Posts tagged farm

Iowa City Environmental Film Festival

    Fred Meyer, director of Backyard Abundance, sent information on the following event. Fred noted that the group’s activities are presented in the context of understanding how our well-being is directly affected by the health of the land and wildlife – that caring for our local environment is equivalent to caring for our family and community.

 

Here is more about this weekend’s event:

 

    As part of the Iowa City Environmental Film Festival,  “Farming with Nature: A Case Study of Temperate Permaculture,” will be shown at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 15, 2009, in Room A of the Iowa City Public Library, 123 S. Linn St.  Host is Backyard Abundance, with speaker Fred Meyer.

 

    The Iowa City Environmental Film Festival,  modeled on the successful Cedar Rapids Film Festival, coordinates screenings of feature length and short movies on environmental topics for the public.

 

    Film overview: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bw7mQZHfFVE

 

   This film shows how Sepp Holzer uses permaculture techniques to grow everything from apricots to eucalyptus, figs to kiwi fruit, peaches to wheat at an altitude of over 3,300 feet, in average annual temperature of only 40 degrees.  A pioneer in permaculture techniques, Holzer turned a fir tree dessert into a farm producing a healthy surplus of food for the community, water and energy for the farm and an environment that sustains animals, plants and soils.

After the film, ways these techniques can be used in our climate will be discussed. The event runs to 5 p.m.

 

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Call for women landowners – new dates!

Due to the weather this week, the following program was postponed until February. This update has the new dates. 

 

UPDATE – Introductory meetings will take place:

Tuesday, Feb. 17, 10 a.m., Marion Library, 1095 6th Ave.

Wednesday, Feb. 18, 1:30 p.m., Anamosa Library, 600 E. 1st St.

Thursday, Feb. 19, 1:30 p.m., Johnson County Extension Office, 4265 Oak Crest Hill Rd SE, Iowa City

 Laura Krouse of Mount Vernon passed along the following about an upcoming program for women landowners.

Laura notes that women own about half of the farmland in Iowa, and about 60 percent of the rentable farmland.  Research has shown that women have very strong conservation and natural resource values, but  don’t always feel comfortable accessing the technical and financial resources that would help them and their tenants get the conservation they want on their land. 

Women who own or manage farmland in three Eastern Iowa counties – Johnson, Jones and Linn – are invited to participate in a free conservation education program. The program is designed to make women more knowledgeable and more comfortable with their conservation decisions. 

Women landowners are invited to come to the meeting closest to their home; if they are unable to attend that meeting, they are welcome to come to another one, or contact facilitator Laura Krouse of Mt. Vernon about attending the subsequent field days and closing meeting.
Women landowners who participate in the “Women Caring for the Land” project will:
•    Meet your district conservationist and learn about programs and people available to help you with your conservation concerns
•    See sustainable soil conservation and water quality practices in the field
•    Hear from a good tenant about what kinds of conservation concerns he shares with you
•    Practice ways to discuss your conservation concerns with your tenant
•    Share ideas with other women landowners about solutions to conservation and sustainability
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

“Women Caring for the Land” is sponsored by Women, Food and Agriculture Network, and funded by a grant from the McKnight Foundation.
For information or to register, call Laura Krouse at 319.895.6924 or email her at laura@abbehills.com
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

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“Compostales”

   The winner of our compost contest was announced  and her essay on composting magic was posted earlier, but there were others who shared great advice and fun stories. Dustin Hinrichs, one of our judges, noted that he enjoyed reading the “compostales.” I like Dustin’s terminology, so here are some of the compostales that were also entered in the contest. More will be posted later. Enjoy, and thanks to all who entered!

 

Duane Thys of Cedar Rapids:

 

I LOVE COMPOST!!

 

I  HAVE BEEN COMPOSTING FOR OVER FORTY YEARS.   PRESENTLY I HAVE TWO PLASTIC BINS AND A WIRE CAGE.  I ‘FEED’ THE BINS FROM THE CAGE WHICH  HOLDS  LEAVES AND GARDEN REFUSE.  I LAYER GRASS CLIPPINGS, KITCHEN SCRAPS, DRYER LINT, PAPER, ETC.,  WITH THE LEAVES AND GRASS CLIPPINGS.    I HAVE NEVER HAD ENOUGH COMPOST.  I   TOLD MY WIFE THAT I WOULD LIKE TO HAVE ALL THE COMPOST IN THE WORLD.  SHE THINKS  I’M NUTS.

 

I ALSO RAISE RED WORMS.  THESE ORIGINALLY WERE FOR FISH BAIT ALTHOUGH I SECRETLY WAS THINKING ABOUT MORE COMPOST.  THIS TURNED OUT BETTER THAN EXPECTED.  THE WORMS MAKE EXCELLENT BAIT , BUT THE COMPOST IS  AWESOME.   USING TWO BUCKETS  I DEVISED A COMPOST TEA MAKER .  THIS BREW MAKES EVERYTHING FROM ASPARGAS  TO ZENNIAS  GROW. 

 

GETTING ENOUGH ORGANIC MATERIAL  HAS BECOME A PROBLEM.  THE WORMS NOW EAT ALMOST ALL THE KITCHEN  SCRAPS SO MY OTHER COMPOST SOMETIMES GOES WITHOUT.  I TAKE LEAVES AND GRASS CLIPPINGS FROM  NEIGHBORS.  (EXCEPT THE  ONES WITH DOGS) 

 

I WAS TAUGHT NOT TO WASTE ANYTHING  SO, COMPOSTING COMES NATURALLY TO ME.  I CAN’T UNDERSTAND WHY SOMEONE WOULD THROW AWAY PERFECTLY GOOD GARBAGE.

 

Neena Miller of Scotch Grove:

 

   The first time I was aware of the benefits of composting was when I was in ninth grade and had a pony (1968.)

   Mucking out the stalls was my chore to do, in order to have my beloved pet, and, although it was hard work, it was very beneficial (especially to the summer garden.)    Throughout my life, I have always known my mother to continue the composting tradition by collecting kitchen scraps and lawn clippings to add to the compost bin.

   Today, I continue that tradition on the farm. I have a bucket under the sink for all kitchen scraps. I keep a dishcloth over the top, to keep away gnats.    In the garden, I have a circle of wire (like chicken wire) where I deposit the kitchen scraps from my bucket, layering with yard clippings, leaves, manure and pulled weeds.

   The different “green” debris and manure, which I variegate in the pile, create heat, which cooks the compost pile, creating a germ free “super” fertilizer for my new garden and potted plants. The “waste” factor of using a garbage disposer and flushing these valuable nutrients down the drain, or throwing leftover food products in plastic, non-biodegradable bags into our garbage dumps is huge.

   In a situation in which we cannot dispose of kitchen waste immediately, we might simply freeze it in a plastic bag until we can. This way, our world and our lives can be replenished the way nature, and ultimately God, had designed.

 

 

Nancy Feldmann of Manchester:

 

I like to compost. It’s my way of giving back to the earth. You might say I’m a naturalist at heart, because I love gardening, composting, sun drying my laundry and saving gray water. I grew up on a farm in NE Iowa and things I learned there brought me to where I am today – an avid recycler of almost any product. All of my containers are recycled, I buy in bulk and reuse containers whenever possible. My composting method right now consists of a plastic laundry hamper with holes in it -I’d love to move up to more modern technology. All of my compost feeds my garden soil, which in turn feeds my family. (Did I also say I am a Supervisor at Goodwill? I believe in helping people learn to be independent. Our people is our most important job at Goodwill and recycling is our second most important, which really coincides with my beliefs of giving back.)

 

 

Heather Hospodarsky of Cedar Rapids:

 

I love my newly found composting routine.  We have a family of 6 and eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables.  My newest composting helper is a cat litter bucket with a tight fitting lid.  I was unable to find a bucket that would hold a few days worth of compost until a friend, with cats suggested this.  It stays in the garage and I take the compost there as needed.  Our bin several yards from our house and we empty the bucket a few times a week.  It feels so good “recycling” our food waste instead of sending it to the landfill. 

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