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Lost in the Corn October 25, 2010

Posted by Wapello Warbler in Grandview, Small Town Life.
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In the Maze

Friday night I tagged along as our church youth group and Venture Crew 007 took in the Corn Maze at Barnyard Blooms in Grandview. I had a blast.

The teens ran the maze, pausing occasionally to scare the beejeebers out of each other.

We adults wandered aimlessly at times. Other times, we explored more purposefully, cheating with aerial photos we’d copied onto our cell phones.

Our Iowa corn is usually six to seven feet tall, making it ideal for mazes. GPS controlled planters make it posssible to do very elaborate designs. This year’s maze is a salute to our troops.

Aerial View

To make things a little more challenging, check points with quiz questions related to the theme have been placed in several spots in the maze.

Check Point

Weather permitting, the maze will be open through Halloween. Click here for cost, hours, and directions.

Louisa County 2010 July 4th Celebrations June 28, 2010

Posted by Wapello Warbler in Events, Grandview, Morning Sun.
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Once again Grandview and Morning Sun will be the centers of celebration for Louisa County, Iowa. Because July 4th falls on a Sunday, most of the weekend’s activities have been scheduled for Saturday.

Registration for Grandview’s Freedom Run will begin Saturday at 6:30 a.m. at Academy Park. Breakfast at the park shelter will be served at 7:00. The run begins at 7:30. Grandview’s parade starts at 11:00 in the morning.

Morning Sun’s “Mile Long Parade” starts at 3:00 in the afternoon. The Fireworks show will be Saturday evening.

You can find more on their respective celebrations in this post from last year: Where to Celebrate the 4th of July. Complete schedules have been published in the Wapello Republican.

Barnyard Blooms November 23, 2009

Posted by Wapello Warbler in Grandview, Local Businesses, Rural Economy.
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by Mallory Smith

Foliage changes with the seasons as do gardening tasks and gifting opportunities. To keep with the natural flow of things, Grandviews’s Barnyard Blooms changes, too.

In the spring their hours start to lengthen and the inventory builds up as planting season begins.

Summer brings more attention to landscaping as well as clients looking for advice about how to deal with insects, fungus and other horticulture challenges.

In the fall the gardening side begins to wind down, gift shopping starts to pick up and the corn maze, pumpkin sales and camp fires keep owners Nicole and Bryce Hoben very busy.

The winter season begins with the bustle of Christmas shopping and then transitions into much-needed time for planning, ordering, rearranging displays and even a little time off.

Barnyard Blooms opened two years ago. This multifaceted business is a fitting undertaking for a young Louisa County couple.

Nicole Hoben, who you will see most frequently at the shop, is the daughter of Jim and Jeanne Mott, both successful entrepreneurs.
Nicole studied Landscape, Nursery, Garden Center Management at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids and worked in Muscatine before becoming a business owner. [Warbler’s note: Nicole was introduced to Nursery/Landscaping in Wapello High School’s FFA program. ]

Bryce Hoben comes from an accomplished Louisa County farm family.

Barnyard Blooms and the corn maze are located on a corner of land they work. The business is considered “agritourism” and as such gives city dwellers the chance to take a close look at farming and ask questions such as “Is that all sweet corn?” (about the many acres of maize in the corn maze and beyond).

Nicole and Bryce’s business brought new life to a 90 year old barn which serves as their garden center, gift shop and office. It also has done much for retail in Grandview and Louisa County. Purchases that before would mean a trip out of county now can be conveniently made closer to home…with gift wrapping and gardening advice thrown in!

Barnyard Blooms has been the source of plants for various master gardener projects including the welcome signs in Wapello, the new jail and the fire station in Columbus Junction. And Nicole regularly makes presentations to Master Gardener groups.

The corn maze draws field trips, church groups and families from the area, as well as from over an hour away.

The gift shop and garden center has it’s loyal following and also serves as a stopping point for people exploring the Great River Road. They frequently have day trippers asking about Langwood,
Red Fern Farm, JD’s Irish Ivy, Plant and Things, and Just 2 Moms, as well as the area restaurants.

Barnyard Blooms keeps a guest book and in it are visitors from
as far away as Finland and Germany.

Barnyard Blooms keeps Nicole and Bryce busy and happily thinking up new ideas. On the agenda for 2010 are a garden tour, ladies night out and of course, a new corn maze design.

Visit the website for directions and hours.

Mallory Smith is the Executive Director of the Tri-Rivers Foundation. She has worked with various community development organizations in southeast Iowa.

This article originally appeared in the Naturally Louisa County Newsletter. The fall newsletter contains a number of articles that will interest you. You can find it here.

Where to Celebrate the 4th of July June 28, 2009

Posted by Wapello Warbler in Grandview, Morning Sun, Small Town Life.
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This year, as usual, Louisa County offers two competing 4th of July Celebrations.  In this post, I’ll compare the two celebrations so that you can decide where you’d like to spend your time.

The celebrations are hosted by Morning Sun and Grandview.  Both feature a parade and fireworks.  Both have many other activities planned as well.

It’s possible to watch both parades since Grandview’s parade begins at 11:00 am and Morning Sun’s parade starts at 3:00 pm; but, I wouldn’t recommend it, since many of the units will be the same.

The chief difference between the two parades is that Grandview’s parade does not permit advertising.  That makes  Morning Sun’s parade a bit longer.  Since Wapello’s band usually marches in Morning Sun’s parade and most of my kids have been in the band, that’s the one I attend.

When it’s time for fireworks, I usually reverse the choice and go to Grandview’s display.   Although you will see people parked along the shoulder of the highway, you’ll be able to see just as well from the L&M school parking lot.  Be safe. Park there.

Morning Sun supplements its parade and fireworks with lots of food.  A pancake breakfast,  dinner, and an ice cream social are all scheduled.

There are also all sorts of  contests: toy and lawn tractor pulls, 3-on-3 basketball, a quilt show, Bingo, horseshoes, a money hunt, flower show, and junior olympics.  You can see there are lots of things to do for people of all ages.

Grandview has a somewhat smaller list of activities, but the Firefighters are serving breakfast and the 4H will feed you lunch after the parade.  There will be a 5K Freedom run early in the morning (Registration is at 6:30 in the park.) and a memorial service at the helicopter at 9:30.  In addition, you’ll find a bunch of craft booths on the east side of the park and other activities I haven’t mentioned.

It’s plain that the two celebrations, while similar, have different personalities.  Pick the one you like best and enjoy it or shuttle between them like I do. Detailed schedules for both were printed in last week’s Wapello Republican.

If you are a Louisa County resident and would like to plug your favorite activity or your non-profit organization’s fundraiser, add your comment to this post.

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