In 2004, Rick and Julie Schafer began a quest to search out and study remnant prairies (pieces of original prairie) near their home in Adams County, Iowa. It soon became their passion to find a way to help these vanishing treasures survive.
They’ve taking endless drives on county roads, searching out landowners to discuss the vast array of native forbs and grasses they found and obtain permission to hand collect seed. Every day was like a treasure hunt!
However, as time passed, these remnants were ceasing to exist due to the encroachment of introduced grasses, weeds, herbicides, trees and other disturbances. The Schafers hand selected seeds from these remnant prairies and planted them on their farm. Now, they are hand collecting the seeds from direct descendants of these species to share with others who are may enjoy a piece of Iowa’s rich history in their own backyard.
They walk the prairie and collect each species individually, by hand. The seeds are then cleaned and sent to a laboratory for germination testing before packaging. The process is extremely time and labor intensive. But preserving the genetic material of the original Tallgrass prairie is very dear to their hearts. Their seed stock came directly from the natural plants that dominated the landscape of pre-settlement Iowa.
During the 2019 Des Moines Home + Garden Show, Freedom Creek Prairie will be presenting “Bee the Change: Saving our bees and butterflies by creating habitat as nature intended” on the Inspiration Stage at the following times:
Thursday, February 7: 3:00 p.m.
Friday, February 8: Noon
Saturday, February 9: 5:30 p.m.
Sunday, February 10: 1 p.m.
They will be introducing their newest offering, the Freedom Creek Prairie Honey (raw honey) at the show as well! You can also stop by their booth #120 or visit their website.
For more information on the show or to purchase tickets, please visit www.desmoineshomeandgardenshow.com.
FEBRUARY 7-10, 2019
IOWA EVENTS CENTER