Talk of Iowa

University of Wyoming Extension

Is your once uniform and lush lawn now looking rusty or being invaded by crabgrass? A wet June into a dry July may have you wondering how to make your lawn green again.

On this horticulture day edition of Talk of Iowa, host Jason Burns tackles lawn care with Nick Christians, turf grass expert and Professor of Horticulture at Iowa State University.

"Crabgrass is definitely the big issue this summer," Christians says. "It loves wet weather so the conditions have been perfect this year."

Hiroki H.

Pink tomatoes, purple snap beans, yellow cauliflower, orange winter squash. On this horticulture day edition of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with horticulturalists Cindy Haynes and Richard Jauron about planting and harvesting a colorful vegetable garden. They also share information about the upcoming ISU Horticulture Field Days being held at demonstration gardens across the state.

Courtesy of Brad Anderson

As the founder of Above + Beyond Cancer, oncologist Dr. Richard Deming is used to treating patients, and going further to inspiring and encouraging cancer survivors as they challenge themselves physically as cyclists or mountain climbers.

But right now, Deming is finding himself on the other side of the treatment process, as he recovers from a serious bicycle accident that left him with a fractured collar bone, fractured shoulder blade, multiple fractured ribs, a punctured lung, and a lung contusion.

Kari Bruck Photography / Courtesy of Emilie Matthias

Five year old Garrett Matthias died on July 6 of a rare form of cancer that affected his cranial nerve and inner year.

He was an exuberant and creative five year old, who loved super heroes, and his parents have chosen to share his personality, his words, and his ideas through a unique obituary and a joyful celebration of life that they hosted at their home in Van Meter this past weekend.

Creative Commons: Pixnio

 

Malinda McCollum and Anthony Varallo are both graduates of the Iowa Writers Workshop, enthusiasts of the short story form, and authors of their own, new story collections. They’re also married to each other.

In this episode of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks to McCollum and Varallo about what draws them to short stories, both as writers and readers, and how the pair successfully manage writing projects, full teaching loads at the College of Charleston, and parenting

Charity Nebbe

 

 

What happens after we die? It’s a question that we can’t answer. But more and more people are reporting what happened to them during a "near-death experience." And if you listen closely to their stories, some fascinating clues to the question emerge.

Tana Tesdall

As Alejandro Larios Mora struggled through elementary school in Anaheim, California, he didn't know he would one day travel to Iowa to become a veterinarian.

He also didn’t know that he had not been born in the United States.

“I thought I was like anybody else,” he says. “I didn’t think I would have any problems with my future.”

After he was born in Mexico, Larios Mora’s parents moved him to Hawaii, making him a DREAMer.

Emily Woodbury

Heading into her junior year at Washington High School in Cedar Rapids, Diamond Roundtree is an accomplished poet. She just recently published a collection of her poetry titled, Words from My Heart.

The collection includes a poem about how being bullied made her who she is today, another that explores her African American heritage, and many words designed to encourage, empower and inspire her readers.

Anjali Pinto

Anjali Pinto became a widow on New Year’s Eve of 2016 when her young, strong, 30-year-old husband, Jacob Johnson, died suddenly of an aortic dissection.

They had been planning to ride RAGBRAI together as a way to honor Jacob’s late grandmother, but instead, Pinto ended up riding across the state with Jacob’s family to honor both Jacob and his grandmother.

How to Keep Your Garden Rose-y This Summer

Jul 16, 2018
Kikuo Teranishi / Wikimedia Commons

Roses have found their way into our hearts and into our gardens. Whatever beautiful species of rose brings color to your garden, Aaron Steil, assistant director of Reiman Gardens, and Richard Jauron of ISU Extension discuss how to get the most out of your roses.

“This year is going to be a little rough for disease issues with roses,” said Steil. “It has been warm. It has been wet, which is the perfect situation for two major diseases that hit roses: black spot and powdery mildew.”

When to Trim Back Tree Branches

Jul 13, 2018
Wikimedia Commons

 

Two people lost their lives on July 3rd when a large Oak tree branch fell on them as they were watching fireworks in Rock Island, Illinois. While there’s likely no way to know if the accident was preventable, it’s a tragic reminder that we should all be aware of the health of the trees in our landscape. 

On this horticulture day edition of Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe talks with Jeff Iles, professor and chair of Iowa State University's Department of Horticulture, about trees.

 

NPS Photo

 

25 years ago, author Elizabeth Leiknes moved away from her family in Truesdale, Iowa, though she looks upon her home state with great fondness. Her latest book, The Lost Queen of Crocker County, is an ode to the Midwestern identity.

It’s a story inspired by Leiknes' drive home from work one day. While driving, she felt a thump under her car.

“Is it a kitten? Is it a dog? What had happened?” Leiknes remembers asking herself. She went back and found nothing, but it got her thinking.

Pixabay

Iowa State University psychologist Doug Gentile says that research shows parents do not use, appreciate, or agree on the age-based rating systems used for movies, television, and video games in the U.S.. 

"Only six percent of parents say that the movie ratings are always accurate, only five percent of parents say the television ratings are always accurate, and only six percent say the video game ratings are always accurate," says Gentile. "Even if they're using the ratings, often their children see things they didn't expect them to be able to see."

Scribner publishing

 

In this episode of Talk of Iowa, Iowa Writer’s Workshop graduate Tom Macher talks with host Charity Nebbe about his debut memoir Halfway. He reflects on his childhood, growing up in a commune and a boys home, and the path that led him towards alcoholism.

“I felt like [alcohol] was the thing that I had been missing my whole life,” Tom says. “It wasn’t that I was missing a relationship with my father, or whatever other hole we feel inside ourselves.”

Iowa Women's Archives

Iowa has the longest running state high school girl's basketball tournament in the country, but for most of that history girls did not play the game we know today. 

According to research by Karen Mason of the Iowa Women's Archives, girls in Iowa have been playing 6-on-6 basketball since the early 1900's. During this hour of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with Mason and University of Iowa American Studies lecturer Jennifer Sterling about the game and a new exhibit that is touring the state this summer. 

Politics and Prose

Humans are naturally social animals, but convention and routine have made many of our gatherings stale and meaningless, at least according to author Priya Parker. 

During this hour of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with Parker, founder of Thrive Labs, about her new book The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why it Matters. Parker shares tips for how to use your next gathering to cultivate community and bring people together in meaningful ways.

Rolf Dietrich Brecher / Wikimedia Commons

 

The recent wet weather has been too much for some gardens, and it has made some Iowa insects happy and healthy. Entomologist Donald Lewis and horticulturist Richard Jauron talked with Charity Nebbe about earwigs, springtails and other insects that are thriving in the damp conditions.

Lewis says that earwigs enjoy the place between the mulch and soil, where conditions are warm and humid.

 

Photo Courtesty of Matthew Christopher

During this Talk of Iowa segment, host Charity Nebbe catches up with designer Matthew Christopher. Before Christopher became a couture dresser for celebrities and brides across the world, he made prom gowns for his dates in his hometown of Wellman. He learned to sew in 4-H as a kid.

“I was enthralled with Brides magazine at the age of 10,” Christopher says.

 

Photo Courtesy of Andre Wright

Andre Wright, CEO of the fashion label Born Leaders United, saw a post by his friend Jason Sole on Facebook months ago. Sole wrote that as as a culture, we need to stop stereotyping people based on how they dress. In that post, he pointed specifically to the hooded sweatshirt.

Wright picked up the phone and called Sole, and the Humanize My Hoodie campaign was born. 

Jace Anderson/FEMA

 

No matter how intrigued you may be about the impact of a flood, it’s best to avoid exploring the waters until some time has passed.

“I see people wading in that water and I think, ‘would you go wading in sewage water?’ Because that’s exactly what it is,” says home improvement expert Bill McAnally. “Whatever is in your yard, it comes around the gutter and down the storm sewer... I see everything possible come floating into that river.”

 

LWYang, Creative Commons / Flickr

When a well known writer, actor, filmmaker or musician gets accused of inappriopriate or even criminal behavior, especially in cases of sexual misconduct, what happens to their body of work? Has the art created lost its value? Should we stop teaching texts or bodies of work because of an uncovered wrong? 

These are some of the questions being asked in the wake of #MeToo. Alfred Martin, professor of communication studies at University of Iowa says we’re asking these questions because we want to feel like something is being done in response.

exezippdf/Flickr

Suffering is part of the human condition, but hardship isn’t distributed equally. For centuries humans have tried to make sense of suffering, personal suffering, and the pain of others.

In his latest book, Seven Ways of Looking at Pointless Suffering, philosophy professor Scott Samuelson brings together the ideas of some of the world’s greatest philosophers, as well as his own thoughts and lessons he has learned from his students at Kirkwood Community College in Iowa City.

Claudia McGehee Illustration

Discussions about endangered species in Iowa often focus on the bigger, showier species that make headlines, like the bald eagle; but there are many species at risk that fly under the radar.

For instance, the Topeka Shiner, a small minnow that lives in Midwestern streams.

On this edition of Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe talks with ecologists and biologists who are looking out for Iowa’s smallest, most threatened species, including the Topeka Shiner, the Rusty Patched Bumblebee, the Wood Turtle, and many more.

Eric McCollum

Scott Cawelti has been writing a column in the Waterloo-Cedar Falls area for more than 40 years. But, in a recent column he announced his decision to put down the editorial pen.

Cawelti started his editorializing with an admiration of longtime Des Moines Register columnist Donald Kaul, and delivered three pieces to what was then the Cedar Falls Record. "And by golly, people liked them. I mean, sort of, enough to keep me going a while," says Cawelti.

McFarland's Mill

On this horticulture day edition of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks to Richard Jauron, Iowa State University Extension Horticulture Specialist, and Linda Naeve, Iowa State University Extension Specialist in Value Added Agriculture, about how you can use mulch in your garden this summer. 

"Mulch has a lot of good characteristics to it and good advantages in a garden," Naeve says. "Most of us think, oh I want to mulch to keep the weeds down... but it also helps conserve soil moisture."

Emily Woodbury / IPR

It's a very simple idea. A boy, a dog and a short story.

Migrate this simple idea to Twitter, and it becomes a phenomenon. As of this writing, @IvePetThatDog has more than 90-thousand followers. Gideon Kidd is the star of "I've Pet That Dog." He's a normal nine-year-old boy from Cedar Falls, who is anything but typical.

Constancia Huff Roling

An extended voyage down the Mississippi River in a kayak hasn't always been high on Barb Geiger's list of things she wanted to do. But one Sunday morning in 2013, after weeks of preparation, Barb and her husband set off in a self-built kayak for an epic five month journey of paddling and service work. 

Concrete hearts, angels, and puppies… the sculptures of Isabel Bloom have been beloved since the 1950s. During this hour of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with Donna Young about the life of the remarkable Iowa artist behind the whimsical sculptures. 

Young says Bloom's work was unique for her time, not only because she was a woman who owned her own business, but because of the medium she worked with. 

"At the time, cement was used for construction, not art," says Young. 

FIRMM

Right now, chances are pretty good that you're surrounded by plastic. A plastic keyboard, plastic water bottle, the plastic fixtures in your car, perhaps even a plastic case on your phone. There's no denying that plastics are an integral part of our society, but they're also a huge factor in a major environmental disaster that's becoming increasingly apparent in our oceans and waterways. 

Yancas / Flickr

Along with the rich greens and beautiful blossoms of early summer come bugs— gnats, mosquitoes, ticks, and many others. During this hour of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe chats with Iowa State University entomologist Donald Lewis about biting insects. 

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