Iowa State Hosts 3rd Annual Food Festival

Ryan Pattee

Iowa State held the third annual Local Food Festival on central campus where local farms and student clubs gathered to showcase their foods or present information to hungry shoppers.

Walnut Creek Farm was a family-owned farm that purchased a beehive in order to pollinate their trees. The farm then changed into a home-grown, commercially-based operation where they sell their own honey and jam.

“We grow all the fruits ourselves, a chemical-free grower,” said Martin Lucas from Walnut Creek Farm. “We also grow other produce as well, and then with our honey we started off with one hive just to pollinate fruit trees and plants, and then I got the fever and we have 19 now with more on the way.”

Salama Greenhouse, another all naturally-grown outfit, gives some of its food to ISU Dining for students to eat in the dining halls.

Purple Ribbon Beef had beef-sticks and jerky made from corn-fed cows from Clarion, Iowa, run by local farmers who turned it into a family business.

While many groups were selling their products, others were educating attendees on food-related issues. One such group was the Iowa Food Corps, who informed patrons about their goal to present kids across the nation to healthier food options when eating.

Food Corp. is an international nonprofit that partners with the Americorps network and connects kids to healthy foods in schools.

Plant a Row for the Hungry was another food education group, encouraging farmers to grow extra crops to give back to those in need.

”It was an international non-profit which started in the state of Washington, and they just recognized that there were people who needed food but could never reach fresh produce,” said Lynette Spicer of Plant a Row for the Hungry. “Through the International Gardener’s Association that started collecting when people had excess or encouraged people to plant excess.”

Student clubs like the Culinary Science Club, Food Science Club and Horticulture Club were also selling products made by club members. The Food Science Club was selling fudge and giving their customers information about what they do at meetings, like getting speakers to talk and looking for internships. 

The Culinary Science Club sold popcorn and Good-Morning bars. While similar to the Food Science Club, the Culinary Science Club cooks every few weeks with a certain theme behind it.

The Horticulture Club sold different apple products, from cider to slices with caramel. All apples sold were from the ISU Horticulture Research Station, located eight miles outside of Ames, and were picked, packaged and sold by students.

ISU Dining sold tofu salad and salsa made from vegetables grown by the Horticulture Club. The tofu was also made with Iowa soybeans, another vital crop to the state of Iowa.