If you’re planning a trip to Iowa during this time of year, or just traveling through, get off the beaten track for at least a few miles and take in the local produce and bring a few dozen ears of sweet corn! There are many country roads that weave in out of great small towns that are featuring the cream of the Iowa crop. Bouncing around from roadside produce stands and farmers markets is my absolute favorite way to tour the state. We started near our home base of Iowa City and snaked our way down to Lone Tree and then up to Solon. It’s not Napa Valley, but the local patriotism that each community has about their harvest is very similar to the grandstanding you hear when you’re going up and down the coast in California’s wine country. Most of the corn is so sweet and fresh, the people running the stands will encourage to sample some raw. And damned if you don’t take a whole ear and eat that mother raw while the corn juices dribble down your chin and you could care less about the silk stuck between your teeth. Now, grab some kohlrabi! Next, grab a few pounds of rhubarb! Yes, you need onions and, yes, you need to ones with the 10′ of scallion stalk coming out of the top and, yes, you need 4 varieties! Fill up a whole paper grocery bag full of tomatoes so juicy you swear they have their own heartbeat!
And who cares how uncomfortable your passenger is getting because you need the space for cantaloupes, muskmelons, strawberries, yellow wax beans, and raspberries. No, you can’t put that stuff in the trunk because it is already half full of the sweat corn and you still have three more towns to go that will not only have more corn but local craft beers and whiskeys! And this is just Johnson County. And it’s only early August….
Thanks for readine! -Team Goodvin