By Jan Swinton
Barbara Stone is the manager of the Maharishi Vedic City Greenhouses at 2037 – 140th St., Fairfield, IA. The largest is 2 acres, and the first of its size to be constructed in Iowa. The climate controlled, automated, vaulted plastic top opens on each of the east-facing slopes to allow for the prevailing Iowa winds to carry out some of the summer heat. Winter cold is buffered with a low tunnel system that covers greens, root crops and flowers that are grown all year.
The greenhouse is a major supplier of fresh, certified organic produce in Iowa. The facility has a large walk-in cooler that is used to store produce before delivery or pick-up, for the regional retail and restaurant markets. Produce is picked very early the day of delivery; larger orders the day before. This farm crawl is a rare opportunity to visit a wholesale greenhouse operation in Iowa. It is an interesting place to watch vegetables grow, and talk with gardeners about organic practices.
This wholesale vegetable growing operation is one of 6 stops on the Hometown Harvest “Savor the Flavor” Farm Crawl set for Sunday, September 9, from noon to 6pm. You are welcome to tour any of these farms in any order on that day. Maps of the whole route are available at each farm, and at the Fairfield Hy-Vee & Everybody’s Whole Foods. For more information, please call the Hometown Harvest office at 641-472-6177.