Spirits of the past come alive through stories and seeds from Iowa’s Seed Savers Exchange

Diane Ott Whealy signs copies of her book, "Gathering: Memoir of a Seed Saver" on Thursday, March 26, at the Cedar Rapids Public Library. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

Diane Ott Whealy signs copies of her book, “Gathering: Memoir of a Seed Saver” on Thursday, March 26, at the Cedar Rapids Public Library. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

It was a true moment of serendipity.

A list of work that I needed to complete battled with wanting to hear Diane Ott Whealy, the co-founder of Seed Savers Exchange, speak at the Cedar Rapids Public Library, the last in a gardening series presented by the ISU Extension Linn County Master Gardeners.

Diane’s speech won and I am so grateful that it did. Continue reading

Share on RedditShare on StumbleUponPin on PinterestDigg thisTweet about this on TwitterShare on TumblrShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Email this to someoneShare on Facebook
Posted in Seed Savers Exchange | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Photos: Maple Syrup Festival 2015

This gallery contains 8 photos.

Good call by the Indian Creek Nature Center in Cedar Rapids to schedule the annual Maple Syrup Festival this weekend. A steady line of breakfast-goers filed outside the Nature Center, at 6665 Otis Rd. SE, the entire morning Saturday, with … Continue reading

More Galleries | Leave a comment

Wellington Heights Neighborhood Association offers new option for gardeners in Cedar Rapids

This gallery contains 3 photos.

CEDAR RAPIDS – After offering community gardens in the neighborhood for years, the Wellington Heights Neighborhood Association has something new this spring. Residents of the neighborhood, and beyond, can stake their claim this season to one of 14  4-by-8-foot raised … Continue reading

More Galleries | Leave a comment

Prairiewoods and Grinnell Heritage Farm team for dinner

Customers discuss carrots from Grinnell Heritage Farm during the grand opening of New Pioneer Food Co-op in Cedar Rapids. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

Customers discuss carrots from Grinnell Heritage Farm during the grand opening of New Pioneer Food Co-op in Cedar Rapids. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

Short notice, but you’ll be in for a treat if you can make it to Prairiewoods in Hiawatha, this Wednesday, March 18.

Prairiewoods is hosting a “Meet the Farmer” event with Grinnell Heritage Farm, which includes a potluck dinner.

I visited the farm several years ago when they first moved to organic certification. Their produce can now be found at numerous outlets, including farmers markets and at New Pioneer Food Co-op. Continue reading

Share on RedditShare on StumbleUponPin on PinterestDigg thisTweet about this on TwitterShare on TumblrShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Email this to someoneShare on Facebook
Posted in Local foods | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Iowa reality show stars continue their run

Chris Soules is moving on after life as "The Bachelor," but keeping the string of reality shows going. (photo/www.chrissoules.com)

Chris Soules is moving on after life as “The Bachelor,” but keeping the string of reality shows going. (photo/www.chrissoules.com)

Admittedly, I’m not a big reality TV show fan, but I watched this season of “The Bachelor” to see how Iowa would be portrayed on the small-screen. Then, “American Idol” came along with a few Iowa connections, including one contestant who made the Top 12, and now, Top 11.

As spring rolls around to keep gardeners like me occupied outdoors, I don’t know that I’ll keep up on the progress of our two celebrity Iowans, but wanted to recap in case anyone else has been following along. Continue reading

Share on RedditShare on StumbleUponPin on PinterestDigg thisTweet about this on TwitterShare on TumblrShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Email this to someoneShare on Facebook
Posted in videos | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Indian Creek Nature Center trying something new with longtime Maple Syrup Festival

Volunteer Mike Duss of Cedar Rapids tends the pot Sunday, March 3, 2013, during the Maple Syrup Festival at the Indian Creek Nature Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

Volunteer Mike Duss of Cedar Rapids tends the pot Sunday, March 3, 2013, during the Maple Syrup Festival at the Indian Creek Nature Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

CEDAR RAPIDS – The Maple Syrup Festival has been a tradition at the Indian Creek Nature Center for more than 30 years.

This year, they’re trying something new. The date has been pushed back to later in March, to coincide with the end of the syruping season and in the hopes that the weather will be more cooperative than in some years past.

The festival, featuring a pancake breakfast with real maple syrup, is set for Saturday, March 21 and Sunday, March 22, 2015, from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. each day.

Read about the history of the syrup fest here – Nature Center’s Maple Syrup Festival –  and see more details about this year’s event, from the Indian Creek Nature Center: Continue reading

Share on RedditShare on StumbleUponPin on PinterestDigg thisTweet about this on TwitterShare on TumblrShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Email this to someoneShare on Facebook
Posted in Indian Creek Nature Center | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Horticultural theatre, edible flowers and heirloom gardening on tap at the Cedar Rapids Public Library

Diane Ott Whealy,  co-founder of Seed Savers Exchange, will be among the Creative Gardening Series speakers in March 2015 at the Cedar Rapids Public Library. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

Diane Ott Whealy, co-founder of Seed Savers Exchange, will be among the Creative Gardening Series speakers in March 2015 at the Cedar Rapids Public Library. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

So many incredible lectures are planned at area libraries in coming weeks.

Already, the Linn County Master Gardeners have started their spring library talks, listed here.

Three free lectures, presented by ISU Extension and Outreach Linn County Master Gardeners, also will take place this month, at the Cedar Rapids Public Library. Continue reading

Share on RedditShare on StumbleUponPin on PinterestDigg thisTweet about this on TwitterShare on TumblrShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Email this to someoneShare on Facebook
Posted in Master Gardeners | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Come to the Table connects farmers and local food buyers

New Pioneer Food Co-op will be one of the organizations providing the buyers' perspective at the Come to the Table Summit. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

New Pioneer Food Co-op will be one of the organizations providing the buyers’ perspective at the Come to the Table Summit. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

The Fifth Annual Come to the Table Summit is set for this week. This year’s event will be 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, March 13, 2015, at Mercy Medical Center, 701 10th St. SE in Cedar Rapids.

Come to the Table brings together farmers and other producers of food and the schools, hospitals, chefs, grocers and more who buy local foods.

Here is more about the summit, from the Iowa Valley RC&D: Continue reading

Share on RedditShare on StumbleUponPin on PinterestDigg thisTweet about this on TwitterShare on TumblrShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Email this to someoneShare on Facebook
Posted in Local foods | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Last Iowan standing on American Idol and life after The Bachelor for “Prince Farming”

Chris Soules is moving on after life as "The Bachelor." (photo/www.chrissoules.com)

Chris Soules is moving on after life as “The Bachelor.” (photo/www.chrissoules.com)

I’m not as concerned to whom Chris Soules might propose in the final episode of “The Bachelor” as I was with the TV show’s portrayal of Iowa.

Dubbed as the corny “Prince Farming,” the show seemed destined for the stereotypical hay bale and flannel shirt depiction of our home state, but fortunately, that hasn’t come to fruition. Continue reading

Share on RedditShare on StumbleUponPin on PinterestDigg thisTweet about this on TwitterShare on TumblrShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Email this to someoneShare on Facebook
Posted in Agriculture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New Pioneer Food Co-op celebrates new store in Cedar Rapids

This gallery contains 12 photos.

CEDAR RAPIDS – In case you missed its opening in December, New Pioneer Food Co-op celebrated its new store today with a ribbon-cutting and grand opening. The new store, at 3338 Center Point Rd. NE, was packed for the celebration, … Continue reading

More Galleries | Leave a comment