ARTICLE

Homegrown: April 2012 Calender

Deep Dish Divas, Karen Pierce plays the hammered dulcimer during the eco-arts festival, Saturday April 16, 2011 Cedar Rapids. Another festival is scheduled for the New Bohemia district again this year.  (Becky Malewitz/SourceMedia Group News)
Deep Dish Divas, Karen Pierce plays the hammered dulcimer during the eco-arts festival, Saturday April 16, 2011 Cedar Rapids. Another festival is scheduled for the New Bohemia district again this year. (Becky Malewitz/SourceMedia Group News)

Following are gardening and eco-events scheduled for April 2012:

Sun., April 1, 2:30 to 5 p.m., Growing and Using Herbs; Iowa City Public Library. Susan Appleget-Hurst will discuss “From Plant to Plate: Growing and Using Herbs.” Free. Herbs bring you to the perfect intersection of easy gardening and flavorful cooking. Find out how to start your own herb garden, whether it’s in a few flower pots or in a backyard plot. Learn how to raise, harvest and preserve your own freshly-snipped herbs. Susan will offer many great growing tips and recipes in this presentation. Susan is the former editor and publisher of IowaGardener.com and The Iowa Gardener’s Guide. Later she was employed at the Meredith Corporation as the associate editor for Country Gardens, editor of Garden Shed, and senior associate editor for garden and outdoor living at Better Homes and Gardens. Susan speaks at consumer garden shows and symposia every year and she has also served as a judge for the APLD Landscape Design Awards AHS Book awards. Susan is now the owner of Applehurst in Winterset, IA. Her store is full of herbs, art, antiques, Iowa wines and more. Hosted by Project GREEN: http://www.projectgreen.org/gardenforums.htm

Mon, April 2, 6:30-8:30 p.m., "A Smithsonian National Heritage Garden," Kirkwood Community College, Room 234 Cedar Hall. Larry and Wilma Rettig discuss their gardens in South Amana. Free. Cottage-in-the-Meadow Gardens, owned by Larry and Wilma Rettig, South Amana, Iowa, has been featured in local and national publications, on the Internet, and is listed with the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. as a national heritage garden. Larry and Wilma grow over 300 varieties of flowers, trees, shrubs, and vegetables. Since 1986, they have maintained a seed bank that preserves vegetable varieties brought from Germany to the Amana Villages during the 1850s.

Tues., April 3, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Iowa Local Food Summit; Scheman Building at Iowa State University in Ames. There is a fee. The Iowa local food system development is occurring rapidly. This summit will engage participants in a lively discussion on logical next steps toward the development of a more vibrant food system in Iowa. We need all voices at the table! Register here

Tues., April 3, Managing Garlic Mustard; Iowa City Environmental Education Center, 2401 S Scott Blvd directions. Free.

Please join Native Landscaping, LLC and Friends for Hickory Hill Park (FHHP) for a talk and discussion on the ups and downs of managing garlic mustard with biocontrols.

Ecologist Adam Davis, with Agricultural Research Service Invasive Weed Management Research Unit in Urbana, Ill., will discuss his research on a potential for a biologic control agent (biocontrol) for garlic mustard. This will be an in-depth, technical presentation. Food and drink provided by FHHP.

 

Thurs., April 5, 6-7:30 p.m., Raising Urban Chickens with Misha Goodman; New Pioneer Co-op, 1101 2nd St, Coralville. $15/person Would it be fun to gather eggs from your own backyard chickens? Would it make sense financially? How much work is involved? What are the positives and negatives? Join Misha Goodman of Iowa City Animal Services as she outlines what is needed for a suitable chicken house, laying nest boxes, and backyard enclosure. Misha will offer helpful tips on chick sources, proper feeding, keeping the hens safe from predators, and what to do with the chicken waste. Refreshments will be served.

Sat., April 7 and Sun., April 8 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Easter Showcase; Noelridge Greenhouse, 4900 Council St. NE. Free. Visitors will see exhibits by the Eastern Iowa Aquarium Association, the Harshbarger Hosta Society, and the Honey Producers of Iowa. They will also have the opportunity to contribute to a fundraiser held by Pet’s Playhouse for the Cedar Rapids Police Department’s K9 Unit and to one held by Friends of Noelridge who will also display their work in the park. The first 500 children age 12 years and under will receive a free plant. A limited number of mini herb gardens, tropical plants, cacti, and succulents will be available for sale during the showcase only, as well as honey, hand crafted jewelry and pressed flower greeting cards. Call the Noelridge Greenhouse, 286-5762, for more information.

Tues., April 10, 9:30 a.m.,  Slithering like a Snake; The Indian Creek Nature Center, 6665 Otis Rd. SE, invites preschool children and their parents or grandparents to crawl like a turtle or slither like a snake at a special program on reptiles……animals with scales.Super Scales will help children learn how important snakes are in nature. Participants will also make a scaly creature to take home and touch a live turtle. For information call 362-0664 or check www.indiancreeknaturecenter.org. Admission is $4 per member child and $5 per nonmember child. Adults are admitted free.

Tues., April 10, 6-8 p.m., Green Cleaning Party, Prairiewoods, 120 E. Boyson Rd., Hiawatha. Spring is almost here, and you know what that means—time to clean! Did you know that many household cleaners contain toxic chemicals linked to birth defects, fertility problems, asthma and more? Wipe out unsafe chemicals by mixing your own cleaning products at the Green Cleaning Party at Prairiewoods. A Green Cleaning Party is a fun way for you and your friends to learn about chemicals in household cleaners and how they might affect you and your family’s health. Prairiewoods Ecospirituality Coordinator Emy Sautter also will teach you how to make non-toxic cleaners from common ingredients like vinegar, baking soda and essential oils. Leave the party with two samples and multiple recipes! Cost is $10. Registration and payment are required by April 5, so please contact Prairiewoods at 319-395-6700 or www.Prairiewoods.org.

 

Wed., April 11, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Roses for Iowa. Kirkwood Community College, Room 234 Cedar Hall. Veronica Lorson Fowler is a garden writer and complete garden geek living in Ames. She is the author and editor of a number of gardening books, including "Gardening in Iowa," the proceeds of which go to Reiman Gardens. The former editor of Better Homes and Garden's "Flower Gardening" magazine, she is now a freelance writer and editor who has contributed to a variety of other gardening books and many magazine articles in Better Homes and Gardens, Country Home, Horticulture, Garden Design, and others. She is also a regular contributor to Iowa Gardening Magazine. A graduate of Iowa State University and a Master Gardener, she has lived in Ames for more than 20 years, where she has juggled work and raising three children with tending a sometimes messy but always highly varied garden.

 

Fri., April 13, 9:30 a.m., Super Scales. The Indian Creek Nature Center invites preschool children and their parents or grandparents to crawl like a turtle or slither like a snake at a special program on reptiles……animals with scales. Super Scales will help children learn how important snakes are in nature. Participants will also make a scaly creature to take home and touch a live turtle. For information call 362-0664 or check www.indiancreeknaturecenter.org. Admission is $4 per member child and $5 per nonmember child. Adults are admitted free.

 

Sat., April 14, 10 a.m., REAL Walk, Spring Ephemeral Wildflowers; Indian Creek Nature Center. The unusually warm weather has coaxed our spring wildflowers into an early rising. Discover the amazing adaptations of ephemerals at the Indian Creek Nature Center on Saturday, April 14th.  Ephemerals are woodland wildflowers which fit their entire lives into a brief window of opportunity before the tree canopy blocks their water and light.  Learn about and search for the very earliest ephemerals. REAL walks are geared for adults of all ages. Fee is $3 for ICNC members, $4 for non-members. Call 319-362-0664 to register by phone or register online at indiancreeknaturecenter.org.

Sat., April 14, 9-11 a.m., Treasure Hunt at the Caves; Maquoketa Caves State Park, meet at the main shelter across from the informational kiosk. Have some fun while at the Treasure Hunt at the Caves. Join Jen Meyer at Maquoketa Caves State Park in a search using GPS units. The route is go at your own pace and can be started at any time. And stick around for the Friends of the Caves pancake breakfast, with maple syrup made from the trees at the park! For more information contact Jackson County Conservation at (563) 652-3783.

Sat., April 14, 2 p.m., Batty About Bats; Hurstville Interpretive Center, 18670 63rd St. Maquoketa. Become Batty about Bats at the Hurstville Interpretive Center. Join a naturalist in celebrating National Bat Awareness & Appreciation Week. There are so many myths about bats, come and learn the truths of these flying mammals. For more information contact Jackson County Conservation at (563) 652-3783.  All programs at HIC are free and open to all ages of the public unless otherwise noted.

Sat., April 14 and Sun., April 15, Apple Grafting Workshop, Heritage Farm, Decorah. Learn to graft and grow your favorite heirloom apple varieties. With a sharp knife, rubber bands, rootstock and scion wood you can reproduce your own trees, renew an aging orchard and participate in scion exchanges. Join Seed Savers Exchange (SSE) apple experts Dan Bussey, Lindsay Lee and Colin Curwen-McAdams for this hands-on introduction to apple grafting, growing and preservation. Participants will leave with three grafted heirloom apple trees from SSE’s Historic Orchard.  “Many of the apple varieties in the SSE orchard are quite rare and have been around for hundreds of years,” says Orchard Manager Dan Bussey. “We’re eager to pass along grafting techniques so others can help us keep these varieties around for years to come.”  Six sessions available:  Saturday, April 14 – 10:00 a.m., 12:30 p.m. or 3:00 p.m. Sunday, April 15 – 10:00 a.m., 12:30 p.m. or 3:00 p.m. Lillian Goldman Visitors Center, Heritage Farm, 3074 North Winn Road Decorah. 563-382-6104. Cost: $35 for members, $40 for non-members. Registration: www.seedsavers.org/grafting or call (563) 382-5990

Sun., April 15, 2 p.m., Waterfowl Viewing, Hurstville Interpretive Center. Join bird watcher Bob Walton, in viewing the migrating waterfowl and shorebirds at the Hurstville Marsh. Learn to identify different birds. All ages and skill levels welcome! For more information contact Jackson County Conservation at (563) 652-3783.

Mon., April 16, 6:30-8:30 p.m., "Down Peony Lane" Kirkwood Community College, Room 234 Cedar Hall. Roy Klehm represents the fourth generation of his family to work in the nursery business. The Klehm family emigrated in 1852 from Germany to Arlington Heights, IL. where his great-grandfather began a nursery specializing in fruit trees in the area where the Arlington International Race Course stands now. Klehm's grandfather was a founder of the American Peony Society, and in the plant world, the Klehm name is practically synonymous with peonies because of the number he and his family have hybridized and that they grow and sell. Roy and his wife, Sarah, own and operate Beaver Creek Nursery in Poplar Grove, IL. and Klehm's Song Sparrow Farm and Nursery in Avalon, WI., growing between 700 and 800 named varieties of peonies.

Mon., April 16, 7 p.m.,  Ecology of War - Connections. Mount Mercy University will host “Ecology of War” with special guest Dr. Gary Machlis, as part of a Global Issues Series.  Dr. Machlis, professor of conservation at the University of Idaho, is also a science advisor to the National Park Service. His program will offer audience members first-hand perspectives on the human impacts on the environment during warfare outlined in his 2008 BioScience article and his 2011 book, Warfare Ecology. A New Synthesis for Peace and Security. Lecture will be held in the Chapel of Mercy, Busse Center. The lecture is free and open to the public; seating may be limited.

Tues., April 17, 2:30-4:30 p.m., Elkhart; Finding viable ways to farm full-time or integrate multiple generations into the family farm are issues that keep many Iowa farm families awake at night. But according to Joel Salatin, farm families shouldn’t have to worry about farm continuity or choosing between pursuing their passion to farm and making money to pay the bills.Practical Farmers of Iowa and Grinnell College have teamed to bring Salatin – well-known author, speaker, farmer and agricultural philosopher – to Iowa to speak on these topics at the farm of Tom and Mary Cory in Elkhart. The event is free to PFI members and $10 for non-members.  Salatin’s first topic, “Working With Your Kids So They Will Want to Work With You,” is based on the premise that most family farms lose continuity because of the lack of rewarding economic, as well as emotional, relationships between parents and children. Salatin will suggest ways to cultivate the persistence and innovation needed to “make the kids love working with mom and dad.” He will also address ways to structure and scale the farm to make room for the next generation. The second topic, “Going Full-Time With Your Part-Time Farm,” will address the reality that many part-time farmers feel: the desire to farm full-time, but the economic need for an off-the-farm job. In this presentation, Salatin will discuss how techniques like adding value to farm products, diversifying and building multiple-use infrastructure can help part-time farmers scale up while maintaining emotional, economic and environmental integrity. Later in the evening, Salatin will give a second talk, “Can We Feed the World?”, on the Grinnell College campus in Grinnell, at 7:30 p.m.  The presentations are sponsored by the Center for Prairie Studies at Grinnell College, the Rosenfeld Program, 21stCentury Rehab, Premier1 Supplies and an anonymous donor.

Wed., April 18, 10-10:45 a.m., Science for Squirts - Super Hero Recycle! Wickiup Hill near Toddville. Bring your super hero capes and let’s read about Michael Recycle, who teaches children how they too can be heroes by recycling at home.  There will be a hike and search for things that can be recycled.  The kids will also make a neat recyclable craft! Children are encouraged to wear a ‘superhero cape’ if they have one.  Please call 892-6485 at least 3 days before program date. Cost: $2/child.

 

Wed., April 18, 5:30-8:30 p.m., Fontana Nature Center, Hazleton. Buchanan – Benton County Conservation program. Aldo Leopold had a different view of the spring floods that surrounded his farm than the common message we hear in the media today.  He sees his access road “dipping gently into the waters” and he concludes, “(with inner glee but exterior detachment) that the question of traffic, in or out, is for this day at least, debatable only among carp.”  Flooding brought to his farm isolation from the human day to day activity, but it also brought the wildlife and “an unpredictable miscellany of floatable objects pilfered from upriver farms.”  Much of what was dropped by the river, was used by his family.  Leopold died in 1948, and I am sure his glee at the varied findings left after the spring floods would be tempered today by the sheer volume and apparent lack of care which the accumulation of today’s “miscellany of floatable objects” would include.  As our society struggles with the problems of waste disposal, we might stop to think about Leopold’s subtle message of re-use.This month’s program in the Leopold Conservation Series is titled Come High Water. Leopold’s first April entry in his A Sand County Almanac.  Participants will begin with discussion of this entry over a light supper included in the program fee.  We will then venture to Three Elms Park in Independence to scavenge for resources among the leavings of the Wapsipinicon River.  What useful purpose can we find or design for these resources? April is also the month for the amazing sky dance of the woodcock.  While our chances are small that we will witness this dance, we will spend the remainder of the evening observing spring courtship rituals among the birds and frogs found along the river.  We welcome new participants to this series of programs held once monthly in either Buchanan or Benton Counties.  Please pre-register for this program by calling 319-636-2617 or emailing fontanapark@iowatelecom.net.  Program fee is $5 for a single night or $25 for the series which continues through December.  Those signing up for the entire series will receive a copy of Leopold’s  A Sand County Almanac and a personal journal, as well as the light meal at each session.  More information about upcoming session times and locations can be found on the Buchanan County Conservation website at http://www.buchanancountyparks.com under public events.

 

Wed., April 18, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Green Living Group at Prairiewoods: Sustainable YARDening. 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’s focus is Sustainable YARDening, or caring for your yard in sustainable, ecological ways. This meeting will feature a DVD about the Biointensive methods of gardening based on John Jeavons’s book How to Grow More Vegetables. The Biointensive approach is helpful to backyard gardeners with small plots and imperfect soil. It conserves and enhances the soil and is completely sustainable. Biointensive methods are being taught successfully to rural poor in Africa, Asia and Latin America. There is something in this DVD for beginning and experienced gardeners. We will also show a slide show of a Biointensive garden lovingly created by a 76-year-old vegan in her average-sized backyard over the past four years. She grows three crops in Zone 6 annually to produce 90% of her food, including grains for bread. A free-will offering will be accepted. For more information, contact Prairiewoods at 319-395-6700 or www.prairiewoods.org.

Thurs., April 19, 3 p.m., Street, Forest and Shade Tree Workshop; Indian Creek Nature Center. This workshop has been planned for individuals who manage and care for trees in public and/or private landscapes. Utility rights of way, road rights of way, streets, lawns, parks or timber; the goal of this program is to provide you with a variety of information on tree and forest-related topics that will be beneficial to you in your daily workings with Iowa's tree and forest resource. Contact : Connie Wier; 319-377-9839

benesh1@iastate.edu URL : http://www.extension.iastate.edu/linn/news/street-forest-shade-tree-workshop

Thurs., April 19, 7 p.m., Wickiup Hill near Toddville; "Lost Nation: The Ioway" documentary tells the nearly forgotten story of Iowa's early inhabitants.  From their ancestors known as the Oneota, to their present day locations in Kansas and Oklahoma, the film will explore how the small tribe was caught between colonizers, and, by virtue of the Indian Removal Act of 1830, were gradually pushed out of the territory just before the state of Iowa was named after them.  The documentary brings together commentary from historians, archaeologists, anthropologists, Ioway Elders, along with footage of historic sites, historical photographs and documents, art from the Smithsonian and other National museums, music, legends, dances, powwows, and reenactments. This film was originally scheduled to be shown January 17, but was postponed due to weather conditions. Cost is $2.50/adult, $1/child 16 and under, or $5/family.

Thurs., April 19, 6-8 p.m., Grow Your Own Herbs and Spices at Prairiewoods. Learn how to start your own container or kitchen herb garden in this hands-on growing class at Prairiewoods (120 East Boyson Road in Hiawatha). Prairiewoods Chef Jill Jones also will teach you to cook with your freshly grown herbs and other spices from around the globe. Cost is $20 and registration is required by April 12. For more information or to register, contact Prairiewoods at 319-395-6700 or www.Prairiewoods.org.

 

Thurs., April 19, 6 p.m., Welcome the changing of the seasons by joining the Brucemore gardeners for the Spring Landscape Hike. Venture off the beaten path of the 26-acre estate and into the natural areas to explore the sights and sounds of spring. During this 90-minute hike, experience a sea of bluebells budding, wildflowers sprouting, and the pond awakening after winter’s slumber. Learn about current issues of preservation, public use, seasonal chores, and the spring activities of the Brucemore families, including picking wildflowers for May Day baskets and pony cart rides around the estate. Participants will have ample opportunity to ask questions and seek advice about their own gardens.   Admission is $10 per person and $7 per Brucemore member. Space is limited. Advance ticket purchase required. Call (319) 362-7375 or visit the Brucemore Store to purchase tickets.  For more information, visit Brucemore online at http://www.brucemore.org.Brucemore, Iowa’s only National Trust Historic Site, is located at 2160 Linden Drive SE, Cedar Rapids.

 

Sat., April 21, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Eco-Arts Festival 2012. The city of Cedar Rapids will celebrate Earth Day with its third annual Eco-Arts Festival. The Fest, held in the New Bohemia Cultural District, will feature local eco-friendly businesses, children’s activities, a 5K “Race to Clean Up Cedar Rapids,” art activities and demonstrations, a book sale, live music and much more! All activities are free. For more information, contact Emy Sautter at Prairiewoods at 319-395-6700 or esautter@prairiewoods.org or Jo Ann McNiel at Trees Forever at 319-389-3488 or JMcNiel@treesforever.org.

 

Sat., April 21, 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.,  The Indian Creek Nature Center’s 19th Annual Woman’s Walking Workshop. “It is a day of invigorating walks, motivational speakers, healthy lifestyle ideas and congenial companions to inspire people to walk more.Sessions include digital photography tips, walks, losing weight, massage, a delicious lunch from Braise Catering, meditation, a photo tour by Linda and Bob Scarth and much more.Full details are available on the Nature Center’s website at www.indiancreeknaturecenter.org. Or, call 362-0664 and a brochure will be sent.

 

Sun., April 22, 1 p.m., The Indian Creek Nature Center welcomes anyone to help lay out a native prairie labyrinth in honor of Earth Day at 6665 Otis Road SE, Cedar Rapids, IA. “This is the only labyrinth we’re aware of crafted into a native tallgrass prairie,” said Rich Patterson, Director. A labyrinth is a designed walkway that encourages observation and meditation. Other labyrinth programs will be held this year and walkers will be welcome to enjoy the prairie labyrinth throughout the summer. The April 22 program will include measuring, marking, staking, and seeding the labyrinth and will give participants information that will help them create a labyrinth at home.For information call 362-0664.

 

Fri., April 27, 6:30 p.m., The Indian creek Nature Center invites anyone to a screening of the documentary, UNDER OUR SKIN, and a discussion about Lyme disease. Anyone is welcome. Admission is by donation. Lyme disease is a serious painful condition spread by ticks.

Fri., April 27, 2 p.m., West Branch; Homeowners or anyone interested in learning about pruning trees and shrubs can join arborist Ed Rinderspacher and the staff of Herbert Hoover National Historic Site for an Arbor Day presentation. Arbor Day is a holiday in which individuals and groups are encouraged to plant and care for trees. The program is free and begins at the visitor center. It will last about one hour and may involve about a half-mile of walking to different plantings around the park. Dress for the weather and wear comfortable walking shoes. In the case of inclement weather, please call (319) 643-2541 before attending. Ed Rinderspacher is the owner and operator of Rindy Tree and Turf Care, Inc. and a West Branch, Iowa arborist certified by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA). Mr. Rinderspacher will provide a one-hour, hands-on tree pruning demonstration of cuts and techniques for small, young, newly planted trees.   “There are about a thousand trees in this 187-acre national park,” said Pete Swisher, superintendent of Herbert Hoover National Historic Site. “We hope our visitors can see examples of the careful work we do to maintain the landscape commemorating Herbert Hoover’s life.”  April 21 through 29 is National Park Week, the annual week for celebration and recognition of your National Parks. Herbert Hoover National Historic Site and the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum are in West Branch, Iowa at exit 254 off I-80. Both are open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central Time. Parking is limited so please allow extra time to find a parking space. For more information go online at www.nps.gov/heho or call (319) 643-2541.

Sat., April 28, 1 p.m., The Indian Creek Nature Center will lead a walk to Faulkes Woods on Saturday, April 28 at 1 p.m. Faulkes Woods is a scenic wild 110 acre woodland sandwiched between Cedar Rapids and Marion. It is a Marion city park and a protected natural area under a conservation easement held by the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation. Faulkes Woods has many massive oak and elms that provide habitat for woodpeckers, deer, wild turkeys and warblers. It is one of the most pristine flower studded woodlands in Eastern Iowa. The walk will be led by botanist Christine Kirpes. Admission is $4 for Nature Center members and $5 for nonmembers. To register and learn the meeting place call 362-0664.

Sat., April 28, 1-4 p.m., Gardening Workshop presented by Linn County Master Gardeners,  at Zora Ronan‘s Garden

5031 N. Marion Rd., Central City, IA. Gardeners attending will rotate through 3 demonstration workshops: Trimming and pruning trees; care and maintenance of perennials and care and maintenance of garden tools.  Free (no rain date.) Registration limited to 30 attendees so call Linn County Extension Office (319-377-9839) or email benesh1@iastate.edu Bring a lawn chair and enjoy the day. Directions to Zora Ronan's Garden: From I-380:  Exit at Toddville.  Travel east on County Home Road to Alburnett Road.  Turn north on Alburnett Road.  Turn east on Justins Road (gravel).  Justins Road dead ends at North Marion. Turn north and the garden is on the right.  From Highway 13: Travel north on Highway 13 to Central City.  Turn west on E-16 (Center Point-Central City Road).  Turn north on North Marion Road (gravel) and travel 1.6 miles.  Garden is on the right. From Marion:  Travel north on North Tenth Street.  Tenth Street changes name to North Marion and becomes gravel when it crosses County Home Road.  Since North Marion is gravel for quite a long way, it is better to travel north on either North Alburnett Road or Highway 13.

Sat., April 28 and Sun., April 29, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Open Bearded Iris Garden at the Historic Iris Preservation Society Display garden of Wanda Lunn, 526 Bezdek Drive NW, Cedar Rapids. Wanda notes that her gardens are running 4 weeks ahead of the last few years, about 2 weeks before a normal Iowa Spring.  Hopefully 200+ bearded Iris cultivars will be in bloom. (The Dwarfs will be done, but the Intermediate Bearded, Border Bearded, Miniature Tall Bearded and Tall Bearded Iris should be displaying.)

Sat., April 28, 10 a.m., to noon. Backyard Abundance Plant Sale, Robert A. Lee Community Recreation Center | directions

At 1 p.m., learn how to build a coldframe from reused materials. Get a jump on your spring plant shopping at the Backyard Abundance plant sale. Your purchases help host free yard tours and presentations in our community throughout the season. Many herbs and vegetables are heirlooms and were organically grown by volunteers. All fruits and nuts were sourced as locally as possible and were carefully chosen to maximize yield and thrive in the Midwest.

View the tree, shrub, and berry species List (pdf)

Fruits and Nuts Herbs Vegetables
Apple Basil Tomato
Sweet Cherry Oregano Pepper
Pear Thyme Kale
Blueberry Sage Broccoli
Plum Hyssop Cauliflower
Peach Mint Cabbage
Raspberry Fennel Eggplant
Strawberry Chives Lettuce
Chestnut Sorrel Onion
Aronia Lemon Balm Kohlrabi
Hazelnut Bee Balm Sunchoke

Great deals can be found on a wide variety of items:New Pioneer Food Co-op basket of delicious chocolate treats, wine, and coffee

  • Orchid basket filled with locally-grown orchids from Joan and Jon Lorence
  • One-hour massage from Doreen McNeal (ahhhh...)
  • Basket of local honey
  • Nature Explore basket of items to help children connect with nature
  • Books: Grace from the Garden, A Sand County Almanac, Slow Food in the Heartland
  • Children's garden toolset
  • Handmade wooden barn
  • Basket of locally grown smudge sticks, candles, and a sacred stone.
  • Child's wheel barrow and boots from Pleasant Valley

  • Handmade cloth bags from reclaimed materials (indestructible: best grocery bags ever)
  • Two bags of plant potting mix from Beautiful Land Products.
  • Basket with local jams, a handmade scarf, and a Local Foods Connection cookbook
  • Johnson County Heritage Trust basket of nature identification cards, t-shrit, pen, and paper

  • Seed Savers basket of seeds, suet bird feeder, and suet
  • Black currant shrub from Earl May

 

We work hard to keep materials, services, and knowledge a local as possible.

  • Seed swap: Bring your seeds and take home some seeds. Sponsored by Iowa City Slow Food.

  • Mushroom growing kits: Mushroom Mills will have kits for sale and lots of expert advice.

  • Locally-made garden tools: South Amana Blacksmith will feature locally-made broadforks and other garden tools.

  • Snack food: Homemade garden-based goodness. Yum.

  • Green thumbs: Got gardening questions? Some of the most knowledgeable people in the community will be on hand to answer them.

  • Build a Cold Frame: At 1:00 pm, learn how to build a cold frame from re-used materials.

 

Sun., April 29, 2- 4 p.m., Film Screening: Establishing a Food Forest the Permaculture Way, Iowa City Public Library | directions

In partnership with the Landlocked Film Festival, we will screen the film Establishing a Food Forest. In the film, world renown permaculture designer Geoff Lawton, demonstrates how to design and implement highly productive food systems that require very little maintenance and energy. Geoff walks us through a forest of food, giving us a rich example of a new way to sustainably cultivate food. Visit YouTube to see a 2-minute introduction to the film.

After the film, participants can share their thoughts on how these ideas can be applied in our community.

Cost: Free Hands-On Learning. Following the film, the University of Iowa Student Gardeners will help participants apply ideas from the film by evaluating the site for their new on-campus garden. Interested participants can make the 15-minute walk to the landscape to brainstorm design ideas. Learn more at the Create a Permaculture Garden event.

 

 

 

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