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 this spring, in addition to all of the usual demands, local direct-to-consumer producers are having […]
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 […]
“Why do farmers farm, given their economic adversities on top of the many frustrations and difficulties normal to farming?” I sit in the air conditioning, scrolling through my photos of the Morning Glory CSA food truck, and I think of this question by farmer and writer Wendell Berry. […]
The good news concerns zucchini: There’s plenty of it. Arguably too much of it, although environmentalists Brenda Nations and Art Bettis (armed with an abundant CSA share and a very tasty summer squash galette recipe torn from the pages of a Better Homes and Gardens) do not seem to mind. The bad news is the […]
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.
As October comes to a close, so do most of the Iowa City area farmers’ markets. In the past, the City of Iowa City has hosted periodic winter markets to fill the veggie void left at the end of the regular market’s season. This year, due to a lack of space and demonstrated interest in […]
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. […]
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. […]
Iowa experienced the flood of the century 15 years ago. That, of course, was a different century. Last month Iowans saw floods unlike any in living memory. Fourteen hundred city blocks in Cedar Rapids were inundated with water up to 11 feet deep. Twenty University of Iowa buildings were flooded. Interstates 80 and 380 were […]