Old School Produce Company

It all starts with a seed:

A stalk of corn waiting for harvest started as a seed; Our community is the same.

We’re planting the seed of a brighter tomorrow today. The Old School Produce

Company in Vinton, Iowa offers locally grown, fresh produce available throughout

the growing season. Come out and help us grow! We are located at the old West

School Building on West 8th Street. We have incorporated some of the latest farming

technologies into the operation of Old School Produce Co, including raised bed and

plastic mulch production, drip irrigation, and season-extending high tunnels. The

Old School Produce Company uses state of the art farming techniques while at the

same time employing Sustainable Agriculture Practices that utilize minimal synthetic

fertilizers and pesticides.




We are looking forward to the 2018 season already and hope that you are too.

Except for the drought, hot and muggy working conditions, and the invasion of Japanese Beetles and all of their cousins, 2017 was a good year at the Old School Produce Company. Again this year we are trying to adapt to your thoughts and needs as well as what we see as areas of improvement from this side of the fence. New features and/or improvements planned for this year will include:

  • An earlier sign-up time frame and associated bonus.
  • Prepay by February 1st
    • Really helps our planning, farm layout, and seed ordering
    • Plus get an extra week’s worth of produce and a free Old School T-shirt
    • Later signups will be accepted but without free bonus week
    • There will be no monthly memberships-only prepaid
    • All members get 10% off additional purchases
  • A somewhat shorter season
    • June through early October
    • Probably will have some late October produce for sale but not part of CSA orders
  • Slightly different selection of produce
    • Fewer early season “greens”
    • More Strawberries
    • More of your favorite “staples” such as carrots, green beans, radishes, potatoes, lettuce, onions, tomatoes, peppers, sweet corn, berries, squash, etc.
  • A new name (CSA vs Box A Week)
  • Delivery service in Vinton
    • $2 per delivery
  • An improved customer service area
  • More member interfacing
    • Scheduled bonus member get-to-gethers (party time)
    • Volunteer opportunities with incentives*
      • Help harvest, weed, etc. (we have enough chores to go around!)
      • Help hand out CSA boxes on pickup days
      • *Additional discounts on extra purchases
  • More Facebook postings
  • Better Website maintenance
  • We will take credit cards for any extra purchases you might need
  • A slight rate increase due to increased expenses
    • $320 for single share
      • $180 for Biweekly single share
    • $480 for family share

Also we will continue these features from last year:

  • Pickup days Wednesday or Friday

  • One or two vegetable choices each week
  • Your opportunity to swap out any item you don’t want
  • Any boxes not picked up will be donated to the Food Pantry or Horizons
  • The freshest, healthiest, local produce in the area
  • Alternate pickup times can be negotiated
  • So far, Mike, Cindy, Tik, and Cyrus plan on being around again next season

In addition, if you would like to organize a business drop-off location in Vinton, please send us an email to melwick3@outlook.com. Drop-off locations must have at least 3 members enrolled. Click the link to sign up for our CSA or call Mike at 319-929-1993 or email melwick3@outlook.com for more information.

There’s a unique kind of assurance that comes from looking a our produce growers in the eye at our market or driving by the fields where your food comes from. We live and work locally and take our responsibility to the consumer seriously. Old School Produce Company is a place where your children and grandchildren can go to learn about nature and agriculture. Come out and see what produce is in season now. You’ll feel good about being a part of something bigger!

Nothing’s better than fresh picked red raspberries or vine ripened tomatoes. The shorter the time between the farm and your table, the less likely it is that nutrients will be lost, and locally grown food tastes and looks better. The crops are picked at their peak, for best flavor. However, no matter how fresh your vegetables are when you purchase them, they can from time to time lose their freshness due to several reasons. If this happens to you, try these tips that we have found to be quite effective in revitalizing produce that has lost some of its “Will to Live”:


Reviving Wilted Vegetables

The following methods work best for reviving each individual vegetable, although times may vary slightly depending on exactly how dry or wilted your produce is. As specified here, cold water means from the tap. Ice water means a combination of three parts cold water and 1 part ice cubes. Use the refreshed vegetables within 24 hours. ASPARAGUS Cut 3 / 4 inch from the bottom of each spear. Refrigerate for 1 hour, stored upright in 2 inches of water in a glass. (It’s okay to store the spears this way for up to 24 hours before using.) BROCCOLI Cut into florets. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, soaking in ice water. (The florets might float; that’s okay.) CARROTS Cut 1 / 2 inch from both ends. Refrigerate for 1 hour, soaking in ice water (peeled or unpeeled). CELERY Separate into individual ribs; trim 1 inch from the bottom of each. Refrigerate for 1 hour, stored upright in 2 inches of water in a glass. CHIVES Trim 1 / 2 inch from both ends. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, soaking in cold water. GREEN BEANS Snip off the stem ends. Refrigerate for 1 hour, soaking in ice water. GREEN CURLY KALE: Trim 1 / 2 inch from the stem ends. Refrigerate for 1 hour, soaking in cold water. LACINATO (TUSCAN) KALE Trim on the diagonal 1 inch from the stem ends. Let stand at room temperature or refrigerate for 60 to 90 minutes, stored upright in 3 inches of water in a glass. PARSLEY, BASIL AND MINT Trim 1 / 2 inch from the stem ends. Refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours, stored upright in 2 inches of water in a glass. ROMAINE AND OTHER HARDIER LETTUCES Tear each head into separate leaves. Refrigerate for 30 to 45 minutes, soaking in cold water. SPINACH Refrigerate for 30 minutes, soaking in cold water. SWISS CHARD Trim on the diagonal 1 inch from the stem ends. Stand at room temperature or refrigerate for 60 to 90 minutes, stored upright in 3 inches of cold water in a glass.

Old School History:

While most of our visitors remember the site as where they attended the West Early Childhood Center,  I remember attending two one-room schoolhouses on the far west end of the property. I think those old school buildings are around somewhere, but  nobody I have  spoken to can remember exactly what happened to them. The current garden area was once used as a football field with a cinder track and bleachers around the perimeter. There was also a baseball diamond adjacent but I’m not exactly sure where it was located. In addition to our garden operation, we have  already hosted school groups, bus tours, cooking classes and programs about urban farming and have several more lined up for this year.  We hope to teach people about where their food comes from and the benefits of eating fresh, locally-grown produce.

Read What Our Clients Are Saying:

“Enjoyed a delicious dinner tonight using the delicious fresh veggies from my weekly box from Old School Produce Company!! Can’t wait to see what next week brings.” May 31st, 2015 Molly Wade

Fabulous repurposing of a venerable old historic institution into a valuable local asset for the entire community. That’s what’s great about the Midwestern mentality. Take what you’re given and make it better. Everyone benefits! Scott Bolenbaugh

Super excited to receive my first box of goodies!!!”May 30th, 2015 Teresa Floyd

Every vegetable and fruit we purchased were delicious. The radishes and berries were unforgettable. Nancy Lausar