Muscatine’s Mairet Farms delivers the farm-to-table experience

MUSCATINE, Iowa -  A produce farmer here is really living the farm-to-table experience by delivering to six communities this summer.

It's just a few minutes past nine, but the crew at Mairet Farms is busy at work on Wednesday, August 1.

Matriarch Diana Mairet is able to make sense of this three-ring produce circus.

"To be able to bring that to people who don't have a chance to grow a garden or just don't want to take that time, it's really nice," she said.

There's a lot of sorting, sifting and stuffing inside their home base at 4707 US-61 in Muscatine.  Most of it is for their Summer Produce Program, which brings fresh produce and fruit to smaller communities that may not have access to it.

"We give you some recipes," said Shane Mairet, who oversees the family operation.  "We give you the stuff to make it.  Once a week, you get a meal for that night and the rest of the week."

They're packing 80 bags for a road trip on Wednesday.  It's a real family affair.  Even seven-month-old Maverick gets into the act.

"Maverick comes to work with us on Wednesday and helps us pack the bags and say hi to the customers," Shane continued.

Bag after bag will go to six Iowa communities like Columbus Junction and Eldridge.  Customers subscribing to three different packages ($55, $80 or $160) will enjoy the fresh treats.

Mairet Farms is already taking subscriptions for 2019 at (563) 263-2338 or through its Facebook page.

DeWitt, Iowa, is one of its busiest stops every week.  That's where the vegetable roadshow is a bit like a circus big top.  Once the tent is up, the customers arrive.

Bag-by-bag slowly disappears throughout the day.

"That's right," said customer Bim Prichard.  "It's just all in the bag."

Rather than driving to a farmer's market, it comes to them.

"It's literally on my way home from work," said customer Blake Hasenmiller.  "I can just stop at my lunch break and pick stuff up."

With their home grown corn, potatoes, tomatoes, melons and more, they're inspiring healthier eating.

"I think it's just really neat for the community," Prichard concluded.

Now, that's a real drive-through order.


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