Natalia Reyes

Kate Payne

47 years ago, Iowa State Representative Marti Anderson gave birth to a baby girl. She gave her up for adoption and wondered about her ever since. Thanks to a home DNA test, she has now been reunited with her daughter.

Lindsey Moon / Iowa Public Radio

During this Talk of Iowa interview, host Charity Nebbe visits the Herbert Hooover Presidential Museum and gets a tour of a new exhibit,"Tallgrass to Knee High: A Century of Iowa Farming," on display through October 2018. Melanie Weir, assistant curator at the museum, is her guide. 

Nick Brincks

How do you get kids to pay attention to lessons about important but not necessarily attention-grabbing topics like water quality and soil erosion?

Heavy metal rock anthems about cover crops and raps about watersheds are not often linked to science education, but for Jacqueline Comito, program director for Iowa Learning Farms, it's a perfect fit.

"Sense of humor is, I think, one of the most powerful tools in our arsenal," says Comito, who is also a musician.

Renee Harper

Ripe strawberries right out of the garden are one of the joys of summer. It's important to know how to select strawberry varieties, harvest the fruit, and even—after a few good harvests—renovate an old strawberry patch.

On this episode of Talk of Iowa, Denny Schrock, State Master Gardener Coordinator, has some suggestions for growing the sweetest fruit.

"If you’re doing the June bearing variety, you want to plant those 18 to 24 inches apart," Schrock says. "If you have good Iowa loam, you should have a good crop of strawberries." 

Katherine Perkins

Summer is a great time to crack open a book and escape into worlds both imaginary and real. During this episode of Talk of Iowa, Jan Weismiller and Tim Budd of Prairie Lights Bookstore in Iowa City and Kathy Magruder of Pageturners Bookstore in Indianola join host Charity Nebbe to share their favorite reads for your summer list.

State Historical Society of Iowa

One hundred years ago this month, then Governor William Harding signed an executive order declaring English the official language of the state. The Babel Proclamation banned languages other than English from being spoken in schools, churches, in public, and even on the telephone. 

Stephen Bowler

Rhubarb is one of the first flavors of spring. It's delicious in desserts and, some would argue, out of hand. On this Talk of Iowa, we share tips for growing rhubarb.

Linda Naeve, ISU Extension Specialist in Value Added Agriculture, says growing rhubarb can be a breeze.

"The right site is pretty easy - full sun, well-drained. Simple," Naeve says. 

Ames Historical Society Website

For the past three years, Iowa State University's "Teaching and Learning Iowa History" series has taught courses about social justice in Iowa. This summer, a new course will highlight American Indian Iowans and their contributions to social movements in the state.

Braceros in the U.S.

May 23, 2018
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode (cropping and contrast changes made)
Oregon State University Archives

Between 1942 and 1966, the Bracero Program brought 4.6 million Mexican migrant workers to the United States including to jobs in Iowa. They were working largely in agricultural jobs.

Brian Behnken is an associate professor of history and the U.S. Latino studies program at Iowa State University. He explains the history of the program, how it was implemented, and what was required of workers and employers.

The program began during World War Two.

Emily Woodbury

Lena Hill and Azeez Butali are both professors at the University of Iowa. They have something else in common: they are both parents to children with sickle cell disease.

Sickle cell disease is an inherited blood disorder. It can cause chronic pain, multi-organ failure, and stroke, and affects an estimated 100,000 people in the United States, most of them African American. 

Samantha Forsberg

Every spring they burst forth, usually in late May or early June. You see them on farmsteads and in city landscapes. They're spectacular. They smell amazing. They don't last long. They're peonies.

During this hour of Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe chats with Cindy Haynes, associate professor of horticulture at Iowa State University, about how best to care for peonies.

Rob Cassin

Steve Cannon's thirst for adventure is unquenchable. He's a runner, cyclist, kayaker, and skiier. Cannon's latest book, Upside Down in the Yukon River, chronicles his journey through the Yukon River Quest, one of the world's lengthier river races, and at least one memorable plunge into icy waters. 

SD Dirk

It's National Public Gardens Day, a wonderful opportunity to visit and celebrate the many public gardens in Iowa. Public parks like the Dubuque Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, Reiman Gardens in Ames, and the Bickelhaupt Arboretum in Clinton are just some of many across the state. Assistant Director of Reiman Gardens Aaron Steil describes what sets these public gems apart.

Jeremy Keith

Some crops take a little more room to grow than others. Vine crops, like cucumbers, squashes, and melons, love to spread as they grow. 

On this Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe talks with Ajay Nair, associate professor of horticulture at Iowa State University, about growing vine crops. Nair recommends mounds for vine crops that spread on the ground, and he says it helps with aeration.

"For cucumbers, you should try to do the trellising," Nair says. He also has recommendations for selecting pickling cultivars.

Francis Benjamin Johnston / Library of Congress

George Washington Carver's journey from slavery to scientific accomplishment has inspired millions. But over time, many of his greatest accomplishments have been overshadowed by his reputation as "that peanut man."

David Whelan

A butterfly garden is easy to plant and the results are beautiful on a number of levels. From asters to nettles, from fennel to prickly ash, a butterfly garden is easier to cultivate than you might think. 

On this Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe chats with Donald Lewis, Entomologist from Iowa State University. They go beyond milkweed and monarchs to explore garden options for colorful pollinators. 

Barry Phipps

Multimedia artist Barry Phipps has been traveling the state and taking photographs for the last six years. Now we can see Iowa through his lens in the new book Between Gravity and What Cheer: Iowa Photographs.

On this Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe sits down with Phipps to learn what attracted him about Iowa small towns and how his work offers a counter-narrative about rural America.

Iowa Public Radio

During graduation season, many parents will be looking back and thinking about all the milestones their children have achieved on their way to this major rite of passage. The new picture book Sometimes You Fly captures this moment.

On this Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe is joined by Newbery Award-winning author Katherine Applegate, best known for her book The One and Only Ivan. Sometimes You Fly is illustrated by Iowa City-based artist Jennifer Black Reinhardt, who also joins the conversation. 

Ryan Riley, College of Human Sciences / Iowa State University

Ashley Nashleanas has been blind since birth, but that hasn’t stopped her from accomplishing remarkable things. This spring, she’ll receive her PhD in Educational Psychology from Iowa State University.

On this Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe chats with Nashleanas about how her blindness informed her studies of math and science, and how she hopes to help other students who are visually impaired learn these subjects. For her part, Nashleanas had the confidence to request help when visual representations were omitted from her textbooks.

Elizabeth Bingham / World Prospect Press

If you're traveling to Europe and need some advice, Elizabeth Bingham can help. Her travel guides are designed to help you learn what you need about language and culture to travel with confidence.

On this Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe talks with Bingham about turning her love of language and travel into a popular series of survival guides and memoirs. Teaching students who were preparing to travel abroad and finding a lack of material appropriate for soon-to-be travelers inspired Bingham to write her own.

U.S. Department of Agriculture

This is not a drill. Our long awaited spring has finally arrived. As we anticipate and enjoy the emergence of green, it's also time for the emergence of insects.

On this Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe is joined by Laura Iles, Director of the Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic at Iowa State University, who acts as our guide to some of Iowa's most recent invasive insects.

G. Morel

Who does the dishes in your household? The answer to that question may reveal quite a lot about your relationships and level of happiness. 

On this Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe chats with Dan Carlson, assistant professor of family and consumer studies at the University of Utah. A report he co-authored for the Council on Contemporary Families was recently featured in The Atlantic

Charity Nebbe / Iowa Public Radio

When poet Stephen Kuusisto was 38 years old, he found himself unemployed, legally blind, and lonely. He made a decision that would radically change his life: he got a seeing eye dog.

On this Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe talks with Kuusisto about how his dog, Corky, opened up the world to him. His latest memoir, Have Dog, Will Travel, details Kuusisto's transformative decision to work with a guide dog after 38 years of downplaying his limited vision. 

Serres Fortier

Purple foliage is striking against a landscape of green, pops against neutral-colored siding, and can add color to a garden year-round. For Cindy Haynes, associate professor of horticulture at Iowa State University, a plum tree planted her passion for the purple pigment, and her garden hasn't been the same since.

"You don't want an all purple foliage garden because then nothing stands out," Haynes says. "I've tried it, I know."

Alessio Maffeis

There comes a time when every new generation has to learn about one of the greatest atrocities in world history: the Holocaust. This year's Holocaust Remembrance Day is on April 12, and how we learn about and remember the Holocaust as survivors pass away is evolving.

On this Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe is joined by Jeremy Best, assistant professor of history at Iowa State University, and Dan Reynolds, Seth Richards professor at Grinnell and author of Postcards from Auschwitz: Holocaust Tourism and the Meaning of Remembrance.

Ryan Clemens / IowaWatch

Have you ever felt like you have an alter ego? A version of yourself that is most authentic, but also most often hidden? On Thursday, March 29, an audience gathered in Iowa City for "Fringe: True Stories from Outsiders," an IowaWatch storytelling event, to explore what it means to share one's authentic self.

For the last 8 years, Kyle Munson has been telling Iowa's stories as the Iowa Columnist for The Des Moines Register. He's uncovered true gems, introduced us to fascinating characters, shown us at our best, and started conversations when we've been at our worst. Now, he's moving on. 

On this Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe talks with Munson as he prepares to leave The Des Moines Register after 24 years. They chat about Munson's career in journalism, including his years spent as a music critic. 

Andy Miccone

As April showers kick off spring weather across the state, flowers are beginning to bloom, and grasses are starting to grow. Iowa State University Extension turfgrass specialist, Adam Thoms, shares some advice for how to establish and maintain healthy lawns.

“Never apply more than ¾ of a pound of nitrogen per 1000 square feet," Thoms says. If you're applying corn gluten meal, make sure not to exceed 20 pounds of meal per 1000 square feet, Thoms adds.

Ziggy Liloia

In just a few weeks, it'll be time to search for the elusive and delectable morel mushroom. Aspiring morel hunters and experienced foragers alike can look to the forests for this fungal delicacy. 

On this Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe talks with Mark Vitosh, Forester for the Department of Natural Resources, about where, when, and how to scout for the hard-to-find morels.

Emily Woodbury

Motivated by the Me Too movement, FilmScene in Iowa City is hosting "Women's March," a month-long series celebrating films directed by women filmmakers. At an Animation Camp on March 15 and 16, young filmmakers - specifically girls and genderqueer youth ages 11 to 13 - learned to make their own animated films. 

On this Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe talks with FilmScene programming director Rebecca Fons about the motivation behind the animation camp as well as participants' experiences.

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