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Farming by moonlight

Farming by moonlight
Beany and Joanne Bode hoist pumpkins into a wagon on their farm near Algona.

This hasn’t been the best year for growing things. But if there’s one thing Joanne Roepke Bode has learned in her 15 years of vegetable farming, it’s how to be flexible.

Joanne Bode and her husband, Beany, grew up in rural Iowa, graduated from Iowa State University (ISU) and left to find their place in the world. Fifteen years ago, they returned to Beany’s family farming operation near Algona. They planted 1.5 acres to vegetables and in 2006 began a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. “We had three members and gave away two,” says Joanne.

Over time the number of subscribers grew, aided by social media advertising. Now 70 people receive a weekly box of garden goodies. Bode’s Moonlight Gardens also sells at the Kossuth County Farmers Market.

“It’s fun, but it’s a lot of work,” says Joanne. “It’s a great business for someone who doesn’t...




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