Posts tagged Solon

Pond and garden walks

     

Pond at Larry and Erma Thompson's Cedar Rapids home (photo, Cindy Hadish)

Pond, and wildlife, at Larry and Erma Thompson's Cedar Rapids home (photo, Cindy Hadish)

 Larry and Erma Thompson have an entire room in their home dedicated to Larry’s fish hobby, but it’s outside where his love of fish really shines. Twenty-two koi in 20 varieties spend the entire year (cold Iowa winters, too) in a well-kept pond at the couple’s home in Cedar Rapids. Goldfish are in a separate pond. Larry Thompson was awarded the Koi Person of the Year for Iowa, a regional award given at the Associated Koi Clubs of America during February’s koi show in San Diego, California. The award is a testament not only to his koi expertise, but dedication to the craft and volunteer hours he donates to community projects. Larry gives credit to his wife for her support and the beautiful plants that surround their ponds.  “Anything pretty is Erma’s,” he said. “The functional stuff is mine.”

Plants help filter the water in the ponds at Larry and Erma Thompson's home (photo, Cindy Hadish)

Plants help filter the water in the ponds at Larry and Erma Thompson's home (photo, Cindy Hadish)

      Their home will be one of the stops on a pond tour next weekend. Following is info from the Eastern Iowa Pond Society and other groups holding garden walks next weekend.

    Whether you are a serious water gardener, Koi keeper, casual pond owner, want-to-be pond owner, or just plain love flowers and water, you won’t want to miss the chance to view the ponds in this year’s  Eastern Iowa Pond Society annual pond tour, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sunday, July 12, 2009, rain or shine. As usual, pond owners and club members will be available at each pond to answer questions. They will also have a plant and small art/craft sale at one of the pond locations. This year’s tour will feature ponds in the Cedar Rapids/Solon/Swisher areas. Tickets and maps are $5.00 for adults (kids under 12 are free) and are available at all pond sites with all proceeds going back to the community for area landscape and beautification projects.  A good place to start might be 131 Rosedale Rd SE, Cedar Rapids or 3682 Douglas Dr. NE Solon. For more information please call Jackie Allsup 319-934-3665 or visit: www.eips.org

 Here are other garden walks coming up next weekend:

      Friends of Hickory Hill Park will have a garden walk in Iowa City from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 11, 2009. The walk benefits the group’s stewardship fund for maintenance and restoration work. Four gardens will be on the tour, plus tornado recovery areas on Hotz and Rochester avenues. Speakers will be at each site to discuss prairie plantings, Backyard Abundance and organic lawn care.    Start at 1167 E. Jefferson Street to purchase tickets and pick up a map. Cost is $10 per person or $8 per person if you bike or walk to 1167 Jefferson St. Families are $15. To volunteer or for more information, phone 319-338-5331 To make a donation:  Anyone unable to attend the Garden Walk but wishing to make a contribution should make the check out to LEAF and mail it to:  LEAF, P.O. Box 1681, Iowa City, IA  52244-1681.

    The Fairfax Parks Committee will have a walk, rain or shine, at five Fairfax gardens from 1-4 p.m. Sunday, July 12, 2009. Iowa State University Extension master gardeners will be available at the gardens to answer questions. The walk includes the garden of Megan McConnell Hughes, which is featured on the cover of the summer 2009 Country Gardens magazine. Tickets can be purchased at Fairfax State Savings Bank or Guaranty Bank in Fairfax. Tickets can also be purchased the day of the event at the Fairfax North welcome sign at Williams Boulevard and Prairie View Drive. Cost is $5 for adults and $10 for families. Proceeds will be used to buy playground equipment for Hawks Ridge Park.

    Also on Sunday, July 12, Project GREEN will have a garden walk in Iowa City from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. If you want to know how to garden with deer, this is the walk for you. Four large gardens at the edge of woodlands are featured on the walk, including one property that covers nearly four acres. All gardens are located north of Interstate 80, off Dubuque Street. Cost is $5 for adults. Children under 16 are admitted free.    Start at any of the following sites for a map, which becomes your ticket for the other gardens: Pat and Stan Podhajsky, 3817 Cedar Drive NE; Maggie VanOel, 8 Oak Park Lane NE;   Twila and Dick Hobbs, 9 Oak Park Lane NE; Bill and Michelle Welter, 15 Oak Park Place NE. Wear comfortable walking shoes. The weather may be hot and buggy, so bring along a bottle of water and bug spray .  To learn more, see: www.projectgreen.org

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Winter Gardening photos

What a great turnout at Saturday’s 2009 Winter Gardening Fair at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids. And such great speakers. The Linn County Master Gardeners put together a wonderful event, once again. This one drew about 525 people. Some of the photos I shot are below. I’ll post more in the coming days. If you have any information you learned at the event that you’d like to share, please add your comments. 

Beverley Suthers, Cedar Rapids, smells orchids at the Eastern Iowa Orchid Society table manned by Bill & Jean Snyder. Jon Lorence of Solon provided the orchids.

Beverley Suthers, Cedar Rapids, smells orchids at the Eastern Iowa Orchid Society table manned by Bill & Jean Snyder. Jon Lorence of Solon provided the orchids.

Raelene Parker, Marion, and mom Joyce Kenney, Vinton, enjoy lunch.

Raelene Parker, Marion, and mom Joyce Kenney, Vinton, enjoy lunch.

Barb Rickard, Tipton, and Nancy Jennings, Marion, sample the salsa.

Barb Rickard, Tipton, and Nancy Jennings, Marion, sample the salsa.

Keynote speaker Janet Macunovich converses with master gardeners.

Keynote speaker Janet Macunovich, right, converses with master gardeners.

Master Gardener Judy Bemer with "Lola" her herb pot.

Master Gardener Judy Bemer with "Lola" her herb pot.

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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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