Farm-to-Fork Tales

Storm in a field with a tree

Farm-to-Fork Tales

The Mount Vernon Area Arts Council will present five farmers telling stories about Iowa weather.  Farm-to-Fork Tales is produced in cooperation with Mary Swander, former Iowa Poet Laureate and professor emerita at Iowa State University. 

Five local residents will share their stories about weather in the Iowa countryside.  The Mississippi Band will also provide live music.  The music will begin right after the end of the regular Thursday Farmers Market.

Storyteller bios:

  • Suzan Erem is a co-founder and executive director of the Sustainable Iowa Land Trust. She is a graduate of the University of Iowa and lives in Cedar County with her husband Paul Durrenberger, two dogs, 7 hens and 2 roosters.
  • Laura Krouse grows vegetables for Abbe Hills Farm CSA. She’s farmed more than 30 years and is finally starting to figure it out. The best thing about her farm is that it allows her to spend time with kids and young people. In her spare time, she is a Linn Soil and Water Conservation District commissioner.
  • Allan Mallie is a local row crop and livestock farmer who describes himself as a running maniac, self-proclaimed music composer, father of three (two daughters and a son), and twelve-year member of the Lisbon School Board. He sums up his philosophy this way: “If you’re standing still, you’re not moving forward.”
  • David Miller is a hairless ape, larger than most of his species, but otherwise unremarkable, zoologically speaking. Yet he struggles with the ontological import of symbols as language–i.e., conveying truth through writing such as in a self-description or “brief biography.” Also, he has dope magical powers and can turn wine into water just by drinking it.
  • Kevin Woods, 66, full-time town job, part time in ag, the best possible arrangement. Living on the same farm the Woods’ family has been attempting to squeeze some resemblance of profit from for nearly 100 years. Husband of Mary Woods; cat whisperer, prairie princess, and all-around good partner.

Mary Swander is an American author.  Her books include the memoirs The Desert Pilgrim (Ice Cube Press) and Out of this World as well as three books of poetry, Heaven-and-Earth House, Driving the Body Back, and Succession.  She has also co-authored a musical, Dear Iowa, with composer Christopher Frank, which has been produced across the Midwest and on Iowa Public Television.  Her awards include a Whiting Award, a National Endowment for the Arts grant for the Literary Arts, the Carl Sandburg Literary Award, and the Nation-Discovery Award. In 2009, she was named to a two-year term as the Poet Laureate of Iowa. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa, she is a Distinguished Professor of English at Iowa State University.

The event is made possible by a grant from the Iowa Arts Council.

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Jul 08 2021


6:00 pm - 6:00 pm


First Street Community Center Front Lawn - Mount Vernon, Iowa
221 First Street NE


Mount Vernon Area Arts Council

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