Active Projects

Gleaning Project Continues


What do local growers do when they have harvested as much of a crop as they think they can sell, but usable food still remains in the field? Since 2014 they have contacted Healthy Cedar Valley Coalition to provide volunteers to glean the fields. Typical crops for gleaning are sweet corn in July and early August and apples, pears, and squash from September through early November.  All the produce is sorted, bagged, and donated to the Northeast Iowa Food Bank for distribution to people in need. In 2014, the amount gleaned was 3,481 pounds of produce. In 2016, an especially successful year, 6,464 pounds of food were salvaged by volunteers, the equivalent of 5,387 meals and a 45% increase over the previous year.

Collaborating in this project are HCVC partners NorthernIowa Food and Farm Partnership, the Recycling and Reuse Technology Transfer Center  at UNI, and the Northeast Iowa Food Bank. Sheri Huber-Otting, chair of the Maximizing Fresh Produce theme group for the HCVC, says, "I am excited about our community partnerships that make this effort possible. If you would like to volunteer or have produce to glean, call me at 319-235-0507. Many thanks to all of our past donors and volunteers."

Girls in Cornfield


Gardening Classes


The HCVC Fresh Produce Theme Group has offered spring gardening classes to the public since 2012, partnering first with Hy-Vee, then ISU Extension, and recently the Cedar Falls Seed Library.  Starting with classes in Backyard Composting and Vermicomposting and Planning, Prepping, and Planting the Vegetable Garden, the format was changed in 2016 and 2017 to a round-robin, with attendees able to hear presentations on four topics in a two-hour session. Topics have included heritage tomatoes, flowering perennials, native prairies, pollinator gardens, and the vegetable garden at the Northeast Iowa Food Bank. Instructors are local Master Gardeners and Waste Trac Educators.

HCVC has also brought in speakers for stand-alone events that educate the public about gardening, the environment, or food security. Feed Iowa First founder Sonia Kendrick spoke in the fall of 2016; and organic farmer Jordan Scheibel and retired science teacher Jim Kessler provided a Green Yard Makeover in the spring of 2017.

Classes and events have always been offered free of charge.


Film Festival


Since 2010, Healthy Cedar Valley Coalition has teamed up with University of Northern Iowa’s Recycling and Reuse Technology Transfer Center (RRTTC) for an environmental film series. Films are free and open to both students and the community.

Currently HCVC partners with UNI’s RRTTC and Center for Energy and Environmental Education Northern Iowa Food and Farm Partnership to promote local growers through a Food and Film Festival held on a Saturday in March.  Local growers market their products and services and HCVC provides free environmental health films.

2017 CV Local Food and Film Festival


Community Gardens


HCVC focuses on Fresh Produce Availability for everyone.  HCVC’s advocacy efforts have helped provide gardening space for schools, in urban neighborhoods, for newer immigrants to our community, and churches.

HCVC also encourages gardeners to donate excess fresh produce to the Northeast Iowa Food Bank. People of all ages and from varying socioeconomic statuses--both adults and children are encouraged to garden.

HCVC focuses on Fresh Produce Availability for everyone.  HCVC’s advocacy efforts have helped provide gardening space for schools, in urban neighborhoods, for newer immigrants to our community, and churches.

HCVC also encourages gardeners to donate excess fresh produce to the Northeast Iowa Food Bank. People of all ages and from varying socioeconomic statuses--both adults and children are encouraged to garden.


Page 1 of 2 StartPrev12NextEnd


hh