The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

July 5, 2014

Local food grown for school lunches

FAIRFIELD - Fairfield's Farm to School Research Greenhouse is feeding school children in a 13-county area.

The greenhouse only grows foods that are needed by schools for their lunch menus. Therefore, 100 percent of the food grown in the greenhouse is sold to public schools in the surrounding area.

"The gardening process is kind of the opposite of the schools' kitchen process," explained Local Food Coordinator Jan Swinton. "In the summers, when most of the food comes in from gardens and fields, it's not when the kids are in school, so we have to either figure out how to grow it when the kids are in school or how to preserve it."

The project started two years ago when the greenhouse received a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) grant that covered building costs. The greenhouse later received additional funding and various grants to meet the demands of winter production.

Winter production is important to the greenhouse because that is when they will have to grow the food that will be served to area children. The biggest problem was figuring out how to keep the ground warm during Iowa's cold winter months.

The solution came when Schaus Vorhies manufacturing plant decided to let the organization use a plot of their land and the heat that is produced from their plant to keep the ground warm.

"They are providing heat to us at really no charge. They have given us this land for 25 years for a dollar, so we will be out here for a good long time," said Swinton.

Swinton described Schaus Vorhies as a very forward-thinking company that is helping the greenhouse grow and better the community. The greenhouse water is metered through their plant, and in return they get charitable donation tax receipts.

Schaus Vorhies is a company that sand blasts the paint off various pieces of agriculture equipment. The temperature in their furnace can get to well over 1,000 degrees. The heat that is produced is then removed and cleaned before being stored in the greenhouse's recycled tank.

Text Only
Local News
  • 0802 OTT 73 Annual Golf Classic 73rd Annual Golf Classic OTTUMWA — There were a few records broken at the 73rd Annual Chamber Golf Classic Friday. "We had a record amount of people, and we also had a record amount of sponsors," said Tim Kurtz, executive director of the Ottumwa Area Chamber of Commerce. Fri

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Beach Task Force formation under consideration OTTUMWA — From the establishment of a Beach Task Force, to public hearings, to a discussion of open meetings rules and training, the Ottumwa City Council will have a full pate of items to digest during its meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 5. The council will

    August 1, 2014

  • Sewer works starts on Glenwood OTTUMWA — The 900 block of Glenwood Avenue will be closed to traffic starting Tuesday, Aug. 5. Boitnott Enterprises will be closing that block of Glenwood for a repair of a sewer lateral. Motorists should seek other routes around the work zone. Thi

    August 1, 2014

  • Emergency Management Coordinator leaving OTTUMWA — Wapello County Supervisors are hoping to compromise and assign a tax sale certificate to property owners within the city of Ottumwa. On Tuesday, the board will meet at 9:30 a.m. in the third-floor meeting room to discuss a variety of issues

    August 1, 2014

  • CAUTION: Drivers will notice delays on Quincy Ave. OTTUMWA — Beginning Monday, drivers on Quincy Avenue will start to notice the beginning of a major reconstruction project in South Ottumwa. The right lane of northbound traffic on Quincy Avenue, from the car wash located near the Quincy Place Mall's

    August 1, 2014

  • Transfer of West Nile Virus First reports of West Nile Virus coming in OTTUMWA — Three cases of West Nile Virus have already been reported in the state of Iowa this summer, but the timing isn't much out of the ordinary, local officials say. Current surveillance data shows one case each in Clay, Monona and Woodbury count

    August 1, 2014 2 Photos

  • WWI outbreak stranded Ottumwan in Paris

    OTTUMWA — Being stuck in Paris isn’t the worst thing in the world. The City of Light has always been a key stop for Americans traveling to Europe. It’s a city of culture, capitol of a world power. But Howell Cresswell, an Ottumwan in Paris, wanted no

    August 1, 2014

  • File.png Pleasant start to August

    OTTUMWA — Seasonal temperatures and a slight risk of rain herald the arrival of August in southeast Iowa.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Graham's presentation A sweet history lesson OTTUMWA — In one of the most popular monthly presentations the Wapello County Historical Society has ever hosted, it was standing-room only to hear the history of Graham Milk and Ice Cream Company and try some of the popular product. A landmark in Ot

    July 31, 2014 3 Photos

  • Ready, set, shop! OTTUMWA — Iowa's government says businesses must participate in the Tax-Free Weekend this Friday and Saturday. Store manager Greg Martin isn't complaining. "It’ll be much busier [than typical weekends]. Back to school is the second busiest season nex

    July 31, 2014

Photo reprints