Squatters and Supplementary Farming

People generally think of squatters as those who live in the basements of dilapidated urban buildings. Detroit and parts of Chicago come to mind. But Iowa has its share of squatters, and my guess is that number is about to rise drastically. After all, real estate is expensive, and the state’s economy is about to…

HortiCulture, Or: How to Grow Shit

I feel guilty. I set out to make a blog celebrating the art&culture(&pork) of Iowa, yet I’ve neglected a significant element of the Iowa experience. No, I’m not talking about farming. Those days are all but gone. Most farms are now operated like factories and owned by mega-corporations. It is rare to find a family…

Monsanto Controls the Weather: A Midwestern Corn-spiracy Theory

Melanie claims genetic engineering is to blame for the decrease in local humidity and temperatures this summer, so I ask her: “Why do you think Monsanto is responsible?” She responds with another question: “Do you know anything about corn?” “I know how to pop it.” “A moderately-sized cornfield can create its own thunderstorms,” she continues…

How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies

I’m big on gardening. That’s not to say I’m good at it – I kill most everything – but this summer was lucky and we got tomatoes out the wazoo. The only downside of fresh tomatoes: fruit flies. They love fresh fruit and multiply quickly, so by the end of the summer, the kitchen looked…