Talk of Iowa

Weekdays at 10 a.m. on IPR News and News/Studio One and 9 p.m. on IPR News

Talk of Iowa brings a mix of regular guests and a range of experts to the microphone to discuss what’s happening in Iowa and what makes this a special place to live. Guests include wildlife expert Jim Pease and the Hort Gang on Fridays.

Talk of Iowa is hosted by @CharityNebbe. It’s produced by Dennis Reese@KatelynHarrop and @RickBrewerIPR. Our Executive Producer is Katherine Perkins. Our theme music is by The River Monks.

Chris Wilkins

Many people are willing to pay a lot of money for thrilling adventures. They ride ziplines and roller coasters, go bungee jumping, paragliding, cliff jumping, and sky diving. For some, thrill-seeking is the ultimate kind of fun. For others, the idea of getting on a plane, let alone jumping out of it, is terrifying. 

Ryan D Riley / Flickr

Water quality is one of the greatest environmental challenges in the state of Iowa. There are many sources of pollution and finding and implementing solutions is complicated. Jim Pease, Emeritus Associate Professor of Natural Resource Ecology and Management at Iowa State University, developed an exercise designed to spark problem-solving creativity when it comes to water quality.

In the past year, seven different Iowan writers with very different backgrounds participated in the second BiCultural Iowa Writers Fellowship, hosted by the Iowa Writers House in Iowa City. "We the Interwoven- Volume 2" is the second collection of original stories that celebrates the diversity of the state from the perspective of immigrant, first generation, and bicultural Iowans.

Valerija B / Pixabay

Hot and cool, wet and dry, Iowa weather can be inconsistent and the changes dramatic, which can negatively impact plants. On this Hort Day edition of Talk of Iowa host Charity Nebbe talks with horticulture experts about how the heat of an Iowa summer affects our plants. And we get some advice on watering strategies to keep your plants happy and healthy. 

Also during the program, Charity and our panel of horticulture experts answer listener questions on all things green and growing.

Guests include:

Spinster Cardigan / Flickr

The Meskwaki people have worked very hard to preserve their history, protect their culture, and reclaim their heritage. The Meskwaki Agriculture and Food Sovereignty Initiative is one of the latest projects designed to reconnect and preserve the Meskwaki historical culture and empower modern Meskwaki people. 

Mathieu Turle / Unsplash

The average American has about 38,000 dollars in personal debt, and that doesn't include mortgages. On this personal finance edition of Talk of Iowa host Charity Nebbe tackles the problems of personal debt with Chris Arnold, NPR Personal Finance Correspondent and a host of NPR's personal finance Life Kit podcasts, and author of A Girls's Guide to Personal Finance, Joey Beech.

Emily & Mason Kessinger / flagofdesmoines.com

You know what the American flag looks like, and the Iowa flag is labeled, so you can’t miss it, but does your city have a flag? Cedar Rapids is going through the process of designing a new city flag and there’s a grassroots movement afoot to bring back the Des Moines Flag. But what makes for a good flag design? In this edition of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with several guests about not only good flag design but also what these flags mean to these cities.

Megan Bannister

While some travel bloggers write about exotic getaways or gourmet food tours, Megan Bannister decided to document Iowa's quirky and often times lesser-known destinations along I-80 and elsewhere. In this interview on Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with Bannister about why she decided to write about these roadside attractions and her list of must-see hidden gems.

Stops Worth Getting off I-80

Des Moines Metro Opera

Julia Child is famed for her ground-breaking cooking show that brought French cuisine to everyday Americans in an accessible and approachable way. Now, Child's legacy is the subject of a short "Opera 'Bon Appetit,'" produced in partnership with  Des Moines Metro Opera and the Iowa Culinary Institute at Des Moines Area Community College.

Penguin Random House

Claire Lombardo did not expect to become a writer while studying at social work school. Now, the Iowa City-based author has released her debut novel "The Most Fun We Ever Had," which follows a large family's complex dynamics and relationships over four decades through a Midwesterner's lens.

In this interview on Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe sits down with Lombardo to talk about how she accidentally became a writer, how her own big family influenced the book, and her plans for the future.

J.Scott Applewhite / AP

We all know that February is Black History Month. The designation of that month, which dates back almost 50 years, created some space for learning about important moments in Black history in almost all public schools and in popular media. Unfortunately the way Black history is taught can be problematic, and focusing on Black Americans in February doesn’t prevent them and other communities of color from being left out of the national historic narrative the rest of the year. 

Kelly Gau

Edit

On this edition of Talk of Iowa host Charity Nebbe talks with art educators who took part in the state's first ever Iowa Arts Education Summit. Nearly 400 arts educators came together in Des Moines in June to share knowledge and to learn about how to implement Iowa's new Fine Arts Standards, which were adopted in 2017. 

Anna / Unsplash

On this Hort Day edition of Talk of Iowa host Charity Nebbe talks with Aaron Steil of Reiman Gardens in Ames about how you can get the most out of your roses and how to pick the right plants for your landscape.

Colin Wright

Traveler, writer and minimalist Colin Wright met with success as a young man. By his early twenties, he was earning six figures. At the age of twenty-four he realized that money and success wasn't adding up to happiness. In 2009, Wright quit his job, sold almost everything he owned, and decided to travel the world with just two carry-on bags. He wrote about his experiences in a blog called "Exile Lifestyle."  

AP

The city of Toronto and the nation of Canada have reason for celebration with the Raptors winning their first NBA championship this year, and so does Iowa. Raptors head coach Nick Nurse is a Carroll native who worked his way to the top of the game, and now he has a ring to show for it.

Lindsey Moon / Iowa Public Radio

Joyology is a student-run club created by a group of Carlisle middle schoolers that focuses on generating positivity. The members try to spread kindness by writing kind messages on sticky notes and posting them on students' lockers, sponsoring kindness challenges to encourage other students to do acts of service and much more. 

Andrew Ridker

"The Altruists," tells the story of Arthur Alter, a father who has alienated his adult children but finds himself needing to reconnect with them, thanks to his foundering career and economic situation. 

New Book Highlights Experience of 25 Women Farmers

Jun 24, 2019
Image courtesy of Barbara Hall

This program originally aired 9/28/17

In 2017, women own more than half of the land in Iowa, and more women are farming that land. The new book Women and the Land, written by Barbara Hall and photographed by Kathryn Gamble, details the historical relationship between the women and the land of Iowa. Hall discusses the inspiration for the book, which serendipitously comes from an Iowa Public Radio broadcast she heard in 2014.

D. Gordon E. Robertson / Wikimedia Commons

Iowa's rivers and streams are swollen with water right now and they're also teeming with insect life. On this Hort Day edition of Talk of Iowa Host Charity Nebbe talks with ISU Entomology Professor Donald Lewis about aquatic insects, including mayflies, dragonflies, and damselflies. He describes their life cycles and the important role they play in Iowa ecosystems. 

Later on in the program, ISU Extension Horticulture Specialist Richard Jauron answers IPR listener questions. 

This program origionally aired on 09-18-2017.

Jon Kerstetter has experienced many "crossings" in his lifefrom a civilian doctor to a medical officer in the Army National Guard, and then, after a career-ending stroke, from a medical provider to a recovering patient.

In this hour of Talk of Iowa, Jon Kerstetter talks with host Charity Nebbe about his life's transformations, detailed in his new book, Crossings: A Doctor-Soldier's Story. 

The Diplomats of Solid Sound

"A Higher Place," the new album from the Iowa City based band The Diplomats of Solid Sound is full of great hooks, danceable grooves, big funk sound and clever lyrics. 

Nicole Zeien-Cox

Navigating life after high school is challenging for many students. But this transitional period can be difficult for young people in the foster care system. The Guardian Scholars Foundation is designed to help students who are aging out of foster care in Iowa and hope to attend college full-time. It offers a scholarship and mentorship program to help them reach their potential. 

Bruce Campbell Shares Stories of His Life as a B Movie Icon

Jun 18, 2019
John Pemble

  This program origionally aired on 09-05-2017.

Bruce Campbell has been producing and starring in films since the 1970s, and through work largely with low-budget horror films, he has carved out a niche for himself as an iconic B movie actor. His most recognized role is that of Ash in the Evil Dead film franchise, which has produced three films, six video games, numerous comic books, and a critically-acclaimed TV show on Starz entitled Ash vs. Evil Dead, which was renewed for a third season in 2016. He mentions how his horror movie The Evil Dead received some added credibility from a fellow horror icon.

andremuc71 / Flickr

There are no national parks in Iowa, and there are only a few across the Midwest. Joe Schomberg, a Fort Dodge native living in Chicago wants to change that.

 

Author Alicia Dill joined the military at the age 17, just weeks before the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York City. Suddenly, her world changed. Dill spent the next six years as a Public Affairs Specialist for the National Guard, through which she was eventually deployed to Kosovo for 14 months.

On this hour of Talk of Iowa, Host Charity Nebbe and Dill discuss "Squared Away," Dill's first novel, which is inspired by her time in the military.

Kevin Krejci / Flickr

Pollinators are responsible for sustaining our ecosystem and producing natural resources by helping plants reproduce.  Approximately 90 percent of wild flowering plants and 75 percent of food crops around the world depend on pollination for successful production. 

UNSPLASH

Barb Stein's Reading List

Picture Books/Board Books

I Ain't Gonna Paint No More by Karen Beaumont

Lion and Mouse by Jairo Buitrago

Camp Tiger by Susan Choi

Gondra's Treasure by Linda Sue Park

Transitional Books

Juana & Lucas Big Problems by Juana Medina

Good Dog, McTavish by Meg Rosoff

Big Foot and Little Foot The Squatchicorns by Ellen Potter

Middle School

Charity Nebbe / Iowa Public Radio

  This program origionally aired on 12-08-2017.

UI Writer's Workshop graduate Reza Aslan has been writing and talking about God for most of his career. His newest book God: A Human History follows his last title Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth.

"If we can learn to stop hoisting our own emotions upon God, I think we can pave the path for a much more peaceful religiosity," he says. 

UNSPLASH

 

Whether you’re looking for scientific exploration, captivating memoir, or an opportunity to get lost in a novel, summer is the perfect time to pick up a new book release.

armchairbuilder.com/resources/how-to-build-your-own-home

Fresh siding can make an old house look new again, but before you visit the hardware store or call a contractor, it's important to find out what siding is a good fit for you and your home.

On this episode of Talk of Iowa host Charity Nebbe sits down with home improvement expert Bill McAnally for a conversation about all things siding. Later on in the program, McAnally answers home improvement questions from IPR listeners. 

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