Following are some of the gardening/home/environmental events scheduled in Eastern Iowa during March 2009. If you know of other events, please add them in a comment below, or send an email to: email@example.com
Wed., March 4, 12:15-12:45 p.m. – As part of the Cedar Rapids Public Library’s Brown Bag Briefing series, Paul Rost of Earl May Garden Center will present “Planning and Planting a Vegetable Garden” in Westdale Mall. Meet in the Programming Room of the Bridge Library on the lower level of Westdale near the JCPenney store. For more information check the website at http://www.crlibrary.org or call Rebecca Bartlett at 398-5123.
Sat., March 7, Living from Holy Ground: Growing in Harmony, Eating in Faith will explore the relationship between faith, farming and food. This one-day retreat will take place at Crooked Creek Christian Camp, Washington, Iowa. The main speaker, Gary Guthrie, is a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farmer from Nevada, Iowa. He produces over 17,000 pounds of fresh vegetables on just 2 acres of land. Guthrie has earned the name The Carrot King because of the sweet-tasting carrots he raises. A graduate of Iowa State University, Guthrie was drawn to this style of faming as a way to merge his love for sustainable agriculture, community development and faith. Guthrie spent time in Bolivia with Mennonite Central Committee developing sustainable agricultural systems in the context of a semi-humid tropical rainforest. Guthrie will explore two topics. Fidelity and Fecundity: Exploring the Fruits of Faithfulness will examine the effects of our relationship with the land and the positive impact that a healthy relationship can reap. Guthrie’s second session, Restoration: Preparing for the Return from Collapse, grows out of Collapse by Jared Diamond. Are we headed toward a collapse and, if so, are we prepared to recover? How can farmers and eaters work to restore and sustain our land? In addition to Guthrie’s keynote addresses, the following workshops for farmers, gardeners, and eaters will be offered: Perspectives from a Farmer, with grass-feeding farmer Steve Rodgers; Faith and Farming with organic farmer Calvin Yoder; Precision Farming, with Terry Brase, Associate Professor of Ag Geospatial Technology ; Permaculture: From Barren to Bountiful, with local gardener and artist Kay Fleming; Gardening with Flower, with Anna Geyer of Anna’s Cutting Garden; Where does your food come from?: Examining your Foodshed with Karla Stoltzfus, minister at First Mennonite Church, Iowa City, and CPS associate; Nutrition is more than Skin Deep with Certified Clinical Nutritionist Jessica Forge; Life on a CSA with Susan Jutz of ZJ farms. A lunch featuring local foods will be provided. Pre-registration is required. More information can be found by contacting Crooked Creek Christian Camp. Phone 319-653-3611 or email firstname.lastname@example.org You can also visit the camp’s website – www.crookedcreekcamp.org The camp is at 2830 Coppock Road, Washington, Iowa.
Sat., March 7 and Sun., March 8, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. – The 26th Annual Maple Syrup Festival at the Indian Creek Nature Center, 6665 Otis Rd. SE, Cedar Rapids. Enjoy a pancake breakfast and learn how maple syrup is made. Call 362-0664 for ticket information.
Tues., March 10, 6 p.m. – Brucemore Pruning for Produce workshop. Join Patrick O’Malley, an Iowa State Field Specialist, and the Brucemore gardeners for this hands-on workshop and discussion showing how to properly prune for produce. O’Malley will demonstrate proper techniques to maximize yield and manage pruning challenges. Now is the time to make correct cuts for a beautiful and bountiful harvest of nuts, apples, pears, and other fruits throughout the upcoming growing season. The workshop will commence in the Brucemore Visitor Center, 2160 Linden Drive SE, Cedar Rapids, and move to the orchard for a demonstration. Participants will have ample opportunity to ask questions and seek advice concerning their own gardens and landscapes. Admission is $15 per person and $10 per Brucemore member. Space is limited. Call (319) 362-7375 for reservations or register online at www.brucemore.org
Wed. March 11, 6:30-8:30 p.m. – Daylily Delights is the title of Zora Ronan, Linn County Master Gardener’s, presentation on the art of selecting and growing daylilies at the Linn County Extension Office Conference Room, Suite 140, 3279 7th Ave., Marion. This class is FREE and open to the public. Registration is requested. Call the Extension Office at 319-377-9839.
Thurs., March 12, 7 p.m. – Learn how to select the right perennials for your garden from Deb Walser, a master gardener, at a PowerPoint presentation at the Marion Public Library. Even if you have been growing perennials for years, Walser will show some of the newest perennials available in local nurseries. The program, co-sponsored by the Friends of the Marion Parks and the Friends of the Marion Library, is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.
Sat., March 15, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sun., March 16, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. – WMT Lawn & Garden Show, Expo North & South Hawkeye Downs, 4400 6th Street SW, Cedar Rapids.
Fri., March 20, 8 a.m.-4 p.m., 2009 Wind Energy Conference in Fairfield, Iowa. In 2008, Iowa surpassed California to become the nation’s second largest in wind power generating capacity. At a time when renewable energy, sustainability and alternative forms of energy are in the spotlight. Iowa State University Extension presents the Wind Energy Conference at the Fairfield Fine Arts and Convention Center. Farmers, landowners, businesses, schools and homeowners interested in learning more about wind power are invited. The day will include exhibits, breakout sessions and panelists discussing the wind resources available in Iowa, the opportunities and threats related to the industry, and perspectives from current turbine owners and operators. The afternoon sessions will be broken into two tracks, one focusing on wind farms and the other on wind turbines for individuals, businesses or schools. Sponsors include Iowa State University Extension, Iowa Energy Center, Henry County Farm Bureau, Jefferson County Farm Bureau, and Pathfinders RC&D. To register for the 2009 Wind Energy Conference, contact the Jefferson County Extension office at (641) 472-4166. The cost is $20 per person and will be limited to the first 200 registrants. For registration materials, visit www.extension.iastate.edu/jefferson or call (641) 472-4166. Exhibitor booth space is available for interested businesses or organizations. For more details, contact the Jefferson County Extension office.
Sat., March 28, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. – Patrick O’Malley, ISU Horticulture Field Specialist for Eastern Iowa, will conduct a workshop to lead a hands-on exercise on grafting apple trees at the Linn County Extension conference room. O’Malley will explain different types of grafting techniques followed by a hands-on grafting demonstration for you to create two apple trees to take home. Each student will get to choose two rootstocks (two of one kind or one of each). The rootstocks are: P-22 (dwarfing) for a tree that gets 6-8 feet tall. The tree will need support. The second will be EMLA-7 and is for a free standing tree that grows 12-15 feet tall. No support is needed. Extra root stocks will be available for $5 each. Bud wood or scions from several different trees will be provided. Choices include: Red Delicious, Chieftain (which come from Iowa and Jonafree), Liberty, Williams Pride, Dayton and Red Free which are mostly Apple Scab and Cedar Rust resistant. You will work with a partner. Bring a sharp pocket knife or grafting knife if you have one. Do not use a serrated knife. Some knives will be provided. Cost of the workshop is $35 for non-Master Gardeners. Minimum class size is 10; maximum size is 30. Register by calling 377-9839 and send your payment to Linn Co. Extension Service, 3279 7th Ave., Marion, IA 52302 no later than March 25.
Tues. March 31, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Creative Gardening Series – Presented by the Linn County Master Gardeners – Plant It and It Will Grow! Basic Vegetable Gardening, Kirkwood Community College, Cedar Hall Room 234, 6301 Kirkwood Blvd SW, Cedar Rapids. Bud LeFevre will discuss basic vegetable gardening techniques for the novice and the pro. Ideas range from those handed down thru family generations to modern day organic practices. Emphasis is on tomato and pepper growing. LeFevre is co-owner and founder of Distinctive Gardens, Inc., a unique nursery carrying a variety of unusual and sought after woody plants, perennials and annuals, located in Dixon, IL. Bud has been vegetable gardening his whole life and working in the horticulture industry since he was 13. The session is free.