Northern Ridge: Evolution of an Iowa berry farm

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By Cindy Hadish for Radish Magazine OXFORD – With growing interest from restaurants, schools and grocery stores for fresh, local produce, Northern Ridge Berry Farm has evolved beyond its namesake berries. “We put close to 35,000 to 40,000 plants in … Continue reading

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Native wildflowers highlighted in Iowa City tour by Backyard Abundance

Purple coneflower photo/Cindy Hadish

Purple coneflower photo/Cindy Hadish

IOWA CITY – Backyard Abundance will host a free yard tour this Saturday, Aug. 2, to help residents learn how to create beautiful yards that are low-maintenance and benefit our environment.

The free tour will be at the townhome of Judy Joyce, at 903 Walker Circle in Iowa City, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Refreshments will be served. Continue reading

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Healthy oak among trees to be removed for Cedar Rapids sidewalk project

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CEDAR RAPIDS — The Kell family is saying good-bye to their front-yard tree. It’s not torrential rains, high winds or even a lightning strike that is spelling the end for the mature pin oak. This summer’s storms in Eastern Iowa uprooted … Continue reading

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Fish discovered in Mississippi thought to be locally extinct in Iowa since 1932

Longear Sunfish photo/Iowa DNR

Longear Sunfish photo/Iowa DNR

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has found a fish thought to be long-gone in the state.

State and national scientists are working to positively identify the fish, believed to be a longear sunfish, the DNR reported. If proven to be the species, this would be the first time in more than 80 years that the fish has been confirmed in Iowa.

The fish is being held alive by the DNR until it can be positively identified. Continue reading

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Indian Creek Nature Center announces lead gifts to campaign for new building

This architect’s rendering shows the concept for the Indian Creek Nature Center’s new building in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (Solum Lang Architects)

This architect’s rendering shows the concept for the Indian Creek Nature Center’s new building in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (Solum Lang Architects)

CEDAR RAPIDS – The Indian Creek Nature Center is making amazing progress on its Amazing Space campaign to fund a new campus, building and endowment.

Today, the center announced lead gifts to the $6.9 million campaign include $1 million from The Hall-Perrine Foundation, $750,000 from Bob and Beth Allsop, and $500,000 from the Aegon Transamerica Foundation. A $200,000 gift from United Fire Group was previously announced. The project is expected to break ground in spring 2015.

Here is more about today’s announcement from the Indian Creek Nature Center: Continue reading

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Muscatine is site of latest Emerald Ash Borer infestation in Iowa

Green ash killed by Emerald Ash Borer. (photo/Wikipedia)

Green ash killed by Emerald Ash Borer. (photo/Wikipedia)

News today that Emerald Ash Borer was discovered in Muscatine brings to 11 the number of counties in Iowa where the destructive beetle has been found.

Find information about previous sightings and what you can do for your trees in these stories: Tenth infestation announced

Beetle found in Iowa City

Advice for homeowners

State quarantine begins

Read more about the latest discovery from the state Emerald Ash Borer team: Continue reading

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Wildlife encounter: “stand still and talk to the bear in a calm voice”

Black bear photo/Wikipedia

Black bear photo/Wikipedia

Iowans typically don’t have to worry about a bear encounter in the state.

While bear sightings have been reported occasionally, they’re generally rare and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources notes that no wild bear cubs have been in Iowa for at least 140 years. Until now.

The DNR reported today that a landowner in Clayton County saw what appeared to be a female bear with her two cubs. This came after a report from a beekeeper whose hives were torn up, possibly from the bear trio.

What to do if you encounter a bear? Read on for advice from the DNR: Continue reading

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Two acres of color: Linn County daylily expert opens her gardens for viewing

Daylilies, liatris and other lilies bloom in the rural Linn County gardens of Zora Ronan. The gardens will be open for viewing on two weekends in July. (photo/Zora Ronan)

Daylilies, liatris and other lilies bloom in the rural Linn County garden of Zora Ronan. The gardens will be open for viewing on two weekends in July. (photo/Zora Ronan)

Garden lovers who can make it to one of the open gardens hosted this month by Zora Ronan in rural Linn County are in for a treat.

Zora has more than 500 different varieties of daylilies in her gardens, just west of Central City, along with many gorgeous lilies, and will open her gardens to the public for free on Sunday, July 20 between 10 am and 4 pm and Saturday and Sunday, July 26 and 27, 2014, between 10 and 4 each day.

“My garden usually peaks between the third and fourth weeks of July,” Zora noted. “In spite of this year’s unusually cold spring it is surprisingly on schedule.”

Zora said the daylilies are in top bloom and the lilies are also tall and colorful in the gardens, which encompass about 2 acres of  land.

“You may find an occasional weed as I took a 1-week trip to Asheville NC for the national daylily conference and the weeds took advantage of my absence,” she said.  “My goal is ‘reasonably well-kept.’” Continue reading

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Latest Emerald Ash Borer identification marks 10th county infested in Iowa

Emerald Ash Borer photo/Iowa State University Extension

Emerald Ash Borer photo/Iowa State University Extension

The march continues.

Emerald Ash Borer, a beetle that kills all varieties of ash trees, has been positively identified from a tree in Mount Pleasant, in Henry County.

The latest discovery, announced Friday, July 11, 2014, brings to 10 the number of counties where the devastating beetle has been found in Iowa. Continue reading

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Eastern Iowa Pond Society tour to benefit Honor Flight, Kirkwood students

This pond on H Avenue NE in Cedar Rapids is one of the sites on the pond tour on July 13, 2014. (photo/Eastern Iowa Pond Society)

This pond on H Avenue NE in Cedar Rapids is one of the sites on the pond tour on July 13, 2014. (photo/Eastern Iowa Pond Society)

This is shaping up to be a busy weekend in Eastern Iowa, with three garden walks scheduled in the Cedar Rapids-Iowa City Corridor.

Both the Linn County Master Gardeners and Project GREEN have walks scheduled on Saturday, July 12, 2014, and the Eastern Iowa Pond Society has its tour set for the next day, on Sunday, July 13.

Proceeds from the pond society’s tour will benefit Honor Flights, which take our veterans for a one-day trip to see war monuments in Washington, D.C., as well as the Kirkwood Community College scholarship fund. Continue reading

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