Puffer Roske Farms, just northeast of Iowa Falls, is a new vendor to the North Iowa Farmers Market. While it is only their second year of producing fruits and vegetables in Iowa, Charlie and his wife, Lonya Puffer are no strangers to gardening, having many gardens across the United States. Charlie spent 25 years serving in the United States Air Force and would regularly establish a garden where he was stationed. In the spring of 2016, the Puffers worked with co-founder Harold Roske and Puffer Roske Farms was created.
Currently, the operation sits on 149 acres, of which a portion of the land is used for fruit and vegetable production. The Puffer family has plans for expansion, hoping to add cattle (in addition to their pastured pork and poultry) to the mix. They also acquired a 20 by 80 foot greenhouse to utilize in their vegetable production for next year. Though the produce production occupies only 13 acres, the farm is extremely diverse producing blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, eggplant, green beans, tomatoes, a wide variety of peppers, kohlrabi, broccoli, radishes, sweet potatoes, pears, cucumbers, asparagus, okra, rhubarb, sweet corn, watermelon and cantaloupe…just to name a few!
As a new vendor to the North Iowa Farmers market, both Charlie and Lonya enjoy connecting with their customers and sharing life stories. Their ultimate goal, in addition to running their own successful family business, is to connect people with their food.
“Kids don’t like vegetables anymore and for good reasons. The produce they are buying [at the grocery store] is bitter and non-nutrient dense,” says Charlie Puffer. “We want to reconnect people with their food, have them come out to the farm, pick their own food and try farm fresh produce.”
In addition to selling at the Clear Lake, Mason City and Ames farmers markets, Puffer Roske encourages customers to come out and pick their own fruits and vegetables to get the full farm to table experience. Located at the intersection of US Hwy 65 and Co Hwy S-45, the farm is a great destination for families of all ages.
Charlie utilizes a variety of techniques from the Back to Eden organic gardening method to preserve soil fertility. As a mindful steward of the land, Charlie is always thinking ahead to the future in order to continue producing high quality fruits and vegetables for their customers. Their pigs and chickens are also pasture raised.
To learn more about Puffer Roske farms, please visit their website and be sure to welcome them at the market today from 4:00- 6:30 p.m.