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Bounty Box Briefing
Week 9 - Pick-up on July 24

Meet Our Producers ... Stories From the Field
by Jan Libbey
A Farmers’ Support is Necessary
Our farmer story this week is not about one of our farmers, but about a non profit connecting and educating in support of North Iowa local food farmers and the overall local food system. The USDA “Running a Food Hub: Learning from Food Hub Closures” (something NIF wants to stay far away from) lists six key lessons for success. Number 4 is “Focus on Your Strengths and Find Partners for the Rest." The document describes the importance of partnerships in filling the myriad of gaps in the local and regional food system. Food hubs that have attempted to fill those gaps themselves have often been overwhelmed by the demands. North Iowa Fresh is fortunate to have Healthy Harvest active in our region. This partnership is one of the assets in NIF’s tool box.
A food hub, as defined by the USDA, is “a centrally located facility with a business management structure facilitating the aggregation, storage, processing, distribution, and/or marketing of locally/regionally produced food products. North Iowa Fresh fits this definition.

Healthy Harvest began in 2011 to help cultivate a local food network. Many farmers in North Iowa Fresh got to know each other through Healthy Harvest activities such as winter workshops. The conversation about farmers working together collaboratively started with a 2012 workshop Healthy Harvest organized. It was a subsequent project of Healthy Harvest in 2013 that began the very early exploration of online sales that today has blossomed into the Bounty Box Build Your Own Box and A-La-Carte options.

It is Healthy Harvest’s leadership in a Farm to School grant that is motivating several school districts to add locally grown produce to their menu. North Iowa Fresh has recently been selected by the Mason City school district to supply their local ingredients this fall. Just last week NIF producers were confirming that crops the school has ordered will be ready when and in the quantities requested.

NIF and other local food businesses have been directly impacted by the heightened awareness of and support for local food that Healthy Harvest is generating. This feature is particularly timely as they are hosting Bites & Brews this Thursday, July 25 in Mason City as a celebration of their impact on the local food movement.
The Summer Newsletter highlights the many activities going on thanks to Healthy Harvest. As a Bounty Box subscriber, you support North Iowa Fresh producers by buying their food. You can support North Iowa’s local food system by attending Bites and Brews and becoming a Healthy Harvest of North Iowa member.

Note: Pictured above are  Mark Hopple (Produce Manager at Hy-Vee W in Mason City, Jessica Baldus (Owner/Chef of Taste in Osage and Lora Jenson (recently retired Food Services Director at Clear Lake School District) while participating in local buyers panel at The Gathering (local food conference in 2018).

For details about this and other great local events visit:
The Cart is Open Weekly, Thursday to Monday, for Build Your Own Boxes & A-La-Carte here to log in.
In This Week's Box

Candy Onion
Green and Yellow Beans
Sweet Corn
Yellow Squash
Preservation Tip of the Week

Try preserve green beans for winter enjoyment with at least one of the following methods: canning, freezing, dehydrating, or fermenting.

Find our how  at
Garlic Green Beans with Parm.

1 pound (500 g) green beans,washed and pat dry
2 tablespoons olive oil or canola oil
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic(6 cloves garlic)
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
1/4 cup parmesan cheese

For Directions go to
Summer Corn Salad

6 ears of corn, shucked
1/2 cup finely diced onion
1 cup diced tomatoes
3 tablespoons cider or red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup julienned fresh basil leaves

For Directions go to Mel'
Coming Soon...

Broccoli, Peppers (various colors), Potatoes

p.s. All past newsletters are available at
Contact Andrea at or 319-325-4222

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North Iowa Fresh · 1465 120th St. · Kanawha, IA 50447 · USA

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