OUR MISSION STATEMENT
We believe that it is important to be good
stewards of our environment and good citizens in our community.
We strive to work in harmony with nature to produce good tasting
foods using organic and sustainable farming practices. We work to be a positive force for our neighbors in our local economy. We hope to become a resilient operation by continuing to improve our knowledge and technique each and every growing season.
Through Community Supported Agriculture
we seek to build enduring partnerships with share holders. We
support our community's need to access fresh food and local products
and provide an alternative to long distance food distribution. We appreciate the investment our share holders make in our farm. And, as their personal farmers, we do our best to represent their interests with hard work and good farming decisions.
We seek to maintain an inquisitive nature
and work diligently to increase our knowledge with respect to
our farm, the products we raise and the methods we use. It is
important to us that we share our learning with others in the
hope that more persons will support sustainable methods in all
that they do.
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WHAT WE DO and WHO WE ARE
The Genuine Faux Farm is located near Tripoli, Iowa and has been in operation
since the summer of 2004. GFF is owned and operated by Rob and Tammy Faux and our first 'official' year as the Genuine Faux Farm was in 2005. Therefore, 2014 will be our 10th year of operation. Rob has been working on the farm full-time since 2008 and Tammy works off the farm full-time and on the farm part-time. We grow vegetables, herbs and some fruit and also raise turkeys, chickens and ducks.
We focus on local distribution of our product, with most sales being directly marketed to clients within 50 miles of the farm. The CSA Farm Share subscription program is given first priority to produce grown with additional sales to child care providers, retirement centers, local grocery and local schools. We also sell plant starts in the spring and sell
at the Waverly Farmers' Market on Tuesdays/Saturdays when we have excess
Beginning in 2011, GFF entered a partnership with Jeff Sage and Sage Gardens. Jeff was looking for a way to continuing growing without attending multiple farmers' markets every week. Jeff now focuses on growing early carrots and beets for the CSA Farm Share. He also grows heirloom sweet potatoes that receives rave reviews. Members may also be treated to parsnips and asparagus from his farm. Jeff often has garlic available for direct sale and raises lamb that he will sell in quarters, halves or whole lamb to intersted parties.
In 2013, Tyler Albers of Albers Grown began work on the farm as a PFI Labor 4 Learning particpant. He is in the process of starting his own business. GFF is serving as a business incubator for Tyler and we included onions, peppers and cabbage that he grew in 2013. Tyler will focus on certain types of winter squash, brussels sprouts, onions and other vegetables for subsequent seasons. His eventual focus is to be a source for locally grown and milled flour, corn meal and other similar products. In fact, he is trying to start a small grains CSA this year (2014). If you want more information, feel free to contact us and we'll pass on your contact information.
Each season, we hire three to four persons to work on the farm part time. We have been priveleged to work with some fine persons over the past several years and we continue to find ways to make the experience on the farm a positive one.
The Genuine Faux Farm is active in educating others about
local and sustainable products. Both Tammy and Rob are willing
to speak to interested groups on a number of topics. We also maintain
a research agenda, attend appropriate conferences and work to
share knowledge through this website and other sources.
If you have more questions, please visit our Frequently
Asked Questions page. You may find some of what you are looking for there.
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WHAT WE GROW
As a rule, we try to select open-pollinated varieties
over hybrid varieties. Often, our vegetables are heirloom/heritage varieties
maintained by Seed Savers. Other trusted seed companies are High Mowing, Johnny's and Fedco. When available, the seed we purchase
is certified organic. We start all plants from seed on our farm. Exceptions to this rule include fruit trees, some flowers and some spice plants. These are secured from sources we trust. Every Spring, we sell starter vegetable plants to interested persons via farmers' market and other arranged sale dates and locations.
We grow a wide range of vegetables from asparagus to
zucchini. In nearly every instance, we grow more than one variety
of each type of vegetable. Our farm may be best known for it's wide range of heirloom tomatoes that come ripe in August and September. We also grow eight to ten different heirloom lettuces throughout the growing season. Perennial vegetable crops are currently limited
The farm also has a few established perennial herbs and
we are looking to expand that area of our gardens. We use many
annual herbs as companion plants for our vegetable crops, and
thus have basil, cilantro and borage (to name a few) growing in our fields.
Most of the fruit producing plants on the farm are still young and just entering production years. However, we do have apple, plum, pear and peach trees. There
are mulberry trees, wild plums, Nanking cherries, black raspberries
and other fruit bearing plants. We do not focus on perennial fruit production, so these typically are not part of our CSA or other sales. This may change if certain plants show they like our farm and they fit a labor niche that allows us to work with them.
One of our favorite flowers is the German Bearded Iris.
We maintain a wide range of varieties on the farm for our personal
pleasure. Unfortunately, this area of interest is often neglected
out of necessity.
The farm maintains a flock of about 90 egg-laying hens all
year. We also raise two batches of 150 to 200 meat chickens each
summer and one group of 50 to 60 bronze turkeys. Starting in 2009,
we included a flock of 25-30 Muscovey ducks. We allow our birds to run in
the pasture during the day and close the door on their respective
coops at night to protect them from predators (day range system).
They are given feed made from certified organic sources to supplement
their diet of crickets, dandelions and whatever else that seems
tasty to them in the field.
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HOW WE GROW
The Genuine Faux Farm is interested in raising food in
a sustainable fashion. We work
to solidify all three legs of the sustainable agriculture 'stool':
environment, profitability and community. The actions we take and decisions we make are those that we believe, to the best of our knowledge and ability, are going to maintain a positive balance for each of these areas.
For example, it is possible that using plastic mulch could be a positive move for our finances. However, we believe there are negative impacts to the environment and wonder if the necessity of throwing this plastic into the landfill might not be the best for our local communities. As a result, we have opted out of using plastic mulches. On the other hand, we do use straw mulch that is sourced locally with growers we trust. We also have trialed the use of a certified organic paper mulch with the belief that it may be better for the soil biology and the knowledge that it need not be lifted and placed into the landfill. While these options may not provide us with the best monetary return, we think the balance between all three components are better maintained with these choices. We are still profitable, but we don't feel we are making withdrawals from the future health of the environment and/or the good will of our community.
Our methods are an open
book to our customers. We feel that any purchaser of our produce
has the right to know how their food was grown.
We believe that organic growing methods hold many of
the keys to maintaining environmental sustainability. We do not
use sprays or synthetic fertilizers in our fields. However, we do not want you to think that the avoidance of sprays encompass the entirety of an organic certification. In fact, we took the time to outline for interested parties what it means to be certified organic in our blog. We provide links below for you to take if you are interested in learning more.
Faux Farm has secured organic
certification through IDALS (Iowa Department of Agriculture
and Land Stewardship) since 2007. Sadly, a spray plane improperly dropped spray on the Western half of our 15 acre farm. This portion of our growing area is now 'transitional.' This means that we cannot sell products grown in that area as certified organic, even though we continue to use all of the practices required. We will properly label products that come from this area of the farm so you know it is not part of our certified organic operation.
We strongly believe that local businesses help strengthen
the community. While you may not decide to purchase from us, we
encourage you to explore your local food options. For our part,
we do our best to support other local businesses and community
organizations by purchasing their product, using their services
or offering our support.
Our farm is small (14/15 acres), and this size dictates
some of our practices. Most of the farm work is
completed by Tammy and Rob. However, we do employ three to five
part time workers during the summer months. We also are the proud
recipients of help from our families and we do host work days
(Tom Sawyer Days). We believe that a smaller operation has the
best potential to provide quality product and experience to its
customers. The biggest drawback to this choice is that we often
have to limit CSA subscriptions and turn down opportunities that
would require expanding the operation beyond our desired size.
This choice also means that we are very much in need of dedicated customers so that we can continue our work. For all of you that have shown us this support, you have our deepest gratitude.
It is our belief that diversity is a key to a maintaining and sustaining a successful farm. Diversity in crops helps to insure that we will have production of some sort regardless of difficulties Mother Nature might throw our way. This diversity also supports a healthy ecosystem on our farm, which, in turn, provides needed services such as pollination and natural predators for pests. We support diversity on the farm by using intercropping, cover crops, natural plantings and by avoiding chemical applications and reducing tillage.
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HOW TO GET TO US
From South of Tripoli: North on Hwy
63 to Hwy 93 (turn east). Two miles to 2nd gravel road (Navaho
Rd) turn north. Two miles to 2nd gravel road (150th Street) turn
east. A little over half a mile to the first farm on the north
side. Grey house, red roof, blue silo and friendly outdoor cats.
From Tripoli: north on Hwy 93 to 155th
Street (Snyder access is to east, 155th to the west). Follow 90
degree turn to north and then 90 degree turn back to west (you
will now be on 150th Street). After about a third of a mile, you
will be at a farmstead on the north side of the road. Grey house,
red roof, blue silo and chickens meandering in their pasture.
From the North: South on Hwy 63 to 150th Street
(after Hwy 188 intersection). If you drive past the quarry on
the left, you've gone to far. Turn east on 150th (left). About
2.5 miles until you get to the grey house with the red roof on
the north side of the road. If you get to the 90 degree turn to
the south, you've gone to far.