Recognizing the importance of the state’s specialty crop industry, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has designated July 25-29 as Iowa Fruit and Vegetable Week.
The weeklong celebration recognizes the state’s 1,084 vegetable and 1,714 fruit operations, the nutritious products they produce and the consumers who depend on locally sourced fruits and vegetables.
Each day of the week holds a special focus. Monday is Growing Iowa’s Economy; Tuesday is Growing Iowa Fruits; Wednesday is Growing Iowa Vegetables; Thursday is Growing Market Connections; amd Friday is Foodie Friday.
“While Iowa is often associated with corn and soybeans, growers in the state also produce some of the highest quality fruits and vegetables grown anywhere in the country,” said Maury Wills, president of the Iowa Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association. “Fortunately, fresh Iowa-grown fruits and vegetables are easy to find at farmers markets, farm stands and on-farm retail markets located throughout the state. Now is the time to stock up on your favorite Iowa grown fruits and vegetables.”
Iowa’s commercial horticulture industry contributes $48 million to the state’s economy each year. The most recent statewide survey of commercial horticulture production in Iowa, released in 2017, showed that the top five crops in 2015 were tomatoes, pumpkins, cucumbers, green beans and winter squash.
“Not only does this highlight the economic importance of this industry in Iowa, it also serves as a reminder to Iowans to include additional fruits and vegetables from local sources in their diets,” said Kendra Meyer, program specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach’s Farm, Food and Enterprise Development program.
Meyer is also executive secretary of the Iowa Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association.
Follow the Iowa Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association Facebook page for social media updates on the week. Also, be sure and tag your own social media posts with the hashtag #IAFruitVeggieWeek22.