Pickle Creek Herbs
Contact: Tim & Jocelyn Engman
Address: 104 S 3rd St Fairfield, , 52540
Email Address:
Phone: 319-694-3054
About Us
Hello! We're Tim & Jocelyn, the Pickle Creek Farmers. We like to think of ourselves as Farmerteurs, or Farmer-Entrepreneurs. About 10 years ago, we gave up our Chicagoland chemistry jobs to do the crazy and near impossible: Thrive on a 100-acre family farm.

Today we are the proud owners of Pickle Creek Herbs, a small organic herb farm in Southeast Iowa. We grow herbs, berries, tomatoes, and garlic that we then use to create herb-infused olive oils and vinegars, jellies, syrups, soaps, salves, and lip balms. We take the process from seed to store and make everything ourselves using original recipes perfected over the years. And yes! You can taste the difference!

On our Web site you’ll read that our mission is to show how amazing herbs can be when they’re grown by passionate farmers who love their plants, their community, and their soil. We also have another, kind of save-the-world mission: To demonstrate how the small sustainable farm can thrive in today’s modern industrial world. We intend to do this through care and respect for the land, the community, and the consumer, and we hope this shines through in everything we do.

After all, in the end we are no more than what we have given to others. Passion for life and respect for the land that sustains it: Above all, that’s what we hope to give.

"Full disclosure: Tim and I are organic farmers. We don’t always say it, but we’ve been certified by the state since we began growing for market in 2004. To our supporters I say, Thanks! To the dubious I say, Make fun of me if you want, but you probably can’t laugh at me any more than I’ve already laughed at myself. Before Pickle Creek, Tim worked for Big Pharma, I worked for Big Oil, and we owned Monsanto stock. I walked around with my advanced chemistry degree and snarked, “Organic? You’re crazy to pay more for organic! Everyone who’s ever had a basic chemistry class knows that everything in the living world is organic: Carbon, hydrogen, and maybe a little oxygen or nitrogen—that’s all any molecule needs to be organic!”

And then I read Secrets of the Soil and a whole bunch of other books on the subject, totally reversed my philosophy, and have been laughing at myself ever since.

Because this is what those books made the snarky scientist in me realize: Organic farming isn’t about marketing; it’s about optimal life. Our bodies are complex systems of chemical reactions catalyzed by special proteins called enzymes. And those enzymes need a whole smorgasbord of nutrients (copper, zinc, moly, even arsenic) in order to function. And if those nutrients aren’t in the soil where our food grows, then they can’t get into our food, which means they can’t get into our bodies, and we feel sick and tired and fall susceptible to disease. Enter organic farming: The idea that we should nourish our soil so that it can nourish us. And yeah, I used to laugh at everything organic. But not anymore. I still laugh—only now I laugh at the girl who laughed at something she never took the time to understand."

--An excerpt from writings by Jocelyn (the Pickle Creek Girl)

Our farm is certified organic. We are former chemists and are very conscious of our soil chemistry. We work to create the ideal growing environment for our plants. Life starts with the soil! A natural corollary to this is sustainability--we honor it and do our best to practice it.