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Jupiter Ridge’s Successful First Season 2017!

Here at Jupiter Ridge we’re just getting our very first season all wrapped up – and looking back at the year, it’s definitely been a good one!

We started from scratch this spring, turning 2 out of 20 acres of pristine prairie into row-cropped, organically grown vegetables (we’ll be pursuing some type of certification next year, most likely Certified Naturally Grown). All of this is atop a 1200-foot high ridge on Jupiter road (thus the farm’s new name) with breathless views of Driftless bluffs and valleys as you work.

We sold our produce and shiitake mushrooms direct to consumer at the Downtown Cedar Rapids Farmers Market, the Dubuque Farmers Market, and the Dubuque Winter Farmers Market. Jupiter Ridge also took part in the very first Millwork Night Market in history, we were happy to be a part of that!

We also built relationships with chefs and restaurants across Eastern and Driftless Iowa. This includes the Map RoomQuarter Barrel Arcade and Brewery, and Lightworks Cafe in Cedar Rapids; the Pepper Sprout and the Food Store in Dubuque; and Schera’s Algerian Bar and Restaurant in Elkader.

We’re branching out even more from this as we speak. Our food also had the privilege of being part of some exciting new Iowa food events, including a pop-up dinner at Cobble Hill featuring the awesome folks over at The Kitchen Counter.

Our farm also had plenty of produce to donate to non-profits like Feed Iowa First to get healthy, sustainable food to people in need. We hosted a lovely on-farm showcase tour along with the Sustainable Iowa Land Trust (SILT)  and despite experiencing almost 10 inches of rain that day, had a great turnout, great food, and a great time.

What’s in store for next year? Probably more of the same! We also hope to be finishing our pack shed/machine shed combo and produce walk-in early next year, as well as building more high tunnels for season extension next winter. All this so we can grow more and more food, and get it to more people!

No doubt we’ll be branching out to yet more restaurants, amping up our farmers market stands, and working hard so our 2 acres produces even more food next year, as we work out the kinks of what didn’t work last season to make it run better next year – and the outlook looks incredibly good. Of course, we do all of this without chemicals, and with a huge, healthy focus on good soil health and crop rotation.

For a first year, things have gone amazingly – we can’t complain. We give a huge thank you to those who have supported us on the journey so far, and we can’t wait to serve you again next year. Much love from Will and Adrian at Jupiter Ridge Farm.

And if you haven’t already, follow us on Facebook and Instragram!

2017 News: Moving, SILT, and Farming On The Bluff

A combination of patience, dreaming, hard work, and serendipity has moved Oak Savanna (formerly Mushrooms and Swine, now Mushrooms and Veg) up to trust land in the beautiful region we have always dreamed of farming in: the Driftless, northeastern Iowa.

A big thanks to both PFI and the Sustainable Iowa Land Trust (SILT) for the opportunity. Our first year of our very own vegetable production will take place during the 2017 growing season, after nearly a full decade of being involved in and/or managing other farmers’ operations around the country (and for some of us, the globe). We’ve already relocated our hundreds of shiitake logs to the woods of this splendid new property.

Our landowner, Steve Beaumont, donated his land generously to SILT in order to place it in permanent environmental protection and sustainable agricultural food production. In search of farmers to match with the land, SILT and Steve have both accepted us to be the land’s resident farmers, and thus Oak Savanna’s move and transformation was completed!

Our first season will start with 2 ample acres, cultivated right at the very top of a 1200-foot high bluff, with spectacular panoramic views for miles all around of the remaining countryside. Never did we think that our sustainable farming ambitions would climb to such heights, both literally and figuratively! Previously, the bluff-top property was planted and managed in prairie restoration by Beaumont himself for 20 years.

Our plans are to be present at both the Downtown Cedar Rapids and Downtown Dubuque Farmers Markets, and hopefully the Thursday Cedar Falls market to come, with our vegetable produce and shiitake mushrooms grown sustainably and ethically to minimize our impacts the environment.

Stay tuned for more forthcoming news and updates! We are excited to be living in such a gorgeous natural landscape, to finally establish our farming dream, and to be an active part of making our local food system more ethical and sustainable.

To learn more, send us an email or come visit us at our market stands when market season begins!

2015 News – Mushroom Grower’s Workshop Next Month!

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It’s been a busy number of months since Oak Savanna invested in some precious online time, and with good reason- the business has been up to a lot, and changed considerably from 2014 to 2015.

Firstly, Oak Savanna’s Swine CSA has officially gone on hiatus, taking a little vacation after 3 successful seasons (totaling near 30 participants over the period!)

We do apologize if that bums anybody out, but rest assured: Farmer Will’s Swine and “Pork-Trade” operation is not gone for good.  The CSA was a real success, but 2015 has simply become a year all about focusing on the fungal-side of the business, and getting the mushroom end of things up and running…which will then in turn financially support piggies in the future.

But hey….if you’re interested in future Swine CSA seasons, we do have a waiting list we could put you on, perhaps at a discount further down the road.

IMG_0972Which leads us to a number of exciting mushroom updates!  Shiitake mushrooms are alive and kicking, and in high numbers this year.

Due to the hard work of Will, mushroom-growing associates, and plenty of help from some good friends, volunteers, workers and fungus-loving buddies, there are over six hundred shiitake logs in operation over the season, which have flushed out pounds upon pounds of beautiful shiitakes- and some gorgeous photos.  

He hopes to get an oyster mushroom operation flourishing before and even during winter, for some exciting season extension!

Oak Savanna is proud to now have its shiitakes available around all corners of the local food scene of Iowa City and surrounding areas.  Find them every week at the Downtown Iowa City Farmer’s Market, or if you live in Cedar Rapids, you can get shiitakes Saturday at the weekend farmer’s market there too.  Look for our shiitakes at the Echollective Farm stand!

IMG_1612We’re also a part of culinary dining experiences all over the area.  Find our shiitakes in delicious meals served at Share or Basta restaurants in Iowa City, or Sauce up in Cedar Rapids.  The Palisades Cafe features our mushrooms in downtown Mt. Vernon, while Salt Fork Kitchen in Solon, Iowa has been another frequent, happy buyer.

If you’re lucky, you can also stumble upon our photogenic shiitakes on New Pioneer Co-op shelves!  Check out store locations in Iowa City, Coralville, and Cedar Rapids.

As you can tell, Oak Savanna is growing just as fast and beautifully as its mushrooms, and we’re excited about what the future holds.  But what else is new?  Well, it looks like Farmer Will is to represent Oak Savanna at an upcoming lecture and workshop this September!

IMG_1670Joining forces with fellow area mushroom grower Todd Mills of Mushroom Mills, a thorough tutorial, demonstration, and walk-through on all the tidbits of mushroom growing and business running will be given at a price, including a full, local and organic meal prepped and cooked by Farmer Will himself!

Both growers will be sharing their unique methods, techniques, and approaches to the trade, whether you’re an aspiring home-grower or want to attempt your own business venture.  Get acquainted with their operations, and who knows- maybe even get involved!

Interested in attending?  Check out the flyer below for more details, and feel free to contact the Mushroom Mills hub at http://www.facebook.com/Mushroom-Mills and send them a message if you wish to sign up.  Do us a solid if you like, print them out and post them around your community!

Hope to see you there!

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2014 Swine CSA Sign-Ups Now Open!

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Oak Savanna Swine CSA is now open for Sign Ups!  Get to know your sustainable, ethically-raised meat.

To Sign Up, Please Contact: William Lorentzen
563-321-2829 ~ oaksavannamushrooms@gmail.com

Single Share ~ 25 Lbs/$100 (One Delivery)

-$50 upon sign up
-$50 at delivery

Family Share ~ 50 Lbs/$180 (Two 25 Lb Deliveries)

-$90 upon sign up
-$90 at first delivery

Shares may include any of the following cuts:

Iowa Chops
Boneless Chops
Spare Ribs
Baby Back Ribs
Loin Roast
Pork Belly
Tenderloins
Ham
Shoulder
Shank
Sweet Breads
Ground Sausage
Farmers Cuts (heart, liver, kidneys, head, etc)

Custom Shares Available (Whole Pig, e.g.)

Work-Trade Arrangements Available


Sign Ups Open Through April 21st!

563-321-2829 ~ oaksavannamushrooms@gmail.com

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