What’s in a name? Clarion speaks to the kind of soil on our farm, well-drained soil on uplands that formed in the glacial till–sediments left by glaciers settled over Iowa. It also has a more sentimental meaning; Jenn’s grandfather was born and raised in the small town of Clarion, Iowa on his family’s farm. After a World War II stint in the Navy, he was supposed to return to his hometown and farm for a living, but his parents’ health failed and the farm was sold. Naming our operation after his memory is a nod to the role he played in Jenn’s life and a connection with past Iowa/farming generations. Sage is an herb we all love; it is one of the first seedlings transplanted here when we arrived in August. Additionally, in our endeavor, we will heed the sage, or wisdom, of the past by using organic, low-impact methods of farming; methods that build up the soil, rather than deplete, by using seeds that have resulted from nature’s selection rather than the ‘technology’ of modern plant breeding, mulching to conserve water usage, and making fresh food available locally, as opposed to food that travels a thousand miles.
Originally from rural Missouri, Cody worked in various agronomic fields for over 20 years before finally settling in Iowa and raising two daughters. Aside from the work he does at Clarion Sage–from propagation to irrigation to harvest–he is also a writer and photographer, and bases his work from the farm. In his spare time he renovates the farmhouse, builds furniture, and sometimes runs marathons.
Jenn hails from the suburbs of Chicago (Evanston) and is completely and utterly food obsessed. It started with an interest in cooking (Once upon a time she was a food blogger & recipe columnist for Martha Stewart.); next thing she knew she was growing her own ingredients. She has worked on farms in rural Iceland, the city garden of Reykjavik, a CSA in Berkeley, California, a permaculture operation in the mountains of Costa Rica, and at various farms in Iowa and Missouri. She loves rare and interesting heirloom produce and has a desire to keep old varieties alive. When not digging in the dirt, Jenn likes really long naps, cooking Indian food, sharing meals, baking vegan/gluten-free, and the occasional thrift store excursion. Jenn also blogs at Clover Lush—check it out for recipes featuring farm-fresh produce!
Now six years old, Tucker is a Scottish McNab, a herding breed. He loves farm life and is especially fond of pumpkins, Frisbee, and swimming in the pond