WEST BRANCH, Iowa — As part of the Sustainable Iowa Land Trust’s new series, “Small Farm Summer Open House,” the statewide nonprofit is hosting its next event from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Saturday to give Iowans an opportunity to get to know the neighbors who are growing food for their communities.
The free event at Bee Haven Farm, 4701 120th St in Solon, invites the public to see table-food farmers in their native habitat – on the farm! There, attendees will enjoy food and drink, a goat grazing demonstration by Emery Davis and live music by local favorites Pigs and Clover. The afternoon will also include a “Protecting Your Farm for the Future” information and Q&A session at 4:00 p.m. on legal options and tax incentives for permanent farm protection. Honey produced on the farm will be available for purchase.
Small Farm Summer Open House events are made possible through a $175,000 U.S. Department of Agriculture grant, which was awarded to SILT in 2021. The investment allows the organization to promote and host 24 farm-based events over three years across rural Iowa. Open houses include tours and unique events on each farm from cooking demonstrations to land histories and kid-friendly activities. Visitors also receive information about the many ways preserving table food farms on Iowa’s landscape make Iowa a better place to live.
“This next generation of farmers needs all the help it can get rebuilding our local and regional food system,” said SILT Community Engagement Specialist Suzan Erem. “We’re asking farmers to be experts in growing multiple crops, then professional marketers and delivery drivers. This project will help them build a market that comes right to their farms. And customers love visiting these kinds of farms!”
–Sustainable Iowa Land Trust