Talk of Iowa

Weekdays at 10 a.m. on IPR News and News/Studio One and 9 p.m. on IPR News

Talk of Iowa brings a mix of regular guests and a range of experts to the microphone to discuss what’s happening in Iowa and what makes this a special place to live. Guests include wildlife expert Jim Pease and the Hort Gang on Fridays.

Talk of Iowa is hosted by Charity Nebbe @CharityNebbe.  It’s produced by Dennis Reese, Emily Woodbury @EmilyWoodbury, Lindsey Moon @lindseysmoon and Clare Roth @ClareAliceRoth.  Our Executive Producer is Katherine Perkins.  Our theme music is by The River Monks.

The weather has been windy and dry, but gardens are still growing. On Horticulture Day host, Charity Nebbe, talks with a Des Moines meteorologist about the recent dry weather. Charity also talks with horticulturist Richard Jauron, from Iowa State University Extension about growing conditions and what to do during a dry spell.

Farmers of the Future

May 23, 2012

The 2007 U-S Census of Agriculture reveals these trends… the percentage of women and Hispanic farmers is growing.  And farmers are getting older.  For today's Talk of Iowa, in cooperation with Harvest Public Media, we talk with Farmers of the Future.  Young farmers trying to break into the business tell us how they’re overcoming obstacles and planning for changes in agriculture.

 In the 1850s more than 3,000 people attempted to walk 1,300 miles from Iowa City to Salt Lake City pushing all of their worldly belongings in a handcart. Host Charity Nebbe talks with Sandra Dallas, author of the new novel “True Sisters.” The book follows The Martin Company, a group of Mormon pioneers who traveled west to what they called Zion in 1856. Then, Charity talks with Jane Cox, a professor and director for Iowa State University Theatre, about her play “The Yellow Rose of Suffrage.” The play highlights the life of Carrie Chapman Catt, a women’s rights activist.

Home Improvement Day

May 22, 2012

Climbing up on the roof to clean out the gutters is tedious and treacherous.  It seems like everyone has a new system to sell you that will keep you off the roof forever.  On today's Talk of Iowa, our home improvement expert Bill McAnally of Ft. Dodge joins us to talk about what works and what doesn’t in the world of gutters and how to keep water flowing away from your house.

What does it mean to be creative? If someone asked you if you were a creative person, what would you say? Host Charity Nebbe talks with Jonah Lehrer, the author of the new book "Imagine: How Creativity Works." He describes the processes of creative greats like Bob Dylan and delves into what really sparks a stroke of creative genius. Then, Charity talks with educators trying to foster creativity in Iowa through Students for a Creative Iowa and Destination Imagination. 

ISU Plant Disease Clinic

You've selected the right plant for your landscape, picked a good spot and planted it well, but your work is not done. On today's Horticulture Day program, we'll look at ways to keep your plants and trees healthy. Including identifying insect or disease problems, why proper pruning is essential and how to avoid stressing your plants and trees. Charity's guests are Iowa State University Extension Horticulturist Richard Jauron and D.N.R. District Forester Mark Vitosh.

Photo by Jane Roper

Humorist Josh Billings wrote in the 19th century, “There are two things in life for which we are never truly prepared: twins.” When Jane Roper found out she was pregnant with twins, she tried hard to find a memoir from another mother who could give her some advice. She didn’t find it, so she has written her own, “Double Time.” (St. Martin’s Press) It’s an up-close look at her first three years raising twin daughters. This hour, Charity speaks with Roper, who has an M.F.A.

For the past five years, we've been talking more about money than ever before.  From the 2007 Global Financial Crisis, to the recent mammoth loss at J.P. Morgan Chase, the language of finance seems to occupy more of our brain space.  Today, Charity speaks to our "Word Maven," Patricia O'Conner about the origins and changing use of such terms as "buck," "salary," "credit," "two bits," and many more.  O'Conner is the author of popular word books including "Origins of the Specious," "Woe is I," and "Words Fail Me."

Geraldine Brooks

May 15, 2012

Caleb Cheeshahteaumauk was the first native American to graduate from Harvard College, completing his degree in the 17th century. Very little is known about his life, but he has been reborn in the novel "Caleb’s Crossing" (Penguin Books) by Pulitzer prize-winning novelist Geraldine Brooks. Charity speaks with Brooks live this hour.

Summer Books

May 14, 2012
Mary Ann Peters' Fiction Pick (New Bo, Cedar Rapids)

Whether you’re looking for scientific exploration, a captivating memoir, or an opportunity to get lost in a novel, we’ve got something that will make your summer reading list. On today's Talk of Iowa it’s our summer books show.

Hort Day: Tomatoes

May 11, 2012

You say tomato, I say to-mah-to, you say cherry, I say roma--on today's Talk of Iowa, it’s Horticulture Day. The most popular homegrown vegetable is, of course, the tomato. We’ll talk about selecting varieties, planting and caring for tomatoes with horticulturists Richard Jauron and Linda Naeve of Iowa State University Extension. We'll look forward to your calls, too.

Wildlife Day: Rabbits

May 10, 2012

Just like Mr. McGregor many of us expend a great deal of energy trying to keep hungry rabbits out of our gardens. Today, it's Wildlife Day on Talk of Iowa. Wildlife biologist Dr. Jim Pease of Ames is here. We’ll talk about the two kinds of rabbits that live in Iowa, their habits and their habitats, and how Mr. McGregor and Peter Rabbit can live in peace.

Cheese and Culture

May 9, 2012

There are hundreds of different kinds of cheese and an infinite number of delicious ways to consume them. Today, Charity speaks with the author of “Cheese and Culture,” Paul Kindstedt (Chelsea Green Publishing), a history of cheese and its place in western civilization. We’ll also talk about the growing number of cheese producers in Iowa and why we’re likely to see more. Other guests are C.J. Bienert, owner of The Cheese Shop in Des Moines and Lois Reichert of Reichert's Dairy Air in Knoxville.

Hamburg Inn #2

May 8, 2012

It has played host to two former and one future president, co-starred in a wildly popular prime-time television drama and a History Channel documentary, and if you visit, your coffee will never go cold and your cup will never be empty. Today, we hear about a new book that celebrates the Iowa City landmark restaurant "Hamburg Inn No. 2."

Towns around Iowa are trying to transform their communities with well-being habits from the world’s longest-living people. It’s called the Blue Zones Project and on Friday the first four Blue Zone Demonstration sites were announced. On today's Talk of Iowa, Charity talks with representatives from Spencer, Mason City, Cedar Falls and Waterloo: Iowa’s Blue Zones. Later in the hour, we'll hear about a new study, co-authored by University of Iowa Education Professor Deborah Linebarger, that examines the impact on children of television playing in the background.

The danger of frost is dwindling, it’s time to get out and plant. On today's Talk of Iowa it’s Horticulture Day. We’ll talk about what to plant and how to plant it. Laura Jesse and Erika Saalau of the Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic of Iowa State University will be on hand to tell us what to watch for this spring as our plants grow.

School was torture for Nancy Sprowell Geise. With severe dyslexia she struggled to read and write, but in high school she had an English teacher at Ames High School who recognized her potential. On this Talk of Iowa from Iowa Public Radio, Charity speaks with novelist Nancy Sprowell Geise and the teacher, John Forssman, who changed her life. Her novel is called "The Eighth Sea."

There is a cavity epidemic among preschoolers in this country. According to the CDC, for the first time in 40 years tooth decay is on the rise. In fact, it is not unusual for young kids at all income levels to have cavities in half or even more of their teeth. We look at challenges in pediatric dentistry and what you can do to prevent tooth decay with the University of Iowa head of pediatric dentistry, Dr. Rebecca Slayton. Later, Charity speaks with Dr. Ginger Yang, Prof. of Community and Behavioral Health at the U.I.

Roller Derby was wildly popular for decades, but almost disappeared in the 1970's. Now it's back and has gained a die-hard following.  We'll look at its growing popularity with Lisa Edwards and Kimberly Hendricks, members of the Old Capitol City Roller Girls from Iowa City. Later, a conversation with award-winning author and commentator Frank Deford. He'll talk about his autobiography out this week, Over Time: My Life as a Sportswriter.

Competitions are taking place across the country for U.S. Olympic hopefuls looking to earn berths in the 2012 Summer Games in London. Charity talks with Des Moines' Shawn Johnson about her preparation after a lay-off and knee injury sustained in a ski accident and the four medals she took home after the 2008 Olympics. Charity also speaks with Lauren Pfeiffer, a field hockey player on the US National Team; Miranda Leek, an archer currently leading the field in women's archery; and Matt Stutzman of Fairfield. Stutzman has qualified for the 2012 Paralympics Games as an archer.

Insects got a head start this year. On today's program, it’s Horticulture Day. Entomologist Dr. Donald Lewis of Iowa State University will be here. We’ll talk about red admiral butterflies, European sawflies and why we’re seeing so many moths. Horticulturist Richard Jauron of I.S.U. Extension will also be here to answer your lawn, garden and plant questions.

The Iowa Women's Leadership Council on Tuesday released its 2012 report on the status of women and girls in Iowa, "She Matters."  The IWLC is a public-private partnership of women's organizations focused on supporting Iowa's women and girls.  This hour, we'll discuss the new report.  Previous reports have revealed that females in the state experience a greater percentage of economic disparities, diseases, disabilities, and barriers to corporate and civic leadership.  Joining us in the discussion will be IWLC Ex. Director, Diane Ramsey; Terry Hernandez, Ex.

Drake Relays 2012

Apr 25, 2012

For over a century the Drake Relays has been a place for some of the world’s best athletes to run, jump and hurdle their way towards greatness. Today on Talk of Iowa, we'll focus on the upcoming 2012 Drake Relays. We’ll preview this year’s competition, revisit some of the most memorable performances and Charity will talk with reigning 1500m world Champion Jennifer Simpson. Other guests include the Assistant Director of the Relays, Carolyn Hill; and Associated Press sports reporter Luke Meredith, who has covered the Relays for eight years.

Lions and tigers and bears and parrots--on today's Talk of Iowa we’ll go into the wild with Jack Hanna, wildlife expert and director emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. He'll be appearing in Des Moines later this week. Also on the program is Michael Hutchison, founder and director of the Iowa Parrot Rescue. He has helped over 700 birds in the past 15 years.

Charity talks with Peggy Chong, who has spent the past twenty years researching the history of the Blind. Her recent article Blind Iowan Pioneers Succeed looks at the story of Lillian Blanche Fearing, a blind Iowan who grew up to be one of the very first woman lawyers in the country. Later, a conversation with playwright Sean Christopher Lewis who brings his creation, Mayberry, to Iowa City. The play explores the impact of the Johnson County town's increasing African American population and how a lily white community engages in true discourse about its diversity. 

Cool temperatures, plentiful moisture and a long growing season ahead make this the perfect time to plant a tree. 

DNR Forester Mark Vitosh talks to Charity about selecting, planting and caring for trees.  Iowa State University Extension Horticulturist Richard Jauron will answer all of your lawn and gardening questions.

"Safe rooms" are becoming popular storm shelter choices.  A tornado warning may be issued just minutes before the funnel plows through your back yard, leaving you with no time to get to a distant shelter if your home offers no protection.  This hour, our home improvement guru, Bill McAnally of Ft. Dodge, will inform us about adding a safe room to your new home plans, or creating such a room with a remodeling project.  You'll feel better when you know you a have a place in your home that's designed to withstand battering by ferocious winds and the debris caught up in them.

It's being dubbed as 'Iowa City to London', as the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Wrestling Trials are held in Iowa City on April 21 and 22. Charity talks with Iowa State University Wrestling Coach Kevin Jackson about Cyclone hopefuls seeking a ticket to the Summer Olympics in London. Coach Jackson will discuss the Freestyle and Greco-Roman scoring system used in the Olympic Trials.

Iowa's theaters are facing a major challenge: in about a year's time, every theater across the nation must convert to digital cinema, making the old film projectors obsolete and replacing them with expensive new technology.  The cost is especially problematic for the state's smaller theaters, which operate on a much smaller profit margin.  Today, we find out how a number of theater owners are coping and whether some movie house may have to close their doors.  Guests are IPR's Dean Borg, who has reported on the story; Diane Prichard, owner of the DeWitt Opera House Theatre; Jeff Eisentraut,

Exploring Our Faith

Apr 16, 2012

In what ways does your religion shape the way you live your daily life? We'll examine how faith and spirituality support our basic psychological needs and look at the influence of culture on our religious beliefs. Charity's guests are Nikki Bado, Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Iowa State University and Krista Tippett, host of public radio's On Being.  Tippett visits Des Moines April 17th as part of Iowa Public Radio's Insights Series.   

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