Iowa Local Foods

A guide to what's growing in Iowa

Yes, there is a lot of corn grown in Iowa. Soybeans, too. There is also a long tradition of eating locally grown food in Iowa - whether from a vegetable patch in the back yard or from a nearby farm - and plenty of locally grown fruits, vegetables, dairy, and meat for those who seek it out.

  • 01 of 04
    Picture of Corn on the Cob
    Corn on the Cob. Photo © Molly Watson

    Hot humid summers and fertile soil means Iowa is a great place to grow much more than corn and soybeans. From spring morels near old orchards, sweet berries, melons, and tomatoes when summer comes into its own, to the root vegetables and fall, find what grows when in Iowa with this simple guide to Iowa seasonal fruits and vegetables.

  • 02 of 04
    Romaine Lettuce Hearts. Photo © Molly Watson

    There are plenty of farmers markets in Iowa - from the 200-vendor Downtown Des Moines market to those with just a few local vendors that litter neighborhoods and towns around the state.

  • 03 of 04

    Iowa Treats

    Templeton Rye
    Templeton Rye.

    Two of my favorite artisan food and drink products come from Iowa. One is La Quercia prosciutto and other cured meats; the other is Templeton Rye, a truly fine whiskey that is well worth the effort it can take to snag a bottle.

  • 04 of 04

    Iowa Local Foods Resources

    Not enough for you? Want even more local foods in Iowa? Here are some great places to get started, get involved, or meet like-minded folks:

    • Slow Food Iowa is a great place to start.
    • Edible Iowa River Valley is a great locally written and edited magazine about eating locally.
    • The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University in Ames is a wealth of information for anyone interested in the politics and policy of local foods and healthy agriculture.
    • Buy Fresh Buy Local Directory ...MOREfrom the Northern Iowa Food & Farm Partnership lists local farms, markets, restaurants, CSAs and more for people looking for local foods in Blackhawk and surrounding counties.