Tag Archives: Iowa


We don’t often give Adie a pacifier, but when we do, we also insinuate Iowa pride.

The look she’s shooting me with baby daggers relates to my not nursing her on a constant basis. I think today is a cluster feeding day. That means having a very alert and hungry newborn.

Back to the nursies.

Babyville, Iowa

Sonya in Iowa City

I’m at the Java Hut in downtown Iowa City, working. I worked a little this afternoon, but mostly spent time with my sister and her new baby Felix. He’s so so so tiny (16-days-old tiny). I don’t know that I’ve seen such a tiny baby in a long time. Maybe since my brother and sister came home from the hospital, which was nearly 26 years ago.

My sister isn’t big on photos being on the internet, so I’m respecting her wishes. I do plan on asking her if once we take a really nice portrait, she’ll let me post it. She may say no, so don’t get your hopes up, internet friends.


I hadn’t downloaded the photos from my camera since July. If you’re interested, you can catch up on all the Wadsgreen shenanigans at my Flickr. Here are the things that have happened (pictorially):

STEVE HOLT! and a cupcake

* Stella’s birthday party, with booze and cupcakes, then trespassing on an abandoned dock in Eastie for a view of the skyline
* A surprise vacation for Jason to Ann Arbor to see some of his favorite people
* Gratuitous cat photos
* Chillaxing with Steph and Ollie, including an amazing fritatta and a bonus trip to the dog beach
Watching the DNC speeches with the friends with whom I watched the ’04 debates
* Driving from Chicago directly into a plate full of steak and corn, fresh off the grill
* Going to my 11-year high school reunion, which had a 30% attendance rate
* Bonding with long-lost high school friends over the Twilight trilogy
* Learning about this fun game that includes $10 worth of equipment from Lowes and some frisbees. I rank it higher than corn hole.

Brooke and Gwen play the cup-stick-frisbee game.

Farmer’s daughter’s dilemma

I’m listening to The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan, mostly as I walk around Cambridge and Boston, and when I’m weeding in the garden. (The latter being what I’ve taken to doing every morning.)

I’ve made it through the maize, past McDonalds, and into the beef industry. Having grown up on an Iowa beef (and corn and soy) farm, I have personal experience with Pollan’s topics. It seems that the farmers he interviews and what he chooses to include in the book does not always reflect my family’s farm, but that is to be expected. It does ring true though, from what I know. The problem is, I don’t actually know that much about how my father farms.

My reaction as I’m listening has mostly been mute awe at the industrialization and commodification of food – and all the ills and boons that come with it.

The last time I was home to visit my family, I got up the courage to ask my dad why he didn’t farm something other than corn and soy. He said there was no other crop (or crops) that would allow him to be as successful, as a one-man operation.

Field south of the house

I took this to heart – letting go of the fantasy of starting an organic vegetable farm with my brother, which would service the local population (a mere 30 miles away).

This morning, as I was listening to the audiobook and pulling crab grass, I learned about farmers who have eschewed industrial farming AND organic farming, electing instead to find a sustainable balance instead (neither industrial or mass-farming organically are doing this). Pollan describes a farm in Virginia that rotates cattle, chickens, and various other animals over grassland, in such a way that benefits each animal species as well as the grass (and dirt).

Granted, I get excited about things easily (look! a sign that reads ‘puppy sale’!), but I really feel that there is some answer for how to use the land my family already has, once the only farmer working it is retired. Sure, we could rent it to someone else — we could even sell it. I prefer to scheme ways to keep it going with Greens (my dad is the fifth generation).

Now I just have to stop loving living in Boston, and convince Jason to move to Iowa. Though he doesn’t like to talk about it, I think my dad would like to retire eventually, and I think taking over a farm and successfully keeping it running isn’t outside the realm of possibility. It makes my heart ache to think about it.

How an Iowan farmer looks

These photos were taken during the floods in June. The first is the field across from the house, and the second is my father, during one of the last days of rising water.