Posts tagged Fred Meyer

Backyard Abundance tour Saturday

Toni and Jake DeRyke home (photo, Backyard Abundance)

Toni and Jake DeRyke home (photo, Backyard Abundance)

Information on the following Backyard Abundance event came from Fred Meyer: 

Decades of steady care by Toni and Jake DeRyke, 2101 Muscatine Ave., Iowa City, have led to a peaceful and orderly yard filled with beautiful flowers, tranquil shade gardens and an abundance of food. The yard will be open to view from 3-5 p.m. Saturday (June 27, 2009.)

 The DeRykes strive to keep their environmental impact low while also saving money:

  • Growing their own food eliminates the carbon dioxide that would otherwise be emitted to transport food to their home.
  • Rain barrels capture free rainwater for their garden, reducing the need for energy-intensive purified tap water.
  • Steady supplies of low-cost reclaimed building materials are frequently acquired from the Habitat for Humanity ReStore.
  • Trees shade their home, reducing energy bills and providing bird habitat.

 Toni and Jake reflect our growing efforts to think globally and act locally; and it does not get more local than your own backyard.

 Parking for their event is available on 3rd Avenue, on the west side of their home.

 For more information, see:


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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:


   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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What is permaculture?

Backyard Abundance and Field to Family are sponsoring a free “What is Permaculture?” event to show residents how they can use Permaculture principles to help our environment in their own backyard.


Two yards will be visited: one is undergoing a complete ecological landscape design makeover and the other features an established vegetable and herb garden. At each yard, experts in our community will provide an overview of how to:

  • design an environmentally friendly landscape
  • choose the correct plants
  • design a rain garden
  • install a rain barrel
  • start a new garden bed
  • create compost
  • grow mushrooms


Both yards and the features within them are designed based on Permaculture principles and patterns. Permaculture (permanent agriculture) provides a framework and methodology for consciously designing and maintaining urban ecosystems that have the diversity, stability, and resilience of natural ecosystems. It is the harmonious integration of landscape and people, providing food, energy, shelter, and other material and non-material needs in a sustainable and ethical way.


The event is Sunday, September 7 from 1-4:00 pm. Carpools will be taken from New Pioneer Food Co-Op, 22 S. Van Buren St., Iowa City. People can also drive individually.


For arrival times at each yard, directions, and more information, visit the Backyard Abundance web site at or contact Fred Meyer at 319-358-7665.


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Earth Expo music fest

This message is from S.E.E.D.:

Dear Friends;


We invite you to an earth friendly, family friendly event.   Can you think of a better way to spend a balmy Iowa Summer Saturday than exploring the issues of sustainable living in the lush, green and fertile Iowa countryside?   All this, and great Iowa musicians all day long!


The Monthly Meeting for Sustainable Ecological Economic Development (S.E.E.D.) will take place at 2 pm Saturday June 7 on the grounds of the EARTH EXPO north of Iowa City.  The SEED monthly meeting will take place at the SEED Exhibit at EARTH EXPO.



What: Earth Expo 2008…”bringing it all back home”… with the Exodus Music Festival
When: Saturday, June 7, 2008 12:00pm-till the music ends.
Where: Meggar’s Farm
Who: for anyone interested in living green, music and wants to camp. Attendees of this event are invited to camp at the Meggar’s farm


For driving directions to Meggar’s Farm, click on MAP link below;

The primary goals for this year’s event are:



  • To continue to promote local businesses and organizations which contribute to our goal of greener lifestyle.
  • To educate and excite the community about living a “greener” lifestyle and lessoning the carbon footprint
  • To build a strong future by making environmentalism a fun and valued part of people’s lives.


: $12.00 provides you with admission to Earth Expo and the Exodus Music Festival.
Please note that these costs help us keep these events alive. We appreciate your support.Earth Expo will feature…Speakers: Fred Meyer and Sheila Sameulson
                Poetic Rebound Performance Company 
                Allie Dane Petting Zoo and Dane’s Dairy Ice Cream
                Local organizations and businesses will share their work through green exhibit



The Music FESTIVAL will start at noon and go until it ends;

Here is the talent lineup;

School of Flyentology
BF Burt
Nikki Lunden
Miracles of god
12 Canons
Bomb Selleck
Eben Louis
Public Property

                                                       S.E.E.D.  MISSION STATEMENT


Sustainable Ecological Economic Development S.E.E.D. is an Iowa not for profit research and educational organization.


The Mission of Sustainable Ecological Economic Development (S.E.E.D.) is to organize into joint action the diverse community organizations and individuals that are working on various issues and initiatives that relate to a sustainable economy:


1. re-localization of food supply within sustainable agricultural systems

2. initiatives for community based renewable energy

3. design and implement energy conservation systems in the private/public built environment and in public infrastructure.


The purpose of S.E.E.D. is to carry out open public conferences and other educational and research efforts to organize policy makers, educators and the general citizenry of Iowa to organize a “whole systems” approach to building a sustainable society based on ecological economic principles.”


S.E.E.D. is an open system.  We invite individuals and organizational allies to join into this timely effort. It is only through active coalition building with other individuals and organizations that we can build the critical mass for a cultural shift into a sustainable society based on ecological principles.


We set 4 simple yet clear standards for participation and co-sponsorship of S.E.E.D. work;


1. We are non-partisan.  We find common ground for action, not political division.

2. We will not state a problem if we do not have the courage to engage in the work to find a solution.

3. We engage in this group process with mutual honor and respect, utilizing the communication tools.

    of creative conflict resolution and consensus decision making.

4. With the foundation of S.E.E.D, we are engaging our part in an historic global cultural shift to build a just and sustainable society. We have an absolute commitment that this process of deep systemic change will be conducted with the principles of non-violence that have been well defined by seminal global leaders such as Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King.


Any individual or organization that is ready to build a working coalition with S.E.E.D. by utilizing the four principles of action listed above is invited to work with us to build a world wide society where the entire human race will thrive and prosper as we care for the environment that provides our common life support system.    SEED demonstrates how social action is accomplished by getting past the limitations of organizational territoriality that tends to limit the effectiveness of many human organizations. We’ll get much more accomplished by working together.


S.E.E.D. Iowa Office

Cedar Rapids Peace Center

1029 Third Street S.E.

Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401     Phone; 319-213-2051


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Backyard gardens

For anyone who missed this weekend’s session on backyard gardening, the Indian Creek Nature Center in Cedar Rapids sent along this synopsis, with further resources worth checking out:

Fred Meyer ( is with Backyard Abundance ( This group helps residents understand how to make ecological improvements to their yards. The group gives yard tours throughout the community and shows what others can do in their yard to benefit the environment. Upcoming tour is Sat., May 10 from 2-4 PM at 38 Quincent Court in Iowa City. 

Fred is a master gardener, master conservationist and studies permaculture. This is permanent agriculture – observing how the environment works and using these clues to create environmentally beneficial yards – build community.
One interesting thing from his talk was the timeline of the American lawn. The idea of a lawn was brought to the U.S. from England in 1850’s. The USDA and Golf association developed turf grass in early 1900’s. It didn’t take off right away due to the many wars and depression; folks were  more concerned with putting food on the table. In 1945 when war ended the country was left with all of these chemical factories and decided to market this lawn concept. So esentially it is a very new concept that people bought into right away. Turfgrass has no real benefit to the environment and many negative effects….
We need to rethink this yard concept!
 Sarah West ( is with Iowa City Food Not Lawns ( Iowa City Food Not Lawns is an active group designed to provide networking and resources for the communities in and around Iowa City that seek to establish regenerative living systems within the urban setting. This includes the integration of neighborhood food production, edible landscaping, water collection, beneficial use of waste, resource sharing, and a commitment to increase local dialogue, education, and social justice by raising awareness of these basic components of living.

 Sarah is also a student of permaculture. She studied in Fairfield last summer in their self-sustaining eco village community – solar and wind power and community gardens. She spoke on the many benfits of growing your own food, including health, money savings and mental benefits.

Both emphasized getting out and observing and listening to nature. Also, talking with others about these concepts and trying things out. One tool they suggetsed was  a broad fork. Apparently tilling isn’t good as it upsets the structure of the soil and “weeds” usually benefit from tilling (by seeds being brought up from underground). This tool breaks up soil and aerates soil enough to plant things, but not destroy the healthy natural layering.



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