top of page

The Present

 In recent years, Johnson County has worked to renew the farm. This new era of the farm has been informed by the farm’s past as well as the needs of the current community.  The renewal process has involved the rehabilitation of historic buildings, returning the land to prairie and local food production, and planning for new features such as a commercial kitchen and an accessible Healing Trail. Learn more about what is found on the farm today and how it serves the community.    

Drawing of a bean pod

Local Food Production

Land Access Program farmer in the field holding green onions
Grow: Johnson County volunteers washing carrots
Global Food Project farmer planting seedlings

Land Access Program

The Land Access Program (LAP) provides 3-year land use agreements to area farmers with different farming experiences and scales. The use agreements include land, irrigation water, and storage. LAP tenants sell their produce at local farmers markets, grocery stores, and through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA).

LAP applications are closed for 2023. 

For more information, contact Jason Grimm, Farm Manager, at


GROW: Johnson County

GROW: Johnson County is a hunger-relief and educational farm program. GROW cultivates 6 acres at the JCHPF to grow organic produce that is donated to local hunger-relief agencies. GROW also provides hands-on farming experiences for community members of all ages and backgrounds.

For more information, contact Jason Grimm, Farm Manager, at

Global Food Project 

The Global Food Project (GFP) is a program of IC Compassion that provides garden space and resources to Iowa City and Johnson County residents, prioritizing garden space for immigrant and refugee families and focusing on increasing the amount of culturally meaningful foods produced in the area. GFP work to connect gardeners to each other and the broader community through educational workshops focused on adapting the existing knowledge and skills of gardeners to Iowa. GFP also provides a safe, nurturing, and inclusive environment for sharing life experiences, building trust between cultures, and embracing the diversity of fellow Iowans.


For more information, contact Will Kapp, GFP Manager at

Land Access Program

Drawing of a trowel

Applications are closed.

The following rates pertain to the listed infrastructural items and are available for an annual fee.

Land ​= $35 per 1/8 acre

Irrigation Water Access = $150 per year

Storage Space = $100 per bay

Cold Storage (4' x 4' x 6') = Free

Shared Produce/Wash Pack Area (20' x 18') = Free

  • Iowa Valley RC&D offers some custom field work services. Prices vary.

  • Electrical access is for illumination purposes only in the North Shed. Additional access must be approved in advance by staff and fees may apply.

  • A small break area is available for tenants located in the North Shed. The break area includes a shared mini fridge, microwave, and picnic table.

Natural Areas

Drawing of a seedling

Johnson County hired Impact7G to create and implement a 7-year Natural Areas Master Plan.  

7-year Natural Areas Master Plan Vision Statement:


"To preserve and elevate the health and diversity of species within the Historic Poor Farm of Johnson County, Iowa, and to nurture the stability and natural abundance of the land; promoting the ecosystem services that supported historic land use as well as encouraging the natural regenerative processes of soil, water, and biotic life."

Pollinator meadow with yellow and white flowers and prairie grasses

Historic Building Complex

Drawing of a watering can

The farm’s Historic Building Complex contains several buildings that have undergone rehabilitation such as the Livestock Barn, Dairy Barn, and Asylum. Six of these buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places, therefore rehabilitation has been sensitive to their history, leaving original structures and features intact.


We have also been busy with the construction of a new educational building, the Cultivation Station. Additionally, we have been working with architects and engineers to design a Commercial Kitchen and Healing Trail which will be coming to the farm soon.

bottom of page