LACONA, Iowa –An event this weekend aims to show what life is like on the farm and what local farms offer the area. It’s called Farm Crawl 2017. This is the event’s 11th year.
Craig Schneider is a pro at picking apples. He said, "I'm the oldest of four kids here at Schneider Orchard. We started the orchard in the mid 80's. It's on about two and a half acres, we've got a lot of varieties."
He and his siblings help his parents on their land in Lacona every fall. They'll unload most of their crop the first of October this year. "We sell 80 to 90 percent of them on the weekend of the farm crawl," he said.
Schneider Orchard has been a part of the Farm Crawl since it started. This year features seven stops in south-central Iowa that are an easy drive from one another.
Craig’s brother Kelly Schneider said, "Everybody has the same goal. They have their own produce they like to get to market. Much like most of industry, if you work together it's a lot easier. And, we just wanted to have a nice neat thing people can come to southern Iowa and see what we're doing down here."
The seven stops include Blue Gate Farm, Coyote Run Farm, Crooked Gap Farm, Pierce’s Pumpkin Patch, Schneider Orchard, White Breast Pottery and Weaving, and Trojan Iron Works.
All the locations on the farm crawl will have fun activities for adults and kids. The Schneider Orchard has a new apple shooter for people to try to hit targets and earn a treat. They also have a tree house with a slide for kids to enjoy, in addition to the apple picking.
Also new this year, Pleasantville High School FFA students will show off their work, including items from their student-run business Trojan Iron Works. FFA President Ryland McCormick said, "The kids do everything, the designing, the welding, the cutting."
FFA Secretary Taylor Clark added, "We do them on computer so you can get the experience of cutting them out. It's really difficult."
They'll set up shop at Bauer Church in Lacona. FFA Vice President Colten Stephens said, "We'll have halves of beef and hogs and then in addition to that, we're going to have live entertainment."
The Farm Crawl typically attracts 2,000 people to show off what farm life is like in southern Iowa. Kelly said, "I mean look around, the scenery is fantastic. Everyone is friendly, inviting. I'd compare the event to RAGBRAI. You walk around and everybody is happy."
Farm Crawl 2017 is Sunday, October 1st from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can find a map of the stops on the Farm Crawl’s website.