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Refugee-led nonprofit Tapestry Farms fights Quad Cities food deserts with gardens

Half of Iowa’s grocery stores closed in the last quarter of the 20th century, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health. Today, roughly 40 percent of Iowans live a half mile or more from the nearest source of fresh […]

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As large-scale agriculture struggles, small farmers are getting creative to meet increased demand

Spring is a busy time for farmers. Typically their market and crop planning was done over winter, and they are now outside: seeding vegetable transplants, monitoring newborn lambs and piglets, preparing fields for planting and doing maintenance on machinery. But […]

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Linn County plans Dows Farm ‘agrihood,’ a housing development based around a farm

Outside Cedar Rapids, a different type of neighborhood is being planned. Imagine a golf course community, but instead of 18 holes, a small farm serves as the central amenity. The Dows Farm Agri-Community, an agrihood consisting of varied housing units, a farm and different services and trails, is planned to be built on 179 acres of […]

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Family Dinner: Husbands Matt and Rob entertain friends with Iowan flare

Matt Van Maanen and Rob Lancaster are hosting dinner for the third night in a row this week in their Cedar Rapids home. Earlier in the week, the couple received their weekly summer Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share, including a bounty of summer squash, which prompted tonight’s main dish: a zucchini-loaded pasta primavera with just-plucked basil and balsamic drizzled on top. On the side: kale salad with sliced almonds and a lemony emulsion, garnished with decorative-yet-edible nasturtiums.
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On the Table: A visit with Iowa City herbalists Wild Rose Apothecary

Ansel Cummings is a friend of the bees

Most people go to great lengths to rid their yards of plants they deem to be “weeds.” These so-called weeds are invasive and unattractive and might as well just be wiped out, right?

An Iowa City herbalist group, Wild Rose Apothecary, is looking to change that perception; it’s their mission to inform weed-haters that wild-foraged herbs like dandelions, cleavers, plantain and chickweed actually have a place in our homes. […]

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Photos: Have you considered investing in a local farm? Local fair shows the payoff

The basic premise of a CSA is this: Patrons become members of a CSA by purchasing a share of a farm. In return for paid membership, they receive a weekly box of fresh food straight from their local farmer. The mutual advantages to this are countless but the most obvious benefit is, perhaps, reassurance. Not only does a CSA membership guarantee fresh vegetables, fruits, eggs, honey and occasionally meat and dairy products to the consumer, but it also insures that farmers are able to support both the community and themselves. […]

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