What a beautiful day to drive to Iowa, fall was certainly in the air with 45 degree temperatures.
I had numerous conversations and eventually received an application from Jason and Angela Johnson from Derby, Iowa; 155 miles from Kansas City. I am required to visit all vendor’s farms prior to anyone selling at the City Market and wanted to get make sure I did not hold them up in case they wanted to start this fall. The Johnson's bought their 20 acre farm two years ago and started raising “Large Black Pigs”, which is the breed originating in Britain. This particular breed is rare and produces a dense low fat product and has a different taste than other pork. The Johnson's are all about their animals being free range, these were some very content pigs. The chickens, pigs, sheep, geese, angora goats, brown cows, quail and guard lama have the run of the 20 acres and make their way back to the shelter of the barns at night. At which time the dogs protect them from any predators. Jason and Angela currently sell at the Des Moines farmers market and a local co-op and plan to sell at the Sunday farmers market in Kansas City early next year. There are a lot of requirements for selling meat at a farmers market since it is a potentially hazardous product and in their case all the meat must be processed in Missouri, this is a state law. The Johnson's will be selling meat from their livestock, and possible lye soap made from products from their farm. To learn more about Lucky George Farm farm visit their web site at www.luckygeorgefarm.com which is a very interesting read.
Since I was already in Iowa I thought it would be a good time to visit Mai Lee and Roger Lee in Lenox. The Lee’s have been vendors at the Sunday Farmers market since 2012; they sell at an Iowa market on Saturdays. Their crops have really started to wind down; flowers, okra, squash and some greens were all that were really left. I am sure they are about done for this year; you have to have a lot of produce to justify the drive. I must say they had some really happy ducks hanging around enjoying a dip in a puddle.
My farm visits are winding down for this year but I still have a few to check here and there. Just a reminder the City Market is open year round; we have vendors at the Market every weekend.