Thursday, March 20, 2014

Stories from Ely, IA

Ely Iowa is a rural farm town on the outskirts of Cedar Rapids. Like other small farming communities, its landscape and surrounding architecture are a testament to the current paradigm of corporate agricultural monopoly.
Krob Feed Mill - Ely IA - Becca Kacanda 2014
But Even in the midst of factories like that of Dupont, and Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) with its giant post-apolcolyptic sci-fi looking facility capable of processing 3,000 acres of corn into high-fructose corn syrup daily, not to mention International Paper and a coal burning plant, all within a 10 mile radius of the town, Ely, with a population of 1,776, is not without empowered individuals reviving both recreational interest and entrepreneurial opportunity in food production and who are cultivating new enthusiasm for the natural world. 
Ali Eggenberg Alldredge - Seed Starting Demonstration @ Ely Public Library 2014
The Takes family, for example, who have raised 6 kids on their Ely dairy, milking two times a day and marketing milk through Swiss Valley recently purchased, and are in the process of transforming a defunct lumberyard into a local creamery in order to market their milk directly to locals, and in Iowa City and Cedar Rapids grocery stores. They also have plans to churn their own ice cream- which is sure to be a hit, especially for bikers taking the new Cedar River Bike Trail through town.


Earlier this month we met up with community members at the the Ely Public Library,  home to one of the first Seed Libraries in the country-initiated in 2011 by Ali Eggenberg Alldredge.

Melissa Sharapova replenishing Ely Seed Library with new seed - 2014

SeedBroadcast Soundcloud

Cheri Frank's Pale Cone Flower Seeds - 2014

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