Let's Grow Together

Farming and gardening have a lot in common.

Let's Grow Together encourages Iowans to try their hand at food and flower gardening while learning firsthand the many similarities gardening has with farming. Both farming and gardening take hard work, spark ingenuity and inspire an intense appreciation for where food really comes from.

We've teamed up with Earl May Nursery & Garden Center and Mark Jackson, a soybean and livestock farmer from Mahaska County, to provide expert tips for making the most of your garden and share stories of families who are "growing together."

The Streck Family "Grows Together"

With the support of Earl May, Joe and Lynette Streck and their three daughters began a from-scratch garden in their backyard in Van Meter. From planting seeds to enjoying fresh vegetables on the table, the experience deepened the family's appreciation for Iowa farm families and the food they produce. See their family's gardening journey.

"Despite the weather challenges, we have had a bountiful harvest and have enjoyed eating and baking with the fresh produce. I was surprised by how much I liked the fresh green beans having not cared for them ever before. I was most excited for fresh garden tomatoes. Store-bought tomatoes just don’t compare to a fresh tomato from the garden. The girls and I enjoyed baking zucchini bread and a rhubarb dessert that I used to make when I was their age," says Lynette Streck, Let's Grow Together participant.

Farming & Gardening Insights

Let's Grow Together encourages Iowans to try their hand at food and flower gardening - or to spruce up an existing project - while learning firsthand the many similarities gardening has with farming! #LetsgrowIA

The Streck family shares their experiences with the Let's Grow Together journey.

Joe and Lynette Streck, along with their three daughters, are eager to get dirt under their fingernails as they plant their first garden this Spring.

Jeff Lanphier of Earl May Nursery & Garden Center highlights the soil preparation involved in gardening.

Hop in the tractor with Mark Jackson and Earl May Nursery & Garden Center for a high-tech glimpse into planting crops.

Growing tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and other delicious garden vegetables takes good soil and adding proper fertilizer at the right time. The same is true when it comes to growing corn and soybeans!

Farmer Mark Jackson and Earl May expert Jeff Lanphier compare and contrast farming and gardening. Both generate an appreciation for how food is grown!

Mark Jackson shows how far we've come with equipment and technology from the days of his father and grandfather and what that means for his own son and the generations to come.

Adding marigolds to your produce garden adds a pop of color and helps to keep away garden pests that may attack the roots of your plants! 

Kelly Visser