Backyard Abundance, comfrey

Comfrey plants are integrated in the garden as part of a Backyard Abundance project in rural Solon. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

Local foods and gardening have come into their own across the nation and in our own backyard. Besides area farmers markets (see tab, above) the upcoming weekend offers learning opportunities, as well.

Mount Vernon, Iowa City and Anamosa all have workshops scheduled for Saturday, March 2, 2013.

Here is information about each event:



Mount Vernon Gardening & Local Foods Education Day

Saturday, March 2nd at the First Street Community Center
221 1st Street NE, Mount Vernon
Event is free and open to all
Register at:

Presentations by the Linn County Master Gardeners:

– 9:00 am Composting & Vermicomposting

– 9:45 am Garden Site Selection & Raising Beds

– 10:30 am Seed Starting & Planting

Visit the Mt. Vernon Farmer’s Market from 11 am – 1 pm!

– 11:30 am Make a Mini-Greenhouse kit and take home to grow your own vegetables (each family member welcome to build their own – MUST Register each individual.)

– 1:15 pm Celebrating Gardening and Local Foods – Sharing & Brainstorming Session
Also Register for FREE Childcare in the library of First Street Community Center
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact: Angie Cannon

Plants for an Abundant Landscape,  Iowa City

 To help residents learn how to create low-maintenance, beautiful, environmentally-beneficial landscapes, Backyard Abundance is hosting a free “Plants for an Abundant Landscape” presentation on Saturday, March 2 from 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm at the Iowa City Public Library, 123 S. Linn Street, Iowa City.

 At this fun and interactive presentation, ecological designers will describe how to design garden beds of tasty fruits, vegetables, flowers, and herbs to minimize maintenance, maximize yield, attract desired insects and birds, reduce erosion, and sequester atmospheric carbon.

Attendees will receive a gift certificate for a free plant that can be redeemed online at the Backyard Abundance plant sale fundraiser storefront.

 Refreshments and handouts will be available.

 For more information visit or call 319-325-6810.

Backyard Abundance is an Iowa City-based nonprofit that helps build vibrant communities by creating beautiful, resilient landscapes that provide healthy food and habitat.

Anamosa Home & Garden Show; March 2, 2013 @ 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Where: Lawrence Community Center, 600 East Main Street, Anamosa

Cost: Free

Contact: Lawrence Community Center, 319-462-6181

Special feature will be a demonstration by the Master Gardeners on creating a compost pile in a storage container using red wiggler worms.Craft vendors will be selling in the racquetball court rooms. Speakers and presentations:

–  Growing Giant Pumpkins by Greg Norlin and Scott West

– Home Fire Safety by the Anamosa Fire Dept.

– Buy Fresh, Buy Local, by Joe Wagner

-The Right Tool for the Job and How to Maintain Them, by Pam Benson and Bill Feldmann

– Don’t Let Those Pesky Bugs Bug You, by Kim Miller.