Archive for 2015

Making Connections at National FFA Convention

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015
The 2015 National FFA Convention & Expo was held in Louisville, KY on October 28 – October 31, 2015.  A record breaking 64,409 FFA members and registered guests attended the annual meeting! We embrace this youth organization that puts emphasis on agricultural pursuits and exemplary leadership. During the expo, Nutrients for Life Foundation (NFLF) staff had direct communication with over 500 agricultural educators.  During this time we were able to build awareness of our curriculum, resources and the Helping Communities Grow program. New Auburn FFA members and Prairie Central FFA members helped NFLF staff work the booth and shared with attendees how the Helping Communities Grow program had impacted them, their career choices and the activities that their FFA chapter does to promote crop nutrient education. Rick, regional representative for California, Washington, and Idaho, surprised everyone on Halloween with this fantastic Phantom of the Opera costume! The opportunity to make connections with such a large group of FFA members and agricultural educators to forward our mission is invaluable to the Foundation.

Fall Lawn and Garden Update

Tuesday, October 27th, 2015
Harvest here in Northwest Iowa will wrap up soon. Lush green fields have been replaced with brown stubble. I enjoy watching the combines roll over the fields and grain dust fill the air. I often pause and reflect that harvest, whether it in a field or a garden, is the result of hard work and yields food for all of us. Here are a few updates and tips for preparing your lawn and garden for spring. I am savoring these gorgeous fall days! Have you taken the time to rake up (I mean play in...) the leaves? Leaves provide organic matter to the soil. Mulching mowers break down the leaves and allow your yard to benefit from its organic matter. Leaves also can be added to the garden. As they breakdown they deposit organic matter into the soil. Fall is a great time to divide most perennials. Dividing in the fall gives plants time to set new roots before the summer heat. Before replanting, add compost to the soil. This will replenish nutrients that were lost and builds the soil fertility. I am ready to put the lawnmower away for winter. I complain about mowing, but I’ll be the first to admit, I love a green lush lawn. To ensure a green lawn next spring, I apply a winterizer fertilizer. Winter care for your lawn is a great habit to start and your local garden centers will have what you need. I have a few favorite perennials in the landscape. Each fall, I collect the seeds from my favorites and save the seed to spread in the spring. Daffodils and Tulips! I just don’t think I can ever plant too many. Our 4-H Clover Kids planted tulips and daffodils in the city park. We tucked the bulbs into the ground and said, “See you in…

Fall Lawn and Garden Checklist

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015
There is a worn path in the grass that leads from the garden to the kitchen. After months of hard work, I am met with the excitement of enough vegetables to preserve; green beans to can, sweet corn to freeze, and cucumbers to pickle... you get the idea! (more…)

Do You Preserve Your Harvest?

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015
It's that time of the year! The time when your excess harvest can be put to great use by preserving it for the cooler months to come. Grandma’s Kook-Kwick Pressure Cooker manual was handed down to me. The manual is most likely from the 1950’s and tells me that a properly filled pantry is the result of careful planning in advance. (more…)

Garden Calendar: August Tips

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015
It was a root and tuber kind of weekend; we pulled carrots and dug potatoes. The harvest makes me thankful for the hours of sweat I put into keeping the weeds out and the soil fertile. August finds me in the kitchen preserving produce from the garden. It makes for some long days but it is well worth it! (more…)

July Garden Update

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015
It’s mid-July, how is your garden looking? Healthy, buggy, brown, yellow, weedy: these words describe different areas of my garden all while I am waiting, oh so patiently, for the tomatoes to turn red. While I wait, there are other veggies ready to be harvested! (more…)

Garden Calendar: July Tips

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015
It’s July! The garden is starting to burst! July meals will be full of freshness and flavor. Right now I spend half my time harvesting and the other half pulling weeds. I hope your garden has more harvest than weeds! Here’s to a delicious July! (more…)

Keep Your Potted Plants Blooming

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015
Potted plants bring color to the deck or front door step. To keep them blooming and growing fertilizer is key. That’s how the grower got them so gorgeous and eye catching! (more…)

Garden Calendar: June Tips

Monday, June 1st, 2015
There is lots of gardening to do in June! The garden is growing and so are the weeds! Check out my garden help; don’t let the photo fool you. They were in the garden for less than fifteen minutes, but I’ll take what I can get. (more…)

Flower Bed Fertilizing with 4R Nutrient Stewardship

Monday, May 18th, 2015
It’s all about curb appeal. I spend hours every spring sprucing up our landscape and flower beds for a summer of knock out color and attraction. If you want curb appeal, the secret is timely fertilizer application. (more…)

On Gardening & Mother’s Day

Friday, May 8th, 2015
There is a nursery tucked into the rural Iowa Loess Hills which grows the most amazing flowers! I have been looking forward to visiting all year and finally my friend and I squeezed a Monday morning trip into our busy spring schedules. (more…)