Visit us at the Ames Eco Fair 10-2 March 29th

The third annual Eco Fair will be held this Saturday, March 29th from 10-2pm at the Community Center Gymnasium (515 Clark Avenue). The purpose of this free event is to educate the public on water conservation, reducing electrical consumption, among other green initiatives. There will be over 40 vendors of various businesses and clubs that want to make a difference with different activities on a green lifestyle. Events include door prizes, giveaways, and handouts. Please stop by the Prairie Rivers of Iowa booth to visit with us on our various programs we have. Our Log Products Coordinator, Mike Brandrup will be there to answer question about our Iowa Oak Cabins, and to answer questions to Squaw Creek. Ruth Powell, our Local Foods Coordinator will also there to answer questions....
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Creating a Local Taste

Food is a basic necessity.  It is also a way to experience, explore and understand a culture.  One of my favorite parts about traveling is getting to experience the food.    Generally one third of a trip's cost is devoted to food.  Culinary or food tourism has become a significant economic stimulus for many local communities.  Rebecca LeHeup of the Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance has been a passionate advocate for food tourism.  She spoke yesterday at the Iowa Culinary Tourism Summit where roughly 60 folks from various locations across Iowa attended.   Parties represented included local farmers, governments, businesses, students, and nonprofits. It was great seeing so many people engaged in utilizing food to improve their local economies.  Investing in local foods can have a 1:3 ratio of return.  That means for every $1 invested into local food there is a $3 return to the local economy.  In comparison, food that is sourced outside a local system has a 46 cent return for every...
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Health and Local Food Systems

How do we improve our citizens' health if we don't improve our local food system? We should not let the large, integrated food system coop the progress made by those working on our local food system. Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation North Carolina says they are just starting to understand how the two concepts of local and health can achieve healthier communities. ...
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Lincoln Highway’s Corridor Management Plan

As you may know, Prairie Rivers of Iowa manages the Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway, one of 11 byways in Iowa (a byway is a road specially designated by the United States or by the State of Iowa for its distinctive qualities).  Part of our work along the byway is telling the story of the people and places of the Lincoln Highway, by working to preserve its history, by promoting local businesses and events, and by working with communities and statewide organizations to recognize its unique character.  If you've seen us at a motor tour stop, presenting to a community group, or read a Lincoln Highway brochure, you've seen some of our work on the byway. Beginning this spring, we are launching a three-year initiative: creating a new Corridor Management Plan for the Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway.  A Corridor Management Plan, or CMP, is a document that both reveals the assets of the Lincoln Highway and creates a plan for preserving and...
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Small Container Gardening

Spring seems like it is slowly creeping in.  Which means I am starting to think about being outside and possibly trying to grow some stuff.  This year I am trying something new, small container gardening.  If you do not have a backyard, have space restrictions, or want something that is convenient this is the perfect option for you. There are great resources available to help folks start their own container gardens.   Resources: Cultivate Iowa - http://www.cultivateiowa.org/garden/ "Grow Great Grub: Organic Food from Small Spaces" by Gayla Trail         ...
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Registration now open for the April 8th Iowa Local Food Conference

Keynotes and panels will highlight the growing number of opportunities available to food producers in their local networks. Conference attendees can participate in three tracks: food hubs, processing centers, and marketing.   Registration is now open at: www.leopold.iastate.edu/2014-iowa-local-food-conference<http://www.leopold.iastate.edu/2014-iowa-local-food-conference>   Reduced-price early registration ends on March 28. The conference is geared to general audiences, students and vendors, and will be of interest to small growers, business owners and food service personnel, as well as others who are interested in the growing local food system in Iowa.   Contact Lynn Heuss for details, including scholarship application questions, at leheuss@i   Keynote speaker Lucie Amundson is the marketing brainchild behind her family's pasture-raised chicken business, Locally Laid. Her social media savvy led Locally Laid to the final four in a national competition for small businesses to earn a 30-second TV spot at the Super Bowl.   Sponsored by the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Local Food and Farm Initiative (LFFI) and the Iowa Food System Working Group with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, the...
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