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!
Utilizing old wood chips for mulch helps preserve soil moisture and control weeds on the Puffer Roske Farm without the use of chemicals.