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Farming flavors

By Staff | Oct 9, 2009

Skyler Lee, son of Dennis and Camille Lee, of Mason City, goes fills his plate at the Taste of the Farm meal served at the North Iowa Fairgrounds. Serving the food is Holly Briggs, Mary Larsen, Gracka Gruis and Jan Flaten.

By CLAYTON RYE

Farm News staff writer

MASON CITY – We have heard many times that “the proof is in the pudding.” However, for the approximately 60 people attending the Taste of the Farm meal, sponsored by the growers and promoters of locally grown food, the proof was in the produce.

The meal was served at the North Iowa Fairgrounds at noon Saturday and the menu was pork loin with a hot pepper glaze, Italian sausage ratatouille, vegetarian ratatouille, roasted potatoes and carrots, winter squash gratin, foccacia rolls, spicy crackers, fruits, vegetables plus homemade baked goods and apple cider.

It was prepared by Gracka Gruis, who owns American Espresso Coffee Cafe, of Garner.

The event was coordinated by Jan Libbey who operates One Step at a Time Gardens, of Kanawha, and Mark Schutt, of the Prairie Winds Resource Conservation & Development, of Garner.

Libbey spoke briefly about the advantages of locally grown food in its freshness and support of local growers. Schutt told of the cooperation between local growers and Prairie Winds RC&D, part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, serving the counties of Cerro Gordo, Franklin, Winnebago, Worth and Wright.

Following the meal a small group of people, including state Reps. Linda Upmeyer, R-Garner, and Sharon Steckman, D-Mason City; and state Sen. Amanda Ragan, D-Mason City, traveled to Stillwater Greenhouse of Orchard, Sugar Creek Farm, of Osage, and Tim Bluhm, of rural Charles City, to learn more about locally grown food from those producers.

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