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! Vinton’s first Urban Truck Farm, The Old School Produce Company, located at the old West School Building on West 8th Street. Owner Mike Elwick has incorporated some of the latest farming technologies into the operation of Old School Produce Co., including raised bed and plastic mulch production, season-extending high tunnels, and an indoor hydroponic production for year-round sales. 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.

 Great News!

We have just partnered with the 4000 University Avenue HyVee in Waterloo.

We will be there Thursday evenings with our Box A Week pick-up.

If you know anyone in the Waterloo/Cedar Falls area that would like to join our CSA have them contact us.

 

 

 

The Box-A-Week program is a convenient way to bring healthy, local food to every meal for those who sign up and commit to a weekly box of produce for our 20 week season. In order to keep improving our customer service, we have implemented a few changes over last year. This year we have two share sizes, 1/2 share for $60 per month and a full share for $90 per month.  Members also have a choice of paying one month in advance or for the entire season. Those paying for the entire season in advance will receive a one week free plus a discount card good for 10% off any additional purchases throughout the season.

In order to make your shopping more flexible, at least on item each week will be “your choice” between 2 or 3 vegetables and we will also have a “sharing table” where you can swap items with other members. Also, you will have a choice of two pickup days to help better suit your busy schedules. 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 Box-A-Week or call Mike at 319-929-1993 or email mike@oldschoolproducecompany.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