Learn about local food Saturday

By Samantha Ludeking, Driftless Journal Production Manager

The public is invited to the Local Food Fair this Saturday, April 13, at Convergence Ciderworks in Decorah from 2 to 4 p.m. This informal event will include live music and host farmers, the Iowa Food Hub, the Decorah Community Food Pantry, Seed Savers Exchange and more to share how to choose locally-harvested food this season. 

According to event coordinator and Convergence taproom manager Norah Hummel, the event will look like a farmers market with booths featuring familiar local farmers, however the producers will be offering education during this prelude to their growing season. 

“The goal of the Local Food Fair is to connect the Decorah community with resources about how to shop locally this growing season,” said Hummel. “Decorah is so unique in its robust local food system. Farmers markets, farm dinners and farm to table restaurants draw tourists to the region. We are working on highlighting community supported agriculture and the many passionate players behind this network. Convergence Ciderworks is excited to host this event because it fosters community we are invested in. We use locally-grown apples in all of our cider; creating a product that’s a taste of the Driftless Region.”

Food Pantry

For its part in the local food conversation, the Decorah Community Food Pantry will be on hand Saturday to discuss food waste and the pantry’s efforts rescuing food from six local partners (Fareway, HyVee, Walmart and all three Kwik Stars) and redistributing it to families in need. In 2023, a total of 199,957 pounds of food was rescued by the Decorah Community Food Pantry.

“We can not successfully address food insecurity without addressing food waste,” explained Decorah Community Food Pantry director Matt Tapscott. 

Volunteers sort the rescued food and send the scraps to local farms to feed livestock or to compost. Every ounce of food is used locally.

Learn more about food waste and how food pantry clients have access to Decorah Farmers Market Products during the Local Food Fair Saturday. 


In addition to the Decorah Community Food Pantry, representatives from the Decorah Farmers Market, Iowa Food Hub and Blazing Star will be on hand Saturday along with the following producers: Driftless Seed Supply, Seed Savers Exchange, Patchwork Green Farm, Humble Hands Harvest, Sweet Season Farm, River Root Farm, Oak and Olive Flowers and Canoe Creek Produce along with 

“There isn’t one right way to shop locally, and we are hoping that this event can help folks choose the best way to shop local for themselves and their families,” said Hummel. “The folks participating at this event are by no means the only local producers in the region. This is just a slice of the pie. If you want to eat local but don’t know where to begin, this is the event for you.”

 Did you know…

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a way for consumers to buy food directly from a farmer. A farmer offers shares (aka a “membership” or a “subscription”) consisting of a box of vegetables and other farm products. Consumers purchase a share and in return receive seasonal produce each week throughout the farming season.

CSA memberships not only mean ultra-fresh food for consumers – benefits to producers include opportunities to spend their time marketing the food early in the year, before their 16 hour days in the field begin. They receive payment early in the season, which helps with the farm’s cash flow.

Thinking about signing up for a CSA but want to learn more about the idea before committing? Saturday’s Local Food Fair will include CSA sign up and education.

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