Iowa: The Next Sustainable Food Production Hub in the U.S.

Here in the midwest, we’re the second leading producers of crops and livestock. The first is California. The trouble for most young farmers in Iowa is the high land prices and startup costs. The good news is that there is support out there for our young Iowa farmers. The Practical Farmers of Iowa (PFI) is…

How Safe is Your Produce? 5 Reasons to Start Your Own Organic Garden

Including fresh produce in your diet is one of the most efficient ways to stay healthy and prevent disease, but did you know that conventional varieties have pesticide residues in them that will end up in your body?  The facts: The latest pesticide residue report published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) revealed that…

Organic Farming: The Latest Trend in Iowa

It’s official: organic farming has taken over the State of Iowa and we’re really stoked about it!   At first, organic farmers didn’t have a market but now they can safely say their products sell themselves.   Organic farming in Iowa has increased by 31 percent in the last five years. With local farms like…

Helping the Earth with Your Organic Garden

Organic gardening can be rewarding for your household, but have you ever thought of the benefits that come with organic farming?   More consumers recognize that organic food is a healthy, ethical choice, which means they’re picking more of it up at the grocery store. Aside from financial gain, organic farming offers various benefits.  …

6 Tips for Growing Juicy, Crisp Peppers

Whether you’re adding your own transplants to your organic garden or picked some up at your local garden center, here are some ways to create the perfect pepper crop this summer.   Soil prep   Selecting the right site for your peppers is a key part of the growing process. Find a sunny, well-drained spot…

7 Reasons to Use Earthworm Castings in Your Organic Garden Now

As we head into the humid Iowa summer months, it’s important to take care of our organic gardens now more than ever.   When the heat of summer kicks in and the weather gets sticky, it can affect our plants in many negative ways if we’re not careful. One of the best things you can…

How to Grow Healthy, Crisp Cucumbers

There’s no question that fresh, homegrown cucumbers are one of the best vegetables you can grow in your organic garden. They’re great for slicing, adding to salads, pickling, and more. But how do you grow healthy, crisp cucumbers? Many Iowans love the moment when they can finally slice a cucumber straight off the vine and…

Growing the Best Organic Watermelon

So many of us associate the warmth of summer and the refreshing sensation of biting into a cool, juicy bite of a fresh watermelon. It’s one of the fruits that makes everyone smile no matter their age. As an Iowan, you may think that you won’t have much success growing watermelon in your organic garden,…

Five Vegetables to Plant in Your Summer Garden

It’s mid-May, which means it’s high time to be thinking about the vegetables you want to grow in your organic summer garden. Warm season vegetables need long days and warm temperatures to thrive, unlike spring veggies that are happy hanging out in cold soil. The organic vegetables that need longer periods of sunlight should be…

Tips for a Health Organic Summer Garden

As Iowa begins to enter the warm summer months, it’s important to remember how the warm weather will impact your organic vegetable garden. During the summer, we see plenty of organic vegetables thrive including tomatoes, zucchinis, cucumbers, green beans, eggplant, sweet potatoes, peppers, and herbs. Keeping your harvest at their peak is critical in the…

When to Start Your Onion Sets and Harvest Them

One of the biggest reasons organic gardeners incorporate onions in their gardens is because they’re a high-yielding crop. In about 1 to 1 ½ feet of space, you can grow between 20 and 50 onions, which is ideal for those of us who enjoy adding them to our salads, do canning, and use them for…