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Going Green with Rain Barrels

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

Now that you’ve had a full week to research, design, build, and plant your own raised garden bed, you’re probably ready to install those environmentally friendly rain barrels and watering systems that you see everywhere!  Right??  Ok, ok, maybe you’re not there quite yet, but if and when you are, this is the post for you! 

 

Here is how one of your own Ankeny Real Estate Service team members added a rain barrel watering system to a raised garden bed.  Plus, keep reading to the end of this post for a couple great resources for those of you thinking of investing rain barrels!

 

“Through a little research, some trial and error, and a consultation with our local Menards specialist, we came up with a system that has proven to be, not only useful, but downright simple. It’s an arrangement that has encouraged us to spread the word about the ease and benefits of rain barrel watering systems.  Here’s a little bit about what we’ve done, our set-up, and what has worked for us.  Hopefully, you too, can recognize the simplicity and relief a rain barrel system can provide.

 

First, we purchased our rain barrels from Menards, and then connected them to the downspout using a valve system (also purchased from Menards).  All 3 barrels are joined using PVC piping so that once one fills, it will overflow into the next, and so on. Which brings me to my next point...it is wise to have some sort of overflow system for when your barrel (or barrels!) fills -- and it will (likely much sooner than you anticipate!)!  This means that it is a good idea to have a hose or something similar connected to the last barrel, so that when your barrels are full, then the excess will have a place to run. 

 

 

Next, we positioned our barrels at the top of a hill, along the side of our garage, and above garden level so that we could utilize gravity to water our soon-to-be sustenance.

 


 

Finally, we connected to the last rain barrel to a soaker hose (3, to be exact) that runs throughout the garden beds. That way, when we are ready to water, all we need to do, is open up the flow system from the barrels and let gravity work its magic!”

 

So where should YOU start?  Great news! Ankeny now offers a stormwater management (rain barrel) reimbursement program that you might find worth looking into.  In addition, Polk County Conservation offers a rain barrel workshop, which provides all materials and tools necessary for your system.  There are so many resources available to people interested in going green, making a difference, and utilizing the resources readily available to us.  Do us all a favor and take that first step!

2016 Ankeny Farmers' Market

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

If you’re like us, then there’s a good chance that you’ve been not-so-patiently waiting for opening day of the ANKENY FARMERS’ MARKET.  Well, good news -- it is FINALLY here!  The Uptown Ankeny Farmers’ Market kicks off this Saturday, May 21 and, rumor has it, this year will be even better than the last!

The Uptown Ankeny Farmer's Market features homemade, homegrown, hand-crafted products and in-season produce. Not only is this open-air market known for the freshest locally grown produce, but each week boasts a variety of offerings. On any given Saturday, you can find meats, baked goods, cut flowers, starter veggie plants, and hanging baskets, along with prepared food vendors, local artists, and entertainers.  When it comes to vendors, no two weeks are the same -- which seems like the perfect excuse to never miss one!


So, what makes the Uptown Ankeny Farmers’ Market unique?  Well, according to regular attendee, Kelly Munter (Ankeny), the small-town feel just can’t be beat!  “We love stocking up on our fruits, veggies, and bread for the week without fighting large crowds.  Not to mention, supporting local farmers, the Ankeny community, and our economy is of the utmost importance to us!” 

Well, when you put it like that, the Uptown Ankeny Farmers’ Market sure sounds like a place we would all want to be! 


Where:

Ankeny Market & Pavilion Park

715 W 1st Street

 

When:

(May-September)

Saturdays May 21 thru Sept. 24

8:00 am to 12:00 pm

For more information visit www.uptownankeny.org

Raised Garden Beds

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

Gone are the days of traditional, space-wasting, hard to water gardens.  Raised garden beds are latest trend in horticulture.  And it is one that has homeowners, even those with limited lot sizes, testing out their green thumbs, reaping the benefits (fresh produce -- yum!) and enjoying the results!  The perks of garden boxes are countless, but among the most praiseworthy are:

● Fewer weeds.

● Better water retention in sandy areas and more favorable drainage in areas with clay-based soil.

● Warmer soil earlier in the season that stays warmer longer.

● Less soil erosion.

● Prevention of soil compaction.

● Improved pest control.

● Ease of accessibility to reach each plant.

● Aesthetically pleasing.

 

Speaking of ease and aesthetics, check out these easy-on-the-eyes raised beds from two of your own Ankeny Real Estate Service team members!

 


 

 

Now you’re probably asking yourself, where I can learn how to make a raised garden bed (or 2, or 3!) of my very own?  And since we’re all about helping you make your house a home, we’ve gathered a few good resources on raised garden box building for your convenience.  Check them out, give it a try, and let us know how it goes! 

 


 

How to make a raised garden bed:

http://www.sunset.com/garden/backyard-projects/ultimate-raised-bed-how-to-00400000011938/

 

A video tutorial from National Gardening on how to build your own garden box:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GuTYXmy4Yb0

 

Soil calculator from Gardener’s Supply Company so you know exactly how much soil you need:

http://www.gardeners.com/Soil-Calculator/7558,default,pg.html

 

And a great resource on when to plant your seeds:

http://sproutrobot.com/

 

Finally, an all-round great, chock-full of information article:

http://eartheasy.com/grow_raised_beds.htm#c

2016 Des Moines Farmers' Market

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

This Saturday’s forecast looks like it might be hit or miss for opening day of the DES MOINES FARMERS’ MARKET, but we’re guessing a few showers won’t deter visitors!  Most locals know exactly how exciting and important this event is to Central Iowans.  But just in case you’re new to town (or completely out-of-touch!), we figured that a quick briefing on the Des Moines Farmers’ Market was in order! Now before you new-to-towners start to scoff and shake with skepticism based on your previous experiences at farmers’ markets, you should know that Des Moines’ Farmers’ Market is unlike any other you’ve ever been to.

 


 

Launched in 1976 and with only 15 vendors, this produce pushing market has since expanded and now proudly boasts nearly 300 vendors from all over Iowa and weekly attendance averaging over 18,00 visitors.  That’s big time!  What’s more?  The open-air market spans the entire Court Avenue District, is in season from May through October, and offers much, much more than just the freshest locally grown produce. (As if that isn’t enough?!?) On any given Saturday, you will find meats, baked goods, cut flowers, starter veggie plants, and hanging baskets.

 

Still not sold that the Des Moines Farmers’ Market is the place to be on Saturday mornings?  Well, let us entice you with lots of prepared food vendors (mmmm, papusas…), local artist galore, and fun entertainers to keep you…well…entertained! So, whether you’re shopping, people watching, needing a good breakfast, or looking for something fun to do, the Des Moines Farmers’ Market offers something for everyone and is the place for you.

 


 

Find out more at www.desmoinesfarmersmarket.com

Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4