Inspire(d) Summer 2014

Page 1













NO. 38 • Summer 2014



Pilot Odyssey CR-V


Fit Civic


Crosstour Insight CR-Z

Fuel Efficient. Environmentally Sensible. You’ll Love More Miles Per Dollar! Check us out! Phone: 877-751-0179

Downtown La Crosse, WI at 4th and Cameron Streets

SUMMER 2014 contents








Driftless Edge hops farm


what we’re loving right now


what’s a food hub?


local food directory


paper project: stars!


growing the market: farm-to-photo


boat house in winona


Science, you’re super: fireflies


five places to check out this summer


MISSISSIPPI MIRTH: dining with the stars


probit: John F. Hassebroek


...and more! ON THE COVER: We say, do put all your eggs in a pretty basket! Jessica Rilling took this shot at Kenneth and Donna Harms’ farm in Northeast Iowa. See more of Jessica’s beautiful photos and the 10 amazing farmers profiled in the Northeast Iowa RC&D project on page 38) \ Summer 2014


Be at the

Center of it all

Center Stage Series 2014-15 • The Intergalactic Nemesis

• Sybarite5

• Rhythmic Circus: Feet Don’t Fail Me Now!

• A Midsummer Night’s Dream

A live-action graphic novel

Tap shoes, insatiable energy, and a funky brass band

• San Jose Taiko

High-energy Japanese drumming

• In the Heat of the Night

A gripping crime thriller set against the backdrop of the Civil Rights Movement

• Anonymous4

Stunning female acapella quartet

Classically trained strings, edgy repertoire A traditional story ballet

• Hot Sardines

Adorably fun ’20’s flapper jazz

• 20 Years of Freedom: Hugh Masakela and Vusi Mahlasela South Africa’s musical icons honor 20 years since the end of apartheid

• All Recipes Are Home

A commissioned theatre piece honoring land and food in Iowa

Become a subscriber to save 10-20% on every ticket! Pick up a brochure, visit, or contact us at (563) 387-1357 or Subscriber discounts expire on August 29. 2014–15 Center Stage Sponsors Luther College Diversity Council The Decorah Newspapers


Media Supporters

Decorah Newspapers

From the Editor


ummer is a time for less words, more living…taking in the big picture and taking off on big adventures. Pursuing your passion. Yes! (fist pump) It’s summertime! < We’re excited about that. We are, literally, looking at the big picture – or pictures, if you will – in this issue. These pages are seriously packed with great photography talents from around the region. Jessica Rilling (Decorah-native/Cedar Rapids dweller) takes the lead with an amazing photo essay highlighting her work done with Northeast Iowa RC&D on a recent farmers market/farmer profile project (pg. 38). The photos – and the farmers in them – are stunning. Also stunning are fireflies – they are one of the most magical parts of summer evenings, and our Science, You’re Super subject this summer. We were lucky enough to be directed to Fairfield, Iowa photographer Radim Schreiber (fireflyexperience. org). Photographing fireflies is one of Radim’s passions, and, as a result, he has some crazy-wonderful shots. Check out the one we chose (it was a hard choice!) and read more about our favorite little beetles on page 52. I’ve mentioned passion a few times already – I’ll always remember this Oprah episode where she said, “You have to find your passion!” In her “Oprah way” of course. And I was all, “What’s my passion? How do I find it.” Thankfully, I’m pretty sure I have (it’s you guys, this magazine, this place, and my special, special family) and I’m so lucky I get to call it my work. Decorah author Jerry Johnson also has pursued a life of his passion: writing. Talented Decorah photographer Aaron Lurth wonderfully captures what we imagine a “day in the life of Jerry” would be. Jerry’s recently published a new book “Scrawny Dog, Hungry Cat, and Fat Rat: A Tragedy for Children” (March, 2014) and shares some ideas on how you, too, can get published and “be a writer”. It’s a passion I know many of you have…we say: DO IT! Area farmers Jono Ruf, Jason Skarin, and Brita Nelson said the same thing to each other when they hatched an idea for a hops farm in this region. Thus, Driftless Edge Farm was born. It’s a pretty cool crop and they’re some pretty cool entrepreneurs. Read more about them – and check out photographer Jeanine Scheffert’s talents – on page 21. And, finally, our friend Emily Kurash “took one for the team” and researched and shot photos for us for our Boat House Winona Chef on the Block (pg. 51). It’s such a unique spot and certainly should make your to-do list for summer fun. Inspire(d)’s Sara Friedl-Putnam said her research was terribly difficult as well (ha!). She put together a great little guide on some tasty ice cream shops in the Driftless Region (pg. 10) – better keep that to-do list out! While you’re at it, add the Five Places You Never Knew You Should Visit to it. We think you should make time this summer for the Porter House Museum, NICC Dairy Facility, Villa Louis in Prairie du Chien, Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park, and Iowa whitewater parks/play areas (pg. 56)! As you flip the pages of this Inspire(d) you’ll also notice an obvious food theme – we always want to keep you informed about local foods in the summer issue. Bookmark the Local Food and Farmers Market Directory (pg. 33), learn more about food hubs (pg. 29), and cook up some tasty food with Jim McCaffrey’s Mississippi Mirth – he invites you to “Dine with the Stars” (pg. 60).

Inspire magazine

Who are we? Co-founders: Aryn Henning Nichols / editor & designer Benji Nichols / writer & advertising sales (& husband, support team, dinner-maker)

We couldn’t do it without: Kristine Kopperud Jepsen/ contributor Sara Friedl-Putnam/ contributor Jim McCaffrey/ Mississippi Mirth PHOTGRAPHERS: Jessica Rilling, Aaron Lurth, Radim Schreiber, Emily Kurash, Jeanine Scheffert

Inspire(d) Magazine is published quarterly by Inspire(d) Media, LLC, 412 Oak Street, Decorah, Iowa, 52101. This issue is dated Summer 2014, issue 38, volume 6, Copyright 2014 by Inspire(d) Magazine.

support inspire(d) Although Inspire(d) is free on the newsstands, you can have it sent to your door for only $25/year. Email for a subscription/membership or visit for more info.

Write inspire(d) Want to make a comment about something you read in the magazine? Email Interested in advertising? Contact Benji at or call 563-379-6315.

Live it up, friends. Life is short, and so is summer. Enjoy! Visit our website: Looking forward, “Like” Inspire(d) Media on Facebook! Aryn Henning Nichols


Looking for more details about events on the calendars?


Fun for everyone!

inspire & create 508 W. Water St. Decorah, 563.382.5440

Shopping so good, we have to block off the street

Ridiculous Day!


DACC: 90 years old & still bringing the fun. More fun at

contemporary women’s clothing unusual gifts RAYGUN TEES RIEN DE NOUVEAU CONSIGNMENT FANCY PANTS

Check out these fun summer activities! In chronological order, each event’s number coincides with its number on the calendar! 1. June 1-30: All Iowa Shop Hop! $11K in quilting prizes, exclusive fabrics, free Kona squares – 94 shops across Iowa including Decorah’s Red-Roxy Quilt Co. 563-382-4646. 2. June 6: ArtHaus First Friday: Live Music with Paul Doffing in the ArtHaus Studio Courtyard, 8pm. $8/$6 for students. BYOB ok! Sponsored by Decorah Bicycles 3. June 7: Northeast Iowa Montessori Presents: Driftless Discovery Trail Run, 1:00 PM, Van Pennan Park, Little Drifters 1 mile, 5k, 10k. REGISTER TODAY! 4. June 8: Winneshiek Wildberry Winery serves Brunch the 2nd Sunday of every month. Join us this Summer for music evenings! See our website for details! 5. June 12-August 21: Decorah Lawn Chair Night! Every Thursday in front of the courthouse June 12 through August 21, weather-permitting. Free! (No events July 3, 10, or 24)

25W/ $25B

6. June 12: Dragonfly Books: Duluth awardwinning author Wendy Webb (THE VANISHING), 7pm. Gothic suspense, lurking phantoms, and longburied mysteries. Presentation followed by book signing. FREE! www. 7. June 13: Unified Jazz Ensemble returns to Decorah in its original lineup! Enjoy a beautiful night of jazz under the stars. Courtyard & Cellar, 421 W. Water, Decorah. 8. June 15: Art in the Park Father’s Day Festival, Sylvan Park, Lanesboro! 100 artists, live music w/ Patty & the Buttons, kids & family art activities, petting zoo. More at 9. June 18: Sister Parish presents Musica Dulce - Rotate between 3 mini concerts in 3 beautiful gardens, 6:15pm. Call 1st UMC Decorah 563-382-3835 for details/tickets

-from silly to frilly-

10. June 21: A sweet fieldwork day! Join the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation to restore prairie, then let’s celebrate over ice cream! 9a.m.12p.m. or contact Mary: 515-2881846

411 W Water, Decorah

11. June 21: Marti & Co. 2nd Anniversary Sale. 10-3. Come enjoy personal wedding veil & accessory design services, prizes & refreshments. 930 Division St, Cresco 12. June 21: ArtHaus presents The Galactic Cowboy Orchestra, ArtHaus Studio Courtyard (rain location: The Elks), Saturday June 21 @ 8pm. $8/$6. BYOB ok! Sponsored by A&J Petersburg


licensed massage therapist + zone therapist & yoga instructor


Stop by & meet me! Chair massage Tuesdays, 12:30-2:30 at Oneota Co-op in Decorah

Summer 2014 /

13. June 22: Music to your ears: Lutheran Summer Music will present 50+ free concerts and recitals on the Luther College campus this summer. Complete calendar at 14. June 27-29: New Minowa Players presents “Seussical, the Musical” June 27 and 28 at 7:30 and June 29 at 2:00 at the Decorah High School auditorium. (Continued on page 9)

fun stuff to do










John Hiatt & Robert Cray, Music In the MN Zoo, Minneapolis


June 22: T-Bock’s Open Stage Night, Decorah, 7 pm







27 15 28 Mayfly Dance feat. Porter House Switchback, Museum, “Art, McGregor, 8pm Antiques, Adventure” fundraiser June 27 – 29: New Minowa Auction 14 Players present “Seussical, the Musical”, Decorah HS JUNE 28: Kickapoo Valley 101, Kickapoo Valley Reserve, Viroqua Dog House John & The Misbehavers, Dolce Vita, 7pm


JUNE 21: Greg Brown, Seed Savers Breakfast on the Farm, NICC Dairy Center, 8:30-12 Don Scott & Curtis Blake, Dolce Vita, 7pm


Marti & Co. 2nd 11 Anniversary Sale. 10-3, Cresco Galactic Cowboy 12 Orchestra, ArtHaus Courtyard, 8pm

INHF 21 10 Prairie Work Day! 9-12


13 14 7 Bob Dorr & Unified Jazz Jeff Peterson, Ensemble, Dolce Vita, 7pm Courtyard & From the Cellar, 8pm Churn, Historic June 12: Dar Forestville, 5 Decorah Lawn Chair Night, Williams, 10:30am most Thursdays starting June 12 Englert, 8pm


10 11 6 June 11: MarchFourth Wendy Webb, Marching Band, Brass author reading, Messengers, Cedar Dragonfly Books, Cultural Center, MSP 7pm

16 June 25- August 3: Great River Shakespeare Festival, Winona

June 10 - July 26.: Vesterheim Museum National Exhibition of Folk Art in the Norwegian Tradition –Rosemaling, weaving, woodworking, and knifemaking by contemporary artists

13 June 22 – July 20: Lutheran Summer Music Presents 50+ concerts

5 Seasons Orchestra, Tirrill Park, Manchester, IA, 5pm


2 Driftless The Pines, Rochester Paul Doffing, Discovery Trail Run, 1pm Thursdays on ArtHaus Studio June 6: First & 3rd Courtyard, 8pm Lanesboro Rhubarb Fest Charles City Mike Munson, Whitewater Courtyard & Challenge Cellar, 9pm Country Cousins Dolce Vita, 7pm Weekend FREE!


June 9 – August 4: Decorah Public Library, “What’s Your Spark” youth activity & reading series.

17 19 18 15 16 8 9 Aaron Neville, Art in Englert, Iowa Musica Dulce David the Park, City, 8pm Garden concerts, Lindley, Sylvan Park, JUNE 13: Decorah, 6:15pm CSPS, Cedar Lanesboro, Over the Back Fence radio show, Rapids, 7pm 10am-5pm St. Mane, Lanesboro, 7:30pm Family Campfire Program, Kickapoo Happy Father’s Day! Valley Reserve, Viroqua

Fly a Kite at Villa Louis, Prairie du Chien, WI, 10-4

8 9 4 Clap Your Winneshiek Hands Say Wildberry Yeah, the Mill, Winery Iowa City Brunch, 10am-1pm


Birds of Chicago, CSPS, Cedar Rapids

June 1-30.: All Iowa Shop Hop! Almost 100 quilting shops across Iowa including Decorah’s Red-Roxy Quilt Co.





T-Bock’s Open Stage Night, Decorah, 7 pm








JULY 25: Hero Jr., Haymarket, Decorah Absolute Hoot, Courtyard & Cellar, Decorah Villa Louis Behind the Scenes tour, 10am & 2pm, Prairie du Chien



18 Heather Gudenkauf, Author reading, Dragonfly Books, 7pm


Scottie Miller & Zoot, Dolce Vita, 7pm

22 19 Ridiculous Days! Downtown Decorah, 7am-5pm

11 20 12 Kristen Ford, Driftless Courtyard & Drift, Cellar, Decorah, Bluffton, IA 8pm Over the Back Fence radio show, The Mississippi St. Mane Theatre, Band, Dolce Vita, 7pm Lanesboro 10


Shadrick 5 & Debbie Smith, Dolce Vita, 7pm Historic Lanesboro Forestville Independence Live, St. Mane Theatre, Day Celebra7:30pm tion! 12-4pm

of July!

4 Happy 4th


26 25 24 23 The Charles 24 Movement Walker Band, July 24-26 Nordic Fest, Decorah Fundamentals Haymarket July 25-26: 2014 ArtHaus May the Orquesta Coalescence, Summer Art Alto Maiz, 7:30pm, CFA, Fair 10ambe with You Tirrill Park, Luther College 6pm Manchester,IA, July 24: The Delta Routine, Haymarket 6pm 21

16 Seun Kuti & Egypt 80, Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis


ArtHaus First Thursday: Annual Homebrew Contest, Studio Courtyard. 7-9pm $8



July 18-20: Seed Savers Annual Conference and Campout, Decorah


July 18-20 & 25-27: Fiddler on the Roof, St. Mane Theatre, Lanesboro



2 July 3: Bela Fleck with Brooklyn Rider Q4, Music in the MN Zoo, Minneapolis


Drifltess Safari –explore the sites and history of Winneshiek County this summer!

July 8-12: Winneshiek County Fair, Decorah

7 19 8 Gillian June Melby, Welch, Music in the Author reading, MN Zoo, Dragonfly Books, Minneapolis Decorah 7pm

Chicha Libre, CSPS, Cedar Rapids, 7pm

17 1 Registration opens for Oct 4 Kickapoo Reserve Dam Challenge race


JULY 19: Iron Pour & Community workshops, Gateway Park, Lanesboro All About Dragonflies, Kickapoo Valley Reserve, Viroqua


Cory Farley, Haymarket, Decorah


July 4-6: Red, White, & Blues Celebration! Charles City




fun stuff to do

Tuesday Wednesday

Dave Mason, Englert, Iowa City




Full Moon Rising (viewing), Kickapoo Valley Reserve, Viroqua



Bruce Cockburn w/ Jenny Scheinman, Cedar Cultural Center, MSP



T-Bock’s Open Stage Night, 7 pm

Aug 7-10: Lansing Fish Days!







Over the Back Fence, St. Mane Theatre, Lanesboro, 7:30pm





The Ross Villa Louis William Perry Behind the Band, Dolce Scenes tour, Vita, 7pm 10am & UP, Movies 2pm, Prairie on the Plaza, du Chien Downtown Rochester, 9pm



Seed Savers Exchange Community Field Day & Pancake Breakfast!


26 Lillesøster Butikken 2nd Anniversary Celebration & Sale, Decorah

AUGUST 30: 28 Heritage Tomato Tasting, Seed Saver’s Exchange, Decorah Johanna Berge, Jewelry show opening, Lanesboro Arts Center, 6pm – 8pm Beet Root Stew, Dolce Vita, 7pm



Aug 15-16: River Roots Live – Robert Randolph & The Family Band, Cracker, Davenport, IA

AUG 16: Henhouse Prowlers, Tirrill Park, Manchester, IA, 6pm Maritza, Dolce Vita, 7pm


COMING UP: Sept 6: Done Doin’ Laundry, Dolce Vita, 7pm Sept 25-28: Boats & Bluegrass Festival, Winona








AUGUST 9: Cars & Coffee Car Show, Peace Plaza, Rochester, 9-12 Patrick Hazell, McCaffrey’s Dolce Vita, Decorah, 7pm



AUG 2: Kids in a Victorian Kitchen, Villa Louis, Prairie du Chien, Gibbon Sisters, Dolce Vita, 7pm Lanesboro Live, St. Mane Theatre


The Art of Home Brew, Bluff Country Artist Gallery, Spring Grove, 4:30-7pm

AUG 22, 2014 - APRIL 19, 2015: Vesterheim Museum - Scandinavian Modern Design: Norwegian Enamel. Design from the mid-20th century


Los Lonely Boys, Down the The Riverside Festival, Rochester, MN


Lyle Lovett & His Large Band, Music in the MN Zoo, Minneapolis


“X-ray vision, Fish Inside and Out”, images from the Smithsonian, closes August 10, MN Marine Art Museum, Winona




fun stuff to do

25W/ $25B












Inspire(d) World’s Greatest Party


Date (not included in word count): Worlds Greatest Party! 7-10 pm. Inspire(d) invites you to the greatest party ever! We’ll have amazing amounts of fun! See you there!



Questions? Email

Visit for details.

See - we told you about our amazing fictional party in less than 25 words! On the visual calendar (like the one at left), your event will be listed along with a number that corresponds. People can just scan on over to the following pages to get the details!


Simple! We get an email with all your details exactly as you’d like to see them in the listing, and then we add it to the calendar!

It works like this: 1. Go to and click on the 25W/$25B link 2. Enter your information in our online form 3. Click through to PayPal to complete the transaction

Thus we’ve implemented a simple, expandable list of events for the pages following our regular calendars. Those who are planning “fun stuff to do” get a guaranteed spot on the calendar and in that event listing by purchasing “25 Words/$25 Bucks.”

We know it’s a tough racket to put on live music, activities, and special events, so we want to give you a chance to get the word out without breaking the bank.

Calendar time is always an exciting time at Inspire(d) Headquarters. “Just how much can we fit on this month?!?” In recent years, what we had chosen for these lovely pages had been entirely editorial and subjective. We figured, hey, you like our magazine, so you’ll probably like the “fun stuff to do” that we pick out from around our region. But space is tight and want you, our lovely readers, friends, and fellow event planners, to be able to tell us a little more about your fun.

25 Words/$25 Bucks


Looking for more details about events on the calendars?

Perfect for weddings, showers, birthdays, graduations... or just for you!

Check out these fun summer activities! In chronological order, each event’s number coincides with its number on the calendar!


15. June 28: The Porter House Museum presents “Art, Antiques, and Adventure” a unique auction fundraiser, 4-6pm. www. 16. June 25- August 3: Great River Shakespeare Festival 11th Season features “Hamlet,” “The Merry Wives of Windsor,” and “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead” plus special events! Tickets and info at 17. July 1: Registration opens for Kickapoo Reserve Dam Challenge October 4, 2014. 7-mile Paddle, 14-mile Pedal, and 3-mile Run Compete among the rugged hills of scenic southwestern Wisconsin.

25W/ $25B

18. July 3: ArtHaus First Thursday: Annual Homebrew Contest and Live Music with Tom Bourcier in the ArtHaus Studio Courtyard. 7-9pm. $8. Sponsored by From Grain to Glass 19. July 8: Dragonfly Books: Author/performer June Melby (MY FAMILY AND OTHER HAZARDS) 7pm. Local girl makes good, plays miniature golf, tells jokes, writes a book. Free! events. 20. July 12: Driftless Drift at Randy’s Bluffton Store, Bluffton, IA (FREE). Come Celebrate the Driftless Region! Hiking, Biking, Live Music, Educational Speakers, and more! 21. July 18: Dragonfly Books: Best-selling author Heather Gudenkauf (LITTLE MERCIES), 7pm. A powerful and emotionally charged tale about motherhood and justice. Presentation followed by book signing. Free! 22. July 19: Downtown Decorah Ridiculous Days! Come shop early for amazing deals from downtown retailers. 7am-5pm. www. 23. July 24: Movement Fundamentals 2014 Coalescence, 7:30pm, Center for the Arts, Jewell Theatre, Luther College, Free!

Jennifer Sullivan . Decorah, Iowa 563.419.4016 .

It’s like coming home..

...for a light breakfast or lunch, long coffee, or afternoon treat. Now serving homemade bagels & English muffins! • Free wi-fi throughout • Indoor/Outdoor seating • From scratch pastries

400 W. Water St., Decorah • 563-382-5690 • See website for hours and daily specials

Purl Up & Knit for a Spell Yarn, Knitting & Fiber Art Supplies, Classes, & More! Tues-Fri: 11 am – 5 pm, Sat: 10 am – 4 pm Monday: Drop In & Knit Night 6-8 pm 563-517-1059 •

24: July 25-26: ArtHaus Summer Art Fair, 10am-6pm at ArtHaus and the ArtHaus Studio. Visit with regional artists, enjoy a fantastic array of artwork 25. August 2: “The Art of Home Brew” Bluff Country Artist Gallery, Spring Grove! Artisan drinking vessels, live music, food & brew samples, and voting! Free for brewers / $10 public over 21. 4:30-7pm. www. 26. August 9: Lillesøster Buttiken 2nd Anniversary Celebration! Please join us for special sales promotions, door prizes, and more! 309 E. Water Street, Downtown Decorah. 563-3824474 27. August 16: Community Field Day at Seed Savers Exchange! Decorah area residents, join us for a FREE open house featuring facilities/farm tours and a FREE pancake breakfast! 28. August 30: Seed Savers Exchange Heritage Tomato Tasting! Sample dozens of rare tomato varieties - Seed saving workshops and more! Free.

THE DEPOT OUTLET Monday-Friday 9-5 • Saturday 9-3 Thrift awesome clothing, books, & household goods! 563-382-2700• 510 Montgomery St, Decorah, Iowa Check out our awesome new location! or find us on Facebook \ Summer 2014


Photo by Aryn Henning Nichols

Author Sara Friedl-Putnam explores the Driftless Region’s ice cream SCENE


Summer 2014 /


eep in the recesses of the Library of Congress lies a treasured document authored by Thomas Jefferson – and, no, it’s not a copy of the Declaration of Independence. This document, handwritten by Jefferson himself in the 1780s, calls for “two bottles of good cream,” “six yolks of eggs,” “a half-pound of sugar,” and “one vanilla bean.” It is, according to the library, one of the first recipes for ice cream recorded in the United States. Today, more than three centuries later, the International Dairy Foods Association ranks Americans as the top consumers of ice cream in the world, with more than 48 pints of ice cream downed per person per year. So pervasive is our passion for ice cream, in fact, that Ronald Reagan declared July as National Ice Cream Month exactly three decades ago. Luckily, area residents will find plenty of ice cream shops eager to satisfy their cravings for this delicious frozen concoction throughout the summer months. Whether your preference is soft-serve or hand-dipped, chocolate or vanilla, go on, read on, and then treat yourself to a cup or cone of ice cream at one (or all!) of the following Driftless Region establishments.

THE WHIPPY DIP (pictured at left) 121 College Drive, Decorah, Iowa Owners: Rosie and Greg Carolan Open seasonally It may not rank up there with Thanksgiving or the Fourth of July, but make no mistake about it: Opening day at the Whippy Dip is among the most anticipated days of the year in Winneshiek County. Owner Rosie Carolan estimates a couple thousand people indulged in a soft-serve ice-cream treat – cookie-dough Tornado, anyone? – at the Whippy Dip on opening day last March. “We had long lines stretching both directions along College Drive for hours,” she says. There’s nothing fancy about the Whippy Dip, but therein lies its (considerable) charm. Whether you crave vanilla or chocolate (or both!), served in a cone or cup, this iconic Decorah business – marking 60 years this past spring – sticks to the basics, dishing up ice cream plain (or with any number of toppings) sure to please even the most discriminating palates. “We’ve heard very few complaints,” says Carolan, who, with her husband, Greg, has owned and operated the Whippy Dip since 1985. According to Carolan, the Whippy Dip’s fans have a former Decorah milkman, Derwood Baker, to thank for opening the shop

back in 1954. “He delivered milk early in the morning and then worked here in the afternoon,” says Carolan, the fifth Whippy Dip owner. And while the ice cream machines, menu, and milk supplier have changed over the years, the bricks and mortar have remained the same. “We have a great building in a great location,” she says. “We’re near the campground, the bike trail, the movie theatre, Luther College, the local schools, the swimming pool, and, of course, the Upper Iowa River.” Still, location – or the contagious Whippy Dip nostalgia – doesn’t entirely account for the establishment’s staying power. “We use premium dairy products to ensure our ice cream is rich and creamy; we offer other fare like tacos-in-a-bag and foot-long hotdogs; and we have unbelievable help,” says Carolan, who employs nearly two-dozen high school students as well as a handful of adults. (Her husband, Greg, power-washes the premises every morning and serves as its go-to mechanic.) Carolan admits that those sunny summer Friday nights when lines stretch down College Drive do generate a bit of stress, but that comes with the terrain of running such a well-known and loved business. And the feeling is mutual, says Carolan: “I love running the Whippy Dip – I love my employees, I love our customers, and I am very grateful to be doing what I am doing.” Continued on next page

ALSO WORTH THE TRIP (AND CALORIES)... BARREL DRIVE IN 2014 Highway 150S, West Union, Iowa Open seasonally Top off a burger and fries with a shake, sundae, or cone served by carhops at this classic drive-in restaurant.

COUNTRY VIEW DAIRY 15197 230th Street, Hawkeye, Iowa Wonder where the popular Yotopia Frozen Yogurt in downtown Iowa City, Iowa, procures its frozen yogurt? Look no further than Country View Dairy, purveyor of many flavors of yogurt found in stores throughout the Driftless Region.

CULVER’S, 904 Short Street, Decorah, Iowa It’s not just the home of the ButterBurger. Culver’s serves fresh soft-serve frozen custard with a variety of toppings. HAPPY JOE’S PIZZA & ICE CREAM 105 East Water Street, Decorah, Iowa Sundae anyone? Follow up a tasty pizza with your choice of classic hand-dipped ice cream flavors and treats. \ Summer 2014


Photo by Benji Nichols THE SUGAR BOWL (photo off second-story balcony) 410 West Water Street, Decorah, Iowa Owner: Craig Running Open seasonally Craig Running knew a good thing when he saw it. A longtime Decorah resident – he was raised in the town – Running believed buying retail space along the town’s main Water Street was a “win-win situation” when he seized the opportunity in 1999. “I tore down the rental building that was here and then spent eight years designing and building this space,” he says of the Sugar Bowl, the balconied, two-storied ice cream parlor he opened in 2008. “I thought that there was a niche market for quality, handdipped ice cream, and I was pretty sure it would work…who doesn’t love ice cream?” Who indeed – especially when that ice cream is made by the Chocolate Shoppe, an award-winning producer of hand-dipped ice cream headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin. According to Running, it was more than serendipity that led him to select the Chocolate Shoppe as his ice cream vendor. “I had a conversation with a man who made it a point to mention that the best ice cream he had ever had was from the Chocolate Shoppe,” he says. “I called up the company and told them I was opening an 12

Summer 2014 /

ice cream shop, and they immediately sent 16 different pints to my front door. By the time I polished off the first pint, the decision had been made.” Running currently dishes up 24 different flavors of the Chocolate Shoppe’s ice cream from his dipping station, with choices ranging from Old Fashioned Vanilla to Kitty Kitty Bang Bang (cheesecakeflavored ice cream with raspberry flavoring, Oreos, and chocolate chunks). The most popular flavors? Zanzibar Chocolate (containing three kinds of cocoa) and Zoreo (made of Zanzibar ice cream, marshmallows, Oreos, and chocolate chunks). And while ice cream remains the star of this Water Street establishment, its décor – described by Running as “industrial deco” – has garnered plenty of admirers as well. The bright-white building contains a treasure trove of antiques, from a 1952 Whizzer motorbike to a Popsicle Red Ball Express train (one of only about 200 made). “It was a long process, but I enjoyed acquiring these items,” he says. “I had collected and restored cars, trucks, and motorcycles for a long time so it wasn’t such a stretch to start collecting and restoring things that were displayable here.” As Running envisioned when he opened the Sugar Bowl, the combination of rich-and-creamy ice cream and eye-catching antiques has proved irresistible for many a Decorah resident and visitor. “It’s been quite successful,” he says with a smile. “And business gets better every year.”

Photo by Aryn Henning Nichols

HOMESTEAD DAIRY (pictured with giant Steel Cow mural) 850 Rossville Road, Waukon, Iowa Owners: Tom Weighner, Paul Weighner, and Tom Walleser Open year-round Homestead Dairy has dished up ice cream for less than three years, but it already serves a frozen treat literally fit for a king. The dairy had been making ice cream for only a few months when Luther College’s general manager of dining services presented a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: Would the Homestead Dairy accept a commission to make cinnamon ice cream in honor of Norway’s King Harald V and Queen Sonja for an all-Iowa-foods banquet? They jumped at the chance. “It was pretty nerve-wracking,” admits Angela Weighner, who makes the dairy’s ice cream using only milk produced on its two Northeast Iowa dairy farms. She need not have worried: King Harald gave the cinnamon ice cream an unequivocal thumbs-up at a news conference held at the Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum a few hours after the banquet. Few would disagree with that assessment. The dairy has created 40 ice cream flavors to date. “We take the time to ensure we produce a quality product,” says Weighner, who credits the rich taste and creamy texture of its ice cream to the fact that it uses pasteurized, not homogenized milk, meaning the milk is less processed. “We also figure out the right amount of flavorings and mix-ins and make only small batches at a time.” Those batches are sold at several restaurants (including the Pedal Pushers Café in Lanesboro, Minnesota) and stores throughout the Driftless Region, and, of course, at the ice cream parlor the dairy opened in Waukon in 2012. In addition to seating both inside and out, the parlor offers 16 different flavors in its dipping station – coffee toffee is Weighner’s favorite – and most of its other two-dozen flavors (including the cinnamon!) are available in take-home pint cartons too. The dairy also sells fresh creamline milk, cheese curds, butter, block cheese, and ice-cream cakes. “It’s hard work but very fun to come up with new flavors that people really like,” says Weighner when asked the best part of running an ice-cream shop. “There’s really nothing that compares to seeing families spending time here together enjoying our ice cream.”

Come Home to Decorah. Come Home to Solar.

Downtown Decorah 222 West Water Street 563.380.8911


Sustainable Builders/PV Solar

om Massman has certainly been a leader among local contractors in building very efficient homes, working directly with energy analysts and customers throughout the process. Andy Johnson, Winneshiek Energy District

Tom: 563.380.6712 Travis: 563.380.7912

Home, Office, & on the Farm....Solar Pays! \ Summer 2014


Not all that long ago, bikers were a familiar sight at 207 Pearl Street in downtown La Crosse. “It was a very popular biker bar,” recalls T.J. Peterslie. He and his wife, Michelle, bought the building in 1990. “On a nice Saturday afternoon, it wasn’t unusual to see more than 80 choppers parked outside.” Today, the location attracts a very different clientele. Gone are the choppers. In their place? Tables and chairs packed with ice cream lovers of all ages enjoying a scoop from The Pearl Ice Cream Parlor. Peterslie describes the transformation as a labor of love. “Ice cream parlors were a prime social meeting place from the 1800s into the 1900s,” he says. “We wanted the Pearl to be a place where people could bring the whole family, enjoy a treat, and step back in time to when things were simpler and less stressful.” To evoke the feel of an old-fashioned ice-cream parlor, the Peterslies scoured the Midwest, picking up the tables, chairs, mixers, sundae dishes, dipping cabinets (circa 1940s), and a bubble-gum machine that all help give the Pearl its unique charm. “You can’t just order these things,” he says. It was Peterslie’s late father, Oscar, who created most of the ice cream flavors – from Mississippi mud and butter pecan to the bestselling vanilla – as well as the fudge and other sweet confections for which the Pearl has become so revered in and well beyond La Crosse over the past two decades. (The Peterslie’s

daughters – Dani, Azia, and Tara – have followed in their grandfather’s footsteps and make much of the ice cream and candy sold at the Pearl these days.) “My dad was adamant that we serve homemade ice cream, and he is why the Pearl is here,” he says. “We enjoyed designing the Pearl, but once we opened it, running it was like running any other business. My dad took ice cream-making courses at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, researched recipes online, bought our ice creammaking equipment down in Texas, and was just magic working behind the counter.” While remaining tight-lipped on their ice cream making process – “We can’t really talk too much about how we do what we do,” he says – Peterslie says they’ve reaped nothing but rewards since entering the ice cream biz more than two decades ago. “It’s a happy business,” he says. “When customers come in, they have the attitude that they are going to treat themselves to something good, and you in turn feel good knowing you are selling them something that they really want.” Photo by Benji Nichols

THE PEARL ICE CREAM PARLOR 207 Pearl Street, La Crosse, WI Owners: Michelle and T.J. Peterslie Open year-round

Sara Friedl-Putnam, an avid ice cream lover, thoroughly enjoyed doing “research” for this article and highly recommends readers sample a treat from all of the friendly Driftless Region establishments profiled in it.

GETTING YOU BACK ON YOUR FEET If you have a foot or ankle problem, the Gundersen Decorah Clinic has three podiatrists available to help you with: • Foot and ankle injury care • Reconstruction surgery of foot and ankle • Diabetic foot care • Wound Care including infections of foot and ankle • Bunion and hammertoe surgery We see patients in Decorah, Cresco, West Union, Waukon and Prairie du Chien, in addition to performing surgery at all of those local hospitals.

To schedule an appointment, call (563) 382-3140. Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center, Inc. | Gundersen Clinic, Ltd. | 10799_0414


Summer 2014 /

May The

Norsk Be With You

Nordic Fest

J uLY 24-26, 2014

3 FUN DAYS of live entertainment, events, activities & food! LIVE MUSIC


FRIDAY, JULY 25: 5 pm – Jim Busta Band with Mollie B (polka)

Canopy 5! $5 gets you in all weekend!

8 pm – El Caminos (rock/country)

SATURDAY, JULY 26: 5 pm – Gaelstorm (rock) 8 pm – Audio Drive (rock)


Like Nordic Fest on Facebook



PLUS TONS OF FREE EVENTS: Live music up & down Water St. Elvelopet 5/15k Race Arts and Crafts Show NEW Free Decorah Trolley Shuttle Grand Parade Fireworks

And more!



cOUNTy fair!

JULY 8-12


GREAT TiMes AT THE GRANDSTAND! Buttons $20 in advance / $25 at the fair Good for all 5 shows, children 6 and under free


Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday

Bill Riley Talent Show 1-3pm Jim Busta Band 4:30 pm Cory Farley Band 7:30 Jason Michael Carroll, 7pm Upper Iowa Speedway Stock Car Races Hot Laps 6 pm, Racing 6:30 pm David Nail, 7pm CC Bull Riding & Barrel Racing 7 pm After: Free Barn Dance

EvAN's UnItEd Midway

The Midwest's best carnival is back Tuesday –Saturday!

FREe gATe & parkIng!

FEATURING DAVID NAIL! Writing books is easy. Said no one ever.


Kids Fun Zone, Nick's Magic Show, Miller’s Petting Zoo, Antique Farm Tractor display, Skidloader Rodeo, Northland Classic, 3D Barrel Racing , Kid's Pedal Pull, live music, cooking Hobby Shop Creations & more! Summer 2014 / 16 contests,

But we know a lot of people who have uttered the words, “I want to write a book.” Or even better, “I’m going to write a book!” So where do you start? Decorah’s Jerry Johnson – hunter, blogger, writer, and all-around witty wordsmith – suggests you start with the obvious: Words. You gotta get them on the page. “Write,” he says, “Write every day. Write with passion.” Jerry does just that, and with great discipline. His blog,, is home to numerous essays, musings, and a good smattering of dog and hunting photos (another passion).

local n h t i w Q&A nso h o yJ r r Je r o h aut

Introduction & interview by Aryn Henning Nichols Photos by Aaron Lurth

Jerry has also self-published two books. His latest, “Scrawny Dog, Hungry Cat, and Fat Rat: A Tragedy for Children” (March, 2014) was written 45 years ago by his then college-aged self, just getting ready to take the writing world by storm. Happily, past Jerry would pat future Jerry on his back. Through his long writing career, Jerry has published numerous stories, editorials, essays, and columns for a variety of newspapers and press organizations. “But those were all a long time ago,” he says, “And of course, not creative writing.” So for now, Jerry has settled back into the best – and probably worst – aspect of writing: the creative part. And that doesn’t always – or even often – lead to a book deal.

“Agents and publishers are not necessarily seeking good literature or even quality writing; they are seeking marketable writing,” he says. “If you write zombie or romance or mystery novels, you might be marketable. If you write for niche audiences, readers of outdoor sports literature for example, you may not be marketable.” Along with a tendency for long titles – in addition to “…Tragedy for Children” his first published book is titled “Hunting Birds: The Lives and Legends of the Pine County Rod, Gun, Dog and Social Club” – Jerry is apt to gear his work toward his life (hunting, dogs, old friends and good stories). He’s currently writing a collection of essays on outdoor sports, posting one or more to the blog each week in hopes of eventually compiling them for a book. Continued on next page \ Summer 2014


250 artists. 7 days a week. 1 gallery.

“I puttered around with a sequel to ‘Hunting Birds,’ but I couldn’t get back into the character of Carter Preston, the story’s protagonist,” he says. “Some day an essay will take off and grow to 50,000 words and I’ll be on my way to a new novel.” Jerry shares some advice he’s learned along the way – it won’t make it easy, but it sure as heck can’t hurt, write (groan…)? How long have you been a writer? At what point do you think it’s okay to call yourself “writer”? Way back in the sixth grade, I was telling friends I would be a writer. I wrote a science fiction “novel” that year. I considered myself a true writer in August 1975 when my first published work, news and editorial and sports columns, rolled off the press of a weekly newspaper in Nebraska, where I was editor – and advertising rep and distribution manager and janitor. So I say you can call yourself a writer when you actually publish your work and someone reads it.

Knowledgeable staff • Great Gifts • Book Signings

What’s your inspiration? Inspiration? Mania, I suppose. Writers live to write. We’re slaves to the passion. It is captured perfectly in a Harry Chapin song: “For music was his life, it was not his livelihood/ It made him feel so happy, it made him feel so good/ And he sang from his heart, he sang from his soul/ He did not know how well he sang, it just made him whole.” How do you go about finding a place to start publishing? After much frustration dealing with publishing houses and agents, I followed the advice of a friend and e-published my novel “Hunting Birds” on There are several e-publishing and POD (print on demand) services available online. My advice: Do some research and select the one that feels best for you.

Bestsellers plus special interest: gardening, Scandinavian, cooking, poetry, children’s books & more…even e-books! 563-382-4275 • 112 West Water Street, Decorah


Summer 2014 /

Can you tell us more about how online publishing works? I publish in three formats: Kindle books (Amazon); CreateSpace POD (print on demand) paperback books (also Amazon); and on my blog, “Dispatches from a Northern Town,” ( It costs little (blogs) to nothing (ebooks and POD books) to publish your work. I am a technology troglodyte, though, so it was still a challenge. Fortunately, some of my former Luther College students are professionals with this stuff, and they helped a doddering old man get across the busy street. Any tips for folks out there hoping to follow your lead? Write. Write every day. Write with passion. Then read it aloud. If it sounds good, it probably is. If it sounds like junk, it probably is. Keep the good and throw away the bad. When you have written something really good, publish it. If you submit your work to an

agent in hopes of getting it accepted by a big-name publishing house, remember that rejections are just like the sunrise: They happen every day. Will you ever publish to print? If you mean, will I attempt to find an agent and try to get my work accepted by a big publishing house? Probably not. I worked in marketing 25 years. Now I want to write.

my grandchildren read it and say “Ah, pajamas!” – Cat cursing. I don’t know if kids today will like it. I rewrote it and published it as a tribute to friendship, and the book is dedicated to my friend Michael Shelton. ( friends/)

Tell us about “Scrawny Dog, Hungry Cat, and Fat Rat: A Tragedy for Children” (March, 2014) It’s a novel for middle-grades children, written 45 years ago by a 19-yearold college student setting out on the long road to become me. Publishers (then) were not interested. I read it to my children, who had little choice but to say they liked it. Somewhere along the road, the manuscript was lost. My college roommate reconnected with me a few years ago, and one day he amazingly said he had a copy of the final draft. He encouraged me to rewrite it and publish it. I gave him a copy of the revised manuscript in November 2013. He died 12 days later. Now

LIGHTNING ROUND! What’s the first thing that comes to your mind...? Books: Adventures. Internet: World’s biggest library. Summer: Almost fall. Dog: You know, I shoulda been a professional dog trainer… Kids: Have them while you’re young. Ice Cream: Chocolate Hunting: Heaven Purple: Passion (Purple Passion was an alcoholic beverage made with Everclear; it does not taste good when it come back up through your nose – not that I personally experienced this) Procrastination: The mother of all innovation. Money: What you will not make much of as a self-published creative writer.

Aryn Henning Nichols has wanted to be a writer since fourth grade. She has so many different titles at Inspire(d), she rarely – if ever– says, “I’m a writer.” But maybe this summer she’ll give it a try… everyone really should be exposed to her terrible puns, right?

Pick up a hard

orah! c e D n i y p co




Paperback editions of both books are now available at two Decorah locations: Dragonfly Books and Luther College Book Shop. Both will host Jerry for a future book reading – keep an eye out at for details.


Aaron Lurth serves as Director of Visual Media at Luther College, where he also teaches in the Visual and Performing Arts department. Aaron has been a photographer for the Experimental Aircraft Association at AirVenture (the world’s largest air show), as well as numerous marketing campaigns for Luther College, minor league baseball teams, and in advertising for General Electric, NCCA Magazine, Sport Pilot,, and many more. Aaron also leads National Geographic Student Expeditions and teaches at Decorah’s ArtHaus.

October 9 &11 @ 7:30. October 10 @ 9:30. October 11 @ 1:30.

Theatre & Dance





building foundations BRUENING ROCK PRODUCTS

supporting communities CRUSHED STONE PRODUCTS • SAND • GRAVEL AG LIME SPREAD • CONSTRUCTION SERVICES Serving communities in Iowa, Minnesota, & Missouri

900 Montgomery St, Decorah, IA 563-382-2933 .

For Him...

It’s A Place To Be A Top Chef.

For You... It’s The Memories Of Him Like This.

Online Mortgage Pre-Approvals at

Call Mike Huinker, Muriel Lensch or Wanda Walter!



Summer 2014 /

If it Makes You HOPPY Three Iowa entrepreneurs jump into hops production at Driftless Edge Farm

Story by Kristine Kopperud Jepsen Photos by Jeanine Scheffert \ Summer 2014



hat might a chef, an environmental activist, and a health care compliance trainer have in common?

Ethics, yes. Foodie inclinations? Getting warmer. A hop yard (as in, the stuff brewed for beer)? Bingo! (You never would have guessed that, right?) “We like beer,” Driftless Edge Farm partner Jono Ruff says with a grin. The three Decorah entrepreneurs – Jono, along with husband and wife duo Jason Skarin and Brita Nelson – first put down roots when Jono and Brita attended Luther College in the late 90s. And while they reveled in the community and fond memories of college years – Roscoe’s ‘studying’ for midterms, say – they found themselves itching to grow something real, from the ground up…some little legacy that would actually spring from dirt. And something they could – just maybe – build into a profitable business one day.

“In fact,” he continues, “hops made this area famous long before the modern trend. Before Prohibition, our neighbor Wisconsin was one of the biggest producers of hops in the country.” It’s true: According to the Wisconsin Historical Society, experienced East Coast growers looking to capitalize on a crop that brought $1.25/lb at the peak of the market established major hop farms in Waukesha and Sauk counties in the 1830s and 1840s. It shot to stardom when original US epicenter of production, New York, had a few bad years involving aphids and root mold. By 1867, Sauk County alone was producing more than 27,000 bales – or 5.4 million pounds. All of the work was done by hand and mainly by women. The crop eventually fell out of favor as production on both coasts drove prices down – many Wisconsin farmers just sold out and moved on – but with the present-day microbrewery industry better than ever, it makes sense that a niche crop like hops would once again take root in the region. There are still just a handful of hops farmers in the Driftless Region, but the crop is slowly gaining momentum.

From left: Jono, Brita, and Jason.

The crew raised the flag – or in this case, the trellising poles – at Driftless Edge Farm in 2010 with a plan to grow and harvest hops. “Hops are a perennial we could feasibly manage while working at other jobs,” Jono says. Jason, who is the project’s chief researcher, adds, “And I wanted a crop that would allow us to farm our ‘own way’ and participate in the alternative agriculture community that makes this area so great.”

We get a little excited about GoOD Food.

Jono is the team’s horticultural geek, having spent several years raising enormous gardens on plots outside Decorah, harvesting and storing much of his vegetarian diet. Meanwhile, Jason has learned and researched the systems and infrastructure that turn the crank of our modern food industry, first as a chef about town, and on the side as a prospective organic grower. Brita, for her part, fell into the role of detail manager, combing the local network for opportunities

grocery • bulk • produce café • meat • cheese bakery • wine/beer supplements body care Water Street Caf é f r e s h .

Summer Hours (Apr-Oct) Monday-Saturday 8:00 am - 8:30 pm Sunday 10:00 am - 7:00 pm

Winter Hours (Nov-Mar) Monday-Saturday 8:00 am - 8:00 pm Sunday 10:00 am - 7:00 pm

o r g a n i c .

l o c a l .

312 West Water Street Decorah, Iowa 52101 563.382.4666


Summer 2014 /


FOOD COOPErative decorah, iowa

riftless Gardens Maintenance & Design

Design to buy land – ideally a farmstead with enough space for their ideas and adventures. Maintenance And so, four short years ago, 17 acres on Middle Sattre Road in picturesque Decorah became Installation Jason and Brita’s home and the headquarters for Driftless Edge Farm. In their second year, they Plant Sales planted test plots of hop strains to see which ones would thrive in their particular soil and got the Hardscape ground certified organic. A forester friend hooked them up with 20-foot poles made of black locust Consultation – a fast-growing and rot-resistant tree –for trellising the aggressive climbing plants. A native of the Education southern Midwest, black locust was once actively propagated for fence posts but has since been considered a ‘junk’ tree by most landowners due to its invasive behavior and shrubby appearance. Jeff Scott . 563-379-1101 “Here we needed rot-resistant poles, and our friend was spending a lot of his time removing locust trees for landowners,” Jason says. “We just had to coordinate the cutting and hauling of them – a huge asset for our start-up.” With the poles assembled in six 400-foot rows over one acre – granted, with some serious manual limestone slab removal – the trio determined the winners of their field trial – Nugget, Cascade, and Centennial – and planted more than 1,500 rhizomes. “When you brew beer, hops are added at WORLD FAMOUS GEAR different stages to give it distinct flavors,” SMALL TOWN CHARM Jason explains. The hops themselves fall into two categories – those used for ‘bittering’ and those for aroma – based on how much alpha acid they contain. “Nugget is our bittering hop,” Jason says. It has high alpha acid content and is added early in the brewing process to give beer its bite. Cascade is a low alpha-acid ‘aroma’ hop – to create the beer’s ‘nose’ qualities, as in wine. “It’s added later in the boil so its flavor doesn’t break down too much – sort of like what you do with fresh herbs like basil when cooking them.” Their third variety – Centennial – is a midalpha-acid, dual-purpose hop that can be used for both bittering and aroma. All three varieties were developed by the USDA’s hops breeding program at Oregon State University in Corvallis. (Read more at, the Oregon purveyor from whom they bought their rootstock.) 406 W. Water St. • Decorah, Iowa • Hops take three to four years to mature to full production, Jason explains, and once 23 \ Summer 2014



established, tending them consists of four major tasks. The first: thinning in the spring to just two to three vines – technically, called ‘bines’ – to encourage vigorous growth. Second: trellising – looping rope twine from the base of each plant around a horizontal wire suspended between the top of the trellis poles, 16 feet off the ground, then securing it to a guidewire on the ground again. “Trellising is the most ‘together’ time we spend in the yard, since it’s most efficient for all three of us to move a ladder, wing a J-bolt [attached to each twine] up and over the wire, and wrap each bine [clockwise] around the twine,” Brita explains of the tedious task, adding that they’re long accustomed to each other’s ticks and triggers. Before moving to their acreage, Jono had been a roommate for more years than Brita and Jason had lived alone as married people.

says. “We’re thinking of sheep-sharing this summer – having a neighbor’s sheep graze the yard and strip the lower leaves from the bines. You should get the weeds mowed and shift the hops’ energy to the cones, all in one shot.” And finally, the fourth – and biggest – task: Harvesting the “ginormous walls of green” in August. It usually takes a full week from start to finish. Each bine can produce up to 2.5 lbs of hops (dry weight) – that’s about 500 lbs for the whole acre – and every cone has to be stripped from the bine and leaves – both of which are covered in delicate little ‘teeth,’ the better to grapple up six vertical inches or more per day! After harvesting by hand in their first year – and swearing never to do it again – the Driftless crew invested in a Gorst Bine 3060, an ingenious machine built by hop farmers for hop farmers. (See Gorst Farms’ video of a hop bine in action on YouTube.) The bines

Installing black locust trellising poles and hops twine is no simple task.

“Jono’s a good intermediary, and we’re comfortable enough that we can read each other if things get a little tense” – as when, for example, Brita occasionally misses at the J-bolt/twine-tossing maneuver. “Jason’s mantra is ‘Do better, try harder,’ which is fine… but sometimes stating the obvious is not helpful and you just want to chuck the J-bolt at his head,” she says with a laugh. Jono, whose ‘day job’ with Opportunity Homes in Decorah often involves night shifts, says his best contribution to the team is ability to tend the growing plants during daylight hours – time Jason and Brita haven’t always had to spare. That’s key, Brita explains, because there’s a whole lot of weeding to do. Third: Oh, the weeding. “With our organic certification directing our choice of tools and the hops already established, you have to really get after the other vegetation in the yard before it gets out of control,” Brita

must still be fed into it one at a time with the leaves splayed evenly, but it’s “ridiculously, beautifically more efficient” than by hand, Brita says. Off the field, they set about drying – or oasting – the cones, and finally vacuum-seal the hops in 8-oz portions (a goodly amount for just about any brewing experiment) to be stored in freezers. Commercial hops growers often apply heat in the drying process and pelletize the hops, making them a much more measurable ingredient for use in commercial brewing. But, Jason points out, both processes heat the hops, causing them to lose essential oils – and lots of flavor. Of course, outdoor temps and inclement weather also come into play. As with baling hay, the quality of the whole year’s crop can be ruined if it gets rained on mid-process. “With the cool spring this year and the rainy summer last year,

A brighter smile in only 20 minutes



563-382-3657 . 108 Fifth Avenue, Decorah, Iowa . 24

Summer 2014 /


I’m reminded of my family’s agricultural roots and of others before us having to roll with what nature gives you to raise your crop,” Brita says. “I’m thinking of my uncle replanting corn in June because it has been frozen, then flooded, for example – just putting your shoulder against it again and keepin’ on. The hops are a lesson in resilience, for sure.” All in all, their sweet reward is to offer top-shelf ingredients to local brewers and have incentive for their own homebrew – a craft all its own. “We invested – with some friends – in enough equipment to make 25 gallons at a time,” Brita explains. For a pale lager, they aim to use 7-8 oz of hops per brew at that capacity; for an IPA, more like 20 oz. But as with the hop harvester, snazzy gear doesn’t make the process foolproof. “There’s endless fun and challenge in making a truly great beer – and plenty of opportunity to brew something that tastes like dirty socks,” she adds with a grin. “No seriously – it’s the growing and the crafting and the enjoyment come full circle. That’s why we got into this, and a little to our surprise, it’s working.”

To date, Driftless Edge Farms’ hops have achieved a high Hops Storage Index (HSI), a measure of their robustness at harvest and ability to retain flavor over time in storage. As they gear up for full-tilt harvest, Brita says, they look forward to partnering with a regional brewer who will feature their crop’s unique flavor, bringing their ‘research project’ to full-fledged production and a paycheck.

Long a fan of spirits distilled, Kristine Jepsen actually had her first full beer just last summer. However, the hops she planted in her own yard to shade her house have reached maturity and are threatening to dismantle all the other landscaping if not put to their intended use. If her arms appear lacerated by twining bines come August, you’ll know what happened.

To taste a piece of Driftless Edge Farm history – i.e., 8-oz bags of frozen, vacuumsealed hop cones from the 2013 harvest – visit or e-mail And stay tuned for a possible film showing in the hop yard later this summer – with a screen of sheets rigged up on the bines!

Jeanine Scheffert is a visual artist – photography, linocuts, painting, and more – and, recently, a beginner gardener (follow her escapades at To see her work and learn more, visit


grandstand line-up THURSDAY, AUGUST 7




with special guest MATTHEW WEST 8 P.M. | $30

10:30 A.M. HOT LAPS, 11 A.M. RACES $15 ADULTS, $5 CHILDREN AGES 6–11 free for ages 5 and under

with special guest COLT FORD 8 P.M. | $40

with special guest TBA 8 P.M. | $35




starring THE TURTLES featuring FLO & EDDIE, CHUCK NEGRON formerly of Three Dog Night, Gary U.S. Bonds, MITCH RYDER & THE DETROIT WHEELS, GARY LEWIS & THE PLAYBOYS 8 P.M. | $25




with special guest PLAIN WHITE T'S 8 P.M. | $39









SPONSORED BY IOWA FARMER TODAY 2 P.M. | $20 ADULTS, $10 CHILDREN AGES 6–11 free for ages 5 and under




starring JAKE OWEN & ELI YOUNG BAND with special guest The Cadillac Three 7 P.M. | $40




DEMOLITION DERBY AND FIGURE EIGHT 11:30 A.M. | $15 ADULTS, $5 CHILDREN AGES 6–11 free for ages 5 and under



with special guests BILLY CURRINGTON and KELSEY K 8 P.M. | $49


FOREIGNER AND with special guest TBA 8 P.M. | $39


Tickets for all concerts and events are on sale now through all Ticketmaster outlets, online at or by phone at 800.745.3000. All concert seats are reserved. All track events are general admission. Convenience charges apply to all tickets. The Iowa State Fair Ticket Office will open July 7 for walk-up orders only (assuming tickets remain). Grandstand tickets do not include admission to the Fair. Gate admission must be purchased separately.

What We’re


right now

Seed Savers We write about Seed Savers a fair amount, it’s true. But rightly so! Not only do they hold the very important job of saving our heirloom seeds, but they also operate a pretty amazing farm – open to the public, including their hiking trails, gardens, and animal line-up – and host a variety of great events – many of them completely free! This summer, mark your calendars for two such events: 1. Community Field Day (August 16) is your chance to see firsthand what happens at Seed Savers Exchange (there’s a lot more than what we’ve listed here). Head out to the Heritage Farm for a free open house featuring facilities/farm tours and a FREE pancake breakfast! Did we mention free pancake breakfast? Fun!

2. The annual Tomato Tasting event (August 30 - pictured at left) really is the best way to experience heirloom diversity and get a taste (pun intended) for what they do at Seed Savers. Also not-to-miss (although not free): July 18-20: Seed Savers Conference and Campout Before that, though, get your tickets for Greg Brown June 21 ! And while you’re in a music mood, check out… More Great Summer Music! Summer evenings, outdoor settings, and great music are such a perfect combination. Check out a these great concert series happening in the area this summer. Have fun, and dance it up! Dolce Vita Nights at McCaffrey’s Dolce Vita, Decorah (7-10 pm, rain or shine) June 7 – Country Cousins June 14 – Bob Door & Jeff Peterson June 21 – Don Scott & Curtis Blake June 28 – Dog House Jon & the Misbehavers July 5 – Shadrick & Debbie Smith July 19 – Scottie Miller & Zoot August 2 – Gibbon Sisters August 9 – Patrick Hazell August 23 – The Ross William Perry Band August 30 – Beet Root Stew September 6 – Done Doin’ Laundry

Easy. Affordable. Fun. Where

vacation is vacation!

By motor coach, plane, train or boat, we can create the vacation to fulfill your dreams. Whether in a group or by yourself, our travel packages are as individual as you are. Call or visit our web sites for more information and current destinations.


2911 7th Ave. S., Fort Dodge, IA 50501

1-877-658-6948 703 Dudley Street, Decorah, IA 52101

Tirrill Park Concert Series, Manchester ( June 22 – Five Seasons, 5 pm July 26 – Orquestra Alto Maiz, 6 pm August 16 – Henhouse Prowlers, 6 pm

Courtyard and Cellar Okay. We might be a little biased, but the Courtyard and Cellar is a pretty special place. Not only is Inspire(d)’s Benji Nichols co-owner along with Decorah-native Nathan Matter, but the place – both outdoors and in – just feels GOOD! Live music, killer taps and bottles of craft beer, and bar snacks (including Hegge’s pizza and Blue Bunny ice cream sandwiches) make it pretty much the ultimate hang-out spot. Grab a seat, a beer, and maybe one of the Battleship boards and enjoy yourself – life just got a little better! Great Plains Journalism Awards We’re winners! We entered a contest (our first!) – Great Plains Journalism Awards Magazine of the Year – and we were selected as a top four finalist! They received over 800 entries for the entire competition (for a variety of categories), and, according to one staffer, had a record number of magazine entries, making for some pretty stiff competition. With so many great publications – many fairly large – from eight states (Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa, North Dakota, and South Dakota), we were humbled and honored to be selected as a finalist. Check it out at www. (P.S. Roxie was listed as a contributor, and so got her very own awards certificate! AWESOME!)



D-Town Thrifting Secondhand shopping just got a little more first-rate in Decorah – this spring, The Depot Outlet moved to their new location on Montgomery Street, with tons more space and some serious new style (in addition to more furniture and house stuff too), and the new Spectrum Thrift Store opened in the old Wonder Bread building on the corner of Washington Street and Broadway. Add that to Centrum Plaza’s Goodwill and Yesterdays and Todays on Water Street, and you’re set to pop some thrift store tags! We tend to leave these places with a big pile of stuff for Roxie, but somehow only spending $5 or less. Sweet!



Taqualiscious Taco Truck “Give us a shout when the taco truck’s out.” We don’t think that’s the Taqualiscious slogan, but it probably should be. They churn out tasty tacos and burritos and other Latin fare along with the-real-deal salsas and hot sauces from evening to late on weekends and some busy weeknights or special events. You’ll sometimes find the new-last-year taco truck in Decorah parked outside the Haymarket, or out by the Elk’s Lodge, or across the Upper Iowa River in Toppling Goliath country. They’re also doing local delivery on larger orders. Like them at to get details and to keep up on hours and locations.

211 West Water Street Decorah, Iowa M.T.W.Fr.Sat 9-5 Thurs. 9-8 563.382.8940 \ Summer 2014


What’s a FOOD HUB?


aking sure it’s fresh is not just a fish thing any more. Actually, it hasn’t been in a long time. Like ever. Folks with discerning palates across the world have always known that with food – any food – fresh is best. Lucky for all of us, food hubs – like the Iowa Food Hub based in Decorah, Iowa – are making fresh food an easier option. “If Chicago can get something that was picked here today the very next day…that’s a big deal,” says Nick McCann, Chair of the Iowa Food Hub board. “Everything in our program is picked, packed, and delivered in the course of a couple of days.” That really is a big deal. Many small-to-mid-size farmers and producers face challenges in distribution and processing. This is generally due to a lack of infrastructure that, if in place, would help these producers to meet the rising demand for local food in retail, institutional, and commercial markets. That’s where food hubs come in. “We facilitate market connections that producers couldn’t make otherwise,” McCann says. Food hubs offer a variety of services: from the obvious combining of your products with others for mass sales (called aggregation) to production, distribution, and marketing services. “You can do one, maybe two things well. You have to grow, harvest, and market your crops. Those are three large, intense things. And it’s too much for a lot of growers,” McCann says. “A lot of people worry that we’ll be taking all their profits, but after working with us, they realize our fees aren’t that much – especially for what we can do for them.” And what is that, exactly? Well, through food hubs, retailers can buy locally but still know it’s sourceverified. Food hubs can also act as umbrellas for liability insurance, which is incredibly helpful for the “little guy”. But the biggest part is that food hubs do the legwork on virtually all of a producer’s resale

‘Fresher is Much Finer’ Story and infographic by Aryn Henning Nichols

needs – finding retailers, educating them on your products, making sure those products are properly handled from shipment to store, and ensuring fair and competitive pricing that will bring customers back, especially once they taste the quality of their purchases. That’s the kicker: Quality. Food hubs are sourcing things locally, and many assume local products will cost more than, say, bulk tomatoes from California. But, surprisingly, it can actually be more economical! And, unlike what you’d expect, the savings don’t really come from shorter shipping distance. The real savings to retailers is on shrinkage. They’re not losing products to overripeness or rot when the produce is that fresh. “What’s the “real” cost of those tomatoes from California when you lose seven percent right off the bat?” McCann says. “We’re working to convince retailers it really is a win-win.” The additional bonus is that more folks get exposed to local products – in the Iowa Food Hub’s case, Iowa and Driftless Region products. It’s the final link that keeps everyone growing together, pun intended. The Iowa Food Hub buys from anyone – organic, conventional, agricultural – in its 150-mile radius, although most of the producers are based in or near Northeast Iowa. Iowa Food Hub, just one year old this spring, is the largest in Iowa. “There are just so many farmers and producers in this region, it’s not surprising that we’ve grown fast,” McCann says. “We saw a need here, and a role for an entity to play.” Aryn Henning Nichols is a big fan of “work smarter, not harder.” This seems to be a big proponent of food hubs, and she thinks that is pretty darn cool.

Grocery Subscription Program The Iowa Food Hub offers services not only to producers & retailers, but also to consumers through a grocery subscription program. The “food box” program delivers local, fresh food each week to worksites, schools, or churches that have signed up for a subscription. It currently includes weekly deliveries to Dubuque, Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, & Waterloo/Cedar Falls. Using local products in the boxes keeps money in our communities & allows folks to enjoy & get exposed to more of what the area has to offer. Iowa Food Hub includes both farmers who grow the products, & processors who turn raw agricultural products into usable goods. The food boxes include meat, milk, eggs, yogurt, produce, breads, & more.

Check out the food hub infographic on the next page to learn more! \ Summer 2014



Hub, not hug!

What’s a FOOD HUB? start here

Food Hubs connect producers with markets they normally couldn’t access

Okay... it probably could be hug!


Growing, harvesting, and marketing your products can sometimes be too much… Food Hubs can help!

Who? What? How? How much?

• Increase sales and consumption of locally grown products. • Distribute quality fresh foods into underserved communities. • Operate a more efficient local food distribution system, saving farmers and buyers time, gas and money. • Support local small and mid-sized farms that can supply the wholesale marketplace of schools, hospitals, grocers, and restaurants.


Everything is PICKED, PACKED, AND DELIVERED within a couple of days!



More information at:

$ • Farm to School Program • Colleges • Casinos • Retirement homes • Meals on Wheels • Restaurants/bakeries



Design by

You can be happy you’re not only enjoying the freshest food possible, but that YOU’RE SUPPORTING YOUR COMMUNITY JUST BY PURCHASING FOOD! Food you already needed anyway! It really is a win-win for everyone!

Buying locally actually makes good economic sense too!


Iowa Food Hub offers a GROCERY SUBSCRIPTION PROGRAM that delivers local, fresh food to worksites, schools, or churches that have signed up for a subscription. Learn more at




W I LLOWGLEN 563-735-5570



MARKETING \ Summer 2014


Dr. David Gehling & the friendly staff at Decorah Chiropractic take great care of you!


Chiropractic We do our best to make you well. But perhaps more importantly, we do our best to treat you well.

Complete chiropractic services for the entire family.

Take a FREE Spinal Care Class with us!

Every month, Decorah Chiropractic invites ANYONE to come learn how to properly care for your spine. Plus, you get a FREE meal & a FREE t-shirt, just for coming! Email for dates & details. * Absolutely no solicitation takes place – we just want you to have access to this important information!

563-382-0700 405 College Drive Decorah, IA 52101 Open 6 days/week by appointment

FARMERS MARKETS ALLAMAKEE COUNTY Harpers Ferry Church Parking Lot Friday, 5-7 pm June - September

FAYETTE COUNTY Elgin Town & Country Market Elgin City Park Thursday, 4-5:30 pm May - October

Lansing Main Street Plaza Saturday, 9 am - noon June - mid-October

Fayette Open Air Market 305 W. Water Street Shelter Wednesday, 3-5 pm May - October

Waukon – City Park Monday, 3:30-5:30 pm June - September

Oelwein (Accepts WIC/FMNP/SNAP) NE City Parking Lot (1st Ave NE) Mon, 3-6 pm, Fri, 8-11 am Mid May - October

CHICKASAW COUNTY Fredericksburg N. Washington & E. Main Street Wednesdays, 3- 5 pm May - September New Hampton Accepts WIC/FMNP/EBT Main & Linn St, Carquest Lot Thursdays, 4-6 pm May 23- October Nashua City Hall, downtown Main St. Saturday, 8:30-10:30 am June - September CLAYTON COUNTY Edgewood – City Park Friday, 3-5 pm June - September Elkader Keystone Bridge City Park Saturday, 9 am-noon May - October Garnavillo 201 N. Main - City Park Friday, 5-7:30 pm May - September Guttenberg South Park by new marina Saturday, 8 am - noon End May - early October Marquette Driftless Area Wetlands Centre Friday, 4-7 pm May 23 - Oct 10 McGregor Triangle Park, Downtown Friday, 3- 6 pm Late May - Late September Monona Gateway Park Wednesday, 3 - 6 pm Saturday, 8 - 11 am Late May - Early October Strawberry Point Inger Park (Accepts WIC/FMNP) Wednesday, 4-6 pm May 29- September 30 Volga City Volga City Park Friday, 4-6 pm June - October



West Union (Accepts WIC/FMNP) 407 W Bradford, Redeemer Church Wednesday, 3-5:30 pm May - September HOWARD COUNTY Chester – City Park Thursday, 1-4 pm June - October Cresco (Accepts WIC/FMNP) 2nd St & 1st Ave, Grube’s N. Lot Tuesday, 2- 5:30 pm Friday, 2-5:30 pm May - October Cresco Beadle Park Sunday Market, 3:30 pm June 29, July 13, Aug 3, Sept 21

Make it local!

Lime Springs – Brown Park Saturdays, 9 am-noon May 28 - October Protivin – City Park Wednesday, 2:30-5:30 pm May - October Riceville (Accepts WIC/FMNP) 203 Main Street (Hwy 9) Saturday, 9-11:30 am May 28 - October WINNESHIEK COUNTY Decorah (Accepts WIC/FMNP/EBT) City Lot behind Oneota Coop Wed 3-6 pm, Sat, 8-11am May 1 - October 31 WISCONSIN Prairie du Chein - Prairie Street FM Saturdays, 7:30-noon May - October Gays Mills - Lions Shelter (Accepts WIC/FMNP) Wednesdays, 2:30-6 pm May - October Ferryville Market in the Park Saturdays, 9 am - 3 pm May - October Farmers Market Nutrition Programs

WIC = Women, Infants and Children FMNP = Farmers Market Nutrition Program SNAP EBT (Food Assistance) can be used to buy fruit, vegetables, meat, eggs, baked goods,honey, cheese, herbs, jelly and jam, etc. You may not use EBT for hot prepared foods or hot drinks.

Special Pull-Out Section - Paid Advertisement

This Buy Fresh Buy Local Chapter is a consumer education program for BFBL Iowa. BFBL Iowa is part of the FoodRoutes Network, a national nonprofit organization that provides technical support to community based groups that are working to strengthen regional markets for locally grown foods. Visit

31 63

All-Natural Farmstead Yogurt from Hawkeye, Iowa “The way yogurt should taste!” Find Us on Facebook—Farm Store at 15197 230th Street



27 Decorah












Calmar 150




New Hampton








8 18

West Union



Buy fresh, Buy local



21 S M ec



1 Andon Acres • V Gordon Murray-John Maynard, (563) 637-2766 Chemical-free vegetables Oelwein, Independence Farmers Markets 2 Annie’s Gardens & Greens • V F M E O Ft. Atkinson, (562) 563-7760 Naturally grown heirloom vegetables Local fruits; CSA and Roadside stand

Water St

39 nic St.


V Vegetables, flowers, herbs F Fruit M Meat & Dairy E Eggs O Other Products: Baked goods, honey, syrup, coffee


9 Cresco

Join Us! - Sunday, June 22, 1-5 pm 1st Annual Spring Farm Crawl Self-guided tours to see how farmers grow your food!

Handcrafted wines made from local fruit

26 36




1352 Apple Road Waukon | (563) 568-2758


Fifth Ave

Lime Springs


u Loc




D ge lle Co




14 16












3 Apples on the Avenue • V F Nashua (S. on Hwy 218), (641) 210-5506 20+ Apple varieties, pumpkins, mums Farmstand open mid-September 4 Austin’s Rush Creek Farm • V F Ferryville, WI, 608-632-1579 Fresh produce, licensed kitchen Farmstand open June-November 5 Benjegerdes Greenhouse V 1115 Hwy 52 - Postville (563) 864-3081 Vegetable and bedding plants Open Mid April-June 30 or by appt 6 Bullwacker Logistics • Calmar (563) 419-4207. Packaging & shipping Insulated cold shipping; overnight services



7 Clayton Ridge Farm & Meat Market • M V Jane & Tom Augustyn, Guttenberg 563-252-3820, Humanely-raised pork, beef; fresh vegetables. Home of the Picket Fence Cafe Best pies around! 8 Country View Dairy (large ad) D 9 Driftless Hills Farm • M Calmar – (563) 562-3897 All natural, grass-fed lamb. Restaurants & individuals. 10 Driftless Wisconsin Grown (large ad) 11 E&P Fisheries - Ed Strong • M New Albin, 563-544-4911 Catfish, Turtle, Smoked Carp, Pickled Fish Call for availability





Dorchester 26

4 76




All Natural Yogurt from Grass-fed Cows 5 Flavors—No Preservatives Added






Gays Mills

Harpers Ferry

32 27












James & LouAnn Reiff 2278 180th Street Elma, Iowa (641) 393-2102

Available at Farmers Markets & Grocery stores in Osage, Riceville, Elma Locker and more.








Prairie du Chien



A Community Local Food Distribution Project Hosted by Allamakee New Beginnings, Inc., a 501c3 partner (563) 203-1856 Worksite Food Box Delivery | Delivery to Retailers & Food Service





Elgin 13 56

29 128




Garnavillo 52

Volga City



Guttenberg 7





Grazing Acres Yogurt

5 miles

Strawberry Point Edgewood


12 Eagles Landing Winery, B&B • O Marquette – (563) 873-2509 13 Empty Nest Winery (large ad) • O 14 Fagle View Meats • M Dan & Melissa Fagle Fayette - (641) 330-6695 Whole, 1/2 or 1/4 beef; Retail cuts Find us on Facebook & Unionland Feed

17 G It’s Fresh • V Glen & Elizabeth Elsbernd, Cresco (563) 379-3951 Certified organic vegetables 18 Grazing Acres Yogurt (large ad) • M 19 GROWN Locally • V F E M A Community Farming Cooperative (563) 380-9848 Wholesale sales to institutions

15 FJM Produce - Francis Martin • F V M Wadena - (563) 774-2023 Fruit & Vegetables. Live heritage turkeys for 20 Hawkeye Buffalo Ranch • M meat. Call for more information Fredericksburg - (563) 237-5318 Buffalo steaks, burger, bacon & jerky 16 Fox Produce – Randalia • F V O Farm tours available by appointment Reuben & Lucy Fox, 563-428-4638 Flowers, bedding, vegetable plants Produce & crafts. New store hours 21 Iowa Food Hub (large ad) • V F M E O

22 K’uun Coffee, Calmar • O (563) 562-9033 Fresh Roasted, Fair Trade Coffee 23 Kymar Acres (large ad) V E O 24 Luther College Dining Services (large ad) 25 Mountain Lane Farm, LLC • M V Wauzeka, WI, (608) 874-4414 Grass-fed Beef, Poultry and Sweet Corn Find us at Prairie Street Farmer’s Market

What’s a farmstand?

Farmstands are farms with regular business hours for customers to visit & purchase local goods!

Good food has a great story.

grocery • bulk • produce • café meat • cheese • bakery • wine/beer supplements • body care Summer Hours (Apr-Oct) Monday-Saturday 8:00 am - 8:30 pm Sunday 10:00 am - 7:00 pm

Winter Hours (Nov-Mar) Monday-Saturday 8:00 am - 8:00 pm Sunday 10:00 am - 7:00 pm

everyone can shop

Water Street Caf é f r e s h .

o r g a n i c .

l o c a l .

312 West Water Street • Decorah 563.382.4666 •

everyone welcome


FOOD COOPErative decorah, iowa

no membership required

26 Oneota Community Food Coop (large ad) V F M E O

We welcome special orders! Bread, rolls, cookies, bars, cakes, pies.

Available at Oneota Co-op Jo Iverson | 563 382-4445 421 W. Water St., Suite 105 Decorah, IA

27 Oneota Slopes Farm • M O Andy & Emily Johnson Decorah – (563) 382-0537 Grass-fed meats; Christmas trees 28 Patchwork Green Farm (large ad) V 29 Peake Orchards, Inc. • F O Waukon – (563) 419-0449 Great apple varieties incl. Honeycrisp Family-run orchard Farm Stand, mid Sept-Thanksgiving 30 River Root Farm – Decorah V O (563) 382-6249, Certified organic seedlings & produce Decorah Farmers Market Fall/Winter CSA shares available 31 State Line Produce • V E Lime Springs, Harvey and Mary Lambright Certified organic produce and eggs

The finest dairy products produced and processed in your own backyard. Cream-line Milk Premium Ice Cream Fresh Cheese Curds Find our products in stores in the tri-state region! Retail Store & Ice Cream Shop 850 Rossville Road Waukon, Iowa (563) 568-4950 Find us on Facebook!

THANKS FOR THE SUPPORT OF THESE PARTNERS This directory is organized by the Northeast Iowa Food & Farm Coalition and its partners. Visit for more information on the farmers listed in the directory.

32 Strawberry Lane • F Eastman, WI. U-pick, Pre-pick strawberries 33 Timber Ridge Gardens • V O Sara and Randi Vagts West Union - (563) 422-5844 Chemical-free Produce & Angelfood cakes Decorah Farmers Market 34 Top of the Hollow Organic Farm • V Decorah – (563) 380-8344 Certified organic produce, potatoes Decorah Farmers Market Oneota Co-op and special order 35 Upper Iowa Organics, LLC Marty Grimm Decorah (563) 419-2222 Bulk compost & composted manure M-F, 8-5; Call on weekends 36 Waving Grains Bakery (large ad) • O 37 Windridge Implements (large ad) 38 WW Homestead Dairy (large ad) M O 39 NE Iowa Food & Farm Coalition

Wish upon a star i wish that this will be the best summer ever • i wish that someone will buy me ice cream today • i wish that i will see a unicorn some day • i wish i could go to outer space • i wish for a cloudless day

i wish for a slow moment • i wish that my favorite song was on • i wish for just a little spot to dance • i wish for a great, big hug • i wish for a smile • I wish that this will be the best summer ever


step-by-step instructions at

Paper Project!


the market

From Farm to Photo Essay by Jessica Rilling


Summer 2014 /

Photos by Jessica Rilling, Jessica Rilling Photography Text by Amanda Streeper, Northeast Iowa RC&D Continued on next page \ Summer 2014


Learn the secrets of ancient crafts at Vesterheim’s Folk Art School! Sign up today!

Join professional woodworker Jim Sannerud to create shrink box waterproof containers from greenwood, or prepare milk paint for decorating, or both.

Find a full class schedule at Call 563-382-9681 to register.

Visit Vesterheim’s Museum Store! T-shirts Nor wegian Sweaters Books Cooking Supplies Original Art work Jewelry and more


The National Norwegian-American Museum & Heritage Center Decorah, Iowa • • 563-382-9681

Meet a patchwork of producers from Northeast Iowa


n 2013, the USDA Farmers Market Promotion Program issued a grant with the goal to develop producer profiles, or miniature biographies, of local producers as a means of personifying and promoting Iowa farmers markets. The statewide project, “Using Producer Profiles to Expand Direct Producer to Consumer Marketing Opportunities,” will encapsulate 72 profiles chosen through the Iowa League of Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) Councils and individual RC&D organizations across Iowa, including Northeast Iowa RC&D. Northeast RC&D was responsible for selecting 10 producers to represent this area. Last spring, they opened up an application process and received a variety of wonderful entries. They carefully narrowed it down to the 10 producers highlighted here – they participate in many different farmers markets in the area and have a variety of products, and really do well to showcase the unique

Now open in Spring Grove! For bookings, call 507-458-1255

Sleeps up to eight, centrally located for downtown enjoyment! Your home away from home!

World Class Performances Right Around The Corner

Now Showing Sundays

From top left, clockwise: Off the Land, Top of the Hollow, Phillips Honey, Cardinal Acres, Empty Nest Winery, Patchwork Green gals, and one Yellow River Dairy goat.

Choose a 1 or 2 mile trail, which includes crossing several bridges, walking by a pond, through a prairie, woods, and more. There are over 50 bird signs with QR codes to hear the bird songs.

patchwork of producers across the Northeast Iowa region. The images have been developed into posters and large prints that are being showcased in businesses across Northeast Iowa and made into greeting cards that will be available for sale at markets and local retailers. All proceeds will further promotion of local producers and farmers markets. Northeast Iowa RC&D’s goal was to capture the character of Eastern Iowa’s local food growers, show the high quality of their products, help local food consumers understand where the food they buy at local farmers markets originates and to capture the heart and life of the farmers and their families. The stories told from these photos and interviews have allowed Northeast Iowa RC&D to help brand and promote Northeast Iowa’s farmers markets and producers locally and regionally.

! r e m m u S

Continued on next page \ Summer 2014


133 W. Main, Spring Grove 507.498.DOCS


Great gift ideas! Watch for our June & Nov Open Houses

custom veils & accessories

to match your style & budget

930 Division St., Cresco, IA. 563.379.7583 Open by appointment or chance


Kenneth & Donna Harms. Cover photo shot here! (I­ndependence Farmers Market) As a butcher for many years, Kenneth and Donna learned the value of producing and processing high quality food. Today, their passion for wholesome food is evident in their clean, homegrown produce. The Harms are dedicated farmers market vendors and harvest a wide variety of vegetables and herbs from four gorgeous gardens.

“I always encourage people to shop farmers markets and not just with me.” – Harms Doris Pfister Thompson, LMT, Owner

563-379-9700 •105 N Maryville St (Hwy 52) Calmar, Iowa Algerian & American Appetizers & Entreés Vegetarian Options Sandwiches & Salads Delicious Desserts Signature Cocktails Connoisseur Beer Selection

Elkader, Iowa • 563-245-1992 •

“For us, our neighbors’ positive comments are reward for the hours of labor put into the product.”


Summer 2014 /

Top of the Hollow: The Steines Family (Winneshiek Farmers Market) For the Steines Family, it’s all about the simple rural life. They’ve spent 40 years in food production and gardening, and sell all of their produce – fresh vegetables and fruits, dried beans, and eggs, plus colorful flowers, decorative pots, and handmade goat soap – locally. Father, daughter, & granddaughter work side-by-side – in the garden, caring for their beautiful herd of goats, and feeding their animated chickens.

“It’s all about how we as farmers can make the biggest positive impact in our community.” – Patchwork Green Farm Patchwork Green Farm: Erik Sessions & Sara Peterson (Winneshiek Farmers Market) Patchwork Green Farm has been selling fresh produce at the Winneshiek Farmers Market since 1998. Erik Sessions and Sara Peterson started their operation on 1.2 acre of rented land and have carefully grown their operation. They now own a small farm north of Decorah, with five acres in annual production and cover crops. Erik and Sara strive to produce and sell the highest quality fresh vegetables and herbs possible.

Bittersweet Boutique in Picturesque Lanesboro

“An imaginative, eclectic store whose treasures fill the nooks and crannies of its warm, inviting walls.”

In back: Great selection of

antiques – furniture, porch

beams, trunks. In front: Fe aturing Baggallini, Smart Wool,

Bittersweet is an intimate boutique with a great selection of natural fiber clothing for

women. Expressive, unique, yet simple & classic. Something for everyone. Browse the sassy socks, flip-flops, handbags, vintage hats & unique harness bracelets. Create your own kind of style!

and much more!

117 Parkway Ave N, Lanesboro, MN 43 \ Summer 2014 •

Greg Brown with

Outdoor Benefit Concert

Dave Moore

June 21, 2014 • 7pm Tickets available at with re or at the door ($30) Photo by Roman Cho

Seed Savers Exchange 3094 North Winn Road, Decorah, Iowa 563-382-5990

Jo Iverson | 563-382-4445

Decorah, Iowa

Special Orders Available • Try us at the Oneota Food Co-op!

“We believe whole-heartedly that local food brings people together... Sweet Earth Farm: Anne Bohl & Meghan Spees (Winneshiek Farmers Market) Anne Bohl and Meghan Spees, both Wisconsin natives, were drawn to the Decorah area and its amazing local foods, each working for different foods businesses in Winneshiek County. Eventually, the two friends decided to try it themselves and founded Sweet Earth Farm in 2012. They offer chemical-free, sustainably grown vegetables, herbs, and flowers, as well as pastured poultry.

415 W Water St. Decorah, IA . 563-382-4646 .

303 W. Water St • Decorah, Iowa •563.382.4941

Luxury salon & day spa Hair salon + Manicures & Pedicures Facials •Massages • Makeup 44

Summer 2014 /

“We run a very sustainable farming operation and our products are a reflection of that philosophy.” - Yellow River Dairy

Yellow River Dairy: The Lund Family (Winneshiek Farmers Market) Yellow River Dairy, nestled in a gorgeous valley near the Yellow River after which the farm is named, is home to the Lund Family and their herd of happy goats. In 2005, after 23 years of milking, they decide to establish an on-farm creamery where they could control the quality of their goat cheese and spreads. Now this family business proudly produces a full line of robust goat cheeses and flavorful goat meat.


Workshops & more!

Celebrate food diversity! July 18-20, 2014 34th Annual

ampout Conference & C • Seed Saving • • Root Cellaring • Apple Grafting • • Cooking & Preserving the Garden Harvest • • Organizing a Seed Swap • • Homesteading skills • Good Food and Fun • Go online for details:

Seed Savers Exchange

3094 North Winn Road, Decorah, IA • 563-382-5990

PATCHWORK GREEN FARM Always fresh and super tasty vegetables & herbs produced chemical-free near Decorah by Erik Sessions & Sara Peterson.

Available at the Decorah Farmers’ Market from June - October. 2014 CSA Traditional and Market Shares now available.

Check out for all the details! Eat Lo cal at Well! &E

...and nurtures a healthy, vibrant community.” – Sweet Earth Farm

Burgers • Sandwiches • Salads • Appetizers • Breakfast • In-House Catering Locally Sourced Menu Options • Come watch your favorite games! • 22 Beers on Tap! Two event spaces for small or large groups up to 200 people. Contact Lynnette – for details.

206 W. Water St. •563-382-5970 • \ Summer 2014


“I believe that all local foods are healthier & help sustain the local economy.” – Phillips Honey

Northeast Iowa’s premier wedding destination venue!

Spend your special day in a casual, elegant setting overlooking the Oneota Valley and the Upper Iowa River. Enjoy the Amish-built post and beam barn and restored one room school house – along with outdoor patios and beautiful garden spaces – located just outside Decorah, Iowa.

Visit us at or call 563-419-8902 46

Summer 2014 /

healthy eating a huge part of their value system. They share their commitment to wellness with the community by growing crisp, seasonal produce and making fresh “As a family, we eat the same food baked goods.

Off the Land: Luke & Hope Cline (Winneshiek Farmers Market, Elgin Farmers Market) Luke and Hope Cline of Elgin, Iowa, love what they do and work hard to bring you the freshest, healthiest, tastiest food on the planet. They sell delectable pork and beef from their locally raised livestock, and also offer a wide variety of products including vegetables, fruit, eggs, and jams.

from our farm that you serve at your table.” – Cardinal Acres

Cardinal Acres “We feel it is important for our Produce: Adam daughters to grow up on a farm and in & Jessica Skoda an area that is so involved in producing it’s own food.” – Off the Land (Winneshiek Farmers Market) Adam and Jessica Skoda not only talk the talk, they walk the walk. All-natural gardening is their philosophy and their way of life. Raising two growing boys makes fitness and

Phillips Honey: Mitchell Phillips Pictured on opposite page (New Hampton Farmers Market) Mitchell Phillips started his business when he was 16 years old, purchasing his first two hives with his own money. Now his operation has expanded to 12 hives and produces around 1000 pounds of honey each summer, which is sold at the New Hampton Farmers Market. When you purchase some of Mitchell’s liquid or creamed honey, he notes, you help out a poor starving college student!

Men’s • Women’s • Kid’s | Clarks • Merrell • Keen • Sanuk • Haflinger • Dansko • Sperry Top-Sider • Birkenstocks • Wolky • New Balance • & More!

Shoes that make you feel so good...

You wonder if it’s legal.

(Get it?)

128 W Water St, Decorah, Iowa • 563-382-9829 • Extended Summer Hours

small appliances . pots & pans . kitchen tools . glassware . dishes . accessories . gift registry . & more!

106 E. Water St Decorah, Iowa • 563-382-3544 “Farmers market vendors take pride in their products knowing they are good enough to put on their own table for their family.” – Emipty Nest Winery


HOMES Sustainably Beautifully Efficiently

David J. Wadsworth • 563.419.0390 •

“Delicious food + great atmosphere = fun!” 117 W. WATER ST., DECORAH, IA • 563.382.WINE DINNER: WED-SAT – OPEN AT 5 SUNDAY BRUNCH: 9-1 bar menu also available RESERVATIONS APPRECIATED


Check in!

Read reviews!


Empty Nest Winery: Pam & Dave Kruger (Winneshiek Farmers Market, Harpers Ferry Farmers Market, Driftless Area Wetlands Centre Farmers Market) Dave and Pam Kruger began making berry wines when their children started leaving the nest. It began as a fun experiment and turned into a family business that sells thousands of bottles of wine every year. They grow and handpick the majority of the local, juicy berries for their delicious wines, which have full flavors and witty names like Mid Life Crisis. Their tasting room is open weekends February thru December. Tir Na n’Og: Paul Young (Driftless Area Wetlands Centre Farmers Market) As a tribute to his Irish heritage, Paul Young named his business Tir Na n’Og, which, in Gaelic, means Land of the Young. With the help of his handsome dog Sile and a gorgeous herd of Scottish Highland cattle, Paul raises a wide variety of scrumptious veggies in a picturesque valley near Farmersburg, Iowa. He specializes in potatoes, onions, and gourmet varieties of garlic, but grows a “meascán” (mixture) of seasonal vegetables that tempt even the most discriminating foodie.

You’re buying that shirt for him.


But when it looks that good… we know it’s really for you.


Great brands, service, & prices: local shopping = local fun! 130 W. Water St. Decorah, Iowa 563.382.5761

Mon - Fri 9-5 Thursday 9-8 Saturday 9-5


Summer 2014 /

Jessica Rilling is the Community Outreach Manager for Linn County Conservation, &, of course, heads up Jessica Rilling Photography. She also works on freelance photography, design, & grantwriting projects to benefit natural resources, tourism, arts, culture, & local foods in NE Iowa. A 2003 Decorah graduate & 2007 Iowa State grad, Jessica believes in attacking the day with enthusiasm.

“I stro encourage c

ongly believe in localizing our food supply and e people to eat seasonally using local produce to can, freeze and preserve.” – Tir Na n’Og \ Summer 2014






ON THE Boat House



Intro by Benji Nichols Photos by Emily Kurash


inona, Minnesota, is a town rich in river history (that’s the mighty ol’ Mississippi in case you were wondering.) One of the winding sidetracks of that history includes the boathouses of Latsch Island, a small community of residents who live in floating homes just across from downtown Winona. You could say they represent a mindset, as such, of river life – living a little more intentionally, and holding a true sense of place. If you take those ideals, add a couple of entrepreneurial business partners, an empty building in Levee Park on the banks of the Mississippi, and great food and drinks, you get Winona’s Boat House. With a rotating blackboard menu of whatever inspiration has hit daily, and a fun, worldly-yet-simple regular menu, the food can take you both around the world and right back home. The craft beer selection is great, and word on the street is that brunch – served Saturday and Sunday – is a total winner. Tip: Don’t leave without ordering a mimosa…and/or a Bloody Mary! From their regular menu, check out a (according to photographer Emily) “damn good” buffalo burger (pictured) or the chef favorite, the Boat House Lucy, along with pommes frites (including all the amazing sauces possible), or (another Emily favorite) tasty panko fried crab cakes. And any of the delicious desserts, of course! Second to the food, is the ambiance of the place. And they’ve got boatloads (groan)! The wrap-around patio facing the river equals summer night perfection. Amazingly, the Boat House crew has figured out how to enclose that same outdoor space, making it an almost year-round dining area, complete with a cozy stove and fun décor. But we don’t have to think about that right now – it’s summer! And it’s finally nice! So get out there and enjoy the weather, grab a cold beverage and great food, and soak in scenic vistas of the mighty Mississippi. 50

Summer 2014 /

Find details and more information at

Name: Lyon Smith Age: 42 Restaurant: Boat House Number of Years Cooking: 30 Formal training or live-and-learn? Live and learn, that’s how we do it at the Boat House! We change with the seasons and always try and keep fresh, local ingredients and keep our menu interesting. Boat House would be considered rustic cuisine, with fresh, local ingredients, and beer of course. The kind of food you would expect if you were to visit a real boathouse on the Mississippi River. What’s your earliest or most significant memory of cooking or being cooked for? Hiking through the Bluffs of the Mississippi River Valley and gathering Morel mushrooms and trout fishing in the streams. Frying them up in a cast iron skillet with butter, salt and pepper with asparagus when in season. We still use that recipe; of course we get our trout from a local trout farm for the restaurant. Why did you decide to become a chef? Out of necessity. We love to cook and create! We live in a rural area and try to create interests in different tastes. A fusion of cultures and styles of cooking is combined to create delicious, adventurous choices for our customers. Naturally, we started experimenting and learning out of sheer curiosity too! What’s the best thing you’ve ever made? The best thing I have ever made is probably the Boat House Lucy, which is a half-pound of ground beef with local Wisconsin cheese curds stuffed inside of the burger, caramelized onions, arugula, garlic aioli, and tomato on a Kaiser roll, topped off with truffle oil and served with fresh hand cut fries. People have told us it is the best burger they have ever eaten. Do you have any monumental food fails you’d like to share with us? Once, while making curry, I used cream de coco, instead of coconut milk, it ruined the curry, needless to say. How about secret food indulgences you don’t normally talk about? Authentic Japanese Ramen! What’s your favorite… Ingredient: garlic Dish: fish tacos with guacamole Cookbook: “Daniel Bouley: East of Paris: The New Cuisines of Austria and the Danube” Random (or not so random) kitchen tool: cast iron skillet Vegetable: endives Fruit: apple Emily is a recent transplant to Winona MN from Decorah, (and is currently writing this while stranded on a boat on the Mississippi waiting for a barge in lock and dam 5A.) She is beyond excited to be telling the Driftless Region about the Boat House and other fun stuff in Winona – high up on that list? The Great River Shakespeare Festival (where Emily is Director of Sales and Marketing)!



Lunch & dinner Monday - Saturday • 563-382-3067


do the


Details online at Holistic Health Solutions: • Homeopathy • Herbal Remedies Quantum Biofeedback • ElectroAcupuncture • & More!

Naturally Unbridled



Patti Bartsch, M.A., Ph.D. Traditional Naturopath & BioEnergetic Practitioner . Onalaska, WI . 608-799-8326

• Facial Services • Eyelash Extensions • Eminence Organic Skin Care

holistic, noninvasive anti-aging NATURALBEAUTYLLC.NET ONALASKA,WI 608.783.0322 \ Summer 2014


Your Path to Pure Happiness

Annuals • Perennials Hanging Baskets Trees • Shrubs Decorative Rock Mulch • Block Gardening Tools & More!

Outdoor Decor and Garden Gifts Daily Lunch Features plus homemade fudge, cupcakes and other sweet treats at

The Bakery

Science, 4.5 miles west of Decorah, IA

2475 State Highway 9 563-382-0010


Summer 2014 /

You're super!



You know what’s super magical? Light-up bums. I’m talking fireflies, of course! A field or dark forest flooded with those little flickering butts is some seriously super science. It’s one of my favorite things about summer. But have you ever wondered how they do it? Or why? Continued on next page

Story by Aryn Henning Nichols Photo by Radim Schreiber \ Summer 2014


open decorah

coworking community

Join us! 1–day pass: $15

10–day pass: $90 (valid for 60 days)

Monthly: $100

open for:

Work. Collaboration. Fun. Convenience. 24 hours/day.

Includes mail & package service, 24/7/365 access, website listing & access to 3rd floor break room.

Movement for Health & Well-Being Change your life today! Contact Diane Sondrol for more information. 563.419.5420 or Small group and private lessons available, all are welcome!


Folkedahel Servic


We’ll take care of it! Pick up & delivery available

563-382-4010 • 563-380-5851


irst off, fireflies – or lightning bugs (whichever you prefer) – are neither flies nor bugs. They’re beetles. But lightning beetle just doesn’t have the same ring, does it? (1) These little beetles produce a chemical reaction inside their bodies called bioluminescence, which allows them to light up. Inside their light organs, oxygen combines with calcium, adenosine triphosphate (ATP), and the chemical luciferin – all while the bioluminescent enzyme luciferase is present. This produces light. (2) And it’s not just any light. An average electric light bulb gives off 90 percent of its energy as heat, and only 10 percent as light. If fireflies produced that much heat when they lit up, they’d probably not live through it (giving new meaning to “fire”flies). Luckily, fireflies are amazingly efficient light-producers. During bioluminescence, a hundred percent of the energy goes into making light. (1) The firefly controls the beginning and end of the chemical reaction, and thus the start and stop of its light emission, through oxygen. Insects do not have lungs, but instead transport oxygen from outside the body to the interior cells through a complex series of successively smaller tubes known as tracheoles. When the firefly wants to light up, it adds oxygen to the other chemicals needed to produce light. When there’s no oxygen available, the light goes out. (2) They appear to light up for a variety of reasons: to communicate their distastefulness to predators, to help identify certain types of species, or, more commonly, to attract members of the opposite sex. Yes, fireflies get right to the point in their short two-to-three-week lifespan. Studies have also shown that some female fireflies are attracted to males with high flash rates and/or increased flash intensity. Ooh la la! (2) Unfortunately for some sad folks in a few sad regions, not all fireflies flash. Fireflies that inhabit the western areas of North America don’t use light signals to communicate. Because of this, many people inaccurately believe that they don’t exist west of the Rockies, since flashing populations are rarely seen there. But for some lucky folks in a few lucky regions, fireflies synchronize their flashes! It’s rare – in the US, you can see this phenomenon (usually during a two-week window in late spring) at Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee – but amazing to see. Thousands of fireflies will light up at the same time, over and over, in what’s called simultaneous bioluminescence! Not coincidentally, thousands of people come from all over to witness this amazing show each year. (3) And now, final interesting firefly fact: Firefly luciferase is also useful in medical research! It can be used as markers to detect blood clots or to tag cells and genes, and to monitor hydrogen peroxide levels in living organisms (hydrogen peroxide is believed to play a role in the progression of some diseases, like cancer and diabetes). Scientists can now use a synthetic form of luciferase – fortunately – as we’d all like to keep those little bums flashing for many years to come. (1)

Aryn Henning Nichols has watched, chased, or caught fireflies every summer of her life. She may also have squished and smeared a few, and feels more than a little guilty about it, especially after writing this Science, You’re Super! Sorry, fireflies. Never again! Radim Schreiber, born in the Czech Republic, grew his passion for photography while photographing insects during his college years in Iowa. After completing his BFA at Maharishi University of Management, he started working for The Sky Factory, LLC in Fairfield, Iowa, as a nature photographer, cinematographer, and digital artist. Radim has won multiple national & international photography competitions, including the Smithsonian Magazine Photography contest. Radim’s latest project is photographing the bioluminescent glow of fireflies. Learn more at


Summer 2014 /

SOURCES: 1. 2. 3.

•60 ft. Waterfall •Wedding Chapel •Stalactites •Fossils

Come & See the Natural Beauty of Niagara Cave! Enjoy the refreshing 48 degrees year round. Picnic areas, Gift shop & Gemstone mining available. Walking shoes are recommended.

Voted Best Family Destination 2009 - 2013


18 Hole Miniature Golf Course •Concession stand available •Ice cream •Sandwiches •Beverages

Discount Punch Cards! Call 1-800-837-6606 or 507-886-6606 Open weekends - April & October. Open Daily - May thru September Located 2 mi. south of Harmony on Hwy. 139 then 2 mi. west on County Road 30. Just 1 mi. north of the Minnesota/Iowa border on Hwy. 139, then west.

5 56

Summer 2014 /

PLACES You Never Knew



here are a ton of great spots to check out in the Driftless Region – from museums to landmarks to educational centers and more. Some of them are well known, some of them not, but all of them are worth the trip. We’ve put together a list of five we think you should really get to know better (or all over again). Happy adventuring!

Mani/Pedi • Waxing • Facials • Colors, Perms, & Cuts

Porter House 401 W. Broadway, Decorah, Iowa Porter House is not just another pretty house in the Historic District of Decorah. Don’t get us wrong – it is a pretty house in the Historic District of Decorah. But inside, you’ll find all sorts of treasures and tales that transport you to another time…almost another world… the world of the Porters. Hometown boy Adelbert “Bert” Field Porter (1879 – 1968) grew up across the street from Grace Young Porter (1880 – 1964). While he attended boarding schools during the school year, summers were spent in Decorah with his grandparents. Childhood play dates grew into real dates, and Grace and Bert married in 1904. Having come from wealthy families, Bert and Grace were free to spend their lives together chasing adventures, creating amazing collections, and exploring history, culture, nature, and art. Known as a “gentleman naturalist,” Bert was a professional collector, gathering butterflies, rocks, and other curiosities from far-flung locales. Grace accompanied him on many, but not all, of his travels. The trips varied in length from weeks to months and always produced crates and boxes of found items along the way. Thus, the Porter House, an1867 Italianate villa, has become a character in and of itself. Outside, the grotto-style 1940s rock wall is built with stones from around the world – each one as unique as it is gorgeous – and compliments the extensive gardens with beautiful plantings and small pond. Up the gorgeous 1890s wrap-around Queen Anne porch and inside the house, displays range from Grace’s beautiful crochet work to Bert’s truly astounding collection of bugs and butterflies to photographs of the Porter’s wild adventures (hitching along with scientists in South America, for instance). The museum proves interesting for a quick tour, as well as deeper return visits to really get a feel for how astounding the Porter’s travels were for their generation. “The furnishings show the continual habitation of a family, items acquired and collected over decades of travel and living from the late Victorian era up through the early 20th century,” says Emily Mineart, Consulting Curator/Collections Manager of the museum. “The same house museum displays superb architectural detail, elegant Victorian garments and furnishings, taxidermy bats and caimen, pre-1940s international photographs, Chinese foot-binding shoes, and vast collections of butterfly folk art!” A special “Art, Antiques, and Adventure Auction” is planned for Saturday, June 28, 4 to 6 pm at the Porter House to help raise funds for ongoing projects. A silent auction of goods and services featuring artistry, history, natural beauty, and great experiences will be offered. All proceeds from the silent auction will go toward the preservation of the museum house and collections. Refreshments will be served on the beautiful Porter House grounds, amidst the gardens, historic porches, and fascinating rock wall – accompanied by live music from local Decorah artists. Admission: $10 per Person, $15 per Pair.

563.382.5511 305 College Drive . Decorah, IA 52101 Monday - Saturday 9am - 5pm | Thursday 9am - 8pm


115 Winnebago Street | Decorah, Iowa | 563.382.3600



1. Water Color & Ink (San Clemente, CA): Feb 8-9 2. Drawing: April 12-13 3. Watercolor – Beginner: June 14-15 4. Watercolor – Advanced: Sept 13-14 5. Watercolor & Ink: October 25-26 • 563-387-6782

Protection is a family tradition. Since 1927, families like yours have trusted our Family to protect them from unexpected losses. Call me today to discuss your needs.

American Family Mutual Insurance Company and its Subsidiaries American Family Insurance Company Home Office – Madison, WI 53783 © 2011

Kerbie Engel Agency 401 W Water St Decorah, IA 52101 (563) 382-8006

002139 – Rev. 6/11 \ Summer 2014


Iowa Whitewater Parks Charles City White Water Park Downtown Charles City Elkader Whitewater Park Downtown Elkader, Iowa





You’ve made us so hoppy. Thanks for supporting this wild adventure!

Big beers brewed in small batches wouldn’t be possible without this small community with big heart. Thanks again.

-The TG Team


Summer 2014 /

Whitewater and Iowa. It’s a real thing! Charles City, Iowa, has brought a flood of new interest to their community by rebuilding a river that would sometimes do just that – flood. The town of 7600 has always been charming, but the new Whitewater at Riverfront Park project has brought a whole new level of tourism to the forefront. Completed in 2013, the project is the real deal. Designed by Recreation Engineering and Planning (REP) from Boulder, Colorado, the Charles City course encompasses 11 acres of water with three world-class whitewater features rated at Class II and III, depending on water levels – Dam Drop, Docs Drop, and Exit Exam. The features are designed with freestyle, surfing, spins, and “rodeo” style kayaking, with some level of previous experience being advisable. Outside of the features, the area is also perfect for tubing, canoeing, and fishing. The surrounding Riverfront Park includes 23 acres of land featuring a handicap accessible boat launch, disc golf course, natural play area, amphitheater, storm water fountain, labyrinth, and access to the community’s more than five miles of recreational trails. Meanwhile, just over in Elkader, the city’s Whitewater Park just opened this spring. The three components – The Gobbler Wave, Boulder Island, and Fish/Canoe Passage – will allow for fun surfing, flat spins, and freestyle moves. The Passage allows fish to pass upstream and canoes to pass downstream, while also allowing a great starting point for beginners. whitewater.html Note: The sport of whitewater paddling has been growing intensely over the past few years, and while play areas in these projects can be navigated around easily, the idea of whitewater kayaking is a bit different from the standard canoe or kayak river drifting that many enjoy in the Driftless Region. Special kayaks are most often paddled, often shorter and easier to maneuver in fast water – and special skills are necessary. Check out either of the above websites for more information on classes and events that will help you get your feet wet!

Iowa Dairy Center NICC Campus, Calmar, IA 1527 Hwy 150 South
Calmar, Iowa 52132 Wanna go see some cows? Yep. We thought you did. You better get on over to Iowa’s Dairy Center in Calmar, Iowa. You’ll not only see cows, but a world-class robotic milking facility. Seriously, guys, get a mooove on (groan). Showing the kids, or that farm-sheltered friend, how a dairy facility works is a perfect field trip for our corner of the world. A project of NICC and the Northeast Iowa Dairy Foundation, the center includes an educational facility with classrooms and labs, a milking parlor, free-stall barn, and calf barn. The partnership with the Northeast Iowa Community College also allows students enrolled in the dairy program to experience hands-on curriculum by working with the center’s dairy herd. A unique double-eight milking parlor is featured at the Center – complete with a viewing platform that allows visitors to watch the process of cows being milked (open anytime!). This automated milking system demonstrates both herringbone and parallel parlor styles side-by-side, making it the only dairy educational facility of its kind – most likely anywhere! There are exhibits too, like the Hall of Breeds with its life-sized pictures and info on different milk cows. Milkings are done three times daily: 4 am, 12 pm and 8 pm. A great time to check it all out is when the center hosts its annual “Breakfast on The Farm” June 21 from 8:30 am to 12pm. Or, to schedule a tour, call Megan at 563-534-9957 ext 107. www.

Villa Louis 521 N Villa Louis Rd, Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin 608-326-2721 Summer time is the perfect time to imagine what it was like in the good ‘ol days. Windows open, lemonade on the table, lounging on the veranda as the world seems to slow on down. A trip to Villa Louis in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, can bring this sweet little daydream to life. The immaculate house and grounds were first conceived by Hercules Louis Dousman (1800 – 1868) after he had acquired a large fortune through his enterprises as a fur trader, lumberman, land speculator, and frontier entrepreneur. In the mid-1840s the


112 Winnebago St, Decorah • 121 N Vine St, West Union

Sims: $19.99

Big Box: $19.99

36-pack alkaline AA batteries

Bigger isn’t always better. Small box store. Small box service. Total cost difference: $0. Added value: Convenient in & out shopping, questions answered, & no games or gimmicks.

Why shop anywhere else? 563-382-CELL (2355) • Mon-Fri 8am-6pm • Thurs ‘til 8pm • Sat 9am-5pm • Sun 12-5pm

Travel in style in a vintage cable car–style trolley! Perfect for weddings, prom, parties, parades, & more! FEATURING: • Antique wooden seats • Vintage glass & rails

• Open-air or enclosed • Front & rear heat • PA system.

563-419-8902 •

Travel by Trolley . Travel in Style . \ Summer 2014


Dousman family began developing an estate on the banks of the Mississippi River at Prairie du Chien that would eventually evolve into the Villa Louis. Its vibrant hues and rich textures reflected the family’s rise to wealth and leisure living. Throughout its evolution the property always maintained its elegant and stylish Victorian country home aesthetic, and much attention was paid to the grounds surrounding the mansion and outbuildings. In the 1930s, mindful of their family’s important place in Wisconsin history, Virginia Dousman Bigelow and Violet Dousman Young – granddaughters of fur trader Hercules Dousman – undertook a restoration of Villa Louis. In 1935 they turned the property over to the city of Prairie du Chien and the Wisconsin Historical Society for operation as a house museum. In the midst of the Great Depression, operating a museum far from the Society’s Madison headquarters seemed a risky venture, so the Society declined the offer. A decade later the family renewed the offer, and in April 1952 Villa Louis opened to the public.

The Dousman heirs also donated a large collection of furnishings and accessories original to the house as well as thousands of letters, business records, photographs and other archival documents. Villa Louis offers daily tours of the house and property, in addition to fantastic special classes and experiences like Breakfast in a Victorian Kitchen, Come Fly a Kite at Villa Louis, a special Behind the Scenes tour, Kids in a Victorian Kitchen, and more. Call ahead or check the web for full details and deadlines on special offerings. The museum operates May through early November with tours 10am to 4pm. Additional information and year-round visiting information available by calling 608-326-2721. For an added adventure bonus this summer, check out the Wisconsin Historical Societies “Family Passport” which offers unlimited admission to 12 awesome history-filled Wisconsin destinations, including the Villa Louis, for just $80.

Come on in! Let me get you a drink. HISTORIC



Tap Room

Open Daily at 4

Book online or call now for great summer getaway rates! • • 104 E. Water St. Decorah, IA • 1.800.998.4164

Forestville / Mystery Cave State Park 21071 County 118
Preston, Minnesota Main Park: 507-352-5111 In the early 1850s, two entrepreneurial gents bargained for a section of land near the Root River known as “Watertown”, between Spring Valley and Preston, Minnesota. A double pen log general store was constructed, supplying pioneers in the southern part of the Minnesota Territory. This was the start of Forestville. A rural village supplying to settlers at its peak, Forestville had a general store, school, brickyard, two hotels, two saw mills, a cabinet shop, gristmill, blacksmith shop, and post office. But with the routing of Southern Minnesota Railroad away from the town in 1868, the town slowly drifted into decline. By 1899, the businesses left were all owned by Thomas Meighen, son of one of the original general store founders. By 1910 the town was all but abandoned, left to fall by the boom and bust wayside of settler history.

Thoughtfully designed, handcrafted, timberframe buildings. . 563 382 6245 . Decorah, Iowa

SALES SERVICE PARTS We service all brands.

302 College Drive, Decorah, IA 563-382-4856 • M-F 8-5 • Sat 8-3

NOW is always the right time to tune up or upgrade your mower or blower! TOP-OF-THE-LINE BRANDS – TORO • CUB CADET

Lawn Mowers, Snow Blowers, Chain Saws, & More!

Fine Casual Decorah Dining If this all sounds like a grand “Little House on the Prairie” adventure, you are in luck! In 1949, Forestville State Park was created, and later the Minnesota Historical Society was entrusted with Forestville and now operates the site in full nineteenth-century appearance (1899, to be exact…). Several ongoing programs are presented by costumed docents throughout the May-through-October season. Programs include: Bread Making Day (June 7 and 21), From the Churn – butter making! (June 14 and 28), 19th Century Homestead Day Camp (June 16, 23, and July 14), 1899 Independence Day Celebration (July 4), Pickling, Drying and Sugaring (August 16), By the Light of the Lantern (August 30), Apple Cider Pressing (October 11), and Apple Butter Day (October 18). Admission to historic Forestville is $7 for adults, $6 for seniors and college students, $5 for children 6-17, and free for 5 and under. The park is open Thursday through Sunday, Memorial Day to Labor Day, with additional Saturdays through October. Also located at the State park is Mystery Cave, the longest public cave in the state. Added to the park in 1987, admission and entrances to the cave are separate from Historic Forestville.

Benji Nichols thinks that five is just a nice number – and merely just scratches the shell of all of the amazing Driftless destinations in these lovely summer days. Now get out there and go!

GREAT GREAT PIZZA! DINNERS! Celebrating our 60th anniversary!

110 East Water St 563-382-4297

Banquet facilities - weddings, conferences, meetings, & more!

1101 Highway 9 563-387-0300

Artistry in Cabinetry since 1983

Kitchens Home offices Bars Entertainment centers Fireplace mantles Cabinets & shelving Remodeling Finished carpentry

Visit my new website! 563-382-4750 \ Summer 2014


By Jim McCaffrey Photos by Aryn Henning Nichols



When I was growing up, we moved from Cedar Rapids to a farm just outside of Decorah. It was a move from the bright city lights to dark country nights. And it was an absolute pleasure.

Summer 2014 /

Continued on next page



LODGING GALLERIES St. Mane THEATRE | 507.467.2446 | Year-round

‘LANESBORO LIVE’ 1st Saturdays Apr-Oct

2nd Fridays Mar-Nov

Tickets $5-15 | 507-467-2446 | St. Mane 1 hour before show

EXHIBIT: June 21 - Aug 10 ‘Summer Dreams’ | 31 artists

90+ Juried Artists Art Lofts: Spacious apartment rentals

Downtown Lanesboro: abig kitchen aliving room asleeps 6

Lanesboro MN.

Galleries & Art Lofts 103 Parkway N | St. Mane 206 Parkway N .

Evening Specials!

Specializing in wood-fired pizza & International Cuisine!

Wednesday: Spaghetti & meatballs / kids pizzas Thursday: Chef’s Choice Check Friday: Blackened Salmon for special daily dishes! Saturday: Steak of the Week Pizza, pasta, salads, sandwiches, soups, appetizers, homemade cheesecake & more! NAMED BEST PIZZA IN IOWA BY USA TODAY! Gift certificates available!


2149 Twin Springs Road, Decorah, Iowa 4-9 pm Wed – Fri | 11-9 pm Sat | 11-8 pm Sun 64

Summer 2014 /

We had an outside yard light that could be turned off from the house. You’d shut it off and just step outside. On cloudless evenings, the heavens would open and reward you with a panorama of twinkling orbs – a treasure trove of dancing and glistening stars. My sister, Angie, and I got books on the various constellations and set out to memorize their locations. My favorites were Orion the Hunter and the Big and Little Dippers also known as Ursa Major and Ursa Minor. Boy, did we know how to have a good time! Stargazing at its finest. The other day I got reminiscent about those nights and my crazy, twisted, Irish mind formulated an idea: Why not create a menu that would serve well on a moonlit evening? My most recent evening outdoor parties have all been in southern Provence, France, at a couple of country estates where the sky was not infected by the glare of city lights. Five course meals were always on the agenda. And wine, of course. Dinner can last a couple hours or more, then a lot of twirling and dancing usually follows…sometimes into the wee hours of the morning. At one such party our French connection burst into their national anthem. Not to be outdone, the American contingent rose to the occasion with the Star Spangled Banner. What fun and camaraderie. So the plan was to start with a Salad Niçoise that has its origination where else but in southern Provence. The classic French version consists of canned tuna, cherry tomatoes, Niçoise olives, and anchovies. The Americanized version includes cooked green beans and potatoes. We had our first taste of this delightful dish at some friends’ house in Cassis, France, while overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. For today’s version I substituted fresh sushi grade ahi tuna steaks for the canned. These can be seared to rare or medium rare for best results. I sort of followed a recipe of Food Network chef Tyler Florence, which included a wonderful vinaigrette with fresh tarragon. You can start salivating now or wait until we get to our main course…it follows directly. I decided to go to another region of France for the next dish. Burgundy is well known for its great wines and probably its most famous dish is Boeuf Bourguignon, more commonly referred to as Burgundy Beef Stew in the US. A few years ago Brenda and I were in Paris and there was a small bistro – Cosmos – just down the street from where we were staying. The owner was a guy from Kentucky who had married a Parisian lady. Over the course of a few days we got acquainted and he brought over his version of this signature dish. Bistro food: Absolutely delightful. He shared with me and so now I’m sharing with you. If you are not moonstruck by now you will be after you try our choice for dessert. A black forest tart is destined for the outdoor table. It’s a sensual combination of chocolate and cherries to tease your palate, and a little whipped cream to seal the deal. Warning: You will be hooked. Now go to the garage and haul out those tiki torches that have been gathering dust for years. And maybe the candelabra that has been languishing in the attic. Gathering some wood for a campfire would be a nice touch as well. You can go casual or a bit more formal, but the important thing is finding a good place with an unobstructed view of the sky. It will probably help if you bone up on the constellations too. That way you can talk smart and really impress your guests. Outdoor evening dinners can be so magical. (Well, except the occasional mosquito… or swarm of them. Probably a good idea to have some repellant close by too!) Our intrepid crew of taste testers, unfortunately, did not have the option of dining under the evening lights. Foxy Roxie, Aryn and Benji’s wonderful daughter, has an eight o’clock bedtime – and that’s still daylight. So we made it an early lunch date. Our regular Inspire(d) lunch group consisted of Aryn Benji, Roxie, James Ronan, Fawn, Brenda, and I. We were joined by Shanon, and, at the last minute, Conor showed up with our grandson, Rowen. This truly

was a fun lunch/dinner to put together. In fact, Shanon exclaimed, “This the best salad I’ve ever had in my life!” I think there was a lot of concurrence on that. A couple of notes: I made the tart up the day before and put it in the refrigerator to serve it cold. For the salad a symmetrical presentation (see picture) really kicks it up a notch. It is not necessary to use a wine from Burgundy to make the Boeuf Bourguignon. It is more important to follow the instructions for cooking and seasoning. It does not have to be an expensive red wine, just use one that doesn’t make you grimace when you drink it. So now, you are on your own. Enjoy the evening with friends and family under the Milky Way, dining with the stars. Jim McCaffrey is a chef, author, and co-owner with his family of McCaffrey’s Dolce Vita restaurant and Twin Springs Bakery just outside Decorah. He is author of humorous cookbooks “Midwest Cornfusion” and “Mississippi Mirth”. He has been in the food industry in one way or another for more than 40 years.

Salad Nicoise Vinaigrette: 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 tsp Dijon mustard 3 tbl red wine vinegar 2 tsp lemon juice ½ cup olive oil 2 tbl flat-leaf parsley, chopped 2 tbl fresh tarragon, minced Salt and ground pepper to taste Salad: 1 pound small red potatoes 8 large hard boiled eggs ½ lb green beans 2 lbs fresh sushi grade tuna 2 tbl olive oil Salt and ground pepper 1 pint cherry tomatoes 16 anchovy fillets Fresh chives cut in half to garnish 16 capers 1 cup Kalamata olives Combine all vinaigrette ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until emulsified. Set aside. Cook potatoes until tender. Cool and cut in half. Peel eggs and cut in half the long way. Place beans in a colander. Steam over boiling water for five minutes. Let cool. Sprinkle tuna with salt and pepper generously. Pan sear in olive oil over medium high heat for two minutes. Turn over and repeat. Slice into1/2 inch strips allowing 4 ounces per person. Place a few beans in the center of each plate. Lay salmon strips over the top. Place a half potato at the top of the plate and one at the bottom. Arrange a half egg on either side of the plate. Cut tomatoes in half and symmetrically place four halves on the plate. Add a couple olives, anchovies, and capers to each plate. Garnish tuna with chives. Drizzle each plate with vinaigrette. (See picture for assembled dish.) Serves 8.

Boeuf Bourguinon 6 slices bacon cut into one-inch pieces 2 lbs boneless beef sirloin or tenderloin cut in one-inch cubes 1/2 cup flour 2 cups red Burgundy or other dry red wine 1 clove garlic, minced 1 bay leaf 1 lb fresh roasted asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces 1 ¼ tsp salt 1 tsp beef bouillon 1/2 tsp dried thyme 1/4 tsp black pepper 4 medium onions, sliced 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced 2 tbl butter Snipped parsley 1 lb egg noodles, cooked French bread

Est. 1961

People you can trust. Quality you can depend on.

Fry bacon in Dutch oven until crisp. Remove to paper towels. Coat beef with flour and fry in bacon grease until browned. Drain excess fat. Add wine and just enough water to cover beef. Stir in garlic, bay leaf, asparagus, salt, bouillon, thyme, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 1 ½ hours until beef is tender. Cook onion and mushrooms over medium heat until onions are tender. Add to stew and cook an additional 10 minutes. Remove bay leaf. Garnish with parsley and serve over noodles. Accompany with French bread. Serves 8.

Black Forest Tart CRUST: 1 ¼ cups chocolate wafer crumbs ¼ cup sugar ¼ cup butter, melted FILLING ½ cup butter 6 – one-ounce squares semisweet chocolate, chopped 3 eggs 2/3 cup sugar 1 tsp vanilla ¼ tsp salt 2/3 cup flour TOPPING 1 – 21-ounce can cherry pie filling 2 – one-ounce squares semisweet chocolate, chopped 1 tbl heavy whipping cream

Monday: 9am - 8pm Tues - Fri: 9am - 5pm Saturday: 9am - 3pm

Combine wafer crumbs, sugar and butter. Stir. Lightly grease a 10-inch spring form pan. Press wafer mixture in to cover bottom. Bake 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees. 3 goldsmiths, a graduate Melt butter and chocolate and stir until smooth. gemologist, and a Let cool 10 minutes. In a large bowl, beat eggs, watchmaker on staff! sugar, vanilla, and salt until slightly thickened, about four minutes. Add flour, mix well and 31 West Main Street pour over crust. Spread evenly and bake at 350 Waukon, Iowa degrees 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean after being inserted in center. 800.932-7028 • 563.568-3661 Cool completely. Spread pie filling over top. Microwave chocolate and cream 20-30 seconds and stir until smooth. Cool five minutes and stir. Drizzle over tart. Chill completely. Serves 12. 65 \ Summer 2014


John F. Hassebroek, Sioux City’s ‘Popcorn Man’, says try to be happy! Interview and introduction by granddaughter Amalia Vagts (Decorah)

My grandfather, John Hassebroek, can have a conversation with anyone, anyplace, anytime, on pretty much any subject. At 96, he’s slowing down a bit. But if you find yourself in Sioux City, Iowa with some time on your hands, he’d be glad to visit with you. John worked for the American Popcorn Company in Sioux City for 36 years traveling from farm to farm throughout Northeast Nebraska and Northwest Iowa where he was known as the “Pop Corn Man” by the farmers he visited. We caught up on Skype for this interview (with some help from my mom). What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you? I don’t know that I ran around and asked for advice, but, for one thing, “Be happy.” How about the worst? This is really more the worst idea than the worst advice. I moved to Buffalo Center around the time of high school. We had a big ice storm one day and I skated to town on Highway 9, right down the pavement. Luckily, things turned out okay. What jobs did you think about doing when you were a young kid? I was raised by my grandfather and grandmother and did a lot of jobs as a young boy. My grandfather ran a filling station next to the house and I worked there sometimes. In fact, my dad dug a pit inside our dirt garage, and I would get in it. The cars would drive in and I would drain the oil, and then tell whoever was up top that I was done and they would pour the oil in. This was when I was 12 or 13 years old. What work did you do as an adult? In 1938, I went to the State Fair in Des Moines with my brother and some friends. When they went home, I decided to stay and got a room at the YMCA. Finally down to no funds, I sat on the curb outside a bakery one day eating day-old doughnuts. I got a job with a salesman who sold fur coats in home-owned ladies stores. I finally tired of that and got a job at a parking garage around the corner from WHO where Ronald Reagan was a sports announcer. After that, I joined the service and am a World War II veteran. I spent most of my working years at the American Pop Corn Company. I was a fieldsman and businessman for them for 36 years. I went out and worked with the farmers who were growing the fields of popcorn. I had a very interesting career with a great company. If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you want with you? Radio, shelter, and a friend. I suppose for food I would want a fire, so I would need some matches. So if I smoked, I tell you I’d quit on the spot! Describe yourself in a sentence. Well, I think I’m a thoughtful person, friendly…I look forward to helping somebody.

Do you know someone you’d love to interview for this page? Let us know!

How did you meet your wife (the late Bonnie Brodie Hassebroek)? I was stationed at Fort Des Moines. One night I ended up at the ISO and noticed this pretty classy looking red-haired WAC (Women’s Army Corp) and challenged her to a game of ping pong. She was very friendly and we had a good time. We wound up at an upstairs bowling alley that had booths for short orders. Des Moines had citywide blackouts then and one of those happened so we sat across the booth and chatted in the dark. Well, we hit it off and that started the romance! What is one of your favorite features of where you live now? The bathroom, naturally! A favorite memory… Bonnie and I were featured in Ripley’s Believe It or Not. Bonnie was in the Women’s Army Corps and I was in the Army. Bonnie was deployed to London soon after the wedding. She went to France some weeks later and then I got orders to go to France with the 167th General Hospital Unit. We had a reunion in Verdun, France after I got a tip from a WAC who knew of a red-haired WAC named Bonnie staying in a farmhouse about 10 miles from the German front. I showed up and knocked on her door and it was on our first wedding anniversary, within one hour of our marriage ceremony. My sergeant mailed in the story to Ripley and it won first prize in 1945. We had quite a life together.

Vennehjem Decorah’s Active 55+ Community

1102 Nordic Drive, Decorah IA email:


A Lifestyle Worth Living!

Vennehjem is an easy living community for today’s active, healthy seniors—enjoy a life of freedom, security and convenience!

Private, stacked ranch homes, 1 low monthly fee!


Give Your Eyes And Wallet a Break! FREE SUNGLASSES OR FREE FRAME with purchase of 1 year’s supply of Contact Lenses available.


7:30-5:30 M, W, F 7:30-7:00 TUES & THURS 8:00-3:00 SATURDAY

Introducing the NEW

Ossian Clinic For 100 years Winneshiek Medical Center has been the hub of a vital and vibrant health care system for our region. Today, more than ever, we are finding ways to reach out to our patients and the Ossian Clinic is the newest expression of our commitment to your health.

Ossian Clinic services include family medicine care for children and adults of all ages, including: • Care for acute illness or injury

• Preventive education

• Chronic disease management, like • Rehabilitation and fitness diabetes, hypertension & COPD • Occupational Health Services & • Annual exams DOT exams • Well-child visits • Daily walk-in lab testing

• Referrals to advanced care to meet your individual needs

Offering early morning and same day appointments.

Hours: Monday-Friday 7:30am to 3:30pm Includes daily walk-in lab testing. Call for appointments:


Ossian Clinic


Renew the Pro



112 Main St., Ossian



Candles, gifts, & so much more.

200 W Water St Decorah, Iowa 563.382.5742

It’s worth the trip every time!

Wind your way to

The Rustic Corner for Star Spangled


Shopping Atmosphere Country FUN!

413 N Main St, Charles City, IA 50616


Mon-Fri 9-7, Sat 9-5