A harvest banquet tonight at a central Iowa hotel aims to draw attention to the wide bounty of products more Iowa farmers -could- be growing. The gourmet dinner at the Hotel Pattee features all Iowa-grown meats and produce, but it’s far beyond pork and corn. The menu includes raspberries, wine, sweet clover honey, squash, apples, garlic, goat cheese and pond-raised trout. Rick Hartmann, spokeman for the non-profit group Practical Farmers of Iowa, says the variety of crops grown in Iowa has radically diminished over the decades. Back in the 1920s, he says many small farmers in Iowa would have been growing up to 20 types of crops.He says most P-F-I member-farmers strive to grow their food in a way that provides fair wages for their farms and families and in a way that protects the environment.
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