WEST BRANCH, Iowa — The Sustainable Iowa Land Trust (SILT), a statewide nonprofit that works with landowners to permanently dedicate their land to table food and market farming, will host a virtual showcase of Buffalo Ridge Orchard, a Central City, Iowa-based farm, on March 9.
The showcase is designed to help Iowa landowners and heirs to land who are interested in learning about food crops that grow well in Iowa.
Vern and Mary Zahradnik, founders of Buffalo Ridge Orchard, will share their experiences growing their farm and what it is has been like to usher in the next generation to operate it, as well as answer questions from attendee’s about their farm. The showcase will also provide information to attendees about how to permanently protect farmland as a sustainable food farm.
Some of the information will speak directly to SILT’s “An Iowa Landowners Guide to Sustainable Food Crops,” published in 2020. Available in print and online, it provides crop options to Iowa landowners interested in diversifying their income, reducing expenses and improving Iowa’s water and air quality. Attendees will get a free print copy of the guide in the mail and priority scheduling for a rural land consultation with SILT’s farm specialist, Joe Klingelhutz.
The 56-page, full-color guide is intended to aid rural Iowa landowners who can envision planting fruit and nut trees for the future, help launch new vegetable or livestock farmer careers, or guide those experimenting with edible perennials on their farms or acreages.
“Sometimes landowners and heirs may not know all of the food their land wants to grow or they may be looking for something new,” said Suzan Erem, SILT executive director. “In Iowa, it’s easy to forget that our soils and land can grow more than just corn and soybeans. That’s where our expertise comes in. We want to provide people with the best information and resources available to not only grow table food that is right for their soil and land, but to be able to protect their land for future generations of farmers.”
Registration to participate is currently available here https://silt.org/buffalo-ridge-virtual-showcase/. Access to “An Iowa Landowners Guide to Sustainable Food Crops” is available here https://silt.org/cropbook/
ABOUT SILT: The Sustainable Iowa Land Trust was launched in 2015 to preserve land for nature-friendly fruit, vegetable and livestock production. By protecting land for sustainable food farming, SILT increases the amount of fresh, ripe food in the Midwest; permanently improves water and soil quality; rebuilds our rural economy; mitigates climate change; increases our independence from global forces; reduces the cost of land for farmers and increases diversity in our agricultural economy.
–Sustainable Iowa Land Trust