Local Food Cycle on KCWI Great Day Show

Prairie Rivers of Iowa is bringing back the Local Food Cycle again this year. The Local Food Cycle is a culinary bike ride that is a special event where bike riders tour local farms, meet farmers and eat delicious culinary delights prepared by area chefs. This year’s ride is through eastern Story County. We were fortune enough to be a guest on KCWI Channel 23 Great Day show on Friday August 14th. Jessica Johnson, Prairie Rivers of Iowa’s Marketing Coordinator and Emily Zimmerman, with the Sustainable Agriculture Student Association were the interviewees. To register and find out more about the stops visit www.prrcd.org/bike Listen to the interview below: ...
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Ride. Eat. Repeat. 1st Annual Local Food Cycle

September 7th was an exceptionally perfect day for a bicycle ride.  70 degrees with a slight wind out of the south made for the finest circumstances to enjoy the 1st Annual Local Food Cycle, a bicycle ride celebrating healthy sustainable food systems in Central Iowa.   Over 120 riders participated in the first year of the event.  Riders explored farms while savoring local foods prepared by area chefs.  The riders varied in skill level and age but all enjoyed the opportunity to experience local food in a new way.   The 40 mile route started at Moore Memorial Park in Ames and did a loop north through Story and Boone Counties.  Participants had the opportunity to visit six farms and a private wetland.  The farms were all small to mid-sized and did mostly fruit and vegetable production.   Mustard Seed Community Farm was the fourth stop on the route.  The small farm is dedicated to sustainable, simple living and creating a community in which everyone...
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Celebrating Local this Harvest Season

Fall is such a wonderful time, especially in Iowa. Leaves changing colors, cool nights, savory soups and pumpkin pie. What's in Season? pumpkins winter squash apples potatoes beets turnips cabbage broccoli brussels sprouts garlic onions   Seasonal Produce Guide: http://www.extension.iastate.edu/foodsavings/page/whats-season Check out a Central Iowa farm: Center Grove Orchard (Cambridge, Ia) Pick your own pumpkins and apples Hayrides Corn/hay maze Farm animals and so much more Hours: Monday-Saturday (9 am-7 pm) and Sunday (11 am-6 pm) Admission: $8.95 (Monday-Friday), $10.95 (Weekends) More info: http://www.centergroveorchard.com Berry Patch (Nevada, IA) Pick your own pumpkins, apples, and red raspberries Hours: Monday-Saturday (9 am-5 pm) and Sunday (10 am-4 pm) More info: http://www.berrypatchfarm.com Black's Heritage Farms (Ames, Ia) Pick your own pumpkins Trolley rides Farm animals Sweet Corn Feed (free w/admission) and more Hours: Saturday/Sunday (10 am-6 pm) Admission: $3.00 More info: https://www.facebook.com/BHFPP or 515-292-1936      ...
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Prairie Rivers of Iowa Featured on KCWI Great Day Morning Show

Prairie Rivers of Iowa had a great opportunity and was invited to be on KCWI Des Moines CW Channel 23 on Monday August 4th. Our Local Foods Coordinator, Ruth Powell and our Marketing Coordinator, Jessica Johnson talked about a variety of topics but their main focus was the Local Food Cycle coming up on September 7th. Their interview first started off with Jackie (Great Day show host) talking to Jessica about what Prairie Rivers of Iowa is and does for Iowans. You can view the clip below to listen to Jessica talk about our organization with the example of our Log Products Program and the cabins of Hamilton County. We then continue on with Lou (Great Day show host) asking Ruth about the Local Foods Cycle. Ruth talked about the great ride for the taste buds that we have coming up September 7th. This ride will start in Moore Memorial Park and continue on for 40 miles visiting different farms with food...
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Wellmark Foundation Awards Grant Funds to Prairie Rivers of Iowa

The Wellmark Foundation and Prairie Rivers of Iowa held a check presentation on July 10th 2014 to celebrate a $49,288 grant to help fund Building a Regional Food System in Boone, Story, and Hardin Counties. The project works with local communities, organizations, and businesses to educate on proper nutrition and healthy foods. By creating a community garden, the project will build local relationships and improve accessibility to home-grown, nutritious foods for area residents.   Building a Regional Food System in Boone, Story and Hardin Counties The school serves over 600 students, 38% of whom are eligible for free or reduced lunch.  The new space will be an outdoor classroom and direct way for youth to learn about nutrition and gardening. The Central Elementary location was chosen partially due to demand.  Ruth Powell, the new Local Foods Coordinator for Central Iowa, began work on the Central Iowa Garden Project in January 2014 that works to improve citizens’ health in Boone, Story and Hardin counties by...
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Ride. Eat. Repeat. Register for the Local Food Cycle!

Prairie Rivers of Iowa and Story County Conservation are pleased to bring you a deliciously local event scheduled for Sunday, September 7, 2014.  The Local Food Cycle is a 40-mile bicycle ride celebrating healthy sustainable food systems in Central Iowa.  Riders will explore farms in Boone and Story counties and savor local foods prepared by area chefs.  From a breakfast treat made by Arcadia to a dessert created by the Café, this event will take your taste buds for a ride! Registration cost is $45 for participants who register before August 21 or $55 for those who register from August 22-September 2.  Registration includes food at the farm stops, sangria and music at Prairie Moon Winery , and a spork (spork with early registration only) to help you enjoy every fantastic bite.  To register, visit www.culinaryride.com and click on the Ames, IA ride. Any additional funds raised from the event will go to support future local food events and conservation programming for...
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CSP Contract Renewal Process Begins Next Month

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resource Conservation (NRCS) will begin accepting applications to re-enroll in the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) on July 11, 2014.  This renewal option is specifically for farmers and ranchers who enrolled in CSP initially in 2010. CSP is a comprehensive working lands conservation program that provides technical and financial assistance to farmers and ranchers to actively manage and maintain existing conservation systems and to implement additional conservation activities on land in production.  Through CSP, participants take steps to improve soil, water, air, and habitat quality, and can also address water quantity and energy conservation issues. CSP contracts last for five years, at which time they are eligible for renewal.  There are approximately 20,000 farmers and ranchers with CSP contracts that will expire this year, totaling over 20 million acres that can be re-enrolled to preserve and expand upon critical environmental benefits. These 20,000 contracts eligible for renewal began under two different enrollment periods in 2010.  One group...
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Iowa Choice Harvest

Click on the picture above to watch the ABC News Channel 5 broadcast of Iowa Choice Harvest Product Types: Frozen sweet corn, sliced apples, whole asparagus About Iowa Choice Harvest Iowa Choice Harvest LLC formed in 2013 with 24 member owners. 60% of our member owners are Iowa producers and 40% are Iowa non-producers. "Our mission is to connect customers with earth-conscious Iowa farmers," Huber says," who grow high quality fruits and vegetables." Our plant is located in Marshalltown, Iowa and we began processing sweet corn in August. Our company purchases crops from Iowa farmers at their peak of ripeness and then flash freezes it to maintain the highest quality taste possible. Our sweet corn this year was harvested and frozen on the same day. The sweet corn seed was non-GMO seed and was raised by one producer. Our apple product comes from six orchards in Iowa. Our producers may use integrated pest management practices on their farms. We do not add any additives...
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Free webinars from the University of Illinois Extension

The University of Illinois Extension is hosting some free webinars that may be of some interest. You can attend these webinars from the comfort of your home, on your home computer. For those that can’t attend during the day, they will all be archived for viewing at a later date.   Topics for this years’ webinar:   Jan. 16- Organic overview Jan. 23- Pumpkins Jan. 30- Small scale composting Feb. 6- Organic insect management Feb. 13- Organic disease management Feb. 20- Organic weed management Feb. 27- Asparagus production March 6- Orchard insect management March 13- Orchard management March 20- Orchard disease management March 27- Ethnic markets.   There is no cost to attend these sessions. You must register to receive the log on instructions. Our home page allows you to register for any of our programs, simply select “winter webinar series” at web.extension.illinois.edu/abhps   They also have the previous years’ webinars archived for your viewing. These are available on our home page, under the “Local Food Systems and Small Farms” icon. Topics are varied and most will cover some...
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