Posts tagged vegetables

Riverside Casino bets on farmers market

   Riverside Casino leaders are betting everyone wins at a new endeavor the casino has launched. Farmers market vendors will be hawking produce, crafts and baked goods in the casino’s parking lot once a month through September.

    Veggies and slots might not be synonymous, but public relations director Sharon Haselhoff sees the market as an added draw for people coming to dine, stay or gamble at Riverside Casino & Golf Resort. “It’s just one more thing that we could add to bring people here, for local residents and our guests staying here,” she said.

    Vendors — about 40 are slated to be there Sunday, June 28, 2009, — also have another opportunity to sell local products. While most markets charge stall fees, vendors only have to register to sell at the casino. Haselhoff said Sunday was chosen so the market would not compete with those in Iowa City or other nearby communities other days of the week. Riverside does not have a farmers market, she noted.

    In addition to this Sunday, markets are scheduled July 26, Aug. 30 and Sept. 27, all from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Vendors can contact Jessica Athen at (319) 648-1234, extension 1975, to register for the Riverside Casino farmers market.

For more on this story, see the Saturday, June 27, 2009, edition of The Gazette.

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Buy Fresh Buy Local

The following came from the River Bend Buy Fresh Buy Local chapter about its membership drive:

 The River Bend Chapter of Buy Fresh Buy Local is seeking members and supporters for its 2009 campaign and directory.  This new chapter was formed in 2008 when 34 growers and/or supporters in Clinton, Delaware, Dubuque, Jackson and Jones Counties produced the River Bend Chapter’s first directory, designed to make connections between consumers and available supplies of locally produced fruits, vegetables and meats. 

 Copies of the 2008 directory can be obtained from members of the steering committee which include: Joe Wagner, Kris Doll, Steve Swinconos, Steph Chappell, Rose Rohr, Marilyn McCall, and Kris Doll in Jones County, Lori Schnoor in Jackson County, and Jim Keitel in Clinton County.  Directories can also be obtained from the Limestone Bluffs RC&D Office in Maquoketa (563-652-5104).

 Anyone interested in becoming a member as a producer, restaurant, market, or sponsor should contact a steering committee member above, or call 319-462-3196 Ext. 3 or 563-652-5104.  Membership fee is $40 and includes a listing in the 2009 directory for the River Bend Region.  Membership form must be received by May 15 in order for the listing to appear in the 2009 directory – 10,000 copies scheduled to be distributed in the six-county area in June.

 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. 

 River Bend Chapter of Buy Fresh Buy Local is a partner of FoodRoutes Network (FRN), which provides technical support to non-profit organizations working to strengthen regional markets for locally grown foods.  Visit www.foodroutes.org to learn how FRN 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, FRN provides communications tools, networking, and resources to organizations working to rebuild local food systems across the country.

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2009 Farmers Market list

Following are some of the seasonal farmers markets that operate in Eastern Iowa in 2009. If you have updates to this list, add a comment below, or send an email to: cindy.hadish@gazcomm.com

For more information, see the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship Web site at: www.iowaagriculture.gov/iowaProducts.asp

Allamakee County

   Allamakee Farmers Market, 4 to 6 p.m. Mondays, June 1 through Oct. 5, Allamakee County Fairgrounds, Waukon, contact Teresa Wiemerslage, (563) 568-6345.

   Harpers Ferry, 5 to 7 p.m. Fridays, June 5 to Oct. 2, at Bluffview Park, contact Connie Benedict, (563) 586-2297.

Benton County

   Belle Plaine Farmers Market, 5 to 7 p.m. Fridays; May 29 through Sept. 25, 13th Street and Sixth Avenue, west of the Pizza Hut, contact Becky Poduska, (641) 489-2107.

   Urbana Farmers Market, 9 to 11 a.m. Saturdays, May 23 through Oct. 31, Legion Pavilion on Wood Street, contact Eileen Schmidt, (319) 443-5620.

   Shellsburg Farmers Market, 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays, May 13 through October 14, city park on Sells Street, contact Joyce Pence, (319) 389-8714.

   Vinton Farmers Market, 5 to 7 p.m. Thursdays, June 4 through Sept. 24, BCHS Railroad Depot, 612 Second Ave., contact Duane Randall, (319) 472-4164.

   Youngville Cafe Farmers Market, 3:30 to 6 p.m. Fridays, May 29 through Oct 16, junction of highways 30 and 218, contact Richard Grovert, (319) 223-5465.

Cedar County

   Cedar County Farmers Market, 7:30 to 11 a.m. Saturdays, May 16 through Oct. 3, south side of the county courthouse in Tipton, contact Yvonne Gregory, (563) 946-3551, or Evelyn Walshire (563) 432-6983.

   Mechanicsville Farmers Market, 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesdays, May 26 through Sept. 29, on Main Street across from the fire station, contact Linda Coppess, (563) 432-7756, or Evelyn Walshire, (563) 432-6983.

Clayton County

  Guttenberg Farmers Market, 8 to 11:30 a.m., Saturdays, May 30 through Sept. 26, 400 S. block of the park in downtown Guttenberg, contact Tara Dykhuizen, (563) 252-2323.

 Dubuque County

   Dyersville Farmers Market, 2:30 to 6 p.m., Thursdays, May 21 through Oct. 8, Commercial Club Park, contact Karla Thompson, (563) 875-2311.

Iowa County

   Amana Farmers Market, 4-8 p.m. Fridays, May 29 through Sept. 4, in midtown Amana. Contact Amana Farmers Market, (319) 551-4464.

   Williamsburg Farmers Market, 4 to 7 p.m. Fridays, May 8 through early October, at the northeast corner of the downtown park, contact Elaine Wardenburg, (319) 668-1288.

Johnson County

   Coralville Farmers Market, 5 to 8 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays, May 4 through Oct. 1, in the parking lot at the Coralville Community Aquatic Center, 1513 Seventh Street, contact Matt Hibbard, (319) 248-1750.

   Iowa City Farmers Market, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays, 7:30 to noon Saturdays, May 2 through Oct. 31, on lower level of Chauncey Swan parking ramp between Washington and College streets, contact Tammy Neumann, (319) 356-5110.

   Sycamore Mall Farmers Market, 3 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays, May 5 through Oct 27, in the parking lot at the theater end (west end) of the mall, 1600 Sycamore St., Iowa City, contact Candy Norris, (319) 338-6111.

Linn County

   Noelridge Farmers Market in Cedar Rapids, 4 to 6 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, May 1 through Oct. 23, corner of Collins Road and Council Street NE, contact Teresa White, (319) 286-5699.

   City parking lot at Eighth Avenue and Second Street SE in Cedar Rapids, 7:30 a.m. to noon Saturdays, (except during the Downtown Markets) and 4-6 p.m. Tuesdays, May 2 through Oct. 24. New Greene Square Park market will be 4-6 p.m. Thursdays from June 11 through Aug. 27, contact Teresa White, (319) 286-5699.

   Downtown Farmers Market in Cedar Rapids, 7:30 a.m. to noon on June 6 and 20; July 18; Aug. 1 and 15; Sept. 5 and Oct. 3, contact Jill Wilkins, (319) 398-0449.

   Central City Farmers Market, 4 to 6 p.m. Thursdays, May 21 through Sept. 24, Courtyard Park on South Fifth Street, contact Central City Mainstreet office, (319) 438-1761.

   Hiawatha Farmers Market, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays, April 19 through Oct. 25, in the Guthridge Park parking lot at 10th Avenue, contact Angie Cole, (319) 393-1515.

   Marion Farmers Market, 3 to 6 p.m. Wednesdays, 8 to 11:30 a.m. Saturdays; May 2 through Sept. 26, at the East End Shopping Center, 3375 Seventh Ave., contact Pat Carlson, (319) 377-4846, e-mail pcarlson@cityofmarion.org

   Mount Vernon Farmers Market, 4 to 6 p.m. Thursdays, May 7 through Oct. 8, at Mount Vernon Visitors Center, 311 First St. W, contact David or Mickey Miller, (319) 310-6399.

   Springville Farmers Market, 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesdays, June 2 through Aug. 25, at Cox Lake Pavilion, contact Lena Gilbert, (319) 854-7097.

Tama County

   Toledo Farmers Market, 5 to 7 p.m., Fridays, May 1 through Oct. 30, on the east side of the courthouse square, contact Dawn Kupka, (641) 691-9710.

   Traer Farmers Market, 4 to 6 p.m., Wednesdays, May 6 through Oct. 28, at the junction of highways 8 and 63 in Traer, contact Marlus Svoboda, (319) 479-2279.

Washington County

   Kalona Farmers Market, 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays, April 25 through mid-October, corner of C Avenue and Fifth Street, Kalona; Laurie Coffman, (319) 656-5252.

   Riverside Casino Farmers Market,  10 a.m. to 2 p.m., June 28; July 26, Aug. 30 and Sept. 27,  parking lot of Riverside Casino & Golf Resort; contact Jessica Athen, (319) 648-1234, extension 1975.

   Washington Farmers Market, 5 to 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, May 14 through Oct. 29, at Downtown Central Park at Washington Street and Iowa Avenue; contact Bob Shepherd, (319) 653-4888.

Winneshiek County

   Winneshiek Farmers Market, 3 to 6 p.m. Wednesdays, 8 to 11 a.m. Saturdays; May 2 through Oct. 31 (no market July 25); at the Municipal parking lot at Heivly Street and Claiborne Drive in Decorah; contact Steve McCarger (563) 382-2451.

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Getting back to Earth

To some of us who grew up gardening, the process comes naturally. How can you not know how deep to plant a radish seed or realize you have to wait until the danger of frost has passed to plant your tomatoes? Actually, I’ve heard from people who grew up gardening and despise it now. That includes a couple editors here at The Gazette, who prefer to stay as far away as possible from watering cans, trowels, or anything else that reminds them of the back-breaking labor of their youth. 

   But, as mentioned in  today’s (4/19/09) Gazette article: http://www.gazetteonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090419/NEWS/704199992/1002/NEWS

more and more people are moving toward gardening, as a way to help the Earth and save money on food budgets in these tough economic times. To that end, Iowa State University Extension has come up with a great beginner’s guide to home gardening, especially tailored for Iowa.

 

Even experienced gardeners will find helpful hints on beets, potatoes, squash and numerous other veggies, along with everyone’s favorite: weed control.

 

You can find the guide here: http://www.ipm.iastate.edu/ipm/hortnews/2009/4-8/introduction.html

 

 

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Hoophouse hoopla

Hoophouse construction

Hoophouse construction at Abbe Hills Farm

Farmers, students and other advocates of sustainable living gathered at Laura Krouse’s Abbe Hills Farm near Mount Vernon today to learn how to build a hoophouse. Adam Montri, outreach coordinator for Michigan State University’s student organic farm, is leading the workshop, which continues Thursday (April 9, 2009.) Some of the participants hope to extend their growing season with a hoophouse – a sort of low-tech greenhouse that doesn’t require supplemental light or heat. One farmer I spoke to, Russ Brandes, of Hancock – in western Iowa – is considering constructing a

Russ Brandes

Russ Brandes

hoophouse to store his excess hay. A hoophouse would be more economical than building a barn, he said.

Sally Worley, communications director for Practical Farmers of Iowa, which is hosting the free event, said about 50 people from Iowa and Illinois were attending throughout the two-day workshop.

Alex Kachan

Alex Kachan

Among attendees were 9 students from Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, who are in a new Community Supported Agriculture block. Their instructor, Alex Kachan, a faculty member in the university’s sustainable living department, said the CSA track was just started this spring, as part of the school’s ongoing effort to raise consciousness about sustainable living practices.

Laura Krause and her summer workers produce vegetables for about 200 families through her farm’s CSA. A great place to spend a sunny (albeit windy) spring day. You can check out the hoophouse if your travels take you on Mount Vernon Road, east of Cedar Rapids. The farm is just north of Mount Vernon Road on Abbe Hills Road – soon to be recognizable by a 35-by-96-foot double poly hoophouse.

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Stop the killing! Take care of those seedlings

You’ve planted your seeds indoors, waited for them to sprout and one day find a container of tiny, droopy plants.

    What went wrong?

    Damping-off could be responsible for the collapse and death of your seedlings.

    The gardening experts at Iowa State University Extension note that damping-off is caused by several different fungi. Environmental conditions usually associated with damping-off are poorly drained potting soil and overwatering.

    Damping-off can be prevented by using clean containers, a sterile, well-drained potting mix and by following good cultural practices.  Previously used containers should be washed in soapy water, then disinfected by dipping in a solution containing one part chlorine bleach and nine parts water. Flower and vegetable seeds need an evenly moist potting mix for good germination.  After germination, allow the potting soil to dry somewhat between waterings. 

 

   I’m getting a later than usual start on my seedlings, having just planted my first round today. The earliest I’ve planted seeds indoors was in late January – I had flowers blooming by the end of March. Some plants, of course, need more time to grow than others. The ISU gardening experts also offer this reminder on the starting times for seeds: The crop time (number of weeks from sowing to planting outdoors) for several popular flowers and vegetables are as follows: 10 to 12 weeks – geranium; eight to 10 weeks – petunia and impatiens; six to eight weeks – marigold, pepper, and eggplant; five to seven weeks – tomato, cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower; three to four weeks – cucumber, watermelon, muskmelon and squash.  Always check the seed packet if unsure of the correct sowing date. 

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Organic oasis in Cedar Rapids

   In November 2007, I wrote a Gazette article:   http://tinyurl.com/dl5seb  about Sheree’s Skin Care Studio, where owner Sheree Ramm had been operating in the Guaranty Bank Building in downtown Cedar Rapids.

Sheree Ramm inside new location of Sheree's Skin Care Studio

Sheree Ramm inside new location of Sheree's Skin Care Studio

   

 

 

The studio specializes in organic skin care products and treatments. Lotions, peels, makeup and other items are made with naturally grown organic fruits, herbs and vegetables and are safe for sensitive skin. Sheree notes that the products are gentler than artificial ingredients found in most  products in stores.  A great source for people who not only care about what they’re putting in their bodies, but on their bodies.

    But like most downtown businesses, even though her studio was on the fifth floor, Sheree was affected by last June’s devastating flood. The building remained closed while Sheree scrambled to find another place to open. She found temporary quarters in the historic Ausadie building, 845 First Ave. SE, and then this winter, moved to another historic building. This weekend, Sheree had an open house at her new site, the Calder House, at 1214 Second Ave. SE.

    Besides an enthusiasm for her organic products, Sheree has an appreciation for historic buildings and found the cottage house a perfect fit for her business.

 

Here is what she shares about the site:

Sheree's Skin Care Studio (at left)

Sheree's Skin Care Studio (at left)

     

 

   Built in 1868, the building is a 2-story gabled cottage house similar in scale and materials, built by the same builder, Charles Calder, as its twin at 1216 2nd Ave SE. The house has a stone foundation and brick walls. This rare brick building and its twin next door are both very well-preserved and are the oldest residences in the historical district. Both are among the oldest standing houses in Cedar Rapids. The integrity of the building is in excellent condition.

Charles Calder came to Cedar Rapids in 1851 with his family from central New York state. He made his fortune in real estate and land speculation and was termed, “among the heaviest property holders” in the city at the time of his death in 1890.

  Like many flood-affected business owners, Sheree could have moved out of town, but chose to stay in Cedar Rapids. As the city begins a “buy local” campaign, remember those who have been hit with the double whammy of the flood and economy.

 

Sheree’s Skin Care Studio is by appointment only. Hours: 10-5:30pm, Every other Sat 9-2pm
Closed Sundays and Mondays.  

 

Contact: Sheree, who is a Licensed Esthetician, at:  (319) 551-4876 or (319) 365-7000. More can be found on her Web site at:  www.shereeskincarestudio.com

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Happy Anniversary!!

    How could I forget our anniversary? It was Jan. 17, 2008, when the online version of Homegrown started, so this blog has already passed its one-year mark.

 

    With that in mind, I wanted to point out some new features that have been added since then.  First, searches are now easier with the addition of a search button.  If you want to know more about lawns or corn or lady bugs or something else,  just put the word or phrase into that space and click to find more on the topic. The “Your Photos” feature was added last year. Even though I asked for garden or plant photos, since it’s winter in Iowa, feel free to submit your cold weather photos – the ice on your tree branches, birds at the feeder or your child’s tongue stuck to a metal pole. OK, maybe not the last one, but photos you want to share can be emailed to me at: cindy.hadish@gazcomm.com and I’ll post them to Your Photos for the world to admire.

 

    The gardening events category is a popular one, but remember to look for the posted dates. Many of those items are from 2008. I’ll try to remember to put 2009 on all the new events to avoid confusion. The farmers markets list is from last year, but I will update the list this spring.

 

    If there are any other additions or changes you’d like to see on Homegrown, please let me know by email (same as above) or by posting a comment below.

 

    Finally, here is the message that kicked off Homegrown just over a year ago. I think it’s still appropriate today.

 

Welcome! I am so excited to be doing this!! Homegrown is the blog version of a gardening column I wrote for The Gazette a few years ago, a reference to locally grown vegetables, fruits and flowers. First off, although I was born in the 1960s, I don’t consider myself a product of the ’60s, so if you’re looking for a less than legal “homegrown” substance, you’ve come to the wrong blog, dude. Everyone else, feel free to come back often – more will be added as we move into growing season – and please, offer your comments. I want to know what your interests are. I’m also thrilled to provide a forum for our Master Gardeners, who will be sharing their expertise, as well. Thanks for checking in. I look forward to hearing from you!

  

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Poisoned Fruit

Following is an excerpt of a new report by Food & Water Watch, a nonprofit consumer organization that works to ensure clean water and safe food.

The Poisoned Fruit of American Trade Policy

Produce Imports Overwhelm American Farmers and Consumers

Americans are consuming more imported fresh fruits and vegetables, frozen and canned produce, and fruit juice than ever before.  An examination of U.S. consumption of produce that is commonly eaten as well as grown in America found that over the past 15 years Americans’ consumption of imported fresh fruits and vegetables doubled, but border inspection has not kept pace with rising imports, and less than one percent of the imported produce is inspected by the federal government. 

 

Food & Water Watch studied fifty common fruit and vegetable products like fresh apples, frozen broccoli, fresh tomatoes, orange juice and frozen potatoes and found that:

Imports made up one out of ten fresh fruits and one out of nine fresh vegetables Americans ate in 1993 (10.1 and 11.7 percent, respectively) but by 2007 the import consumption share doubled to more than one out of five fresh fruits and fresh vegetables (22.3 percent of fresh fruit and 23.9 percent of fresh vegetables). 

The share of imported processed (canned or frozen) produce tripled, from 5.2 percent of frozen packages or cans in 1993 to 15.9 percent in 2007. 

The share of imported fruit juice (orange, apple and grape) grew by 61 percent, from about a third of American consumption (30.8 percent) in 1993 to about half of consumption (49.5 percent) in 2007. 

On average, each American consumed 20 pounds of imported fresh fruit, 31 pounds of imported fresh vegetables and 24 pounds of imported processed produce and drank three gallons of imported juice in 2007.

Imports of fresh fruits (except bananas), fresh vegetables and processed produce essentially tripled, rising from 10 billion pounds in 1990 to 30 billion pounds in 2007.

Imported produce was more than three times more likely to contain the illness-causing bacteria Salmonella and Shigella than domestic produce, according to the latest FDA survey of imported and domestic produce.

Imported fruit is four times more likely to have illegal levels of pesticides and imported vegetables are twice as likely to have illegal levels of pesticide residues as domestic fruits and vegetables.

The hidden dangers on imported fruits and vegetables can enter U.S. supermarkets because the FDA inspects only the tiniest fraction of imported produce. Less than one percent of imported fresh produce shipments were inspected at the border in recent years.

To see the full report, go to: www.foodandwaterwatch.org/food/imports/the-poisoned-fruit-of-american-trade-policy

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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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