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Judge says Iowa’s third ag-gag law is unconstitutional, like previous versions

For the third time in five years, a judge has struck down the Iowa Legislature’s efforts to criminalize the use of cameras in agriculture facilities and other businesses. “The United States Constitution does not allow such a singling out of […]

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A beekeeper is born: Kara Kelso harvests honey and explains why Des Moines has ‘some of the healthiest bees around’

“Look at this pollen pocket! Look at this girl!” Kara Kelso, co-owner of The Slow Down Coffee Co., excitedly directs my attention to one of her 210,000 bees who is crawling across the frame with big (relative to her size, […]

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Amid ‘the most altered landscape in America,’ this 100-acre plot in Johnson County remains rich and wild

Before the first Europeans arrived in what would become Iowa, most of the land here was covered by wild prairie plants. Bison and elk once grazed in the northwest and central regions, and black bears populated the woodlands and brush […]

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Forced to downsize, Sweet Tooth Farm focuses on self-care: ‘We can come back stronger’

In the summer of 2021, Monika Owczarski was informed by the City of Des Moines that the land she was leasing for her urban farm, Sweet Tooth Farm, would no longer be rented to her. Owczarski was devastated. On these […]

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Take a walk among the dinosaurs in ‘that one Des Moines garden’ this July

After a four-year hiatus, the Polk County Master Gardeners’ Garden Tour is back, highlighting 11 exceptional gardeners and garden enthusiasts across the county, including Urbandale, Clive, Des Moines and Ankeny. The tour is part of Iowa State University Extension and […]

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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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