We will be having a field day with the help of the Savanna Institute on Saturday, July 20, from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm. We are limiting this to just 50 people. The field day is free, but you do need to pre-register at: https://savannainstitute1.wufoo.com/forms/zwti6jv0ecrq7g/ .
During the afternoon we will be touring the groves of chestnut trees, pawpaws, American persimmons, Asian pears, heartnuts and much more. We will also discuss how we market using you-pick for our fruit and nuts. We will not be talking about our tree nursery or how to raise trees (that is a field day in itself). Part of the afternoon will be spent discussing the damage our trees took with the recent
volatile weather and our plans for replanting dead or dying trees.
This will be a relaxed, low key field day with lots of time for questions and answers and touring the groves. Feel free to contact us with your questions but head to the Savanna Institutes website to register at https://savannainstitute1.wufoo.com/forms/zwti6jv0ecrq7g/. – Kathy Dice
This was posted June 28th, We have now closed the Raspberry patch for the year.
We have a bumper crop of black raspberries this year. We are offering them to you-pick customers for $3.00/pound. If we pick them, they are $10.00/pound.
Tom started mowing paths around the berry patches back in May. Now there is a network of paths in our “wild” woods edged with wild black raspberries. This is rough ground. In some places there are stalks of plants sticking up or munched up thorns from Honey Locust on the paths. There are mosquitoes and black flies. There are also lots and lots of berries. Two customers the morning of June 28 casually picked 5 1/2 pounds in about two hours. You will need to
bring your own boxes, but you can drive up close to where the paths start.
If you are interested in picking, contact us. We will try to schedule you so you have a huge area all to yourself. You can call 319-729-5905 or email email@example.com .
Practical Farmers of Iowa has been working with Red Fern Farm to put together a full-day chestnut workshop. This workshop will cover all aspects of chestnut production and marketing in the Midwest and will be held at the Iowa Arboretum, Madrid, Iowa, on February 2, 2019, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Topics will include site selection, planting and tree management, varietal recommendations, grafted versus seedling trees, harvesting and curing, marketing, and financial resources.
Chestnuts are a valuable nut crop that can be grown in a low-input, chemical free agroforestry system that includes permanent ground cover. Depending on soil types, they can be an excellent crop for land designated as highly erodible. Seedling chestnut trees of superior genetics can begin bearing nuts after 3 – 4 years on a good site and with good management. At 12 – 15 years they can produce 3,000 or more pounds per acre. In Iowa, chestnuts wholesale for an average of $2.30/pound.
The profit potential of chestnuts has encouraged the planting of chestnut groves throughout much of Iowa. Roger Smith, manager and owner of Prairie Grove Chestnut Growers, buys and sells chestnuts. In 2018 he sorted, bagged and sold over 84,000 pounds of chestnuts grown in Iowa, Missouri and Illinois. He sees no end to the market potential of chestnuts and plans to plant an additional 20 acres of chestnut trees to his existing chestnut groves.
Speakers will include Roger Smith, Tom Wahl of Red Fern Farm, Aaron Wright District Forester with the Iowa DNR and Mike Gold, Associate Director of the Center for Agroforestry – University of Missouri. Preregistration is required and costs $10 to $60 depending on membership in Practical Farmers of Iowa. For more information, or to register, visit https://form.jotform.com/tamsyn/pfi-chestnut-workshop or call Debra at Practical Farmers of Iowa at (515) 232-5661.
We will be updating our website as to what trees will be available for purchase in 2019 around the end of November, 2018. At that time we will know what our seed supply looks like for chestnuts, heartnuts, pecans, pawpaws, and persimmons. Also in November we count the trees we plan to make available for bare-root in April of 2019. The only chestnut variety we will have available as bare-root trees in April 2019 will be Mossbarger.
Each year we will have limited number of some varieties of chestnut tree seedlings. Some will sell out very quickly. All trees we sell are good for Iowa and usually for adjacent states. Pay attention to hardiness and know your growing zone. – Kathy
June of 2013 Iowa Public Television visited Red Fern Farm to tape a session for a new show called Iowa Ingredient. We had a wonderful time with the film crew and got to meet Cari Nebe as she drove into the grove to tape the intro for the show.