Courtesy of June Melby

What did your childhood summer consist of? Swimming pools, games of frisbee, putt-putt golf? For June Melby, a Decorah resident, it was the latter - and only the latter. 

Courtesy of June Melby

What did your childhood summer consist of? Swimming pools, games of frisbee, putt-putt golf? For June Melby, a Decorah resident, it was the latter--and only the latter. 

Summer Lull for Plants

Jun 20, 2014
Nikos Koutoulas

Spring is a riot of blossoms and fall brings with it beautiful changes in color. But in the midst of summer, there can be a bit of a lull.

Tony Baranowski

Usually, when we tell somebody about a trip, we tell them about where we went, for how long, maybe even what we drove... but on most trips the most important part is not where we went or what we did, but who we were with.  That was the case for Tony Baranowski (III) of Iowa Falls.  He talked with Charity Nebbe about his family vacations to Table Rock Lake in Missouri as a boy growing up.  He says it's only through the perspective gained as a father himself, that he realizes just how hard his father, Tony Baranowski II, worked to make sure everyone was having a good time on those trips.

Jennifer Roscoe

Summer is the time of year when seemingly reasonable people load up the car for a family road trip.  The misadventures of the Griswald family in National Lampoon's Vacation captured the trials and tribulations of this summer ritual.  Host Charity Nebbe talks with travel writer Jennifer Wilson about potential destinations on an Iowa road trip, and listeners share their family road trip memories.

Wikimedia Commons

According to the National Summer Learning Association, most elementary students lose about two months worth of math and reading skills over the summer break, a problem that is well documented yet plagues parents and educators alike. Brandi Miller is a teacher at Garden Elementary, a school that’s a part of the Des Moines Public School system on the East Side of Des Moines. As a literacy coach, she says she sees first-hand the skills students lose over the summer when they return to school each fall. “We do assessment tests, and we almost always see loss.

This summer, June through September, we'll be looking back at some of our favorite Java Blend broadcasts of 2012.

Tune in every Saturday starting June 14 at 2 PM to catch these special encore broadcasts featuring locally grown and nationally known artists. 

Spring Lawn Care

Apr 11, 2014
Guneet Narula

The grass is finally starting to get green… or maybe your lawn isn’t following suit.

Today on Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with Ryan Adams, Iowa State University Extension turf grass specialist, about springtime lawn care. He and horticulturist Richard Jauron answer questions about your lawn, garden and landscape.

Honeybees may be among the many victims of this winter's extended stretches of extreme cold. The State Department of Agriculture's Apiarist, Andrew Joseph says annual winter losses among U.S. beekeepers run about 30 percent. Iowa's losses are likely to be 60 to 65 percent. He says bees that are in good shape can survive a very harsh winter, but those that have been weakened by pesticides or parasites are not likely to survive until spring.

This past winter is the state's harshest winter in decades.  Wildlife biologist Jim Pease talks with host Charity Nebbe about the negative and positive effects of this long, hard winter on Iowa's wildlife.

Preparing for Winter

Nov 15, 2013
Gerald Davison

The snow that fell over most of the state early this week was a strong reminder that it’s time to put the garden to bed. Today on Talk of Iowa, it’s Horticulture Day! Host Charity Nebbe talks with horticulturists Richard Jauron and Aaron Steil about preparing your yard and garden for winter.

Michael Holler / Flickr

Host Charity Nebbe and Patricia O'Connor, aka The Word Maven, discuss the words and phrases of summer.  O'Connor reveals the origins of dog days, bikini, lemonade and barbecue.

Jim Davies / Iowa Public Radio

Pianist and composer Dan Knight has preformed all over the world, but he has always called Iowa home. Today he visits us to say "goodbye; at least for now.  Host Charity Nebbe talks with Dan Knight about his plans for the future and his upcoming farewell concert.  They also create a soundtrack for the summer based off listener memories.

Flickr / Grant MacDonald

Though half of Iowa is still under a blanket of snow the rivers are swollen, the days are growing longer and spring is definitely on its way. "Talk of Iowa" sits down with wildlife biologist Jim Pease to talk about the signs and songs of spring.

CR Artist / flickr

Even though Punxsutawney Phil didn’t see his shadow, don’t bet old man winter is done with us just yet. Today on River to River, we talk about the winter storms we’ve had this year… and if there’s been progress towards drought recovery. Also, journalist Callie Crossley joins our conversation to talk about race relations in the U.S. and where there’s room for improvement.

Conrad Kuiper / Flickr

When snow covers the ground the world looks as if it is sleeping under a blanket of white, but life does go on. Wildlife biologist Jim Pease joins Charity Nebbe to discuss life under and in the snow and  how that white stuff benefits the burrowers, the hibernators, and other birds and mammals. 

Pease also discusses how snow is an insulator and a boon to wildlife for keeping warm and how even some amphibians benefit from the snow.

Via Tsuji / Flickr

Every December tens of thousands of seemingly sensible Iowans buy a cut tree and bring it into the house. On Horticulture Day Charity Nebbe talks with forester Mark Vitosh about Christmas trees, how they’re grown, how to pick a good one, how to keep it fresh and how our Christmas tree crop was affected by the drought.

Horticulturist Richard Jauron then joins the conversation to answer listener questions about the plants in their lives.

Francesco Scaglioni / Flickr

We just spent the summer trying to keep our plants alive through the drought, now it’s time to think about how to keep them alive through the winter. Charity Nebbe talks with horticulturist Richard Jauron and Aaron Stile of Reiman Gardens to talk about protecting your plants from cold and critters and answer your questions.

Elizabeth Thomsen / Flickr

The windows are shut and the furnace has been running. It’s time to make sure your home is ready for winter. Our home improvement expert Bill McAnally talks about winterizing your home and how to get the best value if you need to make a big investment in a new furnace or insulation.

Looking to travel this summer? On today's Talk of Iowa, travel writer Jennifer Wilson joins us to talk about the best places to visit in Iowa during the heat of summer. She'll give us a glimpse of some of the best festivals, state parks, and restaurants to tour across the state.