City, starting with a mix produced by Anderson Erickson Dairy in Des Moines, and adding in a variety of ingredients. During the 20 years Heyn’s Ice Cream has been in business, Heyn said they have made more than 400 different flavors. Heyn used to sell his product in approximately 300 grocery stores, but eventually returned to selling ice cream from his retail store and supplying other ice cream parlors. He says he has a passion for the product, and loves the positive environment. After all, he points out, no one’s in a bad mood at an ice cream store. “The best thing is letting people try stuff they’ve never had before, and to see their face when the experience something new and the light bulb goes off,” he said. “I’ve seen three-year-olds do it, I’ve seen 80-year-olds do it. Everybody loves ice cream. It breaks down all barriers.” Moo Roos, Isaac’s and Heyn’s also offer seasonal and special flavors. At Isaac’s Creamery and Heyn’s Ice Cream, you can buy a scoop of Oatmeal Cream Pie, or, when the season is right,

ple Pie. Apple Pie is also available the scoop seasonally at Moo Roo, along with Pumpkin Pie, Eggnog, and Candy on scoop shops Cane, which Hansen reports is Heyn’s Ice Cream particularly good topped with hot 811 South 1st Avenue fudge sauce. Iowa City 319.354.1981 “The hardest thing is picking which 38 or 40 flavors to have in the Isaac’s Creamery store,” Heyn said. He reports Mama 25 East Cherry Street Heyn’s Cookie Dough, Cake Bat(Corner of Dubuque and ter, Peanut Butter Chocolate, Capeast Cherry streets) North Liberty pucino and Blueberry Cheesecake 319.665.4707 are also big hits. “I asked Paul Heyn for his recMoo Roo ommendations on flavors,” Miller 3015 Kimball Avenue (Corner of Kimball said. “But you’ve also got to provide and Ridgeway) the basics for people.” Waterloo Chuck Quirks of Waterloo has 319.234.3309 a dog who is a particular fan of the basics. It gets its own dish of Moo Roo ice cream—vanilla—each week when Chuck stops by the store. He also picks up a waffle cone with two scoops of butter brickle for his wife, and, when he’s feeling indulgent, “a small sundae” for himself. “This is the place to be,” Quirk said. “The dog is very insistent, and my wife is, too.”




i can and you can too! A Tale of Canned Tomatoes
story and photo by leah wilson

The summer that prompted me to can, I stood elated and dismayed in a beautiful patch of ripe tomatoes that threatened to rot in place if I did not do something. I was a new mother in search of good food. There wasn’t anything stopping me from getting perfectly acceptable tomatoes from the grocery. Each uniform can of store-bought tomatoes, with its smiling label and clever marketing jingle contained 16 fluid ounces of tomatoes and immeasurable mystery. Organic or not, those fruits were grown and processed hundreds or thousands of miles away by people I was only haphazardly connected to and they traversed a food system that was complex and vast. So, I decided to spend a little more time with my grandparents and to learn a few things about food preservation, namely, what to do in the middle of a tomato glut. My grandparents have continued to carry and pass on many of the food traditions they learned from their stout, German immigrant parents. The angry hiss of the pressure canner was a little disconcerting at first as my Grandmother released the petcock and steam billowed from the tiny escape hatch. She only did it for a second or two, just to provide me with a glimpse of the tomato tempest raging inside the “kitchen bomb” as I had affectionately dubbed it. With an imagination bent on catastrophism, I had visions of a new skylight over the stove. “Now don’t ever do this!” She demanded. “Let it de-pressurize on its own while you get a cup of coffee and clean out the sink.” “Got it!” I peeped as I took two conspicuous and cowardly steps backward. By evening in Grandma’s kitchen, the hundreds of ripe-toperfection tomatoes that had sprawled on every surface in the kitchen, were now winking at us from 32 jewel-red quart jars. If it hadn’t filled an entire day with labor, it would have seemed like a miracle. As it was, there was something uniquely satisfying about the whole process of picking round, twinkling fruits in the early morning; washing, coring and peeling them after lunch; gently packing the peeled whole fruits into sterilized and steaming hot jars; and then learning to manage the inner tumult of the pressure canner without creating violent explosions and tomato shrapnel. And although it was definitely work, it wasn’t difficult or complicated, like I thought it would be. In fact, it was very productive social time. My Grandmother and I had tomatobonded. The next morning, I clunked down the basement steps to my Grandmother’s cellar, as I had done so many times as a child. I carefully shelved the tomatoes and thought about how nice it is to have gained an adult’s appreciation of the food in that cellar.

To have learned how work done socially is more like play. My mother, who took up canning in earnest shortly after I was born, said, “Home-grown and home-canned foods taste so good because they taste like home. That sounds so cliché, so simplistic. But there’s nothing more satisfying than that.” For those new to canning, tomatoes are a great food to start with for several reasons. They are easy to grow and gardeners usually have them in surplus. They are also easy to process and store safely, and home-canned tomatoes are delicious, convenient and versatile. Whether you grow them yourself or purchase them from a farmer during the season’s peak, choose tomatoes that are perfectly ripe, allowing for about 3 pounds of fresh tomato input per quart of canned output. Choose heirloom tomatoes for their rainbow of colors and flavors when available. Keep in mind, however, that certain colors, like the deep shades of ‘Black Krim’ or ‘Cherokee Purple’ may look less-than-fresh to those used to bright red tomatoes and may require good labeling if you decide to use them. I made the mistake of combining purple and red tomatoes one year and spent the winter reassuring myself, jar after jar that they were fit to eat. When you are ready to begin canning, decide whether you

i can and you can can too

(adapted from Preserving the Taste by, Edon Waycott) 4 large green chilies, preferably Anaheims 2 small onions, finely chopped 4 tablespoons olive oil 6 cloves garlic, minced 2 large or 3 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced (about 1 pound) 4 tablespoons tomato paste 1 teaspoon salt 1 ½ teaspoons dried ground coriander ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper ½ teaspoon chili powder Broil the chilies on a baking sheet 4 inches from the heat for 30 minutes, turning to blacken all sides. Remove, and when cool enough to handle, remove the stems and seeds. Sauté the onions in olive oil in a large non-reactive saucepan over medium heat until soft. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 3 to 4 minutes or more. Puree the chilies and tomatoes in a food processor. Add the puree, the tomato paste, salt, coriander, red pepper, and chili powder to the onions. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has thickened slightly. Ladle into 2 hot sterilized pint jars. Wipe the rims clean with a damp towel. Seal with new lids and metal rings. Process in a hot-water bath for 15 minutes. Remove, cool, check seals, label and store (see your canning manual for complete instructions or download a pamphlet from ISU Extension website: www. ). will use a Water Bath Canner or a Pressure Canner. The former is much cheaper, easy to use and perfectly suited to canning high acid fruits like tomatoes. The latter is much more expensive, but you can use it to can a great variety of foods like sauces, soups and even meats. And really, pressure canners needn’t be intimidating. Modern canners are safe to use if, like any other appliance, you follow the instructions and heed safety precautions. After you choose your canner, you will need canning jars, metal bands and new, unused metal lids. Most sources advise against reusing odd food jars for canning as you will increase the likelihood of broken jars and a broken heart. You will also want to check all of your jars for cracks, nicks and other imperfections that will prevent a proper seal. Other equipment you will need includes a large measuring cup, jar lifter, long-handled spoon, a canning funnel, a food mill for juice-making and cooking pots needed for preparation. Most grocery and general stores will carry basic canning supplies, but try if you can’t easily find what you need.


Next, decide on a preparation method: whole tomatoes or juices are often the dilemma for novices. Avoid the temptation to launch into complex recipes with multiple ingredients unless you are confident that you have the necessary equipment to do it right. Although there are many exciting recipes involving tomatoes, some are low-acid concoctions that don’t lend themselves to simple water bath canning. For those who simply won’t be satisfied by jars of whole tomatoes or juice, try making a small batch of Roasted Green Chili Salsa. You won’t use up a huge mass of tomatoes this way, but you’ll enjoy mighty tasty results. This recipe (see sidebar) is safe for water bath canning. While it’s always more fun to learn culinary skills from a seasoned friend or family member, there are food preservation classes available in many communities and, of course, dozens of written resources on the topic for those who want to teach themselves. No matter how you get started, a good book on canning is a necessity. There are many, but a favorite is The Busy Person’s Guide to Preserving Food, by Janet Chadwick (Storey Publishing, 1995). Although there is enormous variety when it comes to canning recipes, one needs to obediently follow the rules regarding safe processing--and with precision. Iowa State Extension is a tremendous resource, and you should never hesitate to inquire about canning procedure or food safety. Visit www.Extension.IAState. edu/foodsafety/ and click on “Consumer Information” for bushels of great tips and guidelines for safe food preservation.




muscatine melons: iowa’s summer tradition
by sue futrell

It looks like this will be a good year for Muscatine melons. That’s happy news for farmer John Kiwala, especially since a tornado missed his melon field in Muscatine by just 100 yards on June 1. The twister tore through his sweet corn, ripped up irrigation equipment, and flattened over two-dozen homes in the area. John and his wife Holly operate Hoopes’ Melon Shed, one of the oldest farm markets in southeast Iowa. The promising season is also good news for anyone who knows that melons from this part of Iowa have a well-deserved reputation for being the sweetest, best-tasting melons of summer. At one time, the golden, fragrant melons could be found at roadside stands at almost every farm, or sold from the back of pick-up trucks throughout the state. Today, for a few sweet weeks each summer, Muscatine melons can still be found at farmers markets and grocery stores around eastern Iowa. The sandy soil near the Mississippi River south of Muscatine is ideal for fruit and vegetable production. Once called “the garden spot of Iowa” this truck-farming region has produced a wide variety of fruit and vegetable crops for over 150 years. Muscatine County growers raise lots of watermelon as well, but the melon that bears its name is the muskmelon, or cantaloupe. Despite the similar sounding names, the muskmelon is not named after Muscatine, but rather for its sweet, musky fragrance. A unique micro-climate created in part by a bend in the river gives the county a warmer, longer growing season than most of the rest of the state. The groundwater is very close to the surface, making it accessible for irrigation, and the coarse, sandy glacial soil drains well while absorbing heat that helps the melons ripen in the field. Melon season starts in mid-to-late July. Harvesting

is all done by hand, and the peak season lasts only a few weeks. Muscatine Island, a sandy stretch of Mississippi borderland with the small town of Fruitland at its center, is one of two primary melon-producing areas in Muscatine County. The other is along the Cedar River around the town of Conesville, where the soil is also very sandy and well suited to melon and vegetable production. Muskmelon or Cucumis melo, as a species includes cantaloupe, honeydew, Crenshaw and other varieties. The terms cantaloupe and muskmelon are often used interchangeably in the US. However, true cantaloupe, more often grown in Europe and the Middle East, are smooth-skinned, smaller and harder. Muskmelons sold in the US tend to be of two main types. The most common are small, round and firm, without obvious ridges. These melons are often picked before fully ripe and shipped long distances, and these days they’re in stores almost year-round. Muscatine melons differ from their cantaloupe, honeydew, and Crenshaw cousins in that they are characterized by pronounced ridges, deep orange color, and juicy, fragrant flesh. They tend to have softer flesh, ripen best on the vine, and are usually marketed close to where they are grown. Because of their soft flesh when fully ripe, Iowans sometimes called them “mush” melons. Melons in Iowa were first grown in home gardens, brought by settlers from the eastern US and immigrants, many German. Historically, gardeners and farmers in the area planted their own open-pollinated seed, saved from year to year. As commercial production expanded and new disease-resistant varieties were developed, most growers shifted to hybrid varieties. Today regional differences in varieties are beginning to disappear, but the special soil and growing conditions in Muscatine County still give the melons their unique flavor and quality. Commercial development of truck farming began here in 1874, when William Henry Hoopes (a family ancestor of John and Holly Kiwala), originator of wholesale gardening on Muscatine Island— founded a fruit market and began producing fruits and vegetables for export. Soon there were train cars full of melons and other produce being shipped to big city markets in Chicago and beyond. The number of melon growers in Muscatine County has declined Crates of melons at depot, Aug. 16, 1920.. Image from the Oscar Grossheim Collection, provided courtesy of Musser Public Library, Muscatine, Iowa. significantly in recent years. There


are approximately a dozen commercial melon growers left with perhaps another ten or twenty raising smaller quantities. Vince Lawson, farm manager of the Muscatine Island Growers Association Research farm, remembers there were three times as many growers when he came to the area twenty years ago. Many of those who remain are families who have been raising melons for many generations. Growers can name most of their fellow melon producers, and list off the names of those no longer in the business. As one grower puts it, they stay in it “for the way of life, not the livelihood.” With exceptional flavor, great growing conditions, and a reputation for quality, why are there so few melon farms left? Consolidation in the retail grocery industry makes it harder for small producers to find buyers, and disappearance of peddlers and small distributors makes it harder to get their produce to consumers. “People used to drive out to the farms to buy produce, and they don’t want to do that anymore,” say several of the growers. Difficulty finding seasonal labor is another challenge. Costs, including soil and pest management, bees for pollination, harvesting, handling and special requirements of retail buyers, such as stickers and bins, have gone up faster than prices. Despite these challenges, nothing signals summer in Iowa quite like a ripe, juicy slice of Muscatine melon, still warm from the sun. Old-timers might add a pinch of salt, or a pinch of sugar.

A sprinkling of lime juice and chopped mint makes a perfect salad. But if you are lucky enough to buy your melon fresh from the field, off the back of a pick-up truck and still warm from the sun, treat yourself to the full Muscatine melon flavor with nothing added. You’ll be tasting part of an Iowa tradition, and helping to make sure that Muscatine melons don’t become just a memory.

One of the best places to find Muscatine melons is in season at area farmers markets. Or get them at one of the market stands along Highway 61 between Muscatine and Fruitland, on in Conesville. Two of the longest-standing roadside markets along Hwy 61 are Hoopes’ Melon Shed, and Schmidt’s Farm Market, which claims to be the oldest market stand in Iowa. Schmidt’s also operates a restaurant that features local produce in season and is known for its homemade pies. Always call ahead to make sure they are open. Hoopes’ Melon Shed Hwy 61 South Muscatine 52761 563.263.7302 Schmidt’s Farm Market 5900 Grandview Ave. Muscatine 52761 563.263.6331

where to find them




edible at market and Other Noteworthy Events
With season at its peak, Iowa is awash with events, festivals, and of course farmers markets. Here’s some of the events we’ve been at, and looking forward to.

Hills Bank wins Best in Show Celebrating Local Food


Slow Food Iowa’s Annual Harvest Dinner Thursday, October 4, 7 p.m. Old Brick, 26 E. Market St. Iowa City 319.466.1295 or at




Photo by Kurt Michael Friese

It started simply and spontaneously when a few volunteers brought along a few wagons to the monthly Cedar Rapids Farmers Market to help shoppers in need. This year, it’s a more organized effort as a troupe of identifiable volunteers from the First Presbyterian of Cedar Rapids weave through the crowd, pulling the 15 wagons that officially make up the Downtown Cedar Rapids’ Wagon Assistance Program (WAP). These wagons aren’t your average red Radio-flyer specials, either. They are decorated in a medley of unique designs—each one sponsored by a local business to represent their commitment to local food with the money going back to support the market. At the beginning of the season, Edible Iowa River Valley reviewed the decorated wagon brigade and awarded Hills Bank of Cedar Rapids for Best In Show Celebrating Local Food. You can see the wagons in action yourself at the Downtown Cedar Rapids Farmers Market, which is open the first Saturday of September and October. For more information, call the Downtown Cedar Rapids Office: 319.398.0449.

The 6th Annual Field to Family Festival, the premier local food festival in/around Johnson County, is happening September 6-9, 2007. As part of Field to Family, the Johnson County Local Food Alliance, Earth Expo, and Edible Iowa River Valley are proud to sponsor a film screening of Eat at Bill’s at Iowa City’s historic Englert Theater on Friday evening, September 7. Made by Lisa Brenneis, a small tangerine farmer, this film is a giddy romp through California’s famous Monterey Market and also features interviews with Michael Pollan and Alice Waters, as well as a bevy of local food lovers who understand why buying local matters. But that’s not all! The evening will also include a slide show celebrating the local food scene in eastern Iowa, and we need your roving eye! Iowa based photographers are encouraged to submit photos about food, sustainable agriculture or the rural and agricultural environment of eastern Iowa to be included in the slide show. More information and submission requirements are available at www. or at

Iowa City’s farmer market happens twice weekly with vendors and shoppers all abuzz on Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings. This season, certain Saturdays of the month have been especially delicious at market, when Edible Iowa River Valley has been sponsoring local chefs to demo some of their favorite market inspired recipes. The series began in June with Redhead Restaurant’s Kim Zesiger’s turnip greens (Missed it? Kim’s recipe is on line at, under our seasonal recipe feature This Season: Week by Week). Dave Burt of Iowa City’s Red Avocado whipped up some ratatouille in July. On August 11, catch Iowa City’s Devotay restaurant owner, and Edible Iowa River Valley’s Editor in Chief Chef Kurt Michael Friese. September 1 features Iowa City’s Urb Garden founder Derek Roller. All chef demos start at 9:30 a.m. Call 319.356.5210 or email for the latest.

OTHER EVENTS TO MARK THE SEASON Fairfield’s Buy Fresh Buy Local First Friday Art Walk Friday, September 7, 6 - 10 p.m. Fairfield’s Historic Town Square 641.472.2111 2007 Iowa City’s Brewfest Saturday, September 22, 11 a.m. -5 p.m. In Coralville, behind Old Chicago restaurant 319.337.2183

It might be every Thursday that Washington’s town square erupts into a farmers’ market party, but the Washington Smoker/BBQ Challenge only happens once a year—usually just around Father’s Day. Hosted by market master Bob Shephard (see Edible Iowa River Valley Spring 2007 for more about Bob’s market magic), Washingtonians know the best ‘que in town will be at market that day. Washington art gallery owner Craig Swift’s rolled skirt steak with maple syrup infused bacon got the award for Most Imaginative. But, the Grand Prize went to David Haywood of David’s Catering. His barbecued chicken and ribs were rubbed down in a secret spice mixture and marinated over night. Then they were cooked long and slow and with lots of love over a classic Weber grill. His prize? Bragging rights for the best BBQ of all of Washington. Next up, the Washington market’s annual Salsa tasting, which will be at market on August 30. It will be worth a trip into town for. Contact Bob Shepherd at for more details.




farmers markets
According to the Iowa Department of Agriculture, these are but a few of the hundreds of seasonal farmers markets across the state. While space prohibits us from listing them all, you can find all the Iowa famers markets (including a market near you) at the IDA’s searchable directory at Most outdoor markets are open through September/October, or when the first deep frost hits. Remember, market times and locations can change.
Ames Ames Farmers Market North Grand Mall parking lot Wednesdays, 4 – 7 p.m. Saturdays, 8 a.m. – noon Ankeny Ankeny Farmers Market Corner of 3rd and Walnut sts. Wednesdays, 4 – 7 p.m. Atlantic Atlantic Garden Market Cass County Fairgrounds Corner of 10th and Palm Tuesdays, 5 – 7 p.m. Saturdays, 9 – 11 a.m. Bettendorf Bettendorf Farmers Market Eagle Food Center parking lot 2701 Devil’s Glen Rd. Wednesdays, 4 – 8 p.m. Mississippi Valley Growers Assoc. River Dr. at the Western Ave. parking lot, just west of Freight House Wednesdays and Saturdays, 8 a.m. – noon Burlington Riverfront Farmers Market Port of Burlington, 400 Front St. Thursdays, 5 – 8 p.m. Carroll Carroll Farmers Market Westgate Mall Highway 30 and Carroll St. Wednesdays, 4 – 7 p.m. Saturdays, 8 – 11 a.m. Cedar Falls Black Hawk Farmers Market Earl May parking lot at 2501 Melrose Dr. Wednesdays, 2 – 5 p.m. Cedar Falls Farmers Market Overman Park, 3rd St. Saturdays, 8:30 a.m. – noon Cedar Rapids Cedar Rapids City Market Riverside Roundhouse 1350 A St., SW.
32 SUMMER 2007

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. Saturdays, 6:30 – 11:30 a.m. Downtown Farmers Market Second St. SE + Second Ave. SE First Saturday of month 7:30 a.m. – noon Noelridge Farmers Market Collins Rd. and Council St. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 4 – 6 p.m. Coralville Coralville Farmers Market Morrison Park Swimming pool parking lot Mondays and Thursdays, 5 – 8 p.m. Davenport River City Market Association John O’Donnel Stadium parking lot at Gaines St. and River Dr. Wednesdays and Saturdays, 8.a.m. – 1 p.m. Decorah Winneshiek Farmers Market City Park Wednesdays, 3 – 6 p.m. Saturdays, 8 – 11 a.m. Denison Denison Farmers Market Highway 30 and 7th St. Thursdays, 3 – 7 p.m. Des Moines Downtown Des Moines Farmers Market 4th and Court aves. Saturdays, 7 a.m. – noon Drake Neighborhood Market 1st Christian Church 25th and University sts. Wednesdays, 4 – 7 p.m. Highland Park Farmers Market 6th Ave. btw Euclid and Douglas Tuesdays, 5 – 8 p.m. Dubuque Dubuque Main Street Around City Hall at Iowa and 13th St. Saturdays, 7 a.m. – noon

Dubuque Westside Farmers Market Dubuque County Fairgrounds Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3 – 6 p.m. Emmetsburg Gardeners’ Farmers Market Courthouse Square (north side) Thursdays, 1 – 6 p.m. Saturdays, 8 a.m. – noon Estherville Estherville Farmers Market 409 Central Ave. Thursdays, 5 p.m.-7 p.m. Saturdays, 8 a.m.-11 a.m. Fairfield Fairfield Farmers Market Howard Park Wednesdays, 3:30 – 7 pm Saturdays, 8 a.m.- 1 pm Fort Dodge Fort Dodge Farmers Market Crossroads Mall, NW corner Wednesdays, 2 – 6 p.m. Saturdays, 8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Fort Madison Fort Madison Farmers’ Market Central Park, 9th and Ave. B Thursdays, 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. Grinnell Grinnell Farmers Market Central Park Thursdays, 3 – 6 p.m. Harlan Shelby County Farmers Market 1810 Chatburn Ave. Wednesdays, 3:30 – 6 p.m. Saturdays, 7:45 a.m. – noon Independence Wapsi Mill Farmers Market West side of Wapsipinicon Mill Wednesdays, 3 – 6 p.m. Saturdays, 9 – 11 a.m. Indianola Indianola Farmers Market Highway 92 at fairgrounds west gate Saturdays, 8 a.m. – noon Wednesdays, 2 – 6 p.m.

Iowa City Iowa City Farmers Market Lower level of Chauncey Swan Parking ramp at Washington and Van Buren sts. Wednesdays, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Saturdays, 7:30 – 11:30 a.m. Sycamore Mall Market Sycamore Mall Parking Lot Tuesdays, 3:30 – 6 pm Iowa Falls Iowa Falls Farmers Market River Hills Mall parking lot Oak Ave. Saturdays, 8:30 – 11:30 a.m. Wednesdays, 4 – 7 p.m. Keokuk Keokuk Farmers Market Keosippi Mall parking lot 300 Main St. Saturdays, 7 – 11 a.m. Maquoketa Maquoketa Farmers Market West Platt and South 2nd sts. Saturdays, 7:30 a.m. – noon Marion Marion Farmers Market East End Shopping Center on 7th Ave. between 31st and 35th sts. Wednesdays, 3 – 6 p.m. Saturdays, 8 – 11:30 a.m. Marshalltown Cartwright Pavilion Farmers Market 2nd Ave. and State St. Wednesdays, 4 – 6 p.m. Saturdays, 8 – 11 a.m. Mason City Mason City Farmers Market Southridge Mall lower parking lot 100 South Federal Tuesdays and Fridays, 4 – 6 p.m. Milo Milo Small Town Farmers Market Milo City Park Wednesdays, 5 – 7 p.m. Saturdays, 9 a.m. – noon


Mount Pleasant Mount Pleasant Farmers Market South Side of Town Square Wednesdays, 5 – 6:30 p.m. Saturdays, 8:30 – 11 a.m. Muscatine Muscatine Farmers Market I Corner of Mississippi Dr. and Sycamore St. Saturdays, 7:30 – 11:30 a.m. Muscatine Farmers Market II Muscatine Mall, back parking lot Tuesdays, 4 – 6:30 p.m. Newton Jasper County Farmers Market Courthouse Square Mondays, 3 – 6:30 p.m. Oskaloosa Mahaska Ruritan Farmers Market East side of Town Square Tuesdays, 4 – 6 p.m. Saturdays, 8 – 11 a.m. Ottumwa Ottumwa Farmers Market Church St. Municipal Parking lot Wednesdays, 4 – 7 p.m. Saturdays, 7:30 – 10:30 a.m. Pella Pella Evening Farmers Market City Park, 800 Broadway St. Thursdays, 3 – 6 p.m. Solon Solon Farmers Market Mushroom Park Wednesdays and Fridays, 6 pm Strawberry Point Strawberry Point Farmers Market Parking Lot of Joe’s Pizza Wednesdays, 3 – 5 p.m. Tama - Toledo Tama Farmers Market Tama Civic Center South parking lot Tuesdays, 4:45 – 6:30 p.m. Toledo Farmers Market East side of Courthouse Square Fridays, 4:45 – 6:30 p.m. Tipton Cedar County Farmers Market South of County Courthouse Saturdays, 7:30 – 11 a.m.

Vinton Vinton Farmers Market BCHS Railroad Depot Thursdays, 5 p.m.-7 p.m. Washington Washington Farmers Market I Central Park, Downtown Square Thursdays, 5 – 7:30 p.m. Washington Farmers Market II Orscheln parking lot Sundays, 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. Waterloo Crossroads Farmers Market Crossroads Shopping Center Upper parking lot Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3:30 – 7 p.m. Downtown Waterloo Farmers Market Union Planters Bank parking lot, between East 4th St. and Park Ave. Saturdays, 8 a.m. – noon Waukee Waukee Farmers Market Triangle Park, corner of 6th and Ashworth Wednesdays, 4 – 8 p.m. Wellman Wellman Farmers Market Slockett Park, downtown Wellman Tuesdays, 4 – 6 p.m. West Branch West Branch Farmers Market 120 North First St. Fridays, 4:30 – 6 p.m. West Burlington Farm King Farmers Market Farm King parking lot Wednesdays and Saturdays, 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. West Liberty West Liberty Farmers Market 300 block of Spencer St. Saturdays, 8 – 10 a.m. West Union West Union Farmers Market North side of Courthouse Square Saturdays, 7:30 – 9:30 a.m.







edible endeavors
Johnson County Local Food Alliance: When Was The Last Time You Were This Close To Your Food?
In December, 2004 a small group of about 20 farmers, restaura- and a special salsa-making event for kids at the Johnson County teurs, University of Iowa students, consumers and others interest- Fairgrounds. Visit the JCLFA website for a full event schedule. ed in local food leaders met in Iowa City to talk about bringing Johnson County Local Food Alliance a Buy Fresh Buy Local chapter to Iowa City. They also discussed PO Box 93 additional ways to foster a broader vision for sustainable agriculIowa City, IA 52244 ture, local food and environmental stewardship for Johnson 319.621.3009 and its surrounding counties. This meeting was the genesis of the Johnson County Local Food Alliance ( JCLFA), which was officially incorporated in 2006. Edible Endeavors is our way of recNow, JCLFA’s mission is to assist farmers, business peoognizing some of Iowa’s non-profits ple, consumers and related organizations to work together and organizations that foster and cooperatively to foster local, sustainable food commerce in support Iowa’s local food system. Each Johnson and surrounding counties and to conduct outreach issue, Edible Iowa River Valley is proud and education with the general public. To do this JCLFA has a to use this space to feature an organization set of commitments for its members to endorse, including: so you can learn more about what they do, and how to assist these • Supporting local farmers and the people and businesses who amazing efforts. Subscribe to Edible Iowa River Valley now, and we buy from them will make a donation to our featured Edible Endeavor. If you know • Supporting local farmers and businesses who are good stewards of an organization that is an Edible Endeavor and supports Iowa’s for the environment and natural resources unique food culture, please let us know at • Supporting food democracy by building a fair and just food system, accessible by all • Supporting ethical business practices including responsible animal husbandry • Supporting community based agriculture and a community based organization. In its brief history, the Johnson County Local Food Alliance has emerged as a leader in local food and sustainable agricultural issues for Central and Eastern Iowa. JCLFA has coordinated over 30 businesses and farmers to participate in the Johnson/ Linn Buy Fresh Buy Local campaign and be part of the regional directory. It has hosted the first of what will become an annual Johnson County Local Food Summit to harness community resources and foster sustainable food systems in the area. And, it is involved in the University of Iowa Sustainable Food Systems Project to develop a five year strategic plan for installing sustainable food system indicators at the University. In addition, to all these activities, the Johnson County Local Food Alliance also organizes Iowa City’s annual Field to Family Festival which promotes local food, healthy farms, good eating in Johnson, Linn and surrounding counties. This year’s Field to Family Festival will be held September 6-9 and will include a culinary walk featuring local food at some of Iowa City’s best restaurants, a film screening at Iowa City’s Englert Theate, a community potluck and agro-environmental fair at Solon’s ZJ Farm EDIBLE IOWA RIVER VALLEY SUMMER 2007 35

where to find our advertisers and edible iowa river valley
Anamosa Daly Creek Winery 106 North Ford Street 319.462.2525 Baldwin Tabor Home Vineyards & Winery 3570 67th Street 563.673.3131 Bankston Park Farm Winery 15159 Thielen Road 563.557.3727 Burlington Burlington Convention & Visitors Bureau River Park Place, 610 N 4th Street 319.208.0045 The Drake Restaurant 106 Washington Street 319. 754.1036 Martini’s Grille/Food Guru U. 610 N. 4th Street, Suite 400 319.752.6262 Coralville Iowa City Coralville Convention & Visitors Bureau 900 1st Avenue 319.337.6592 New Pioneer Food Co-op 1101 2nd Street 319. 358.5513 Davenport Design Ranch at the Figge Museum 225 West Second Street 563.326.7804 Decorah Winneshiek Wildberry Winery 1966 337th Street 563.735.5809 Des Moines Greater Des Moines Convention & Visitors Bureau 400 Locust Street, Suite 265 515.699.3433
36 SUMMER 2007

River Bend Trading Company 208 Court Street 515.229.9094 Fairfield Café Paradiso 607 W. Broadway 641.472.0856 Fairfield Buy Fresh Buy Local 1805 W. Jefferson 641.472.6177 www.FairfieldBuyFreshBuyLocal.Com Fairfield Visitors’ Bureau 204 W. Broadway 641.472.2111 Revelations Bookstore and Café 112 N. Main Street 641.472.6733 Stephen Sondheim Center for the Performing Arts 200 N Main Street 641.472.2000 Ft. Madison Ivy Bake Shoppe 6th Street at Avenue G 319.372.9939 Grinnell Phoenix Café and Inn 834 Park Street 641.236.3657 Iowa City Devotay 117 North Linn Street 319.354.1001 Design Ranch 701 E. Davenport Ave 319.354.2623 The Englert Theater 221 East Washington Street 319.688.2653 Graze 115 E. College Street Hancher Auditorium The University of Iowa 231 Hancher Auditorium 319.335.1160

HotelVetro 201 S. Linn Street 319. 592. 0355 Iowa City Farmers Market Lower Level Chauncey Swan Parking Ramp 319. 356.5210 Johnson County Historical Trust PO Box 2523 319.857.4741 John’s Grocery 401 E. Market Street 319.337.2183 Lammer’s Construction 35 Imperial Court 319.354.595 New Pioneer Food Co-op 22 South Van Buren 319.338.9441 Old Capitol Brewworks and Public House 525 S Gilbert Street 319.337.3422 Prairie Table 223 E. Washington Street 319.337.3325 Riverside Theatre 213 N. Gilbert 319.338.7672 Leighton Tassel Ridge Vineyard 1681 220th Street 641.672.9463 Lisbon Sutliff Cider Company 382 Sutliff Road 319.455.4093 Marengo Fireside Winery 1755 P Avenue (V. 77) 319.662.4222 Marquette Eagles Landing Winery 127 North Street 563.873.2509

Mt. Vernon Lincoln Café 117 1st. Street West Lincoln Wine Bar 125 1st Street West 319.895.9463 Muscatine Green’s Tea & Coffee 208 W 2nd St 563.263.5043 Newton Jasper Winery 518 W 3rd St N 641.792.7022 Solon Redhead 240 E. Main Street 319.624.5230 www.BoldBeautifulFood.Com Springville Inn Springville 258 Broadway 319.854.7097 Lena’s Pumpkin Patch 835 Bolton Manor Road 319.854.7097 Washington Café Dodici 122 S.Iowa Avenue 319.653.4012 Waterloo Rudy’s Tacos 2410 Falls Drive 319.234.5686 West Branch Scattergood Friends School 1951 Delta Avenue 319.643.7600 Wallace Winery 5305 Herbert Hoover Highway, NE 319.643.3000 West Burlington Ivy Bake Shoppe in Shottenkirk Superstore 309 S.Gear Avenue 319.752.4981


Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful