Try & Buy Farm-Fresh Foods at Sunday’s Farm Crawl

After we cut it and it was too heavy for 1 man to lift, we were sad we didn't let it keep growing.

With more than 30 varieties, you’ll find everything from mini to giant pumpkins at Enchanted Acres in Sheffield.

Nothing compares to tomatoes or watermelon ripened on the vine. Baked apples and pumpkin butter taste better when made from scratch, using locally grown products. Fresh baked bread, rolls and muffins don’t even need butter to make them taste better.

Get a taste of wholesome goodness for yourself! Franklin County Iowa is hosting its 2nd Annual Fresh on the Farm event, Sunday, Sept. 28, from noon to 6 PM. Sample homegrown foods as you ramble across the county side, stopping at these three host farms: Enchanted Acres, Carlson Learning Tree Lodge and Koenigs Acres.

“Fresh on the Farm is a series of free, on- farm tours that provide the public an opportunity to meet local farmers, learn about their farms, sample the foods they grow and purchase their products,” says Jan Libby, coordinator, Healthy Harvest of North Iowa. “Each farm will have products for sale, so visitors are encouraged to pack a cooler and shop along the route.”

Consumers are invited to shop the route in any order they please as this is a “come and go” event. Each host site will feature additional local producers:

    1. Carlson Tree Farm, 867 130th Street, Hampton. Dennis and Cathy Carlson owners.Sample and buy fresh chickens, eggs, aronia berries, grilled goat and bison meat. Try whole wheat buns and flour made from Carlson’s homegrown wheat. Talk to an ostrich grower about how healthy the meat is. Buy and sample fresh in season vegetables and fruit with another local grower. Ask about their CSA gardens. View the tree farm and Learning Tree Lodge. There will baby goats for the kids to pet and whether goats for sale. Be sure to buy Cathy’s fresh, delicious sugar cookies!
    2. Enchanted Acres, 1017 250th Street, Sheffield. Shannon Latham, owner.Enchanted Acres creates magical experiences for the whole family! Enjoy our entertaining goats, rabbits and chickens. Our playground offers endless entertainment. Crunch through the leaves as you walk through trails in our woods. Most of all, be sure to pick your own pumpkins! More than 30 varieties of specialty pumpkins were planted this spring. Pumpkin decorating classes will be offered. Plus, winemakers from Train Wreck Winery will be on hand to offer samples. We’ll also be featuring HenCliff Honey. You’ll have the opportunity to sample and buy bread, dip mixes, homemade jams plus fresh pumpkin butter and apple butter. We’ll also offer an array of fresh produce for sale including apples, spaghetti squash and various baking squashes. Be sure to reserve your locally farm-raised chickens, which will be ready in about 4 weeks.
    3. Koenig’s Acres, 1510 110th Street, Hampton. Matt and Karen Koenig, owners.Check out what Matt intends to raise in the stock tanks. Find out which farmers markets Karen attends. Tour the gardens and sample the Koenigs’ produce. Townsend Winery will also be on-site with samples and wine to purchase. Emily Pfaltzgraf will have bison meat to sample and buy. There will also be fresh chickens, honey, jam, and in-season produce for sale. Be sure to ask about Karen’s CSA and how you can be part of it!


“Fresh on the Farm in Franklin County” is sponsored in part by Healthy Harvest of North Iowa, Iowa State University Extension and Franklin County Tourism.

After eating your way around the county and buying fresh produce, you might be feeling adventurous enough to try some new recipes. My new favorite lunch recipe is the Apple Orchard Panini from the Iowa Girl Eats blog. I make it with my homemade apple butter and top it with Provolone since there’s not a Trader Joe’s nearby.

This fall I’m planning to make Crockpot Pumpkin Chili. I’m intrigued by this recipe for Butternut Squash Lasagna, but I’m not sure my kids will actually eat it. (Guess there’s only one way to find out!) Donna Aldinger’s Squash & Sausage Soup is another favorite dish for this time of year. Plus, Katie Olthoff’s Lemon Garlic Turkey Rotini with Zucchini is fun to say and equally fitting for the fall season!

Today I’m going to share with you another fittingly fall, one-dish recipe that my friend Sue made when we visited her family. (She served it with the best Wheat Blueberry Bread.) What’s your favorite way to enjoy fall flavors? I’d love it if you’d share a recipe with me, too!

Zucchini Delight



  • 1 pound cooked ground pork, drained
  • 1½ pounds zucchini slices (par boiled)
  • 2 cups diced potatoes, cooked
  • 8 oz. Velveeta cheese, diced
  • 1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • ½ cup milk
  • Durkee’s Friend Onion rings



  1. In a 2½ quart casserole dish, layer browned meat, zucchini, potatoes and cheese.
  2. Mix soup and milk; pour over layered ingredients.
  3. Top with fried onions or buttered bread crumbs
  4. Bake at 350° for about 1 hour.