Healthy Soil, Healthy Planet

I attended a lecture titled Healthy Soils, Healthy Planet today at Hitchcock Nature Center in Honey Creek, Iowa. It was the third installment of their 2019 speaker series. Today, Jean Eells discussed the importance of soil health and its impact on every day life. From cover crops and no-till to how adopting those practices widely…

Butterflies, Bees and More

The farm is bursting with life. I’m seeing something new every single day. It’s amazing how quickly things change in just a short amount of time. All of these photos were taken within a 48 hour period when I was trying to find as many different species as possible in our yard, I found a…

Interview with Benjamin Vogt

I first heard Benjamin Vogt speak at a Council Bluffs Noon Rotary lunch last year. A friend had invited me because she thought I would be interested in the topic. Vogt’s passion for what he does quickly became apparent. He urged the audience to re-think their grass lawns and instead plant low-maintenance native plants. I…

Upcoming Local Events

There are a lot of great events planned for this summer through various organizations in Iowa and Nebraska. I thought I would gather some gardening and art-focused events that look interesting to me and share with all of you. They are grouped by venue and not by date so be sure to check the date…

A Natural Shift

My gardening style has changed over the years, sometimes due to environmental factors, like living in an apartment, other times inspired by a certain type of plant, or even a new hobby. However, I’ve noticed a major shift in the last few months that might have irrevocably changed the direction of my garden for the…

Summer Solstice Lecture: Native Plants of the Midwest

Last night I attended a Summer Solstice Lecture featuring Alan Branhagen at Lauritzen Gardens located at 100 Bancroft Street in Omaha, NE. Alan Branhagen is currently the director of operations at Minnesota Landscape Arboretum and is also the author of Native Plants of the Midwest. We learned which natives grow to best suit your conditions…

How To: Create a Butterfly Habitat in Your Yard

Butterflies add so much to your yard and landscape while bringing it to life. Here are some tips for creating a more butterfly-friendly area in your yard. Host PlantsMost butterflies and moths are dependent on one or more types of host plants, a plant on which they lay their eggs and caterpillars feed on. There…

Garden Journal 06/02/2019

It’s the beginning of June here on the farm. We’ve had lots of activity in the garden and many different visitors in the landscape. Here’s a little bit of what’s been going on this week. I’ve posted about these peonies before and have even made a very similar arrangement, but I’ll never get enough. Original…

Forest Types and Exploring for Native Species

One of my all-time favorite things to do at home to to walk around the very edges of our property, up past the field and into the forest. Using my new terminology from the Master Conservationist Program, our property actually includes all of the “forest types” ranging from prairie and savanna, to woodland and forest….

Iowa Ecosystems: Forests

I signed up for a Master Conservationist Program through 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. The program is one Saturday per month and is hosted at Hitchcock Nature Center in Honey Creek, Iowa. Unfortunately, I…

Midwest Natives Nursery

On Saturday, Midwest Natives Nursery in Lincoln, NE hosted its first plant sale of the year, which will continue each Saturday until the plants are sold out. I started following Midwest Natives Nursery on Facebook and couldn’t wait to attend their opening event. I ended up purchasing a flat of native species including various milkweed,…

Peaceful Night on the Farm

Tonight was one for the record books. It was about 70 degrees, sunny and no wind. My is my absolute favorite kind of night. We spent the entire evening enjoying the beautiful weather with a little yard party. Everyone, and I mean everyone, was invited. Here is a little video I made of the yard…

Atlanta Botanical Gardens

I was in Atlanta, Georgia for a work training at the end of April. During the eight days that we were in class, we had one free afternoon. I chose to spend my free time at the Atlanta Botanical Garden located at 1345 Piedmont Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30309. I recruited a small group of my…

Goat Yoga in the Loess Hills

My friend Danielle, her sister-in-law Chaz and I went to goat yoga today at Honey Creek Creamery, an artisan goat dairy nestled in the Loess Hills, located at 25593 Old Lincoln Hwy, Honey Creek, Iowa. It was a short drive to a beautiful farm completely surrounded by GREEN. The baby goats were adorable, the weather…

Interview with Michelle Biodrowski

Michelle Biodrowski had a booth at the Seed Exchange and Gardener Social event in Council Bluffs this spring and gave a presentation on Native Plants for a Backyard Habitat at the West Pott. Master Gardeners Spring Garden Conference. Since we keep running into each other now and her presentation was so great, I asked Michelle…

2019 Spring Garden Conference

The West Pott. Master Gardeners hosted their 2019 Spring Garden Conference today at Holiday Inn & Suites at Ameristar Casino in Council Bluffs, Iowa. The conference sold out in just a few weeks at 160 attendees due to an impressive lineup of speakers. They included Kim Todd with Backyard Farmer, Scott Evans, Jan Riggenbach, Michelle Biodrowski,…

Seed Exchange & Gardener Social

Several groups came together to host the March into Spring – Seed Exchange and Gardener Social today at Sherbondy’s Garden Center in Council Bluffs, Iowa today, March 24, 2019 from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. “Seed swaps having been going on for thousands of years. Folks coming together at markets, town squares, in huts and…

How To: Keep Seeds Organized

When you want to have a cut flower garden, seeds are a very important part to the process. Direct sewing is a great way to have loads of flowers in a short amount of time. You can buy new seeds every year or you can save seeds. Read my post about starting a cut flower…

Garden Journal 01/13/2019

Several inches of snow came down between Friday night and Saturday afternoon here in southwest Iowa. It made for some pretty views from our house. Walking around our acreage is both a great way to get some exercise and it forces me to take a few moments to truly appreciate the beautiful place that we…