Grinnell Heritage Farm, owned and operated by Andrew and Melissa Dunham, produces USDA organic vegetables, flowers and herbs. Andrew is a 5th generation Iowa farmer. The 80 acre farm, located northeast of Grinnell, has been in the family for 153 years, and is counted amongst the oldest family farms in central Iowa.
Andrew became interested in pursuing a career in local agriculture as an agricultural extension officer serving in the Peace Corps in Tanzania, East Africa. His experience working with subsistence farmers and growing vegetables on a one-acre plot nudged him in the direction of undertaking an internship on an organic vegetable farm in NE Iowa upon his return to the United States. Andrew now has six growing-for-market seasons of experience. He handles most of the planning, planting, transplanting, and manages the work crew while weeding, harvesting, and washing.
Melissa and Andrew were married in the winter of 2007. Melissa and son Collin moved to Grinnell from the Twin Cities. Though not overly familiar with farm activities then, they are learning quickly and have greatly increased the entrepreneurial energy on the farm. Melissa adeptly handles our accounting tasks, website, brochures and does many of our farmers markets. Collin lends a hand where needed all summer. One of his favorite tasks is packing CSA boxes while dancing. A new addition to the family arrived on March 16th, though she’s not able to pack boxes we have high hopes little Emma will appreciate all of the veggies produced on the farm.
Aunt Janet has been an avid gardener her whole life. She consistently remarks that growing produce for market is much different than growing for home consumption and that she feels like she is getting re-educated about how to grow a garden. Janet is our primary hand weeder which enables us to harvest greens in a timely fashion. She also keeps tabs on Emma when her parents cannot.
In addition to this being a family affair we are aided by seasonal employees and lots of help from extended family, friends, and shareholders. They put the Community in CSA.