Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway Springs into 2018

Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway Springs into 2018

It is finally March and with that comes the promise of Spring! The Byway is gearing up for a wonderful 2018. We are into grant writing season and as we wait for large state-wide projects to come to fruition, we are happy to tackle  smaller localized ones. One project just completed was for the community of Westside. The residents recently developed a park, the Eugene Kock Memorial Park, in honor of a local man who lost his life in Vietnam many years ago. The park has engraved paver bricks that can be purchased, seating for visitors, and a military sculpture placed in the center. The area is flanked by flags and soon will have an interpretive panel we created about the community placed there as well. We continue to work with the Lincoln Highway Association (LHA) on other interpretive panels. Three smaller ones will be placed in the City of Jefferson's east entrance as part of their improvement project. The panels will...
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Fruit Tree Growers Try Tricking Mother Nature To Prevent Crop Damage

Fruit growers in northern Michigan grow apples, peaches and wine grapes. But the big crop here is tart cherries. More than half of Ken Engle's 140-acre farm is planted with what he calls sour cherries. These trees are the most vulnerable just before their white blossoms unfold at the so-called water bud stage. And in orchard country, extreme heat and cold can mean mass crop damage. "And what causes the damage is, on a cold night the moisture that's in the blossom will actually freeze," Engle says. "It will break the cell wall and the blossom is killed." Past losses now have researchers looking at new ways to use old technologies to save those crops. To find out what tricks are being used to help prevent crop loss, check the full article on the NPR website. Fruit Growers Try Tricking Mother Nature To Prevent Crop Damage ...
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Cabins Going Up in Buena Vista County

Our Log Products program specializes in providing Iowa White Oak logs for cabins. Our log cabin logs have a history of quality and durability, and are not found in mainstream construction channels. Because of this we have had the opportunity to work with several County Parks and private individuals giving them the chance to build a cabin to stand a lifetime. The summer of 2014 Prairie Rivers of Iowa’s Log Product Program secured a contract to supply Buena Vista County Conservation with our Iowa White Oak logs for the start of construction on a 25’ x 32’ two-loft cabin. Construction started late fall in 2014. The walls and roof are installed and completion of the cabin should be this summer. Mike will be making a service call on Wednesday, April 22nd to talk more with their contractor and the Buena Vista County Conservation Director to answer any questions they have and to offer advice on the continuation of construction. Using our native Iowa White...
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Why Are Pine Nuts So Expensive

If you like making delicious dishes like pesto you might have wondered to yourself, "why are pine nuts so expensive?". It's mostly because pine nuts are not grown on farms or plantations they're collected in the wild. "Pine nuts don't generally come from orchards, or fields, or plantations. They come from pine forests. (And pine nuts are expensive because most of these areas are so remote.) The nuts are hidden inside the cones of certain species of pine, such as the mighty Siberian pine, which covers thousands of square miles of Siberia. A few pine nut plantations have been set up in Spain and Portugal, but they produce only a tiny portion of the world's pine nuts." To learn more about the fascinating pine nut industry check out this article from NPR: Love Pine Nuts? Then Protect Pine Forests...
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The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, the second best time is now!

Here is an answer to a question I had recently about if there are any value to soft maple trees that were blown down in a storm... Unfortunately soft maple trees are not worth much.  There are two major problems with these trees.   Trees that are from a yard, or a farmstead most loggers and sawmill will not be interested in because of the high possibility of having metal scrapes in them from such items as bird feeders, clothes lines, signs, swings, fences, etc. that are all fastened with nails or screws.  If you hit one these old nails or screws with your saw mill it could ruin a blade which could cost anywhere from $50 to $500 +.  The value of the wood out one of these yard trees does not come close to paying for the damaged saw blade.   The other problem with some storm damaged trees is the the same winds that blew them down or damaged them may have...
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Periodical Cicadas Return to Iowa in 2014

It’s been a long wait but it is almost over!  This is the year that Brood III of the periodical cicadas (a.k.a. 17-year “locusts”) will emerge from the ground and appear as adults in a significant portion of the state of Iowa.  The periodical cicadas we will see and hear this summer are the offspring of the adults that we saw way back in 1997.  For 17 years, the cicada nymphs have waited underground.  This is the summer we (and they!) have waited for! For more information check out this article from Iowa State Extension: Periodical Cicadas Return to Iowa in 2014 ...
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The Music of Trees

Bartholomäus Traubeck, has created a record player that turns slices of trees into music. The project is called Years and Traubeck describes how it works: "A tree’s year rings are analysed for their strength, thickness and rate of growth. This data serves as basis for a generative process that outputs piano music. It is mapped to a scale which is again defined by the overall appearance of the wood (ranging from dark to light and from strong texture to light texture). The foundation for the music is certainly found in the defined ruleset of programming and hardware setup, but the data acquired from every tree interprets this ruleset very differently." Traubeck has turned a handful of trees into music: Picea (spruce), Fraxinus (ash), Quercus (oak), Acer (maple), Alnus (alder), Juglans (walnut), Fagus (beech). Follow the link below to watch a video with a sample of the music. Years - Bartholomäus Traubeck  ...
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