Biking the Rock Island Old Stone Arch Nature Trail in Shelby, Iowa

Several weeks ago I rode the Rock Island Old Stone Arch Nature Trail near Shelby, Iowa. The official trail is just 3.75 miles. After riding this short trail, I did a little more riding in Shelby and took a different path back to where I parked my car. The trailhead starts near The Cornstalk Cafe…

Biking the Katy Trail – Clinton > Machens, MO

This May, Ryan and I biked the entire Katy Trail from Clinton to Machens, Missouri (and then some). The official Katy Trail is 239.6 miles long, here is a blog recap of our trip. Day One On day one we road from Clinton to Pilot Grove for a total of 62.41 miles. We parked our…

Recap of 2020

Well, it’s been awhile. I never dreamed we would still still be in the same place nearly one year later. In case you missed it, I’ve been working from home since March of last year. I spend my entire day on my work computer writing copy, sending emails and attending meetings on video so it…

Raising Bottle Calves

I’ve been working from home since March 13, 2020. So, this week marks 17 weeks. Wow. I figured this spring was as good of time as any to raise a few bottle calves! In late March, two bottle calves arrived at our farm. They were either abandoned by their mom or their mom did not…

Cabin in the Woods

Over Mother’s Day weekend, we met Ryan’s family on the property near our farm for a little grill-out at the cabin. This little plot of land is truly amazing. While we were there, I spotted my first Monarch butterfly of the year. I was so excited I started pointing and yelling, nobody understood what I…

Garden Journal 5/12/20

Each spring there seems to be new birds visiting every single day. Over the last few weeks we have seen orioles, woodpeckers, catbirds, goldfinch, cardinals, a pheasant, turkey, geese, hummingbirds and more. I put out some oranges, grape jelly, suet, bird seed and hummingbird nectar for my little visitors. Definitely a highlight during these crazy…

Quarantine 2020

Well this is not exactly the year that I had planned. Since the Coronavirus spread to the United States, our lives have changed significantly. This has definitely been the weirdest spring of my 35 years! I’ve been working from home for six weeks now and only have barely left my house since Friday, March 13….

The Garden in Winter

It’s beautiful out today with a high of 45 degrees on this gorgeous February 1st. I’m itching for everything to turn green again, the smell of spring and the buzz of insects. Winter does wonders for my appetite for gardening as its come back in full force. I make sure to leave all of my…

‘Unbelizeable’ Belize

This post is a little out of the norm but I thought you might enjoy seeing some beautiful lush island photos as we head full-force into winter here in Iowa. I’ve had the pleasure of visiting Belize, specifically Ambergris Caye island (also known as San Pedro, Belize) twice in the last two years. I thought…

Harvesting Native Seed

Following our graduation and final Master Conservationist class, we headed out to the Hitchcock Nature Center trail system in search of native seed. We grabbed some paper bags and followed Michelle Biodrowski’s lead on how to find seed that was ready for harvest. The native seed is used for prairie restorations and similar projects. At…

Master Conservationist Graduation

Last Saturday, our class graduated from the Master Conservationist program at Hitchcock Nature Center. If you missed my class recaps, find them here: Iowa Ecosystems: ForestsIowa Ecosystems: PrairieIowa Ecosystems: Wetlands The program was hosted by our local Golden Hills RC&D, Pottawattamie County Conservation, Pottawattamie County Soil & Water Conservation, Pottawattamie County NRCS, ISU Extension and Outreach West Pottawattamie over the summer….

Using Hops to Shade a Chicken Coop

We wanted to find a fast-growing bine (yes, bine) to help shade our west-facing chicken coop run from the hot afternoon sun. After some research, we went with hops because they are completely safe for chickens, fast-growing and perennial, meaning they come back year after year. I ordered the Top of the Hops Collection from…