Archive for the ‘iowa farmers’ Category

Tim Diebel

Saturday, September 28th, 2013

Tim Diebel retired from the ministry to go back to the land and started Fortunately for us, he was willing to serve as our interim minister at Norwalk Christian Church.   I appreciate all his sermons, but especially his “earthy” ones and it has been good to get to know him better.  His writings at are a quite enjoyable read.

Practical Farmer Webinars

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

Want a great way to learn about new approaches to agriculture?  Market gardens, CSA marketing, pest control in organic agriculture, small grains, Fertility Management, poultry and more…

Check out Practical Farmers of Iowa Farminars:

Join Practical Farmers of Iowa while you are at it!

Fourth Annual Farm Crawl this weekend

Friday, October 1st, 2010

The Fourth Annual Farm Crawl will be winding its way through beautiful South Central Iowa this weekend (I might be a bit biased as it is where I grew up).  It’s free to visit an orchard, pumpkin farm, goat dairy, vegetable growers, and a potter.  For just $6 you can navigate the 18 acre corn maze at Dan-D Farms, south of Knoxville.

Check out their website at:

Caucus of the Future

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2008

I was asked to do a presentation on Permaculture at the Caucus of the Future being held today and tomorrow at the Drake Legal Clinic.  It went well and I enjoyed meeting a variety of people.

In particular, I enjoyed meeting Elton Davis.  Elton is heavily into permaculture and is working on a crop rotation of sorghum and sunflowers.  Sorghum is high in sugar and useful for ethanol.  Sunflowers are high in oil and useful for biodiesel.  I hope to learn more about his projects and share them with you.

I’ve uploaded my presentation as a series of web pages if you care to take a look.  I hope you’ll find it informative.  Special thanks to Bill Wilson over at Midwest Permaculture for putting together the majority of it.

We talked about Kris and Marty Travis’ success in harvesting thousands of dollars worth of wild edibles from their farm while they waited for organic certification.  A really good book to check out for identifying wild edibles is Steve Wildman Brill’s Identifying and Harvesting Edible and Medicinal Plants in Wild (and Not So Wild) Places. If you buy it after clicking that link I get a tiny commision from Amazon, or head on down and support your local bookstore.

I mentioned that one of my New Year’s resolutions is to add a post to this site each week so I how you will add comments and keep after me to get it done. 

Farm Crawl

Sunday, October 7th, 2007

You’ve heard of pub crawls, but farm crawls?  Well, five farms in South Central Iowa banded together and sponsored an afternoon of farm tours on October 7th.  You can read more about it at  My family had a great time and managed to visit four of the five farms.  Check back soon for photos and more information on the food and fun.


Sunday, October 7th, 2007

I love fall — especially when it comes to food.  I love the hearty, filling nature of apples, potatoes, winter squash, carrots, parsnips…  It’s also nice to have some cool days when heating up the kitchen with cooking doesn’t seem counter productive to the task of trying to keep cool. 

Circle M FarmsI also love the colors of fall.  I visited the second-to-last Valley Junction Farmer’s Market to stock up on some items, and one stand really stood out: Circle M Produce from Martensdale Iowa.  I visited with Circle M’s proprieter Mike Misjak.  Mike is at a farmer’s market about every day of the week, except Sunday when he’s busy picking.  He helped start the Norwalk farmer’s market on Fridays.   On the day I visited, he had an abundance of winter squash, pumpkins, peppers, some summer squash, green beans, and watermelons.

Iowa Orchard Urbandale

Sunday, October 7th, 2007

You might be surprised to find an orchard in Urbandale (9875 Meredith Drive) and I was at first, until I considered just how fast the suburbs surrounding Des Moines have been growing.  I witnessed it first hand from my Grandparent’s house near Railroad and Grand, which 25 years ago bordered corn fields and now is likely near the population center of West Des Moines.

Iowa Orchard samplesAt the Iowa Orchard we met Bryan Etchen.  Bryan’s family purchased the orchard in 1974 and he took it over in 1991.  In addition to their Meredith Drive location, they have other orchards in the area.  This year’s late frost (freeze?) caused them to have about 90% fewer apples than normal.  Fortunately, Bryan has relationships with other orchards and had an ample supply of apples.  Some of the varieties available when we were there in September: Cortland, Johnathan, Ozark Beauty, Lura Red, Wealthy, and my favorite for fresh eating, Honey Crisp.  Varieties you’ve never heard of?  Don’t worry — Bryan and his staff are quick to hand out samples and provide recommendations.  We purchased a peck each of Honey Crisp and Wealthy.  As I write this a couple of weeks later, the Honey Crisps are nearly gone.  I’ve sampled a few of the Wealthy apples from the back of the fridge, and keep begging my wife to make this wonderful "Good Neighbor" apple cake recipe she has.  If I succeed, I’ll try to get the recipe and photos online to share.

Back to Iowa Orchard… this summer I purchased peaches on various occasions, hoping to find the perfect one — with little success.  Seeing that Bryan had Colorado peaches, I decided to give them a try.  Unfortunately, they were on par with the others.  Perhaps it was a poor year everywhere for peaches?

In addition to the fresh fruits, they offer apple butter, pies, fruit jams, marinades, and other fruits.  We purchased one of their cherry pies and it was wonderful (this coming from someone who typically isn’t fond of cherry pies). Fresh cherries, a hint of almond flavoring, flaky crust… it didn’t last long.

You can swing by their store seven days a week, or find them at many of the farmer’s markets.

Plant a seed/Get cooking!

Tuesday, May 15th, 2007

This web site is an attempt to bring together a variety of my passions: lessening my impact on our Earth, gardening, cooking, photography, web development, teaching, learning, sharing, and entrepreneurism.

I hope this will be a resource where you can:

  • Find out about Iowa farmers and purchase from them
  • Discover restaurants that serve seasonal, locally produced food
  • Find seasonal recipes
  • Learn from my successes and failures growing food as locally as it can get (our backyard)

Check back soon for posts on these subjects: 

  • Why Think Global Eat Local? What does it mean?
  • Why start with a blog?
  • Big plans, future phases

Contact me at to be added to our email list to be notified of changes.  Subscribe to our our RSS feed which will be coming soon.

Thanks for visiting!

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