Hometown Farmer - Nate's Farm

Hometown Farmer - Nate's Farm

It's exciting when you find a passion in life, something you know you were meant to do.

That's what happened to Nate Howe, after leaving his hometown of Hinton and spending a few years in Colorado.

"A learning process is an understatement," said Nate Howe, reflecting on his in-progress first year in business.

His farm is simply called "Nate's Farm," and he's growing organic vegetables and selling his produce at Farmer's Markets, as well as a few Community Supported Agriculture shares.

"It's been in my head, in a dream, for a handful of years now," said Howe.

He came back to where he grew up, near Hinton, IA, after culinary school in Colorado.

He realized his real connection with food was not just cooking, but growing.

Over the past year, he's found out a lot goes into getting plants to come up out of the ground.

"It's like any other garden: some things work, some things don't, the weather's kicking me in the teeth on a few things, the bugs are here," said Howe.

That's one reason why his garden might look unusual.

Not only are most items planted in 25-foot-long, 30-inch-wide beds, but to protect the plants, he uses an insect netting.

The netting pulls double-duty, though, helping keep moisture levels up on freshly planted produce.

"There are a lot of things you can't control, so you have to control as many things as you can," said Howe.

His growing style is a technique called SPIN, which stands for "Small Plot INtensive" farming.

Some of that is evidenced in his tomatoes, growing up a wire.

"I'm forcing it into one vine," said Howe, pointing to his plants.

He grows a lot of veggies in a small area.

"Five rows of carrots right here, instead of being all spread out, they're all within one spot so I can harvest, you know, if I harvest this section right here, I harvest the equivalent of one 25-foot row," said Howe.

He's an Iowa farmer, coming back home from Colorado to find his purpose, and he's letting it grow.

"My purpose on the planet is to feed people, and that has so many different avenues," said Howe.

You can find out more about Nate's Farm at both his web site, here:

You can also check out his Facebook page, here:

If you think of a farmer that might be great on "Proud to be a Hometown Farmer," please email Jake at:

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