Meet Larry Cleverley

Larry Cleverley is a farmer in Mingo, Iowa with a passion for locally-grown, flavorful food.

| May 2015

  • Larry Cleverley
    Larry Cleverley prefers to grow Italian varieties of vegetables and fruits on his farm, because they have clear, strong flavors.
    Photo © Dana Damewood
  • Barn
    The big white barn on Larry Cleverley's farm.
    Photo © Dana Damewood
  • In the field
    Larry Cleverley inspecting his produce.
    Photo © Dana Damewood
  • New Prairie Kitchen
    Summer Miller celebrates the unique food culture of the Great Plains in “New Prairie Kitchen,” with more than 50 recipes and 25 profiles of the most innovative chefs, farmers and producers of artisanal goods from Nebraska, Iowa and South Dakota.
    Image courtesy of Agate Publishing

  • Larry Cleverley
  • Barn
  • In the field
  • New Prairie Kitchen

New Prairie Kitchen (Agate Surrey, 2015), by Summer Miller, pays homage to the outstanding chefs, farmers and artisans of Nebraska, Iowa and South Dakota. Some of their favorite recipes, organized by season and focused on regionally sourced meat, poultry, game and produce, appear throughout, along with profiles of these exceptional people. The following profile is from “Fall.”

You can purchase this book from the GRIT store: New Prairie Kitchen.

Larry Cleverley

Farmer • Cleverley Farms • Mingo, IA

East of Highway 330 North in Mingo stands a big, white barn with peeling paint and crucifix windows. The hills and valleys surrounding it are plentiful with black walnut trees, fields of arugula, wildfire lettuce, retato degli ortolani melons, and the sagging branches of Matt’s Wild Cherry tomato plants.

On this crisp, early fall morning, Larry Cleverley crouches to inspect frost-nipped pattypan squash. His flowing white hair shifts in the wind to reveal a bright-orange Slow Food button pinned to the breast of his faded jean jacket.

“No one knows what food is supposed to taste like,” Larry says. “If they did know, they wouldn’t eat the crap they eat.”



February 15-16, 2020
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