IDALS: Fall is time for visiting fruit farms
DES MOINES (IDALS) – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey encouraged Iowans on Oct,. 2 to get out and enjoy Iowa apples, pumpkins and other fall produce by visiting one of the many farms that sell directly to consumers or at the local farmers market. Timely rains and a warm September have helped produce a plentiful apple and pumpkin crop in Iowa.
“Iowa has apple and pumpkin farms located all across the state and now is the time to get out and enjoy them,” Northey said. “By visiting a local apple orchard or pumpkin patch, you’ll not only come away with the freshest locally grown produce, but you will help support these hard working Iowans and give them the chance to showcase their farm.”
There are more than 900 acres of apple trees in the state comprised of dozens of great varieties. Orchards are located throughout the state. Visiting a local orchard is a great way to find new varieties that may not be available in a grocery store. Ask to try a sample and be adventurous.
Pumpkin production has nearly tripled in the last 3 decades to well over 900 acres at last count.
In addition to family fun carving a jack-o-lantern, pumpkins are also an extremely versatile ingredient in cooking.
Pumpkins make great pies, casseroles and soups. Pumpkin seeds and flowers can also be cooked and enjoyed.
Many farms with apples or pumpkins also offer great family activities such as hay rack rides, corn mazes and the opportunity to pick your own apples or pumpkins.
A list of apple growers and pumpkin patches can be found on the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s directory at: www.idalsdata.org/fmnp/index.cfm
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