Iowa family farm sees success with tunnel greenhouses

The produce grown at Phelps Farm near Guttenberg runs the gamut from cucumbers and celery to cauliflower and cantaloupe, and Andrew Phelps knows precisely where each crop is planted.

"Over there, we've got okra, snow peas, chard, dill, and cilantro," he said on a recent morning, indicating the neatly organized rows of plants at the family's farm. "I've got kohlrabi hiding in the weeds there, too."

Andrew and his wife, Amy, have owned and operated Phelps Farm since 2019, with help from their two children: Ayden, 3, and Allie, 2. The family sells produce and locally raised beef at several area farmers' markets.

The centerpiece of the farm, however, is the outdoor garden plots and four "tunnel" greenhouses, including a heated tunnel in which plants such as lettuce, spinach, and radishes can grow through the winter.

The other tunnels hold eggplants, peppers, tomatillos, ginger, tomatoes, and other produce. Herbs, more vegetables, and fruits such as strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, and watermelon take up the outdoor plots.

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