Project ID



The project participants researched, developed, tested and implemented technologies for year-round growing seasons designed to be viable under the growing conditions in southwest Iowa. High tunnels, alternative crops, vermiculture and collaborative producer groups were among the options tested.

Key Question

Are there better growing techniques and tools for producers in southwest Iowa to use to grow year round local foods and can those producers aggregate as a formal growers association to market as a group to larger wholesalers and retailers?


A trip to Growing Power in Madison, Wisconsin, was the initial stimulus to explore new methods of growing produce using permaculture practices and marketing in order to enhance the growing power of local foods in southwest Iowa. The team employed a high tunnel located on Golden Hills RC&D office grounds, development of Lone Tree Foods, LLC, and establishment of the Loess Hills Collaborative CSA to offer new opportunities in their part of Iowa.

Principal Investigator(s)

Greg Mathis


Michelle Wodtke Franks

Year of Grant Completion