AMES, Iowa — Valuable advice for Iowa’s gardeners and information about attracting bees will be presented this summer at Iowa State University Demonstration Garden Field Days around the state.
The annual field days will take place at five Iowa State research and demonstration farms and two county fairgrounds in July and August. The public is welcome to attend these free field days, which take place rain or shine.
“The theme for this year is planting the rainbow, with vegetables planted to be donated to nearby food pantries ranging in colors like pink tomatoes, purple snap beans, yellow cauliflower and orange winter squash,” said Cindy Haynes, a horticulture associate professor who coordinates the field days.
Over the past two years, as part of the Growing Together project funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture SNAP-Education program, Iowa Master Gardeners have donated 20,824 pounds of produce to nearby food pantries, more than 62,000 servings of fruits and vegetables.
Haynes said another part of the demonstration gardens are planted in flowers for bees, including Tithonia, part of the sunflower family, and borage. Iowa State entomologists will participate in the field days to share information about planting nectar plants and host plants for bees and other pollinators.
The schedule for the garden field days:
Date, time — Location
July 17, 5:30 p.m. — Lyon County Fairgrounds, Rock Rapids
July 24, 6:30 p.m. — Armstrong Research Farm*, Lewis
July 24, 6:30 p.m. — Muscatine Island Research Farm, Fruitland
July 26, 6:30 p.m. — Horticulture Research Station, Ames
July 28, 4 p.m. — Northeast Research Farm, Nashua
Aug. 7, 5:30 p.m. — Monona County Fairgrounds, Onawa
Aug. 8, 6:30 p.m. — Northern Research Farm, Kanawha
*Indicates livestock farm, see visitor policy below. Directions and contact information for each of the farms can be found at http://farms.ag.iastate.edu/farms. Livestock Farm Visitor Policy Visitors are asked to follow these policies when attending a field day at a farm with livestock, marked with an asterisk. There is a five-day waiting period prior to visiting Iowa State farms with livestock if you have recently traveled outside the United States.
If you have visited another livestock farm, you are asked to change clothing and footwear. Visitors are not allowed to bring food to the research farms. If you have any questions, please call the Research and Demonstration Farms office at 515-294-5045.