Genuine Faux Farm







"Why, ain't that work?"

"Well, maybe it is, and maybe it ain't. All I know, is, it suits Tom Sawyer."

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain


We're really not sure if we should let you do this work. Honest, we really think we should do it ourselves.

Well, ok, if you REALLY want to do some of this work.

Come to a Tom Sawyer Day!

Tom Sawyer Schedule for 2013
April 22 - 30 : High Tunnel Build May 4: Move 'em or Lose 'em Perennial Dig
June 14 Food Bank Month TSD July 26 Granary Mural Prep Day
August 9: Granary Mural Painting Day September 19,20,26 - Don't Sing, Dig for Your Supper
October TBA *****For details about each, scroll down!*****

Save the hollyhocks from weeds! block of Tom Sawyer 'stamps' from BEP souvenir sheet putting plastic on high tunnel


April 22-30 High Tunnel Build:

We anticipate putting up our new building at the end of the month of April. Much has to happen before we can officially hold this event. However, we are willing to have people help us with the project. This is especially true for the final stage, putting on the plastic. Participants should have some knowledge of basic tools. We don't do this sort of thing often, so don't expect us to give a class in the process of getting it done.

May 4 - Move 'em or Lose 'em Perennial Dig:

We have a number of perennials suffering in a grassy area that has gotten away from us. This is our final chance to remove them before we decide to just plow the whole thing over and start fresh. We'll want to move some of these plants to other locations on the farm. But, participants will get opportunities to take divisions of some of these perennials and take them home.

June 14 - Food Bank Month TSD:

Every hour of time volunteered working at the farm results in a $10 donation by GFF to the food bank. If you don't want to set up your own time to volunteer at the farm, then come to this Tom Sawyer Day. We realize some folks like the atmosphere a group of people working together can provide. It is likely some sort of weeding will be done on this particular day. Why? Because weeds LIKE getting going in June and we want to get them while they are small(er).

July 26 - Granary Mural Prep Day:

Yes, I realize everyone likes to paint and a mural sounds fun. But, if we don't get help on the Mural PREP day, there won't be a Mural PAINTING day. We'll scrape, sand, repair and maybe prime as much of the building as we are able on this day. We need to get it ready so Beth Gehring, our artist for this project, can start on the outline of the mural so everyone can work together to paint it in! We'll supply lemonade, iced tea and water. Maybe there will be a treat or two as well. If someone wants to help arrange other food, please let us know.

August 9 - Granary Mural Painting Day:

Yes, this is the fun painting day - assuming you all come out and help get the building prepped on the prior Tom Sawyer Day! Beth Gehring, our artist for this project, will have an outline for us to fill in. All ages are invited to participate. We intend to use Latex paint so it is easier to clean things (and people) up afterwards. As with the prior day, we'll supply lemonade, iced tea and water. Maybe even a treat of some kind. If someone wants to help arrange other food, please let us know.

Sep 19, 20 and 26 - Don't Sing! Dig for your Supper:

This one is specifically for the college students. The days are currently in flux depending on what happens with the weather and the farm as we approach these dates. If you are a starving college student at Wartburg or UNI, here is an opportunity to come work on the farm for a few hours and then get some home made grub as a reward. Each day will have limited spots that will need to be reserved in advance. We will open reservations in September - watch our main page for the announcements.


Itsy the spider can only do so much work. Come help her make our farm a better place.

Oh. And watch out for her web over there, will ya?


What is a Tom Sawyer Day?

Tom Sawyer Days are scheduled events at the farm where we invite interested persons to come work on the farm for part of a day.

Why Attend?

We know from our own experience that it is, for some reason, relaxing to work for someone else for a short while. Why? Well, you don't have to make decisions, you know it will end...and you get to try something different from what you are used to doing!

Many Farm Share CSA members who have attended a Tom Sawyer Day have found a new appreciation for the food they receive through the CSA or purchase at market. Others have commented that they feel like they are more integrated into the CSA community. We have also received the comment that share holders find it to be a positive part of investing further in the farm and its principles.

Other persons who are not involved in the Farm Share program are invited to join us as well. If you want to get some idea of how a small, diverse farm that provides local food works, here is a good chance to get a feeling for where food comes from.

Signing Up:

Once the day is announced, we ask persons who intend to participate to RSVP their intentions to us. It is important that we know WHO and HOW MANY are coming so we can provide appropriate tasks and tools to all participants. Please remember, putting together any event requires planning and effort. Surprises can make the entire event less enjoyable for everyone involved.

Showing Up:

You may show up at any point during the Tom Sawyer Day schedule. If the schedule calls for work from 3pm to 6 pm, you can arrive at 5pm and be just as welcome as those who arrive at 3pm. Just let us know what you are planning.

Please wear appropriate clothing. Bring gloves. Bring a water bottle. Use sunscreen!

And remember, these are workdays, they are not festivals, even though the atmosphere may be festive at times. If an event does say food is provided, then you should not assume that it is. On the other hand, if you feel that would be a good thing, you can work with us to make it happen.

Rest after work at a Tom Sawyer Day   weeding the melons


Tasks will vary depending on who shows up and the time of year. Weeding is frequently a necessary task, but we have done some of each of the following at TSD's:

  • weeding
  • painting
  • spreading mulch
  • set up tomato cages
  • tearing down tomato cages
  • cleaning up old vegetation
  • small building projects
  • setting up food for volunteers
  • cleaning up brush or woodpiles
  • moving trays of plants
  • transplanting

We try to find something that everyone can do, including children with a parent's supervision.

Painting the Granary


3/26/14 updated

all rights reserved

background photo copyright by L.E.Bartel

other photos by GFF