Mariposa Farms

Type: Greenhouse

Produces: Herbs

Location: Grinnell, IA

Miles from Coop: 62



Just two hours from the Co-op stands a family-owned greenhouse in Grinnell, IA that grows and packages fresh herbs by hand, year-round.

When Dave and Denise Conkling started Mariposa in 1995, production looked much different than it does today. 

“We started out on a much smaller scale. As the business grew, we continued to add on to the greenhouse and packaging area to get to the size we are today - approximately 1 acre of greenhouse area,” share the Conklings.


At the time Mariposa Farms was founded, hydroponic farming was new, cutting-edge technology and they were ready to dive in. Dave and Denise designed the plan and layout, then had builders bring their vision to life.

“It’s a clean way to produce herbs within a greenhouse setting,”

says Lindsey Peiffer, one of Dave and Denise’s daughters who works at the greenhouse. 

“Our hydroponics system uses perlite as a growing medium [volcanic glass that improves aeration and stays loose and well drained]. We feed the plants through the piping system with nutrient enriched water. The benches are placed at a tilt,” Lindsey adds, “allowing the water to run down the bench and feed the roots. Once it reaches the ends of the benches,” she points out, “it drains back into the water system, and is reused.”

We asked the Conkling family about their growing season,

“The greenhouse has herbs growing in it 365 days a year. The summer months are the most prolific months and when our greenhouse crew is the busiest. The plants love the summer.

We have a harvest crew that will harvest herbs in the morning to be packaged that same afternoon! Our biggest seller is basil, so approximately 1/3 of the total greenhouse space, is dedicated to that.

If the greenhouse is full, we are able to produce around 3,000 pounds of herbs at a time – but with the harvesting rotation, there is usually not that much in there all at once, but that is full potential.”

Lindsey adds,

“We really focus on being a local brand. We do most of our selling to stores in Iowa but do reach into other Midwest states. We love to serve our community and our neighbors and take great pride in the quality of our product. All of the herbs harvested from our greenhouse are done so by hand and even though we have changed our packaging process, the level of quality control we have by using the human eye are unmatched by any machine.”

Find the Conkling family’s fresh Mariposa Herbs in our produce department every day at the Co-op.

Mariposa Farms Products

Checkout these great products from Mariposa Farms






Edible Flowers










Bay Leaves






Herbs for Meat


Poultry Mix

Other Local Producers

Be sure to check out these others great local producers!