It’s 4th of July weekend and although it may not totally feel like it, we do have fun things to do in Pott. Co!
Kick off the weekend Friday night with a few outdoor options! From 5 to 8pm, you can score some baked goods, crafts, and fresh produce at the Treynor Farmer’s Market set up at the Treynor Community Center parking lot. Then you’ve got 2 musical options to end your evening. First option: The always-popular, dance-hard Murphy’s Law will be playing at The Exchange in Avoca from 8 to Midnight. Second option: You can check out the Kevin Keith Band in a more low-key, drink-a-little-wine-and-relax situation from 6-9 at Breezy Hills Vineyard in Minden.
Saturday, otherwise known as Independence Day, brings you a chance to get in on the 4-person Scramble Golf Tournament at the Oakland-Riverside Golf Course starting bright and early at 8am!
Another great opportunity on Saturday is to check out the first day of the Keast Daylily Garden tours in Oakland. They are open from 9am to 2pm and if you want to know more, just check out my blog about it here.
Plus, the Nishna Heritage Museum in Oakland will also be open from noon to 3 so you can hit both places in one trip!
Might also want to take a little drive to see all the bronze eagle statues in honor of Independence Day and maybe the Freedom Rock in Oakland. Plus, the Optimist Clubs have been so good to put up flags in many of our Pott. Co. towns! It always looks a little extra special when the flags go up!
And don’t forget the parks! Hitchcock and Botna Bend are beautiful right now and those buffalo are ready for a stare-down! Lol.
Saturday evening may not be the usual but you can still catch fireworks! The City of Oakland will be hosting fireworks at dusk, as will Avoca. Feel free to grab those lawn chairs and find a good spot!
Sunday is an opportunity to find your way to Prairie Crossing Winery at Treynor. Stephen Monroe will be playing as part of their summer concert series from 1 to 4pm. Have a little wine and enjoy the afternoon.
Normally, we might call the weekend done on Sunday, but I’d be remiss to not mention Monday, July 6! It’s a big day in Pott. Co!
Monday morning kicks off with the Buck Snort Oakland opening earlier to offer breakfast. Eggs, bacon, and pancakes are on the menu!
Also, Monday will be the grand opening of Destination Coffee and Cuisine in Oakland! The first drive-thru coffee location ever in Oakland! They liken themselves to a Panera-esque menu and will have grab-and-go lunches you can get when you pick up your morning latte! Check out our Facebook Live Ribbon-Cutting at 10am.
Monday also marks the first Monday Market in Underwood from 6 to 7:30pm. If you haven’t been, they have honey, baked goods, fresh produce, and usually some kind of fun theme!
So there you go! Find your fun, Pott. Co. It is there to be had!
Have you ever been to Keast Daylily Gardens? It’s one of those hidden gems in Pott. Co!
If you’re looking for things to do outside, this is definitely one of them! The Keasts are opening up their daylily gardens to the public starting July 4 through the 19th from 9am to 2pm. Not only is admission free but they are going to give anyone that comes out a free daylily plant to take home and put in your own yard!
Tom and Mary Keast spend year-round perfecting their gardens. They are State of Iowa Nursery-inspected gardens that have been on the National Daylily Tour! This place is no “little hobby!” The Keasts sell daylilies world-wide and produce hybrids in their indoor greenhouse. If you don’t know much about daylilies, they each have their own name like a pedigree name. It’s fascinating to read what they are named and try to guess why – some are obvious and some not so much, but they are all gorgeous!
Tom and Mary are the kindest people and take great pride in their work. It’s flat, breath-taking, and something you won’t see anywhere else. There are paths throughout the garden for people to peruse at their leisure. The gardens are located at 412 S. Parker Road in Oakland.
Every time I go there, they have expanded! Lol. It really is a photographer’s dream!
As we continue to endure COVID, I can tell you this is a perfect place to socially distance and stop to smell the… daylilies!
Get out there and show the Keasts and their passion some love!
Let’s talk recycling and good deals at the Pottawattamie County Recycling Center! So Saturday, July 11 from 9 to noon, the Pott. Co. Recycling Center will be having an open house that includes free shredding for you!
Yes, that’s right – FREE shredding! Plus, you can drop off any other things you’ve been saying you were going to get rid of for the last 16 months!
If you have tires, car seats, tube TVs, or anything like that, there is a minimal fee to recycle but it will be out of your life forever!
If you have electronics that still work, doors and windows that are still usable, golf clubs, bikes, furniture or whatever that is still in good shape, they will take it for the Swap Shop, as it is called, for FREE! If you haven’t been there, it’s like the Habitat for Humanity’s Re-Store. It’s a 4-Her’s project paradise, a rental owner’s dream, a poor college student’s haven, or a picker/garage saler’s good time! It’s definitely worth checking out!
They are also asking that if you have any children’s or adolescent books in good shape, you bring those, too! The group Raise Me to Read is a nonprofit that encourages literacy in Pottawattamie County will then get those books into the hands of children in our county!
This event was organized by Susan Miller of Carson and is sponsored by Great Western Bank (Oakland), Hometown Insurance (Oakland), Amy’s Attic (Carson), Guyer Concrete & Wall Systems (Avoca), The Finish Line Car Wash (Carson), and the Pottawattamie County Community Foundation.
The Pottawattamie County Recycling Center is located at 41911 Industrial Drive outside Oakland and is open 8am-4pm Tuesday – Saturday.
Blog sponsored by the Oakland Industrial Foundation.
We’ve got just the pick-me-up you’ve been needing! Welcome to WIDA’s 12 Towns of Christmas in July!
In an effort to lighten your spirits and support our local small businesses, we will be giving away 12 gift cards to rural Pott. County locations during July!
Who couldn’t use a little treat right now?
And let’s talk about our great local businesses that have had to regroup, pivot, or start over with all the COVID shutdown. It’s Rah, Rah, We Love You, Pott. County time!
How do you get in on the action? It’s easy! Let me tell you about it!
Every few days, I will tell you about a new giveaway. Each time, you will get a chance to comment, like our social media pages, sign up for the free rural county-wide newsletter, or some combination of those to win!
Twelve lucky people will win a $25 gift card to a great local establishment in one of our 12 Pottawattamie County towns! Be sure to check back regularly or follow us to have the inside scoop!
First up, win a $25 gift card to the Country Store in Carson! The Country Store is locally owned and run. It’s a long-time, emergency stop in Carson for anything and everything you might need! Gas, snacks, a newspaper – they have it!
To win, like WIDA on Facebook or sign up for our monthly e-newsletter by sending your email to EricaForWIDA@gmail.com! If you already do both of those, just leave a comment saying why you want a gift card to the Country Store! Do so by midnight (Central time) Sunday night, July 5.
(This giveaway is not sponsored or has any affiliation to Facebook or other entities.)
Get Treynor on your radar for this weekend! Treynor Days have been postponed till September, but they are still going to give you a fun weekend of activities outside (to be covid-friendly, of course)! And you have no idea how excited I am to say there’s fun to be had this weekend!
What does Treynor have in store for this last weekend in June? It kicks off with their first Farmer’s Market on Friday evening at the Treynor Community Center from 5 to 8pm. Check out the list of all the stuff they will have for sale!
Then you can head over to TRA for Cole Rath live! The Treynor Recreational Area is having their Summer Bash! Cole, who you might remember from a past blog, is a local singer who likes to get people dancing and singing along! He starts playing at 8!
Saturday is Treynor’s City-Wide garage sale day! Maps can be picked up at City Hall. Sales start at 8am so get your running shoes on!
The day ends with 2 big events. One – the Treynor Prom will be held at Prairie Crossing Winery for those invited to attend and then two – TRA is having a volleyball tournament starting at 5 and DJ JAB on the mic from 8 to 11 to brighten your evening! (Don’t forget I posted a 20% off green fees coupon last week, too, so you can get a little golf in, as well!)
Sunday brings 2 more events to finish off the weekend right! The Palace Event Center will be hosting a Bridal Flea Market from noon till 3 for those planning their wedding and for those wanting to pass on their wedding stuff now sitting in the basement!
Finally, the weekend ends with a Drive-In Polka Police Concert at the Community Center. From 4 to 5, you can bop along to the sounds of the always-fun Polka Police! Just the light-hearted, jovial event needed to put some joy back into your lives and end the weekend on a high note!
So get out there and support local, my friends!
So what have you taken out of an Iowa ditch? It’s a question that could garner some interesting responses, but harvesting from local ditches is pretty common for Iowans! In fact, I had no idea some of these could be found in ditches!
What can you find? Check out my list!
We will start with food! Yes, you can get free food in the ditches of Pott. Co!
*Morels. Mushrooms are a regular find around here in the spring. Just don’t ask a local for their spot. Apparently, they are pretty protective of their treasure trove of fungi!
*Asparagus. I still don’t eat asparagus, but I certainly know the places to find it! I laughed heartily as I drove down a gravel road recently and saw a woman on her knees along a fence line looking guilty. An outsider might not realize what she was up to, but a local does!
*Wild plums. This was a new one to me! Did you know that they grow on trees around here that can be found in rural ditches? Wild plums are a little smaller, but I hear they are quite a delicacy if you can get to them before the wildlife!
*Gooseberries. As a self-proclaimed childhood mud-pie prodigy, I found plenty of these on vines near where we lived, unbeknownst to me that people around here actually love a real gooseberry pie! Just hunt around and get your free ingredients!
*Mulberries. My grandma never liked messy shoes that came with the mulberries, but my cousin was a big fan of the mulberry tree! Mulberry trees are highly prevalent around here and produce a lot of fruit…for free! Hey, with enough sugar you can make anything taste sweet and fruity! Lol.
*Hedge Apples. Although they aren’t for eating like their name implies, many people love a hedge apple tree because hedge apples are supposed to keep insects out of your basement. Hey, anything to keep the spiders at bay, right?
I think we can move on to flowers!
I always love the colorful ditches thanks to a variety of wild flowers that grow here. Here are a few although I know there are many more!
*Wild roses. White or pink, there are the mini roses or the larger pink variety and both grow wild along a lot of country roads in Pott. Co. and the wild rose just happens to be the state flower of Iowa. So pick a few to brighten your table. Nobody will mind!
*Queen Anne’s Lace. It’s currently in bloom. They are the white bunches everywhere right now! And how awesome is that you can pick a bouquet for free?
*Chicory. One of my favorite things to do is drive down a gravel lane with chicory blooming all along it! Something about that purplish-blue that just speaks to me. And again, here’s your chance to woo a significant other at no cost to you!
*Sunflowers. Although more of a fall flower, the ditches and fields, much to some farmers’ chagrin, come alive with sunflowers. The bees love them and they are a festive flower loved by many.
*Cattails. Possibly not considered a flower, but they are definitely used in flower arrangements to offer a unique texture. With the wetland areas nearby, cattails are prevalent all around the county.
The rest I guess we shall consider a miscellaneous bunch!
*Hay. Listen, around here, you gotta feed the livestock. And hay is not only expensive but sometimes hard to come by.
*Christmas trees. Rumor has it that if you want a real Christmas tree, there are always a few wild pines growing in the Pott. Co. ditches!
*Milkweeds. As the name implies, some would consider them simply weeds. However, milkweeds are your butterfly magnet! And I hear that some people use the down for stuffing things like pillows. Who knew?
*5-cent refund cans. This is the one man-made item to be found! I had to laugh about this one, but the great state of Iowa encourages recycling and you can pick up your plenty of 5-centers in our ditches!
So there you have it! A huge list of things you can harvest out of our Pott. County ditches! We have riches in them there hills! Hopefully you saw the humor in this, but also the true bountiful blessings of living in the Loess Hills and Pottawattamie County…
Did I miss anything? Tell me! Did I inspire you to check out the ditch near your house? Show me a pic of what you find! Happy Ditch Diving!
Thanks to COVID-19, golf has officially made a resurgence! The best news about that is that we have AMAZING courses in rural Pottawattamie! I have to say they are under-used gems! The best part is that it’s a perfect time to get that tee time (not required) in for Father’s Day! Plus, I have coupons for you to use!
Talk about great timing, right?
So let’s chat about a couple of the courses you need to know about!
First up, TRA! Otherwise known as the Treynor Recreation Area. The course is beautiful and extremely well-tended. The greens are fabulous and the view around the golf course is so picturesque year-round. I personally love the view of the corn fields, the shade of the trees, and their little bridges. There’s actually a creek that runs through it. It is a 9-hole course with a par-36. They boast of it being a 2,966 yard course and the fairways and greens are irrigated to perfection. They say they have some “challenging” water traps and trust me, they are! I may, or may not have, at one point, put a golf ball into a bank about 4 inches deep! However, I’m sure you’re a far better golfer! Lol.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention their club house, too! They serve up some great food and offer a fresh salad bar, too. So you can get your exercise and your veggies! (Or you can enjoy your golf cart, adult beverages, and bar food faves, if you prefer to roll that way!)
The best part is that they have generously offered up a one-time coupon for 20% off your green fees! Just show this coupon to get your one-time discount!
The other course I’d like to tell you about is the Oakland-Riverside Golf Course! The 9-hole Oakland Course is a 2,418 yard course that’s par-34. With a dog-leg and rolling hills, it’s not known to be an easy course (I’ve played my share of rounds and I can attest to that), but it is certainly a beautiful one! Set next to a backdrop of corn and bean fields, the course is a quiet one started by founders looking forward to the future of their town. Although the course went through some transition a few years ago and turned public, the course is now back in its prime. Don't be fooled by the par-34, it's a course you won't want to miss!
Also of note, the interior of the clubhouse was completely remodeled this past spring and it boasts of a gorgeous bar and all your favorite food and drinks. The Clubhouse also serves steak sandwiches on Thursday and Friday nights!
If you’re looking for a Father’s Day gift, gift cards are available! Plus, the Oakland Course has a Buy 5, Get 1 Free card that is all yours if you’d like to purchase a set of green fees for that dad or grandpa in your life! Just ask for it upon arrival!
Truly, I can’t say enough about these 2 courses! We are so blessed to have mature, tree-lined, deep green courses in our county! It’s easy to take them for granted, but with social distancing, here is your chance to re-connect or discover what we have available!
Plus, Father’s Day Weekend just got a little more exciting!
*Quail Run and Country View Golf are also available in rural Pott. Co.
It’s Father’s Day Weekend and things are still a little off kilter, but the best Father’s Day is an eventful Father’s Day!
So why not give dad the gift of an experience?
We’ve got some great options in Pott. Co. this weekend!
Take dad to a BBQ! Yep, that’s right! Breezy Hills Vineyard is hosting a family traditions BBQ on Saturday afternoon from 3 to 8pm. Enjoy a little wine and some good food!
Or is he more of a breakfast man? Because the Walnut Fire & Rescue is serving up pancakes Sunday morning just for your dad! Anytime between 7am and noon, you can sneak in to enjoy some hot cakes at the Walnut Fire Station! And be sure to swing through for a little antique shopping while you’re in town! They aren’t having the Antique Walk, but many of the businesses still plan to be open and ready for you!
Does coffee call his name? If you haven’t tried out the Treynor Java Supply, that needs to be a morning stop! With all kinds of coffee beans, he can try one and take some home, too!
Is he a golfer? Well, it’s supposed to be a sunny weekend for a couple of rounds! Check out TRA, the Treynor Recreational Area or the Oakland-Riverside Golf Course! Both have greens to play and club houses with “adult beverages” and appetizers to keep you going!
Maybe he’s the farming type? Bet he rarely takes a day off so wouldn’t it be perfect to head to the Farmall-Land USA Museum? It’s the last season the museum is open and if he likes tractors at all, this is the mecca!
Perhaps he’s an animal lover. If he is, you need to put Botna Bend on your radar! They have a new baby buffalo! The buffalo and elk are always worth the stop and you can’t beat Botna Bend in June!
Does he like a leisurely bike ride? The Stone Arch Trail in Shelby is perfect! Not only is it on the National List of Historic Places but it’s a lot of paved, flat trails and very shady! My kind of trail!
Is he more the nature-type that prefers a good walk? You have to check out the Wheeler Grove Conservation Trail. Such a cool place tucked back away on the east side of Carson and Macedonia!
Or maybe he’d prefer to go fishing (just make sure you have a license)! The old Nish offers you a chance to reel in a couple or you can try Farm Creek. I hear a few good ones have come out of there, too!
Or is he a motorcycle man? Grab the Harleys and head to The Crescent Roadhouse Bar & Grill! They let you roll in for drinks and some good downhome cookin’ with a great outdoor area!
Or maybe he simply likes a good meal! (Don’t we all?) Why not check out Garcia’s in Underwood for some Mexican, or for the best burger around, you can’t beat the Dew Drop Inn in McClelland!
Whatever you decide, the gift of time spent with your dad is probably the best gift of all! So make it a fun time here in Pott. County!
The Farmers’ Markets are back! I am so excited to be able to tell you about events again!
This week kicks off the Annual Avoca Main Street’s Farmers’ Market and the brand-new Macedonia Farmers’ Market! Plus, Monday Markets will be back in Underwood starting in July! We have 3 fine options for you in rural Pott. Co!
Avoca’s starts Wednesday night! Yes, it looks a little different than before, but you can still get produce, baked goods, fresh flowers, food truck meals, and even handmade soaps! Crafts are out for right now, but so many other things are still in and the “regulars” are back to serve you!
So not only can you get freshly-picked local produce to cook up that healthy, or not-so-healthy (everything’s better with butter, bacon, and/or cheese), meal, but you will be helping local vendors and small businesses get back on their feet! Many of the businesses on Main Street will be open for you to shop there, as well! Avoca Main Street’s Market is well-known and fabulous!
Social distancing rules will be followed, but the idea of getting out in the nice weather and seeing your neighbors again has to be appealing! Plus, the Avoca Main Street crew has gone all out to make this work despite all the regulations. Between Amber Mohr, the Main Street Director, and Linda Schumacher, the Market Chair, and all the vendors, they have re-invented and reformatted everything to make this work! So be sure to swing by between 5 and 7pm this Wednesday and if for some reason, this week doesn’t work, no worries. They will be open weekly till September 30th!
Macedonia, however, is a whole new deal! Thanks to locals, Kathy Noble and Kathy Heaberlin, Macedonia is just getting started. They will be offering plants, succulents, and baked goods on the west side of Macedonia City Hall starting Saturday from 9-11am and will run every Saturday. The Macedonia Farmers’ Market is still looking for vendors. Although at this time, due to COVID, no craft vendors are allowed. However, if you would like to join the group with all the other usuals, please contact Kathy Noble at 712-326-5207.
Guys, things sure aren’t back to “normal,” but here’s a good way to make it start feeling that way. These are outside, the food is good for you, you’re helping vendors make money again, and you’re giving yourself some goodness in a bag!
#ShopLocal #SupportLocal #PottCounty
Even though it may feel like your options are limited, there are still tons of things you can do this weekend in Pottawattamie!
1. Buy your flowers locally and get those flower beds, gardens, or planters filled! Blossoms and Sue’s Country Garden are both located at Oakland and EZ Greenhouse is in Minden with Guyers Greenhouse being the newest addition in Avoca (only open till May 31).
2. Grab some wine! Why not relax this 3-day weekend? And if you are needing an outing, head to the wineries. Prairie Crossing in Treynor and Breezy Hills in Minden are both known for prize-winning wines.
3. The last season of the Farmall-Land USA Museum starts on Saturday! If you haven’t been, it’s implement heaven and it’s your last chance to go. They close in September forever.
4. So the Avoca Library is offering curbside service and the Eckel’s Memorial Library in Oakland is open by appointment. Make your calls and get some reading in on these rainy days!
5. Botna Bend Park in Hancock is a nice shady venue with walking trails and my fave, the buffalo and elk. Definitely something to keep you entertained for an afternoon!
6. Nothing like a golf outing for getting a little exercise, a little frustration, and maybe a few drinks! Check out the Oakland-Riverside Course or Treynor Recreational Area. Neola and Avoca also have courses.
7. Check out the bronze eagles. There’s one in every town in Pott. Co. They are each different and honor the true American heroes: our military. Definitely perfect for this weekend!
8. So if you didn’t see my last blog, it was all about how you can use this weekend to do a cemetery tour and scavenger hunt! Go here to get all the details!
9. We have lots of trails for you to check out! I can’t even name them all! But I recently did one about the Stone Arch Trail in Shelby you might want to read about or Hitchcock is one of the most well-known out in Honey Creek, and it is HUGE! Plus, everything is in bloom!
10. Head to the Nishna Heritage Museum! They are back open for the holiday weekend. You may tour through from 1 to 3pm Saturday, Sunday, or Monday or you can call or text ahead 402.680.8912 for an appointed time if you prefer to be alone.
11. And, of course, here’s your chance to eat your way through the county! I have included a flyer of all the local rural eating establishments and it is updated as of today on what is available for eating in or grabbing and going!
Just when you thought there was nothing to do, there really is! Keep loving where we live, Pott. Co-eds!
Keep current with Southwest Iowa happenings here.