The Marshalltown Community College Agricultural Center will be one of many stops on the Third Annual Farm Ramble this September.
This year five area farms and a restaurant will play host to this year's Harvest from the Heart of Iowa Farm Tour, an "open house" for visitors with an interest in sampling and/or purchasing local produce. The event will take place from noon to 6 p.m. Sept. 15. Visitors will have the opportunity to experience the MCC Agricultural Center and tour Scott Monroe Gardens, one of the community gardens on campus. This event is made possible through the partnership between the citizen group, Harvest from the Heart of Iowa local food network and Practical Farmers of Iowa.
"It's the peak of harvest time and despite the lack of rain, fruits and vegetables are abundant this year," said Sally Wilson, MCC Entrepreneurial Agriculture professor and Co-chair for Harvest from the Heart of Iowa. Wilson says the goal is to help farmers meet their customers and also help customers gain access to fresh, delicious, and healthy local produce.
There will be six stops on this year’s farm ramble, including the Marshalltown Community College Agricultural Center. Garrett Caryl, left, and Rebecca Lamb unload a cooler at last year’s Farm Ramble. Last year Caryl was a speaker and brought samples of bacon for visitors.
Harvest from the Heart of Iowa is a local food network that focuses on developing local food opportunities for both growers and consumers within a 30-mile radius of Marshalltown. This includes folks in Marshall, Tama, Poweshiek, Story and Grundy counties. This farm tour is a chance for a slow, intimate visit at the various farms and Relish Restaurant in Grinnell.
There will be samples of products and items for sale. The College Ag Center will be serving Berkwood Farms hot dogs (produced in central Iowa), with a smorgasbord of toppings made from local ingredients. These will include zucchini relish, homemade catsup, chili, cheeses, coleslaw and more. A donation of $3 is suggested for a hot dog and an iced tea. Guests can also expect to observe on-farm research at some locations.
The locations include: Midwest Center for Entrepreneurial Agriculture and Scott Monroe Gardens at MCC, 3600 S. Center St., Marshalltown; Appleberry Farm, 2402 W. Main St., Marshalltown; Dusty Hill Farm, 2026 Hart Ave., State Center; Middle Way Farm at the Grin City Collective, 3633 Hwy 146, Grinnell; Compass Plant Farm, 2039 Penrose St., Grinnell; Relish Restaurant, 834 Park St., Grinnell.
"This event is not to be missed," Wilson said. "You won't have food this delicious and fresh again until next summer. We look forward to seeing many of you at the Ramble."