The key products offered are brown-jumbo-Grade A-chicken eggs (quail eggs in late fall 2014), wild fruit herbal teas, wild fruit jams/jellies, soups, |
The Kiowa House of Herbs (The Wild, Natural, Traditional Way) was developed in 1991, named after Tim’s Native American heritage; Tim is half Kiowa (the wild, native, traditional way). Cyndy is Irish, farm raised in the early 1950s. She remembers waking to the shuddering earth as road equipment, two miles away, shook the house in the early ‘60s when Interstate-80 was built. Tim and Cyndy's path has brought them to the farm they currently reside on outside Searsboro, Iowa, half-a-mile from Cyndy’s aging parents, who are still on the farm.
Their farm is registered as the highest point in Poweshiek County with timber ground all around (note early morning picture of the pond and fog). The key products offered are chicken eggs (quail eggs later this year), wild fruit herbal teas, wild fruit jams/jellies, soups, pickles, sauerkraut, baked items, dried herbs, and some fresh garden produce. Most of the garden and field produce is used in the products they sell; just the way Grandma did it, except Cyndy has a nice new stove. She does not cook to win blue ribbons; she cooks to fill hungry tummies; therefore, her cuisine is humble, rustic, country cooking.
Browse through our Products for Sale
Almost all the ingredients used in preparing these products are grown, produced, and harvested in Iowa. Cyndy does all her cooking from scratch/basic ingredient cooking. They grow their own tomatoes and can their own sauces (not seeded) for food preparation; the same goes for the other products they cook up. The novelty items are made from wild Iowa fruit. Wild crafted fruits are mixed with domestic fruit to add the powerful flavor punch of wild fruits to jams, jellies, fruit leather, and herbal teas; it’s the way jams and jellies used to taste.
Practices (our standards for raising or making our products)
Our farming practices stem from much of the practices set in the 1950s. We plant trees for orchards, nuts, maple syrup, and place them where needed for soil erosion control or to solve problems with pooling rain runoff. We harvest duckweed from the spring-fed pond, baling it to supplement the poultry diet. Duckweed cleans ground water from nitrogen/phosphorus buildup from pasturing practices; however, it does need harvesting to keep it from suffocating pond life that includes: crappie, bass, blue gill, sun fish, snapping turtles, painted box turtles, frogs, blue herons, bald eagles, golden eagles, red-tailed hawks, owls, snakes of many kinds, mink, muskrats, badger, coyotes, bobcats, deer, wild turkeys, quails, partridges, and we even had a cougar this winter. When the cougar was around, there were no other wildlife out in the open.
We have the old style windmill that needs blades, which we want to put back into functioning; it still has the old fuse box and wiring used to transfer power to the barn for lights and such in the 1940s when the barn was built. There is a cistern that has been closed off that we are looking to see what it would take to open back up and flush out. We are on Poweshiek Rural Water Association so irrigation uses are mighty limited. The practices of crop rotation, ground covers, and alternately let the ground rest with no production are farming ethics we follow. We use quaternary ammonium products or bleach (Iowa Code) for sanitizing eggs and cleanups per customer choices.
Besides their farming, Tim and Cyndy have worked with hundreds of troubled youth, which they now focus on rural youth of Central Iowa (where suicide rates are high); kept many out of prison. Funds are being raised to refurbish the well-used barn to house an all-seasoned youth center.
Along with the local outreach for youth, they physically and financially support four outreaches in Andhra Pradesh, SE India where many orphans and widows are housed and fed. Another main goal in India is to provide jobs for the women, since in this area the only job available is rice fields. This takes care of their food source for nine months out of the year, sadly, they suffer starvation the other three months. The work age for women in the rice fields is into their mid-thirties; heart failure sets in. Heart disease is high among female agricultural workers in Andhra Pradesh, India.
Highlights this Month
Brown, jumbo, Grade A eggs laid by Buff Orphingtons, 27 to 30 ounces per dozen. These girls are special; Tim runs a nursing home for chickens, because he refuses to cull them. So we let the old girls brood fertilized eggs to keep them useful while holding their status within the flock, which eliminates pecking.
We feed them corn and marigolds, making their yolks deeply golden that tinges pancake mixes yellow. Make an omelet and see the bright yellow that wakes you up in the mornings. Talk about sunny-side up!