Grace is the owner of her fresh produce business, Canaan Produce. Grace began this family-run business just last year after years of working in her own "backyard" garden. She explained how she discovered her passion and after some help from her family, she decided to turn her hobby into a career.
The farm mainly focuses on growing tomatoes (which are just getting into season!) They grow multiple types including, Better Boys, Yellow Pear, Jet Star and Sun Sugar Cherry tomatoes. In addition to their fabulous tomatoes... they also grow peppers, herbs, carrots, cauliflower, sweet corn, potatoes, zucchini and more.
Canaan Produce makes use of high tunnel (also known as high hoop) gardening: a temporary shelter that provides protection for crops that could be easily damaged by our harsh Iowa springs. This system extends the gardening season and allows crops to mature earlier in their season. Veggies grown in high hoops are also less prone to pests and are in general happier because they are provided with a more stable environment.
With all these glorious local veggies being produced you may ask where you can get your share. Canaan Produce sells at a few local farmers markets; such as both Mt. Pleasant markets. Grace has also sold at locations in New London and Mt. Union.
As of this season, the business is not USDA certified organic but Graced explained that they do raise all their produce organically. Which means their vegetables are not only "farm fresh" but also are not treated with any additional chemicals. All washing, packaging and storing are also done on site for the best quality; and all harvesting is done just a few hours before markets begin.
Grace hopes over the next few years to expand her market in multiple ways: she plans to add additional rows to her current crops and build a second high tunnel for next season. This past season she planted strawberries but since strawberries take a couple seasons before fully developing fruit, they won't be ready until the following season. Just another thing to look forward to from this new and growing business!
Canaan Produce may be a fairly new business but it is has definitely hit the ground running. With high hopes for the following years and dedication this vegetable business is sure to expand and create a major impact in its local communities.
Keep checking in for updates on local "foodie" events and for more information on how you can buy, live and eat local! If you were interested in this post, checkout the links articles below from our other recent farm visits. And, for a more specific search, click on the "Find Local Food" tab in the top menu bar.