Posts tagged local foods

Local foods Monday

Preston Maring to discuss benefits of locally grown food Nov. 10

California obstetrician Dr. Preston Maring, will visit the University of Iowa on Monday, Nov. 10, to discuss the economic, health, community and environmental benefits of locally grown, sustainably produced food.

Maring will present “Sustaining Iowa: Making the Connection Between Food, Health and the Land” at noon in Room 140 of Schaeffer Hall on the UI campus.

Maring’s talk is one of three scheduled presentations in Iowa. He will speak at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 10, at the Commons Ball Room at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, and at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 11, in Room 2050 of Agronomy Hall at Iowa State University in Ames.

All the events are free and open to the public.

Maring is associate physician-in-chief at the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Oakland, Calif., where he is responsible for tertiary-care services planning and development for Oakland’s 200,000 health plan members as well as members from around the northern California region.

In 2003, Maring helped start a weekly farmers’ market for hospital staff, visitors and the community, resulting in different market models, community outreach and a programwide focus on healthy eating. Today, the concept has spread to 40 other Kaiser Permanente health care facilities.

More recently, he has worked with Kaiser Permanente and the Community Alliance with Family Farmers to create a system that sources food for inpatient meals from small family farmers.

An enthusiastic cook as well as a physician, Maring’s blog, “Dr. Maring’s Farmers’ Market and Recipe Update,” gets about 50,000 page views each month. The blog is at http://recipe.kaiser-permanente.org/kp/maring/about/.

Following each of Maring’s presentations, speakers will share Iowa stories about the benefits of local food. These include Iowa City chef Kurt Michael Friese, author of the 2008 book “A Cook’s Journey: Slow Food in the Heartland” and editor for Edible Iowa River Valley magazine; and Story County Planning and Zoning director Leanne Harter, who will discuss the county’s new Local Foods Systems Initiative report. In Cedar Falls, Maring will be the featured speaker for the annual local food dinner.

Maring’s visit is sponsored by the UI Center for Health Effects of Environmental Contamination, the UI Sustainability Steering Group, the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at ISU and the Center for Energy and Environmental Education at UNI.

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Prairiewoods eco-conference

   An ecological conference at Prairiewoods, 120 E. Boyson Rd., Hiawatha, which runs Tuesday Sept. 23, through Saturday Sept. 27, offers multiple opportunities for learning more about our local food system and sustainability efforts.

  Workshops on stormwater management, Iowa’s agricultural landscape, establishing native prairie species and much, much more will be featured at the conference.

  It should be entertaining, too.

  I interviewed Joyce Rouse, a native Iowan who performs as Earth Mama and sounds like a bundle of fun.

  I also talked to Kaiulani Lee, whose one-woman play is based on the life of “Silent Spring” author Rachel Carson. She performs at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, 410 Third Ave. SE.

  Lee, a Broadway actress, has a special connection to Iowa flood victims, since her home in Virginia was recently flooded.

  She encourages Iowans to see the performance, based on her three years of research with Carson’s family, co-workers, journals and letters.

  Lee described Carson as a very private person who had to garner courage to speak out for the environmental issues that concerned her. Carson’s main message, the inter-relatedness of all life, offers insight into flooding and other environmental issues, Lee said.

 

Following is the schedule of events for the ecological conference:

Tuesday, September 23

3:30-5 p.m. Linn County Food Policy Forum

Speaker: Chris Taliga

5-6 p.m. Social, silent auction, entertainment by Bob

Ballantyne

6-7 p.m. Dinner and Fund Raiser for the Iowa Valley

Resource, Conservation and Development

(IVRC&D)

7-8:30 p.m. Film King Korn

Fee for evening: $25/per person or $45 for two

Wednesday, September 24

7:45-Noon Ecospirituality Experience

Noon Lunch

1-2:30 p.m. Establishing and Managing Native Prairie

Species and Guided Prairie Tour

3-4 p.m. Prairiewoods: An Ecological History by

Peter Hoehnle

4:30-5:30 p.m. Social, Native Food Demonstration

5:30-6:30 p.m. Dinner

6:30-7:30 p.m. Food in the Story of the Universe by

Lucy Slinger, FSPA

Fee: $20 for afternoon and evening programs and includes

lunch and dinner; or $10 for day program with lunch or $10

for the evening program with dinner.

Thursday, September 25

7:45-Noon Ecospirituality Experience

Noon Lunch

1-2:30 p.m. Sustainable Stormwater Management by

Wayne Petersen, Urban Conservationist

3-4 p.m. Your Health, Your Body, and Iowa’s

Agricultural Landscape by Laura Dowd

3-4 p.m. Food is Life, Life is Sacred, Food is Sacred by

Travis Cox

4:15-5:15 p.m. Waterways and Water Cycle of the Prairie

and Woodland Landscapes by Christine

Taliga and Peter Hoehnle

4:15-5:15 p.m. Find Abundance in Growing Food by

Fred Meyer with Backyard Abundance.

5:30-6 p.m. Dinner

7-8 p.m. The play, A Sense of Wonder, The Rachel

Carson Story by Kailulani Lee, Cedar Rapids

Museum of Art

Fee: $10 for afternoon program with lunch; $8 dinner. A

Sense of Wonder fee: $15 in advance or $18 at the door.

Friday, September 26

7:45-Noon Ecospirituality Experience

Noon-3 Lunch available for purchase throughout

the afternoon

Noon-5 p.m. Local Market Festival, includes farmers’

market, vendors, cooking demonstrations,

entertainment by Earth Mama. No fee.

4-5 p.m. Dinner

7-8:30 p.m. Earth Mama Concert and Council of All

Beings Ritual

Fee: Earth Mama concert $12/advance or $15 at the door.

Saturday, September 27

10 a.m.-3 p.m. Earth Spirit Rising with Patricia Mische

Fee: $35 includes lunch. Advance registration encouraged.

 

Conference fees:

 

Ecospirituality Retreat Experience . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $300

Includes conference activities, lodging and

meals from Tuesday dinner – Saturday noon

Ecospirituality Experience-Commuter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $175

Includes conference activities, lunch and

dinner from Tuesday dinner – Saturday noon.

Workshop Fee . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $125

Includes conference activities, lunch and

dinner from Tuesday dinner – Saturday noon.

R E G I S T RAT IO N

Come for the retreat and/or choose one or more workshops and

presentations. To register for any of the activities, contact Prairiewoods

at 319-395-6700 or e-mail at: ecospirit@prairiewoods.org. You may

also visit their Web site at: www.prairiewoods.org

 

 

Prairiewoods is located on 70 acres of woods and prairies on the

outskirts of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It provides various workshops, programs,

retreats and offers rental space for meetings.

 

 

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Buy Local directory

On Saturday Sept. 20th a special Buy Fresh Buy Local directory distribution will be held at the Monticello Farmers Market.  The market will be 8 a.m. to noon at the Monticello Middle School just off South Main Street (Business 151).  Volunteers from the National Civilian Conservation Corps that are currently working in Jones County will be on hand to distribute copies of the directory.

 

The River Bend Chapter of Buy Fresh Buy Local was formed this year to make connections between consumers and available supplies of locally produced fruits, vegetables and meats.  The Buy Fresh Buy Local campaign is built upon the premise that local food is fresher and tastes better than food shipped long distances.  In addition, when you buy local food it keeps your food purchase dollars circulating within the local economy and supports family farm producers. 

 

The River Bend Chapter of Buy Fresh Buy Local includes 33 members from the region that support the production, marketing and consumption of locally produced foods.  The directory notes members and locations where consumers can obtain fresh, local products.

 

Besides Saturday’s event, the directory is being distributed by members at stores, restaurants, farmers markets and other venues around the region.   If you are unable to attend the Monticello Farmers Market, copies of the directory can be obtained from members of the steering committee, which includes:  Rose Rohr, Joe Wagner, Steve Swinconos, Marilyn McCall and Kris Doll in Jones County, Lori Schnoor in Jackson County, Jim Keitel in Clinton County, Dave Kronlage in Delaware County and Tom Thompson in Dubuque County.  Directories can also be obtained from Limestone Bluffs RC&D Office in Maquoketa (563-652-5104.)

 

River Bend Chapter of Buy Fresh Buy Local is a partner of FoodRoutes Network, which provides technical support to non-profit organizations working to strengthen regional markets for locally grown foods. Visit http://www.foodroutes.org to learn how the network is reintroducing Americans to their food – the seeds from which it grows, the farmers who produce it, and the routes that carry it from the fields to their tables. As a national nonprofit organization, FoodRoutes Network provides communications tools, networking and resources to organizations working to rebuild local food systems across the country.

 

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Practical farmers field day

 

Susan Jutz, owner of ZJ Farms, is hosting a Practical Farmers of Iowa Field Day at her farm near Solon at 5 p.m. this Sunday,  June 29. The field day will include a tour with a light dinner and discussion to follow.  The event also includes an organic essential oil seed treatment demonstration for peas. Traci Bruckner from Center for Rural Affairs will give a presentation about the new Conservation Security Program (CSP). Susan Jutz will talk about an effort funded by the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) to create a farmer-led networking group in Eastern Iowa.

 

“More and more people are looking for food that is locally grown. We don’t have enough farmers to grow the food, specifically the vegetables to meet this expanding market demand,” said Susan. “The SARE project will create a farmer-led networking group where experienced farmers will provide one-on-one support to new or transitioning farmers. These groups will help new and potential growers be successful thus helping supply the growing demand for local food.” If you are interested in joining the farmer support group or attend the field day,  contact Susan at (319)929-5032.

 

ZJ Farms is an 80-acre diversified farm. Susan direct markets organically raised lambs from a 45-ewe flock, direct markets organically raised hogs, and is a principal partner and vegetable grower for a Community Supported Agriculture program in the Iowa City and Cedar Rapids area that serves 250 members.

 

Directions to ZF Farms: 5025 120th St, Solon. From Solon, 3 miles north on Hwy1; 3 miles east on 120th St.; large white house and barn beside road. Space for tents available.

 

This field day is sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Sustaining sponsors for Practical Farmers of Iowa Field Days are the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Iowa State University Extension, Iowa Pork Producers Association, American Natural Soy, Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service, Midwest Organic Services Association, Henry A. Wallace Endowed Chair for Sustainable Agriculture, and the CROPP Cooperative of Organic Valley/ Organic Prairie Family of Farms. Major sponsors for the Field Days are Wheatsfield Cooperative Natural Foods Grocery, Hubbard Feeds, Michael Fields Agricultural Institute, Iowa Forage and Grasslands Council, King Corn and Mosaic Films, and the North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education. 

 

PFI is a non-profit sustainable agriculture group dedicated to farming that is profitable, environmentally sound, and healthy for consumers and communities. Founded in 1985, PFI has over 700 farmer and non-farmer members throughout Iowa. For more information, call 515-232-5661 or visit www.practicalfarmers.org.

 

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Urban permaculture in Cedar Rapids

A job at Clipper Wind brought Frank Cicela and his family to Cedar Rapids recently from Indiana. Wanting to meet some “kindred spirits,” Cicela decided to bring in a few experts to conduct a permaculture workshop at his new home in Cedar Rapids.

The workshop will be Saturday, May 3, and Sunday, May 4, at 3409 Seminole Valley Rd. NE.

Permaculture is the design of human habitats that have the stability, diversity and resilience of natural ecosystems. The multi-disciplinary approach integrates renewable energy systems, energy efficiency, agriculture and food systems, natural building, rainwater harvesting and urban planning, along with the economic, political and social policies that make sustainable living possible and practical.

This sustainability  allows people to begin taking food security and energy security into their own hands and into the hands of their community.

The focus of next weekend’s permaculture workshop will be on gardening. Part of the discussion will be how to garden in a three-dimensional zone, that is, using the space above, as well as the traditional design of a garden.

Quite a bit of work goes into starting such a garden, but once established, Cicela likened it to a “food forest,” that maintains itself. “Once it’s created, you just walk through and eat,” he said.  

The course – an intensive classroom and hands-on event – will be taught by three staff members of “Big Green Summer” from Fairfield.

Cicela said the workshop normally costs almost $200, plus a drive to Fairfield. This two-day course is $55 per person.

To see the schedule and register, go to: http://www.myearthwatchexperience.com/pcw/ or call (319) 832-1025.

 

 Michael Richards of Cedar Rapids, founder of  SUSTAINABLE ECOLOGICAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (S.E.E.D.) noted the following to take into consideration on the importance of urban permaculture:

 

– 95 percent of  the food on the shelves of Iowa grocery stores travels an average of 1000 miles to get to your table.

 

– A few decades ago, Iowa was close to total self-sufficiency in food supply.  Over the years, local creameries, canneries and meat processors all over Iowa have gone out of business in the “bigger is better” world of cheap energy.   

 – The opposite economic structure is now our present reality;  Energy is no longer cheap.

 So now what?      

 It is time to re-build Iowa’s local food production and local food distribution infrastructure.

 It makes no sense for the state that has the most fertile soil on earth to lack the ability to feed ourselves with local sources.

 Start in your own backyard with urban permaculture.

 We can all plant “Iowa Victory Gardens” to supply 10 to 20 percent of our household food needs in our own backyard or in neighborhood community gardens.   We can then gradually build back up the local food production and infrastructure throughout the State of Iowa to reclaim the economic foundation of a safe, healthy and abundant local food system.

 

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April is full of…

Gardening events! 

Here are  upcoming area events I’ve come across for April 2008. If you know of changes or additions, add a comment, or if you’re aware of events in May or future months, send me an e-mail at: cindy.hadish@gazettecommunications.com

All events are free unless otherwise noted.

Tuesday, April 1 – 6:30-8 p.m., Beems Auditorium, Cedar Rapids Public Library, “Visualizing changes in your landscape,” by author Janet Macunovich, coordinated by Linn County Master Gardeners.

Tuesday, April 8 – 6:30-8 p.m., Beems Auditorium, Cedar Rapids Public Library, “Growing perennials in cold climates,” by Ambergate Gardens owner Michael Heger, coordinated by Linn County Master Gardeners.

Saturday, April 12 – Linn County Master Gardeners Creative Gardening Hands On: 10:30 a.m. to noon – Build a toad house; noon to 2 p.m. – Containers with pizzazz; 2:15-3:45 p.m. – Twig art;  all at Linn County Extension Office, 3279 Seventh Ave., Suite 140, Marion. Cost per session is $10. Call (319) 377-9839 by March 31 to register.

Saturday, April 12 – 7 p.m., Indian Creek Nature Center, “Food Matters,” by local foods farmer Laura Krouse of Cornell College, free to Iowa Academy of Science members, $3 for Nature Center members and $5 for non-members.

Sunday, April 13 – 1 p.m., Indian Creek Nature Center, “Find abundance in growing food,” by Iowa City Backyard Abundance and Food, Not Lawns. $3 for Nature Center members; $5 for non-members.

Sunday, April 13 – 2-4 p.m., Iowa City Public Library, “Proven winners – annuals that make a difference,” by Sandy Wentworth of Proven Winners Annuals, part of the Project GREEN Sunday Garden Forums.

Tuesday, April 15 – 6:30-8 p.m., Beems Auditorium, Cedar Rapids Public Library, “Beyond burning bush”, by Illinois Central College horticulture professor Glenn Herold, coordinated by Linn County Master Gardeners.

Tuesday, April 15 – 7 p.m., Coralville Library, Harshbarger Hosta Society meeting.

Saturday, April 19 – 8:30 a.m. to noon, spring restoration of tallgrass prairie at Herbert Hoover National Historic Site in West Branch. Call Adam Prato at (319) 643-7855 by Friday, April 18 to volunteer.

Saturday, April 19 – 1:30-2:30 p.m., Hy-Vee Garden Center, 5050 Edgewood Rd. NE, Cedar Rapids, “Turn your kitchen scraps into gardening gold: Composting 101” with Cathy Wyatt and Mike Duggan. Pre-register at customer service, (319) 378-0762.

Thursday, April 24 – 6 p.m., Seasonal landscape hike at Brucemore, 2160 Linden Dr., Cedar Rapids, $10 per person. Call (319) 362-7375 to register.

Saturday, April 26 – 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., first floor of Hy-Vee, 5050 Edgewood Rd. NE, Cedar Rapids, “Kids garden takeover: Plant a seed, watch it grow!” (ages 3 and up.) No registration required.

 

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Gardening events

I’m starting a listing of area gardening events on this blog. If your organization has something scheduled, you can send the information in a message here or via e-mail to me at: cindy.hadish@gazettecommunications.com 

Here is one coming up this weekend: The state Local Foods Conference will be in Cedar Rapids on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 1-2. The Iowa Network for Community Agriculture’s annual conference will include a showing of the film, “King Corn” on Friday night at the African-American Museum in Cedar Rapids. Topics covered Saturday at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church include micro dairy practices, information for market and CSA gardeners and more, as well as a potluck lunch. The conference offers an opportunity to learn about local and sustainable food systems. There is a fee, depending on how many days you attend and if you are a member or not. For more information, go to: www.growinca.org 

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