Cindy Hadish is the health, science and environment reporter for The Gazette in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and a “homegrown” native of Cedar Rapids. Her gardening obsession was planted by her mother, who was organic before organic was cool, as well as both grandmothers, who grew incredible flowers and more in Cedar Rapids and Chelsea, Iowa. Cindy’s uncle, an award-winning vegetable grower, still lives on the family farm near Chelsea, where Cindy and her siblings spent many summers. To see the new Homegrown site, go to: http://gazetteonline.com/category/blogs/homegrown

16 Responses so far »

  1. 2

    Lori said,

    Hi Cindy

    I found your site today as I was searching for gardening related activites in Cedar Rapids. I have been looking for calendars and updates on the Spring gardening activities area CR. Thanks for the information about Noelridge this weekend. I will definitely return here to check for more ‘what’s happening’ stuff.


  2. 3

    Kathryn Armstrong Johnston said,

    My grandmother, Esther Armstrong, was a dedicated gardener in Cedar Rapids. She died in 2002 at 99 1/2. She used to raise beautiful, BIG, pink “perennial” poppies with blue green foliage. She originally got the seeds from her mother in South Dakota. No one in my family kept any of the seeds, although she used to have a big jar of them that she gave away. By the time I bought a house, her garden, Pleasant Hill, was very overgrown. I found one seed head and one plant germinated. My fiance (now husband) ran over it and no others grew.
    I have been trying to track down if anyone in the Cedar Rapids area still grows the poppies and could give me some seeds. My daughter has become interested in gardening and I would love to grow those poppies and hand the seeds down to her.
    Thanks in advance,
    Kathryn Armstrong Johnston

    • 4

      Jerry A. McCoy said,

      Hi Cindy,

      I obtained a cutting of a sanseveria plant from Esther Armstrong when I visited her at her home in Cedar Rapids back in 1991 (I had attended Nan Wood Graham’s memorial service that February). She told me her plant was grown from a cutting that came from the plant that Grant Wood’s mother Hattie had. She said, “It will dry up and you’ll think it dead but just wait, it will root.” Boy, was she right.

      For two years I looked at a two inch long dried-up stick in a pot of soil. Just as I was about to pitch it, up through the soil popped a greed bud!

      Today this plant is about five feet tall and four feet in diameter. It became so unwieldy that I moved it to the library that I work at in Washington, DC.

      I can send you a photo of the plant if you would like to see it. I wonder how many other Grant Wood fans have the “grandchild” of the plant depicted in Wood’s painting, “Woman with Plants”?




  3. 5

    Marilyn Vennell said,

    I was looking for Better Boy tomatoes on Google and for some reason your site popped up.

    I thought, “Why does that name sound familiar?” Oh, Linn County. I lived there 20 years before moving back to Massachusetts and always read the Gazette.

    Just wanted to say hi from a former reader (who still reads the online edition).


  4. 6

    Judy said,

    Hey Cindy – Rcvd your Christmas card and am in process of checking out your gardening site. So far, I’m impressed. Have way too many things to read on it at the moment, so will have to just check it out a little bit each day. That way, I’ll have something to look forward to throughout the year. Merry Christmas ……

  5. 7

    Hi from Seattle. I have been working on designing low impact living posters
    with a few artists for storm water agencies out here in the great Northwest

    I like that positive spin on rain water mentioned in your blog.

    Rain water is a resource, not just run off. I know here in Seattle there is
    strong interest in rain gardens, green roofs and other LID practices that encourage
    stormwater to spread, seep and soak into the ground.

    I think we’re at the point where we need a run off tax on everyone who purchases pesticides, owns a car, or buys fertilizer. Any toxic in other words that taxpayers end up paying the clean up cost for eventually.

    Then we can put the money collected into green roof retrofits on our homes and office buildings, we can help people organize their neighborhoods to grow bioswals and rain gardens, and we can imrpove our water and air quality at the same time.

    I think Iowa master gardeners ought to organize with storm water agencies there in Ioaw and get some “shovel ready” green projects — rain gardens,
    green roof retrofits, rain barrels for President Obama’s trillion dollar works projects.

    What do you think?

    projects for President Obama’s

  6. 8

    Cindy said,


    Great idea on the shovel ready green projects. Any master gardeners, nature center staff or other environmentalists interested??


  7. 9

    Leora Smith said,

    We have heard of growing potatos in tires, but need to know the procedure. We have two big tractor tires to work with. Please help us. Love your articles!
    Thankyou, Leora

  8. 10

    Trudy said,

    Regarding your post on daylight savings time, Indiana residents are called Hoosiers, not “indianans.”

  9. 11

    Bonnie Seidel Deutsch said,

    Hi, I was just checking to see if we are related because I remember you when you were a baby, if you had Aunt Elsie for an aunt and I now know you do,, since only Craig could be the all state grower,,

  10. 12

    Ian Cheney said,

    Hi Cindy!

    Wondering if you’d give me permission to use the photograph of me and Curt (from our screening of King Corn in Cedar Rapids) on our film company’s new website. Would this be all right?



  11. 13

    Patty said,

    Hi Cindy,

    I enjoyed this article. I am from Iowa but now live in the desert in AZ. Was your mom’s name Dorothy? I knew a Dorothy Hadish.

    I will be back to visit your site.



  12. 14

    chris said,

    Really awesome info on this site….you really should get some contact info on this site.

    Would love to connect 🙂

  13. 15

    cindy hadish said,


    I can be reached at: cindy.hadish@gazcomm.com

  14. 16

    Paul Wald said,

    Happened across your site while looking for chestnut info. I just planted 200 of them! I am from North Central Mo, but the trees came from Red Fern Farms up in your neck of the woods. I subscribed to your blog, great info

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