Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

September 11, 2012

Farm Crawl 2012 to visit south Marion and north Lucas County

Daily Iowegian

CENTERVILLE — The sixth annual Farm Crawl is coming soon. Tour eight independent family farms in south-central Iowa as they jointly host open houses Sunday, Oct. 7 from 11 a.m.– 5 p.m. Enjoy a leisurely autumn day “crawling” from farm to farm.  

Come visit south Marion County/north Lucas County (one hour south of Des Moines) to see each of our individual operations. Tour the farms, visit the animals, meet the farmers, sample the goodies, opportunities to purchase locally grown and produced products, and lots of fun in the beautiful Iowa countryside as you drive yourself from farm to farm. At several of the host farms will be guest area businesses and farms that produce fiber/yarn, artisan beer, honey, pastry, wine and pork.  Entrance to all of the farms is free (admission is charged to the corn maze at Dan-D Farms).

Sponsorship from Practical Farmers of Iowa  for each of our six years is greatly appreciated!

Visit the Farm Crawl web site at for more details, maps and directions.  No pets — for the safety of our farm animals and guests, please leave your animals at home.  The eight farms include:

• Blue Gate Farm (Jill Beebout and Sean Skeehan) — Certified Naturally Grown, chemical-free produce, pastured eggs, and honey bees benefit our CSA and markets.  Sample homemade jams, jellies and honey; guided tours of the production gardens and season-extending high tunnels.  Guests: Peace Tree Brewing Co. (Knoxville), Aunt Louise’s Cinnamon Rolls (Russell) and Still Waters Fiber Farm (Pleasantville).  Homemade cookies and herb lemonade available.

• Coyote Run Farm (Matt Russell and Patrick Standley) — A 110 acre farm being rebuilt to profitability through relational marketing and sustainable agriculture with chemical-free produce and cut flowers, pastured poultry and eggs, hormone-free/grass-fed and grain-fed beef and mules. Self-tour the farm and high tunnel. Live music by Matthew Jonn. Complimentary borscht and dessert served throughout the day.

• Crooked Gap Farm (Ethan and Rebecca Book) — A good representation of contemporary homesteading, the Books started their farm on a 40 acre piece, with no buildings, that had been fallow fields and timber for many years.  They built a house and outbuildings and now raise grass-fed Dexter cattle, heritage breed pigs, and lambs.  During Farm Crawl they will have their meats available for sale.  Blacksmith demonstrations throughout the day.

• Dan-D Farms (Dan Dennison and family) — 18 acre corn maze with the design celebrating the United States, racing pigs, barn yard animals, hay rides, giant slide and pick-your-own pumpkins.  Guest: Wee Bee Apiary and Farm (Knoxville).  Refreshments available.

• Pierce’s Pumpkin Patch (John and Joy Pierce) — Thousands of different pumpkins, squashes, gourds, decorative corn and a shop full of Halloween celebration décor. Enjoy brisket or pork sandwiches, jumbo hotdogs and all the fixings.

• Reichert’s Dairy Air (Lois and Jack Reichert) — A small goat herd, micro-dairy with custom built milking barn and cheese-making plant.  Sample several varieties of delicious, award-winning, artisan cheeses and see the goat herd. Guests: Grape Escape Winery (Pleasantville) and The Stamps Family Farm (heritage pork from Chariton).

• Schneider Orchard (Arnie and Jane Schneider) — Stroll through the orchard, Enjoy fresh fruit pie ala-mode, apple crisp and caramel apples. Tractor wagon rides for kids through the orchard. Chariton FFA will be doing games and activities for the kids. We will have rope making demonstrations plus Pipers Candies will be on the grounds with special treats. Something for everyone.

• White Breast Pottery and Weaving  (Sharon Seuferer and Carol Oliver) — Visitors will see how local clay, from beneath the waters of White Breast Creek, is used in making pottery that reflects the area.  View the beautiful loom-woven rugs made onsight. Visit a herd of miniature horses. Pottery, broom-making and loom demonstrations. Live music and refreshments. Guest: Marlys Sowers, basket weaving.