Hoffman Produce Farms and Fresh Green Onions


I had the pleasure of visiting my friends, Greg & Denise Hoffman at Hoffman Produce Farms.  They grow a wide variety of produce from apples to zucchini on about 20 acres of land in Waterloo, IA.   The Hoffmans are very well known for living out their mission to, “Provide fresh, sustainable and local produce to the Cedar Valley.”  I was able to bring home and use some green onions from Hoffmans to add a different flavor to our beets.

Greg, Eli, Justin & Denise Hoffman of Hoffman Produce Farms

The Hoffman family has been providing the Cedar Valley with quality, fresh produce for several decades.  Greg started helping his family as a teenager and Denise has been on board since before they were married.  Their 2 sons, also help out around the farm as do a few other employees.

Connecting with Customers

Greg pulls green onions in the field.

It takes time and dedication to take a seed and cultivate it into something we can eat.  When asked what is their favorite part of the whole operation, Greg & Denise both state they like connecting directly with their customers.  They find a deep “satisfaction in growing something from seed” into a “product people are excited to see and eat.”

Hoffmans not only grow traditional Iowa fruits and vegetables, but also grow many vegetables immigrants have introduced to them.  Many of their customers moved here from other countries and can find familiar vegetables such as Chinese okra, and bitter gourds at Hoffman Produce Farms.  Hoffmans also sell a variety of edible and ornamental plants during the spring.

A smile lights up Greg’s face as he tells me about a family from El Salvador who came to the market.  The parents were choosing vegetables when their son (about 4 years old) became excited about the Sensitive Plants Hoffmans had for sale.  (Sensitive Plant leaves fold up when they are touched and grow abundantly in warmer climates.)  The plant reminded him of home and the youngster convinced his dad to buy one.  They both agree, connecting with appreciative customers like this makes all the hard work worth it year after year.

Green Onion Versatility

Basket of Greens from Hoffman Produce Farms

I brought home a basket full of vegetables that didn’t take long to find their way to our plates.  I love cooking with onions.  They add a savory flare to many of my culinary creations.  Green or younger onions add a special flavor and I made good use of these.

Green Onions & Beets

I chopped the tops off and dehydrated them to use another time-reducing food waste.  I then sliced the bottoms into 1/4 inch discs and added them to the last bag of 2017 beets we had in the freezer.  One could use 2 regular cans of beets from the grocery store, too.

Roasted Green Onions and Beets

These green onions and beets made for a simple, colorful and delicious side.  The little bite-sized discs were eye-catching in the sea of red beets.  This dish paired well with the chicken thighs my husband seasoned  and baked.


Green onions, beets & baked chicken on a bed of fresh lettuce

Many people like to eat green onions raw, but I find their pungent flavor overpowering.  I prefer to cook them in some way, shape or form. Onion tops can be cut off and the bottom part grilled, roasted, sautéed or cut up and added to any number of things that call for onions.  Onion tops (which are much milder) are great for adding  subtle flavor to any number of vegetables or meats-similar to chives.

Where to Find Hoffman’s Produce

Many thanks to Greg & Denise for these delicious green onions!  You can purchase produce from Hoffman Produce Farms at the Cedar Falls Farmer’s Market (on 3rd & Clay Street) on Saturdays from 8:30 am- 12:00 noon until the end of October (with the exception of June 23rd-when there is no market for the Sturgis Falls Festival).

Starting July 21st, you can also go out to their farm at 1011 Martin Road, Waterloo to pick your own produce during their U-Pick sales. U-Pick hours are Saturdays & Sundays from 3-6 pm and Thursdays from 4-6 pm.  Check out their Facebook page for updates and more information.

Tell me how you like to fix green onions in the comments.  It may inspire a new recipe!



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  1. Kris Lyons says:

    I’ve noticed in a few of your recipes you’ve mentioned having these veggies in your fridge, are they from your garden? How do I freeze things that I’ve bought, grown or gotten? Can I just throw them in the freezer?
    Thanks again for such a great BLOG!

    • Kris Lyons says:

      Oops, I meant freezer not fridge…

    • admin says:

      Thanks for the kind words, Kris!
      Some things can be directly put into freezer bags and then into the freezer, but most will need to be blanched 1st. Blanching is a simple process: put cut up vegetables (about 1 to 1.5 inch chuncks) into a large pot of boiling water. Boil for 1-3 minutes, then drain and immediately soak the vegetables in ice cold water to stop the cooking process. Now they can be put into freezer bags and be frozen. Just make sure to remove as much air as possible and label the bag with the contents and date.
      Your State Extension should have some good tips for preserving food safely and efficiently. Here’s a link to the Iowa State Extension & Outreach vegetable preserving publication https://store.extension.iastate.edu/Product/PM1044


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