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Spurgeon Veggies: Growing together as a family while feeding a community
In 2010, when Eloise Spurgeon's son John got married, she didn't just gain a daughter-in-law. She also got a business partner.

At the time, Eloise had been running a small CSA serving about a dozen customers from her always-expanding backyard vegetable garden at her family's home at a former horse farm in East Galesburg, Illinois. She'd always grown food for her family and preserved it, but had started selling to others in 2007.

Her new daughter-in-law, Dusty, was a recent Monmouth College biology graduate whose plan had once been getting a Ph.D. in entomology. With Dusty looking for work in the area and Eloise looking to expand the business, a partnership was born. More »

Veggie Mobile brings fresh produce to Q-C food deserts
People who normally have no access to the freshest local foods do now, thanks to the Quad Cities Food Hub.

On a recent Tuesday, the Veggie Mobile stopped at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center as part of the Food Hub's plan to bring local produce to "food deserts" in the Quad-Cities. Food deserts are areas where healthy, fresh food is not available.

According to Food Hub executive director Carla Jaquet,... More »

Picnic pleasers: Simple salads that double as sandwich toppers
It was the geysers that got me: piping hot steam vents that erupted from the depths of my sauce pan, splattering my stove top (and, if I wasn't careful, my arms and hands) with molten globs of red goo.

Like many homemade ketchup recipes, the one I was trying called for simmering the sauce on low heat to help it thicken — a temperature sweet spot that proved devilishly hard to find. Too much heat and the sauce would fester and spout... More »

Camp Big Sky: Campgroud offers inclusive access to the outdoors
Back in 1963, when he was just 14 years old, Brad Guidi made a promise to his brother Bruce, who, at just 12 years old, had recently passed away from complications due to severe developmental disabilities. Brad knew that some day — he didn't know how or when — he would do something meaningful to help people with disabilities.

"My whole life, I've had close family members with disabilities," says Guidi. His grandfather was... More »

White Pine Hollow: What do you do in a park with no trails? Explore!
Growing up, I had what felt like endless adventures on the banks of a wooded creek that ran just outside my hometown. I swam. I fished. I scurried across fallen logs and climbed trees. On one especially remarkable afternoon, I crouched to watch a beaver on the opposite bank chew down two saplings. It's safe to say these experiences kindled my lifelong love of nature.

It's also safe to say, though I've continued to venture into the outdoors... More »

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