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.

From ice skating to ultimate frisbee, the new children's book "Amazing Iowa Athletes" highlights both prominent and little-known Iowa athletes who have accomplished extraordinary feats. 

IPR File

In 1949 when Evelyn Birkby began writing a weekly column for the Shenandoah Evening Sentinel, her publisher told her to include a recipe every week. She did, even though she couldn’t cook. 

The newspaper column “Up a Country Lane” has had a 70-year run. Birkby, now 100, has decided it is time for her to say goodbye to her readers. 

Justin Brice Guariglia gave up photojournalism to pursue environmental activism a few years ago. Today, he is most well known for his large scale photographic, sculptural and installation-based works inspired by the relationship between the earth and humans. He uses art to try and get his point across that humans are having a negative impact on the planet. 

Matthew Alvarez / IPR

In a new collection of essays, “Some Of Us Are Very Hungry Now,” Andre Perry writes about his journey from Washington D.C. to Iowa City to Hong Kong exploring questions about race, racism, homophobia, self-discovery and identity. 

The Power Of Organic Farming In Iowa

Nov 8, 2019
Liz West / Flickr

Organic farming is on the rise in Iowa according to ISU Extension Organic Specialist Kathleen Delate.

"Unique advantages associated with organic practices are pushing the industry forward," she says. 

Delate joins Talk of Iowa host Charity Nebbe to talk about organic farming and how crop diversity can optimize profits during this episode of the show. By cultivating many different types of organic plants, she says farmers avoid the risk of growing just one or two failing crops.

Matt Alvarez / IPR

When cellist Hannah Holman began her YouTube series exploring the lives of female cellists throughout history, she did not anticipate getting many views or subscribers. Austin McConnell, a YouTuber with nearly one million subscribers, recently promoted Holman's channel in one of his videos, helping Holman develop a larger audience. 

Arnab Chakladar / Graywolf Press

"Suicide Woods" is author Benjamin Percy's latest collection of short stories. The book delivers a combination of horror, crime and weird happenings in the woods. This book is a dark, inventive collection full of eerie and provocative tales.

Wellmark

An estimated 400 deaths per year in Iowa are caused by radon-induced lung cancer. That is approximately the number of Iowans who die in traffic accidents each year. All of Iowa's 99 counties have the highest potential for radon levels and is the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers.   

Ed Robertson / Unsplash

 

Since 2003, The Iowa Center for the Book has been picking an All Iowa Reads book. The goal is to foster a sense of unity in our state through reading. Starting in 2018, the All Iowa Reads Committee expanded the program to include three books, one for adults, one for teens and one for children.

Emily Woodbury

This program originally aired on 4-24-18

When Leigh Ann Erickson taught in Chicago and New York, she witnessed the effects of social injustice every day.

But the view from small town Iowa can be very different. That’s why Erickson founded a social justice course, an African American literature course, and the CARE Conference at Mount Vernon High School. Through this curriculum, Erickson hopes to broaden her students' perspectives about income inequality, race, and the criminal justice system. 

Photo Courtesy of Rosenna Bakari

This program originally aired on 4-18-18.

Imagine the scene at drop-off at an elementary school, all those children smiling laughing. Statistics tell us that one in every 10 of those children in the United States will be sexually abused before they turn 18. 

Preparing Plants For Winter

Nov 1, 2019
Stanley Zimney / Flickr

In order to thrive in spring, plants have to successfully transition through the long winter months, so prepping many types of plants and gardens ahead of time is a key step. 

On this edition of 'Horticulture Day,' Assistant Director of Reiman Gardens Aaron Steil and ISU Extension Horticulture Specialist Richard Jauron join Charity Nebbe to lay out the do's and don'ts of getting ready for winter. 

Matthew Alvarez / Iowa Public Radio

Barbara Ehrenreich is best known for exposing what it's like to try to get by when you are earning minimum wage in America in her best selling book "Nickled and Dimed."

In her newest book, she turns her unflinching gaze on health care, the fitness industry, the human drive for immortality,  and she describes how people relentlessly worry about what is, in the end, inevitable.

G. Morel

This program originally aired on 4-16-18

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

James St. John / Flickr

A new podcast, "Mid-Americana: Stories from a Changing Midwest" is harnessing the power of oral storytelling to explore the history and identity of the Midwest. 

Tiffany Adrain / University of Iowa Paleontology Repository

Robert Wolf, a self-taught geologist, has devoted the last 55 years to scouring for fossils across the Midwest. He accumulated 18,000 specimens, which he recently donated to the University of Iowa after years of collecting and cataloging them in a garage. 

Weather's Effect On Struggling Trees

Oct 25, 2019
Abi Skipp / Flickr

Iowa's rapidly changing range of weather conditions can pose a challenge for many types of trees. 

On this weekly 'Horticulture Day' edition of Talk of Iowa, ISU Horticulture Professor Jeff Iles and ISU Horticulture Extension Specialist Richard Jauron describe the toll last winter and spring has had on many trees across the state. 

Since wet conditions promote a variety of tree diseases, Iles recommends planting trees that are known to withstand adverse conditions, such as choosing a bald cyprus tree for a flood plain. 

Kyle Head / Unsplash

Theater has a problem. Only 30% of all plays performed nationwide last year were written by women, and that number is even lower in parts of the Midwest. Iowa State wants to change that.

Ted S. Warren/AP

When the #MeToo movement took off in the United States, it sent ripple effects around the world.

On this episode of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe is joined by two writers from very different parts of the world for a look at how violence against women and other vulnerable individuals manifests across the globe, and how it is countered and called out by women who write.

Megan Bannister

With fall colors at their peak in Iowa, and Halloween around the corner, it's a great time for some spooky adventures and fall foliage visits.  

In this edition of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe explores both beautiful and spooky fall excursions with travel writer Megan Banister as she shares her favorite must-see fall destinations. But first, a look at the newly reopeneed Cedar Bridge – one of the six famous covered bridges in Madison County. 

Spooky Iowa Destinations

Jennifer Drinkwater

 

It’s easy to focus on all the things that are wrong in the world today, but Jennifer Drinkwater has a way to recognize the good that is hiding in plain sight. The What’s Good Project is a collaborative archive of the good in communities which feature paintings inspired by interviews, stories, photos, and drawings. 

In this segment of Talk of Iowa, Jennifer Drinkwater joins host Charity Nebbe to discuss how art has a positive impact and how this project can help shape a community. 

 

“Focusing on strengthening those assets helps create a 'spiraling up effect' in communities," Drinkwater says. "It can help strengthen the challenging areas, and I thought why not use this as a way to start an art project."

Drinkwater's work has focused on her native state of Mississippi, and her adopted state of Iowa, but she hopes to connect with people around the world. She says The What's Good Project is, as of now, a continuation of her life's work. 

 

Martin Voelker

Climate Change is one of the most pressing issues facing humanity today. Understanding and responding to climate change has also become one of the most divisive issues in our culture.

It has become a political lightning rod and the schism between the scientific community and those who believe in the work of scientists and those who do not is deep. But one climate scientist, and devout Christian, says it doesn’t have to be this way.

Charity Nebbe / Iowa Public Radio

Thirteen years after the release of his internationally bestselling novel, The Book Thief, author Marcus Zusak has emerged with a novel he describes as his most personal yet. 

Bridge of Clay tells the story of five brothers living alone together after their mother's death and their father's abandonment. The fourth brother dreams of achieving greatness through building a bridge. As the nonlinear plot jumps through time, the many pieces of the boys' lives are revealed. 

Understanding Iowa Spiders

Oct 18, 2019
Roman Vanur / Flickr

By mid fall, spiders gain their most visible presence as they reach full maturity, build larger webs, and prepare to lay their egg sacs for the spring. 

ISU Professor of Entomology Donald Lewis joins Talk of Iowa host Charity Nebbe for this weekly edition of 'Horticulture Day.' He shares facts, debunks myths, and offers words of appreciation about spiders.

Olia Gozha / Unsplash

On this edition of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe sits down with Bill McAnally to talk about the best strategies for preparing your home for the winter season. McAnally also answers listener questions about various other home improvement projects, including insulation, molding concrete and the best methods for caulking sidewalks. 

Guest:

Bill McAnally, Home Improvement Specialist

Petr Kosina / Creative Commons

Four hundred years ago, in 1619, the first enslaved African people came to what would become the United States. As we mark that anniversary, there are many projects underway to bring a fuller understanding of the devastation caused by the institution of slavery and how this institution continues to shape the United States today. 

Charity Nebbe / IPR

 

Indigenous People's Day was first celebrated in 1989 in South Dakota, and it has gradually caught on around the country as an alternative to celebrating Columbus Day.

Several cities and towns across Iowa declared the second Monday of October to be Indigenous People's Day in 2017. Governor Kim Reynolds made a statewide declaration in October 2018, and this year many other communities in Iowa have joined the movement. 

John Pemble / IPR

 

Bonded by their love for literature, both Wini and Sharelle Byars Moranville are related by marriage and they have two separate books being released during the month of October. 

On this edition of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with Wini Moranville and Sharelle Byars Moranville about their book and the stories of how these books came to be.

Loucious Thomas / Flickr

Throughout the last five years of his career as a running back in the NFL, Marshawn Lynch, or "Beast Mode," disengaged with the press and embraced silence as a form of protest. He became known for sitting during the national anthem and pushing back against questions from the news media.

A new documentary, "Lynch: A History," gives insight into what the all-American, all-pro, Super Bowl champion was communicating through silence. 

Prepping Gardens For The First Freeze

Oct 11, 2019
Pat Kight / Flickr

The first freeze of the season is expected to occur in Iowa this weekend, ushering gardens across the state into a new phase. 

Ajay Nair, ISU associate professor and extension vegetable specialist, and Richard Jauron, ISU horticulture specialist, join Talk of Iowa  to discuss the best practices for preparing gardens through the upcoming dip in temperature. 

Pages