Following are gardening and eco-events happening in Eastern Iowa during July 2012:
Wed., July 4, 11 a.m., Kids Fishing Derby, City Park, Central City. The Central City Am Vets Post 37 and LCCD sponsor this annual holiday fishing event. Call 319-551-2074 for more information. Participants will be fishing on the Wapsipinicon River. Fishing poles are provided by LCCD for those who need them.
Thurs., July 5, 8-9:30 p.m., Firefly Hike - Mother Nature’s Fireworks, Wickiup Hill Outdoor Learning Center near Toddville. Join Naturalist Chuck Ungs on this family friendly firefly catch, release and observation hike. Learn about these mysterious insects and view them up close on our trails. Meet at the kiosk area near the sidewalk. Cost is $2.50/adult, $1/child 16 and under, or $5/family.
Sat., July 7, 9-5, ReStore Regrand Reopening, 350 Sixth Ave., Cedar Rapids. Includes KHAK broadcasting live from 11-1, HyVee food from 11-1, music onstage from 11-2. We will be showing kids how to build things, (monsters from outer space) in our sculpture classroom all day, and we will have a drawing for a jetted tub around 2 PM. We are stressing the importance of shopping at the Cedar Rapids ReStore, as the responsibility for funding the construction of 10 homes a year now rests with this store. Shop here first, shop with your heart, and know that everything you buy here helps build homes here. There are still many families who need our help.
Mon., July 9, 6-7 p.m., Growing and Using Culinary Herbs, with Joanne Leach, Earth Source Gardens, Harvest Lane, Iowa City (map) $5/ person Class held at Earth Source Gardens on Harvest Lane at the NE corner of N. Scott Blvd. and Rochester Ave., Iowa City. Culinary herbs make good food taste great! Learn which herbs grow best in Iowa: how, when, and where to plant, how to gather and dry, and get useful recipes for butters, pestos, and vinegars.
Wed., July 11, 5 - 7 p.m., Edible Landscaping in Chauncey Swan Park, 410 E. Washington St., Iowa City, at the sunny bed. Designing self-maintaining plant communities. Backyard Abundance is implementing edible landscaping in Chauncey Swan Park in cooperation with Iowa City Parks and Recreation and the Iowa City Farmers Market. Throughout the summer, educational sessions will be held Wednesday and Saturday during Farmers Market times to show residents how to design and grow low-maintenance, food-bearing plants in their yards. Educational sessions will cover planting edible shrubs and herbs, designing self-supporting plant communities, growing mushrooms, establishing natives in shady areas, making compost tea, building seating from logs, and sowing fall greens. The complete schedule can be found on the Backyard Abundance website: www.BackyardAbundance.org
Fri., July 13, 7-8:30 p.m., Family Fun Friday: Crafty Fun, Indian Creek Nature Center, 6665 Otis Rd. SE. Nature offers a variety of cool art materials! Do some weaving, create willow bead jewelry, and design a sculpture with clay from the Nature Center. Register by 4:00 PM Thursday, July 12. Families: M: $10; NM: $15; Individuals: M: $4; NM: $5
Sat., July 14, 10 a.m., REAL Walk: The Bog Story, Indian Creek Nature Center. Join this exploration of Iowa’s fens and bogs. Learn about our state’s endangered peat lands and their cultural history. This program includes a vigorous uphill hike (round trip: 1.5 miles). For adults of any age. M: $3; NM: $4
Sat., July 14, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Prairie Walk in Jackson County, Zwingle, Iowa. Iowa Native Plant Society sponsored field trip to tour prairie remnants and restorations on the property of David Gossman, located at 19502 159th Ave. Zwingle. Come along for a prairie walk in the morning and a timber walk in the afternoon. Bring a sack lunch and a friend. Public is welcome.
Sat., July 14, 10 a.m., Labyrinth Tour, Indian Creek Nature Center. Enjoy an early summer tour of area labyrinths. Begin at Indian Creek Nature Center where a guide will explain our prairie labyrinth, share how to walk and reflect in labyrinths, and invite you to experience walking its path. Receive a map and driving directions to the several labyrinths in the Cedar Rapids area. You may visit as many as you choose. Consider bringing a journal to record your experience and reflections. M: $5; NM: $8
Sat., July 14, 7 p.m. Benefit concert at Seed Savers Exchange, Decorah. Gates open and garden tours start at 5 p.m. Singer-songwriter and longtime friend of Seed Savers Exchange Greg Brown will return to Heritage Farm for a benefit concert under the stars. Lillian Goldman Visitors Center, Seed Savers Exchange, Heritage Farm, 3074 North Winn Road, Decorah.This unplugged performance marks Brown’s ninth stage appearance at Seed Savers Exchange, a favorite venue of the Iowa superstar. This benefit concert will support SSE’s mission to maintain and distribute heirloom varieties. “It was always hard to do other shows after Seed Savers,” Greg is quoted as saying in SSE co-founder Diane Ott Whealy’s memoir, Gathering, “None of them were in the middle of a big garden full of nourishment and sunflowers, and the sun going down over those mysterious old hills.” Parking for the event is limited. A shuttle will be available from the corner of River and Heivly Street from 5 p.m. to 6:45 p.m., returning after the show. Parking at the Lillian Goldman Visitors Center will be limited to campers and attendees with limited mobility. General parking will be available near the SSE offices at 3094 North Winn Road (second driveway on the right north of the visitors center entrance). Concert-goers may arrive early to purchase auction tickets, take a garden tour and enjoy home cooking from McCaffrey’s Dolce Vita. A limited number of primitive campsites will be available on-site for those who preregister. Only ticketholders will be allowed at the concert. Tickets: Pre-order online www.seedsavers.org/gregbrown or by calling 563-382-5990 ($25). Tickets and Will Call will be available the day of the event at the Lillian Goldman Visitors Center until 4 p.m. After 4 p.m., tickets and Will Call will be at the gate located near the SSE offices, 3094 North Winn Road (second driveway on the right north of the visitors center entrance).
Sun., July 15, 2 p.m., Hiding in Plain Sight, Hurstville Interpretive Center, Maquoketa. See ‘em if you can! Camouflage is used in an amazing variety of ways. Come explore with us. Free.
Wed., July 18; 12-1:30 p.m., LOCALLY GROWN: The Economics of “Farm to Table” Food Production; Hy-Vee, 20 Wilson Avenue SW, Cedar Rapids. Panelists: Jason Grimm, Iowa Valley Food Cooperative; Scott Koepke, New Pioneer Coop; Bill Reickhoff, Morgan Creek Farm & Markets. Moderator: Hy-Vee Nutritionist – Susannah LeVon. The local food movement is growing in Eastern Iowa. “Farm to Table”, as it is often called, follows the progression where sustainable food production, processing, distribution, and consumption are integrated to enhance the economic, environmental and social health of a particular place. On Wednesday, July 18, the Regional Sustainable Business Alliance is hosting LOCALLY GROWN: The Economics of ”Farm to Table” Food Production at the Hy-Vee Community Room, 20 Wilson Ave SW, from Noon to 1PM. Panelists Jason Grimm of the Iowa Valley Food Cooperative, Scott Koepke of New Pioneer Coop and Hy-Vee Nutritionist, Bill Reickhoff of Morgan Creek Farm & Markets and Moderator, Susannah LeVon will engage in a discussion that addresses the significance of a locally based, self-reliant food economy. Talking points will include the need to diversify current area commodity production, coop participation, “big box” store distribution and the development of farmer markets. Jason Grimm is the co-founder of the Iowa Valley Food Co-op. The Iowa Valley Food Co-op’s purpose is to increase the availability of fresh, fairly priced, sustainably produced food in Eastern Iowa. Jason’s projects include beginning farmer and rancher training, Food Policy Council organization and implementation in Johnson and Linn Counties, Regional Farm to School Chapter development, Come to the Table Summit and collection of regional food system metrics. Scott Koepke is the founder of “Soilmates” garden education service and Education Outreach Coordinator at New Pioneer Food Co-op. He also serves on the Board of Directors at Field To Family, Iowa Valley Food Co-op and Johnson County Board of Supervisors Local Food Policy Council. Scott also served in the U.S. Peace Corps. Bill Rieckhoff is the Farm Development Manager for Morgan Creek Farm & Markets. Morgan Creek is a 37 acre vegetable farm and produce market located west of Cedar Rapids on Hwy 30 that practices sustainable farming with an emphasis on natural buffers, cover crops, and crop rotation. Growing vegetable varieties for taste rather than transport and shelf life are the key to satisfying Morgan Creek's customer friends. Susannah LeVon is a Registered Dietitian available for questions and consultations at the Wilson Avenue Hy-Vee. Helping people understand how food and nutrition affects them and making “nutrition” fit into any lifestyle is her passion. She has several years of experience working in many areas of nutrition; including maternal and child nutrition, international nutrition, diabetes, heart disease, holistic nutrition and food service management.
The event is part of the monthly RSBA Round Table Discussions that are held throughout the corridor. RSBA is committed to creating a sustainable business community where environmental impact is minimized and economic growth potential is maximized. We do this through holding events, sharing information and reaching out to the business community.
Wed., July 18, 5:30-7 p.m., Taste of the Heritage Garden, Plum Grove, 1030 Carroll St, Iowa City. Sponsored by the Johnson County Master Gardeners. Taste 19th century soups, salads, vegetables, breads, and desserts while listening to the Post Office Brass Band. Heirloom garden tours, prize drawings, and children's lawn games. $5.00 donation funds garden maintenance and gardening scholarships.
Wed., July 18, 6 -7 p.m., Earth Source Gardens, Harvest Lane, Iowa City (map) Permaculture Orchard Guild, with Mary Crooks and Roxane Mitten. $5/person. Class held at Earth Source Gardens on Harvest Lane at the NE corner of N. Scott Blvd. and Rochester Ave., Iowa City. Permaculture is founded on the idea that nature knows best. We look to existing plant relationships for inspiration in creating mutually beneficial communities called “guilds.” Backyard Abundance created the design for Sweet Gift Orchard.
Wed., July 18, 6:30-8 p.m., Green Living Group at Prairiewoods: Food Safety. The Green Living Group meets the third Wednesday of every month at Prairiewoods (120 East Boyson Road in Hiawatha). Facilitators Maggie Anderson, Emmy Ball and Emy Sautter will help participants explore the subject of a sustainable and healthy environment through books, articles, films and speakers. This is an ideal opportunity for education and for an ongoing support system for happy and healthy green living, and participants may join at any time. This month, the group will meet staff members from Food and Water Watch, an organization with offices throughout the world. Learn about ways the Iowa office assures our nation’s food safety, such as through fighting against genetically-engineered sweet corn in our food supply, advocating for a better farm bill and returning to a more local food system. Following their presentation, group members will discuss various ecological topics. A free-will offering will be accepted. For more information, contact Prairiewoods at 319-395-6700 or www.prairiewoods.org.
Fri., July 20, 8-9:30 p.m., Family Fun Friday: Bat Watch. Indian Creek Nature Center. Each evening, thousands of insects become food for the hungry Little Brown Bat colonies at the Nature Center. Join us to learn about these amazing nighttime hunters and watch them emerge to begin their night of foraging. Register by 4:00 PM Thursday, July 19. Families: M: $10; NM: $15; Individuals: M: $4; NM: $5.
Fri. July 20 to Sun., July 22, Kirkwood Community College Event Center, Cedar Rapids. The American Hemerocallis Society Region One Summer Meeting and Garden Tour will be held from Friday, July 20 to Sunday, July 22, 2012. ‘Dazzling Daylilies of Cedar Valley’ is hosted by the Cedar Valley Iris and Daylily Society. This conference is not just for daylily lovers, but anyone who has an interest in gardening. Daylilies are often called the perfect perennial. That they are but they are so much more. If you thought daylilies only bloomed in yellow or orange, you are in for a treat. Daylilies, in many sizes and colors and shapes, will be the stars in the display gardens. Admission is $129.00 per person if postmarked by June 30, 2012. For that low fee, participants will receive a Paul Owens introduction as a registration gift. In addition participants can attend three seminars, two auctions, 11 open gardens, and four tour gardens. Breakfasts, lunch, two banquet dinners, and featured speaker Margo Reed of Woodhenge Gardens, Virginia are also included. Vendors and a daylily boutique will be open to all on Friday from 11 to 6 in the Kirkwood Event Center Lobby. Registration form and detailed information on events can be found at WWW.CVIDS.org. Registration questions? Call Sylvia Seymour, Register, at 563-386-9767 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Any other questions contact Zora Ronan at 319 438-6838 or email@example.com.
Sat., July 21, 7:30 a.m. to noon, Green Day at the Cedar Rapids Farmer’s Market. Join Prairiewoods and many other ecologically focused organizations at the Cedar Rapids downtown farmer’s market. A number of green organizations will be on hand with information and fun, family-friendly activities. And best of all, it’s free! For more information, visit www.DowntownCR.org.
Mon., July 23, 6-7 p.m, Earth Source Gardens, Harvest Lane, Iowa City (map) Natural Pest Control, with Joanne Leach. $5/person. Class held at Earth Source Gardens on Harvest Lane at the NE corner of N. Scott Blvd. and Rochester Ave., Iowa City. It’s a bug-eat-bug world – if you manage things right! Create the appropriate conditions to reduce pests and disease. Learn about natural pest remedies, including the insect-eating insects, with Master Gardener Joanne Leach.
Fri., July 27, 8-9:30 p.m., Family Fun Friday: Let’s Go Mothing: It’s National Moth Week! Late July is the time to use our secret moth bait formula on trees and attract Catocala or Underwing moths. Catocala are some of nature’s most beautiful moths that inhabit Iowa woods in late July. Be prepared to walk woodland trails after dark. Register by 4:00 PM Thursday, July 26. Families: M: $10; NM: $15; Individuals: M: $4; NM: $5.
Sat., July 28, 9 - 11 a.m., Edible Landscaping in Chauncey Swan Park, 410 E. Washington St., Iowa City, at the shady corner bed. Making compost tea. Backyard Abundance is implementing edible landscaping in Chauncey Swan Park in cooperation with Iowa City Parks and Recreation and the Iowa City Farmers Market. Throughout the summer, educational sessions will be held Wednesday and Saturday during Farmers Market times to show residents how to design and grow low-maintenance, food-bearing plants in their yards. Educational sessions will cover planting edible shrubs and herbs, designing self-supporting plant communities, growing mushrooms, establishing natives in shady areas, making compost tea, building seating from logs, and sowing fall greens. The complete schedule can be found on the Backyard Abundance website: www.BackyardAbundance.org
Sun., July 29, 2 p.m., Geology 101, Hurstville Interpretive Center, 18670 63rd Street Maquoketa. Rocks, minerals and fossils, oh my! We’ll have the basic equipment available so you can learn to identify the rocks here or those you bring in. Free.