Alexi Groumoutis, Local Foods Coordinator formed Southern Iowa Local Foods Council in 2012. The food council provides a unique forum comprised of diverse stakeholders who meet monthly to discuss and work on projects and issues that revolve around local foods.
Alexi Groumoutis – Local foods Coordinator for Southern Iowa RC&D
Brian Zachary – Creston Farmers’ Market Manager
Dale Raasch – Bridgewater Farm
Diane Weiland – President and CEO of Wallace Centers of Iowa
Victoria Brammer – Parents as Teachers Educator at Southwestern Community College
Haley Jones – County Youth and Outreach Coordinator at ISU-Union County Extension
Alexi Groumoutis, Local Foods Coordinator is a member of the Regional Food System Working Group. Representatives from more than 25 groups across Iowa meet quarterly to discuss and coordinate efforts to build more vibrant regional food systems.
Food Service Resource Guide: Purchasing from local farmers, growers and producers. This guide written by Alexi Groumoutis, Local Foods Coordinator, is intended to be a starting point for restaurants, grocery stores and institutions looking to purchase from local growers. Click here to access Food Service Resource Guide
Dale Rassch and his 24-year-old son Tyler take pride in working their two-main farming operation, the 40-acre Bridgewater Farm in Adair County. They market their products with confidence because they know they are high quality, healthy and sustainably grown. By creating new marking relationships and taking advantage of networking opportunities, they have reached new customers with their meat, eggs, fruit and vegetables.
In 2013, the Leopold Center and the steering committee for the Regional Food Systems Working Group (RFSWG) collaborated on an outcomes-based evaluation to measure the collective community economic impacts associated with regional food system development in Iowa.
The Southern Iowa Local Food Initiative Community Food Profile, written by Local Food Coordinator, Alexi Groumoutis, is a compilation of economic and social impact data on the varying food sectors in the Southern RC&D Region. This food profile, which was funded by an Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship grant, looks at the varying food sectors in the Southern Iowa RC&D region, illustrating the positive impact local foods have on our communities. Please take the time to read this report (feel free to print it or forward it)and learn about your sustainably minded neighbors who are making Iowa a better place to live!
Presentations at Osceola’s Community Diversity Garden
Southern Iowa RC&D Local Foods Coordinator, Alexi Groumoutis teaching the components of salad building at Osceola’s Community Diversity Garden, June 2015.
The following article was taken from Food Connections: Southern Iowa Local Foods Initiative Community Food Profile, written by Local Foods Coordinator, Alexi Groumoutis.
As she bends down to fill her weaved basket with freshly harvested produce, Marilyn Dorland’s white hair glistens in the sun. At 80 years-old she tries carefully not to agitate her fragile knees. Rummaging through the garden, Dorland begins plucking fresh green beans off their vines. Her tanned skin tells the story of a close relationship with the outdoors while her aching knees are testimony to the many years she’s devoted to gardening. Although age has proven unforgiving in many ways, Dorland still remains physically strong putting one foot on top of her shovel while using the weight of her body to sink the shovel deep into the ground unearthing purple potatoes. The wind blows a brief bit of respite against the battering sun on this hot Iowa day where temperatures are expected to reach 102 degrees. Neither blazing temperatures nor a previous battle with cancer will come between Dorland and the vegetables she grows.
Practical Farmers of Iowa in partnership with Adair County Extension hosted an Organic Ag Field Day event at Iowa State University’s Neely-Kinyon Research farm South of Greenfield, IA, August 18, 2015. Alexi Groumoutis was asked to give a presentation on Southern Iowa’s Local Food’s Initiative. Additionally, she gave a hands-on demonstration on lacto-fermenting sauerkraut (Victory Krout!). There was a group of about 30 folks who showed up (which apparently was a low turnout due to the rain earlier in the day) and enjoyed a complimentary locally sourced meal. Practical Farmers of Iowa is an excellent resource for aspiring, beginning and existing farmers.
Alexi Groumoutis, Local Foods Coordinator for Southern Iowa Local Foods Initiative hosted the Inaugural 2013 Uptown Creston Food Crawl, a celebration of locally sourced foods where patrons walked from business to business sampling culinary delights made with ingredients sourced from local farmers. Patrons enjoyed live music and met the farmers who grew the food. Pictures taken by Lisa Sawtelle.
Local Foods Coordinator Alexi Groumoutis interviewed specialty-crop farmers in the Southern Iowa region and published their stories to expand direct producer to consumer marketing opportunities.
Iowa’s farmers are a vital part of our community and a central link in the supply chain for local foods. Learn more about these fascinating people and their farms.