Farmer for a Day
Cheese and wine. Pork chops and steaks. Lavender and honey. What do they all have in common? You can find them all on Iowa farms. Stop by and sample what some of Iowa’s most unique agricultural sites have in store!
Seed Savers Exchange & Heritage Farm
Photo courtesy of Seed Savers Exchange
Seed Saver’s Exchange & Heritage Farm, Decorah
Gardeners, you gotta see this! You’ll love exploring the display gardens, hiking trails and historic apple orchard at Heritage Farm at the Seed Savers Exchange headquarters. This farm operates one of the largest collections of open-pollinated heirloom plant varieties in the country.
Sawmill Hollow, Missouri Valley
If you haven’t tried the antioxidant-rich aronia berry, you’ll get your chance at Sawmill Hollow – America’s first aronia berry farm! Located in the picturesque Loess Hills, you’ll be surrounded by beauty as you sample wine and gourmet food like aronia jelly, syrup and salsa.
Picket Fence Creamery, Woodward
Chances are you’ve seen Picket Fence Creamery’s products in a store near you. But what’s even better is a visit to the creamery itself. You won’t want to miss their “Sample Sundays” where they offer a selection of Iowa dairy, meats and baked goods at select dates throughout the year.
Hawkeye Buffalo Ranch
Hawkeye Buffalo Ranch, Fredericksburg
The buffalo have a home to roam at the Hawkeye Buffalo Ranch. Perfect for group visits, you can arrange for lunch on your tour or request a buffalo steak dinner. Call ahead for reservations.
Photo by John Richard, courtesy Cedar Rapids CVB
Bloomsbury Farm, Atkins
Pick your perfect pumpkin at one of Iowa’s largest pumpkin farms. And while you’re there, make your way through the 10-acre corn maze. Of course, you won’t want to pass up a thrill-tacular trip on their 1,200-foot zip line, which is open by appointment all year.
BV County Wind Farm, Storm Lake
How do you harvest the wind? That’s what you’ll find out at the Buena Vista County Wind Farm where they turn wind into renewable energy. Take a self-guided tour of one of the largest wind energy projects in the world with more 360 turbines, each up to 213 feet tall.
Henry A. Wallace Country Life Center
Henry A. Wallace Country Life Center, Orient
Embrace the quietness of the country at the childhood home of Henry A. Wallace, former U.S. Vice President and Secretary of Agriculture. See the working farm in action, tour the home, walk through the flower gardens and grab lunch with a local flair at The Gathering Barn.
Hansen’s Farm Fresh Dairy, Hudson
Cows and…kangaroos? You heard right! At Hansen’s Farm Fresh Dairy, you can milk a cow, feed a calf and see kangaroos and wallabies. That’s because the dairy’s mascot is a wallaby. G’day, mate!
Loess Hills Lavender Farm
Loess Hills Lavender Farm, Missouri Valley
Farms don’t smell any sweeter than this. Nestled in the Loess Hills, this little farm has more than 2,000 lavender plants. Visit and harvest your own lavender or browse the gift shop for an assortment of homemade bath and skin care products. Iowa lavender swaying in the summer breeze is a sight to see!
Maytag Blue Cheese
Maytag Dairy Farms, Newton
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Maytag’s artisan blue cheese can be found in restaurants across the world – and here’s your chance to see where it’s made. Open Monday through Saturday, visitors can view the dairy operation in action and learn more about the origin of Iowa’s most famous cheese. Sampling is most definitely encouraged.
WW Homestead Dairy, Waukon
Calci-yum! That’s what you’ll be saying when you take a guided tour of the WW Homestead Dairy and see where they make cheese curds, butter, milk and ice cream. Come hungry because you’ll want to sample some of the freshest dairy products around.