In Decorah, Iowa, a view from the top will show you a picturesque patchwork of natural reds and greens. Overlooking Canoe Creek valley and surrounded by a restored prairie and oak woods lies a 40-acre, family-run and owned organic farm known to locals as Patchwork Green. Growing almost 200 varieties of annual vegetables for each season, Patchwork Green’s dedication to organic farming, family, and community is undeniable. When the family moved to Decorah in 1997 to do market gardening, they had no idea they were in it for the long haul. After a few years, their family-scale vegetable business developed into the organic farm that it is today. A larger farm did not derail them from their original goal, however, as Patchwork Green remains true to its commitment to sustainable agriculture.
It is not unusual to see family members at work on Patchwork Green. Being a family-owned farm, they make it a point to provide hands-on, personal attention to the farm’s crops. Chemical pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers are shunned, opting instead to grow flavorful and nutritious food through natural and sustainable methods. Completely transparent about their farming and cultural practices, Patchwork Green chose to forgo organic certification. This did not affect the farm, though, as it is known to the community as a local farm dedicated to serving the Winneshiek community. Patchwork Green’s produce is marketed locally and as close to home as possible, ensuring freshness and reducing delivery and transportation costs. This gives the farm the ability to focus on the needs of their community and of neighboring areas. Customers appreciate the fact that Patchwork Green’s products are always neatly packed so that they remain fresh, clean, and flavorful.
Although Patchwork Green is known for their organic tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, garlic, basil, squash and potatoes, they are also keen on crop diversity and try out new crops every year. From June to October of every year, you can find Patchwork Green’s fresh produce at the Winneshiek Farmers Market in Decorah. All of their products sold at the Farmers Market are guaranteed fresh—harvested within a day of being sold and chilled in a walk-in cooler. It is also possible to pre-order vegetables and other produce from Patchwork Green to be picked up at the Farmers Market.