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….

Iowa Ecosystems: Wetlands

This month, our Master Conservationist class was held at Heron Haven in Omaha, NE to discuss the wetlands ecosystem. Heron Haven is a spring-fed wetland sanctuary. The sanctuary features one of the last oxbow wetlands of the Big Papillion Creek and it is within Omaha’s city limits. You may remember my recap of a Master Gardener…

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…

Iowa Ecosystems: Prairie

The second of three Master Conservationist Program classes featuring Iowa’s Ecosystems highlighted the prairie. If you missed the first recap on forests, check it out here. There are a total of six classes throughout the summer, one Saturday per month. The class is a group effort by Golden Hills RC&D, Pottawattamie County Conservation, Pottawattamie County Soil & Water…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Iowa State University Extension

This November, I was elected to the Iowa State University Extension Council for West Pottawattamie County. As an Iowa State University graduate, I am very honored to hold this position and proud to support the Extension Office’s efforts. Since then, I’ve had a lot of people ask me what ISU Extension does, so I thought…

Christmas at Lauritzen Gardens

The holiday season has arrived at Lauritzen Gardens! Their beautiful displays of poinsettias, Norfolk Island Pine, Christmas trees and dozens of miniature Omaha landmarks, features the theme of The Year of the Bird. “Thousands of poinsettias bursting with rich, vibrant color fill the floral display hall in a glowing tribute to the holidays during the…

Christmas at Sherbondy’s

We have officially entered the holiday season. One of my favorite events in November is Small Business Saturday. Each year, I try to go to my favorite local businesses searching for as many Christmas gifts as I can find. It is a day that I intentionally shop small every year and gets me in the…

Flower Arranging Workshop

This week I hosted a flower arranging workshop for my coworkers where I work full time as a Director of Marketing. I pitched the idea of the workshop to our wellness committee as a “mental’ wellness event because I think everyone can use a little extra time for themselves and to learn something new. I…

Heron Haven

Last Tuesday, the West Pott. Master Gardeners met at Heron Haven in Omaha, NE for our monthly meeting. Heron Haven is a spring-fed wetland sanctuary. The sanctuary features one of the last oxbow wetlands of the Big Papillion Creek and it is within Omaha’s city limits. There is a butterfly garden near the entrance that was…

The Swallow’s Nest

The June West Pott. Master Gardener meeting tonight was held at The Swallow’s Nest – Jayna’s Country Store & Gardens in Council Bluffs. We enjoyed listening to stories from the owners, held our meeting under the shade trees on the farm and then enjoyed a tour of their expansive vegetable and flower garden. It was…

West Pott. Master Gardener Plant Sale

Today was the annual West Pottawattamie Master Gardener Plant Sale from 8 a.m. – 11 a.m. at Iowa School for the Deaf. Proceeds from the sale will go toward scholarships and local community garden projects. The hard working master gardeners organized “digs” at homes around the county to help owner’s thin their perennials or remove…

The Drunken Botanist

On Thursday, April 5, 2018, the Loveland Garden Club hosted author Amy Stewart at Lauritzen Gardens for a lecture “Plants that Create the World’s Great Drinks” featuring her book, The Drunken Botanist. She explained that she was inspired to write the book while sitting in a bar looking at all of the various liquors on the…

Hot Air Balloon Landing (In Our Yard)

We had an exciting morning here on the farm. There were a total of six balloons in the air that I could see from our house when I got outside. They were up and moving northwest until they all disappeared about the same time. They landed in the fields surrounding our house and our neighbors.Then…