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…

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: 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…

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,…

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…

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…

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…

Let it Snow

We received around seven inches of snow last weekend that doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon. It’s makes for some beautiful scenes around the farm. I’m sure we will have a white Christmas this year as it’s only two weeks away! I loved the way the sunset sunlight was hitting the tops of…

Cormo Sheep

I’m sure you all remember my friend Libby from Libby’s Yarn Barn. She has English Angora rabbits, alpacas and now, Cormo sheep. Libby’s farm is about 20-25 minutes from ours but has a lot more animals! A cross between Merino and Corriedale sheep, Cormo is a fine wool like merino but area better suited for a humid…

June Landscapes

We finally had a nice break from all of the rain we’ve been getting recently. It was a beautiful weekend and not too hot. I’ve been enjoying hiking around the farm and seeing parts of the acreage that I haven’t checked out much yet. Since its the last weekend in June, I thought I would…

Family Farm

We had an emotional Father’s Day Weekend in our family. One of my aunts passed away recently and we had a celebration of her life on Saturday. The entire family got together, which is no small feat, because we have relatives in California, Indiana and Missouri. Everyone came together in Alta, Iowa as we remembered…

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…

Garden Journal 6/2/2018

We kicked off June with some more heat. My leafy greens are doing amazingly well. I’ve got several kinds of lettuce and kale along with arugula, turnips, beets and swiss chard growing in this market garden style bed. My agave sure are happy right now! They thrive in the heat. I planted a few coreopsis…

5 Tips on Growing Iris from Nancy

One of my fellow Master Gardeners is into irises. Nancy has over 250 varieties of tall bearded iris that are mostly from California. Her brother, who lives in California, started sending her irises for her birthday each August and then one year while visiting him, they dug over 150 varieties together. She has since been back…

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…

Hitchcock Nature Center

The mission of the Hitchcock Nature Center is to exist to develop and foster appreciation and understanding of the Loess Hills as a globally significant landform through land management, environmental education and low-impact recreation. Acquired by Pottawattamie County in 1991, Hitchcock Nature Center (HNC) currently consists of 1,268 acres located in the heart of the…

Starting a Cut Flower Garden in Iowa

Growing a garden for cut flowers is becoming more and more popular each year. I began planning my first cutting garden over four years ago and here are some of the things I’ve learned along the way. Check out a prior blog post on the top flowers for cutting here. Sunlight. You’ll want to pick a…

Bluebirds in Iowa

Recently, I attended a lecture by the Iowa Bluebird Conservationists. My family has been interested in bluebirds for several years now and most of us have a few boxes in our backyards. If you are interested in bluebirds, checkout the information below! Due to the loss of habitat combined with the introduction of the House…