New Pioneer Food Co-op's Summer Solstice Garden Party celebrates milk and more on Sat., June 21, 2014. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

New Pioneer Food Co-op’s Summer Solstice Garden Party celebrates milk and more on Sat., June 21, 2014. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

Two summer solstice events happening in Eastern Iowa are scheduled for this Friday, June 20, and Saturday, June 21, so make it to both and you can make the longest day of the year last even longer.

Several organizations are collaborating on Friday’s event at Ushers Ferry, while New Pioneer Food Co-op is sponsoring Saturday’s event at  Earth Source Gardens in Iowa City.

Read on for more about both events:
Summer Solstice at Ushers Ferry

Welcome summer as you celebrate the “Honey Moon”

Did you know that the first full moon in June was traditionally known as the “Honey Moon” because it was believed to be the best time to harvest honey from bees? This is why mead, an ancient alcoholic beverage made from fermented honey, was so popular at this time of year. Gather around the bonfire at Ushers Ferry Historic Village (5925 Seminole Valley Trail Northeast in Cedar Rapids) to listen to stories, make s’mores and try a non-alcoholic version of this tasty honeyed drink.
This is part of a series of seasonal celebrations around Cedar Rapids sponsored by Prairiewoods, Ushers Ferry, Indian Creek Nature Center and Matthew 25. A free-will offering will be accepted at the door. For more information, contact Ushers Ferry at 319-286-5763 or


Celebrates Milk, Cheese, Beer, and More! Free & Open to Everyone

Iowa CityEnjoy food, fun, and flowers, and celebrate the longest day – the Summer Solstice – with New Pioneer Food Co-op at Earth Source Gardens 1-3PM, Saturday, June 21! Earth Source Gardens are at the NE corner of Rochester and Scott on Harvest Road, Iowa City.

Listen to live music by the Muckrockers and watch belly dance by Farida and Kahraman Dancers at 1:30PM. See how whipped cream and ice cream are made, test your olfactory skills on fragrant herbs and flowers, and practice your milking skills on our mock cow!

Tour the amazing two-acre community garden, with each plot tended by a different family. Visit the plantings in the Co-op demonstration beds featuring unusual flowers, vegetables, berries, and fruit trees. Meet the plants grown to make beer: hops, barley, and wheat! Learn how these ingredients are combined to create delicious hand-crafted beer. Guests 21 years or better are invited to sample six remarkable Two Brothers Beers, including Cane and Ebel Red Rye Ale, Domaine du Page French Country Ale, Ebel Weiss, Prairie Path Golden Ale, Outlaw IPA, and Sidekick Extra Pale Ale.

Learn about seed-saving, water catchment, and using medicinal herbs to make salves. Sample a full line of non-dairy “milks,” and weave a floral “fairy” crown. Fun for all ages!

Earth Source Gardens were created by New Pioneer Food Co-op and Harvest Farm and Preserve to show how gardens can contribute to our community’s nutrition, food security, and enjoymen

New Pioneer Cooperative Society was founded as a natural foods cooperative grocery in Iowa City in 1971, opened its Coralville branch in 2001, and will open a third store in Cedar Rapids in the fall of 2014. Today, New Pi is a thriving two-store food co-op with over 29,000 members-owners. The stores provide local, organic, and natural foods to the Iowa City and Coralville area and everyone is welcome to shop. New Pi is located at 22 S. Van Buren St. in Iowa City, at 1101 2nd St. in Coralville, and will be at 3338 Center Point Road in Cedar Rapids. Please visit for more information.