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Old Ways, New Faces (6)


The Real Deal

What are two Ph.D.s with three cats and no background in farming doing raising certified organic vegetables, ducks, turkeys, and chickens on 14 acres north of Tripoli?

Tammy and Rob Faux (pronounced “Fox”) of Genuine Faux Farm have fielded similar questions many times since 2004, when they first began selling produce at the Waverly Farmers’ Market.

Like good teachers, they sometimes answer with a question of their own: “If we don’t do this, who will?”

And if one lingers long enough, their explanation might range as far as ancient Greece.

The Fauxes met as undergraduates at Luther College in Decorah and followed a circuitous route after graduate school through Wisconsin and Minnesota in search of academic appointments, finally settling at Wartburg College, where Tammy is now associate professor of social work.

As avid gardeners with a penchant for growing more each year than their household could handle, the couple decided to experiment one summer with a farmers’ market slot in Waverly.

(Read more Old Ways, New Faces)

Gardening evolved into farming for Rob and
Tammy Faux of Genuine Faux Farm, where philosophy, wit, and sustainable methods
propel a strong CSA program.

Out of the Shadows

Tammy Faux likens Genuine Faux Farm to Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave,” which she teaches in her first-year seminar at Wartburg. The Greek tale compares enlightenment to a man’s emergence from a shadowy cave, his grasp of reality expanding as he explores the outside world. “The more we learned about food production,” she says, “the more it felt like we’d been living in the shadows. This is a way we can stay true to our own philosophy and offer healthier food to our neighbors.”

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