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…

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…

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….

Garden Journal 8/23/19

We went on a canoeing and camping trip on the Turkey River this weekend near Alpha, Iowa. We had a great time with friends and enjoyed spending time on the water. If I didn’t have to actually leave my house, I would camp all the time. Just when I think things can’t possibly be any…

Lauritzen Gardens in August

I wanted to get some exercise today and at the same time check out Lauritzen Gardens in the summer. It was a hot and humid day and I went in the middle of the afternoon but it was wonderful once you got down into the shady areas. “Lauritzen Gardens is a living museum of unique…

Becoming a Certified Monarch Waystation

One way to help pollinators AND support an organization that is helping pollinators… is to have your garden become a Certified Monarch Waystation through Monarch Watch. Monarch Watch is a nonprofit education, conservation, and research program based at the University of Kansas that focuses on the monarch butterfly, its habitat, and its spectacular fall migration….

Garden Journal 7/28/2019

We have definitely entered the high summer and the summer perennials are thriving. Last week it was brutal and in the 90s all week but this week we are seeing 70s and 80s. Thankful for this break in the heat for the RAGBRAI riders this week. We’ve been at this house for two and a…

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…