Canoe Creek Produce

Located 7 miles northeast of Decorah, in Pleasant Township, Canoe Creek Produce is operated by Barbara Kraus and her family. Canoe Creek Produce began with eggs and has grown to include a variety of vegetables, fruits, and meats. Today, Barbara manages a herd of Katahdin sheep, and several acres of gardens and orchards.

CSA Program

Canoe Creek Produce is offering 25 farmers market CSA shares. Pick out fresh and unique offerings of vegetables, herbs, fruit, and flowers from the Canoe Creek Produce farmers market stand. Establish a connection with where and how your food is produced. Complete your shopping with other vendors and mingle with fellow community members.

A farmers market share can be purchased between Feb. 1st and May 1st 2015 for $200. Select Canoe Creek Produce products of your choice at any of the Saturday Winneshiek Farmers Markets from May - October. Hours are 8-11am. (Please note that Canoe Creek Produce will not be at Wednesday Markets in 2017).

When you come to our stand tell us you are a CSA member and select the products you like. We will give you a newsletter, the value of your selection, and your current balance. We'll let you know if seconds are available and if items are available in bulk quantities for canning and freezing.

To sign up contact Barb Kraus at [email protected] or (563)-382-4899

Checks can be sent to:

Canoe Creek Produce
2912 Manawa Trail RoadDecorah, IA 52101

The Story of Canoe Creek Produce

In a valley carved out by Canoe Creek, seven miles northeast of Decorah, sits Canoe Creek Produce, a small farm operated by Decorah native Barb Kraus. Barb grew up on the land, and now owns about thirty acres total. She grows vegetable crops on about two acres, seven acres are pasture and hay, and she re-forested the remaining land. In addition to the produce, Barb and her family also raise a smattering of animals: a flock of sheep, a couple of goats, some chickens and geese, and a few rabbits. For the past three years, she has also been experimenting with local, organic flowers.

Barb was a practicing veterinarian when she started farming about fifteen years ago. Busy kids and a hectic life helped her decide that having a job at home might work better.

“We had this land and it seemed a shame to let it be idle,” Barb said. “So, I switched to market gardening on a small scale and it has gradually grown to consume all of my time.”

Canoe Creek Produce sells vegetables and flowers at the Winneshiek County Farmers Market, the Oneota Community Food Co-op, and to a few restaurants in Decorah. For the first time in 2014, Barb offered two types of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) shares, through which families and individuals can receive her fresh produce on a regular basis.

Barb has grown her produce organically from the start, but has been certified organic for the last four years.

“There was a program to get funding for a hoop house and part of that was to become certified organic,” Barb said. “I’m glad to be able to say that I am certified, it helps other people feel comfortable that I am not just saying that [I am organic], but that I really am.”

Before the hoop house funding program, Barb never really felt the need to become certified.

“All of my markets have been really local,” Barb said. “If people want to know how I grow things, I can just tell them.”

Despite never feeling the need to become certified, however, there was never any question that Barb wanted to grow her produce in organic ways.

“That is just how I grew up,” Barb said. “A lot of home gardeners are growing organically. I really want to do what is right for the environment, to do right for the soil, and to first combat diseases and pests naturally.”

Most people understand that it is important to eat organically, Barb said, but not everyone thinks about the importance of local, organically grown flowers.

“Flowers are often shipped in from far away,” Barb said. “So they have a high carbon footprint, and a lot of the places they’re grown -- often Central America -- have been pretty indiscriminate in uses of pesticides and stuff like that, in order to get a perfect flower.”

To learn more about Canoe Creek Produce, or to arrange a visit, you can visit the Canoe Creek Produce website.