Natural Living Des Moines

Two Events coming up by sarahtar
September 6, 2010, 5:21 pm
Filed under: Events

1. DMCD Garage Sale. Tomorrow, 10 am, Vineyard Church at 36th and University.

2. Des Moines Green Gifts Fair, November 7. Applications accepted through the end of this month. Please contact sarahtar1 at gmail dot com if you’d like an application.


Don’t forget – DM Cloth Diapering garage sale! by sarahtar
September 1, 2010, 5:13 pm
Filed under: Events, Parenting

It’s coming up Tuesday, Sept 7, 10:00, Vineyard Community Church at 36th and University. Bring your old diapers for sale, bring your money to buy some new-to-you diapers! Rules here:

The Iowa State Fair by sarahtar
August 13, 2010, 8:37 am
Filed under: Events, Food

It’s Fair time! (This is an update/edit of an article I wrote in 2008)

I’m not going to pretend to know everything about this subject. I spend very little time at the Fair. Usually one day each year.

I’ll be honest…part of it is that the State Fair kind of disgusts me these days. The freakishly giant animals. Those poor pregnant and laboring mamas locked up for noisy onlookers to stare at in the Animal Learning Center. The fried food. I the year I turned 30 was the turning point on that one. Suddenly, the idea of eating hot fried food when it’s hot and I’m walking around in the heat just didn’t seem to make any sense. I just wanted something HEALTHY!!


There are healthy food choices at the fair, but they are of course still the more mainstream ideas of healthy. (In other words, not organic, possibly not local.)

  • Salad on a Stick. However, I have heard more people criticizing how difficult this is to eat than commenting on its taste.
  • Regular salad in a bowl is available various places. The Iowa State Fair website has a list.
  • The Salad Bowl, which is in the agricultural building and also the cultural center, has salads, wraps, and other non-fried foods.
  • Many places have fresh fruit. Again, the Iowa State Fair website has a list. Applelicious is one of our family’s favorites. They have several stands, including one outside the Varied Industries building. They have cut up apples with caramel, and they’ll omit the caramel if you wish.
  • Vegan fairgoers likely already know about the veggie corn dogs from the Veggie Table, north of the varied industries building, close to the KIOA beer tent. (Unless it’s moved in the 10 years since I brought out of state vegan friends to the fair…)
  • Omnivores can find healthy meat choices at the various Producer tents. (Pork, beef, lamb etc.)

Non Food

But the fair isn’t just about food. What else can you do to make your State Fair a little more natural-minded? Here are some ideas. Our family doesn’t follow all of these, just so you know.

  • Park at one of the handy Park and Ride locations and take the shuttle in to the fair. (personally, we still drive in and park in the parking lot, as we need ready access to the car. we always perform at the fair, and then need to change our clothes and stash our performance-related things in the car so we don’t have to haul three heavy bags around with us while we stroll the fair.)
  • Bring your own reusable water bottles, filled with water. Depending on how many people you have with you, think about bringing a hydration pack (one of those nifty backpacks with a giant water bladder inside).
  • (not related to natural living, but a good tip nonetheless: pack a cooler with ice and bottles of water. Leave it in your car. When you’re all hot and exhausted, you’ll have nice cold drinks waiting for you for the drive home.)
  • Be mindful of the amount of waste you create, and for goodness’ sake, put your garbage in the plentiful garbage cans.

Please feel free to post your favorite natural living at the fair tips in the comments!

Drake University Sustainability Fair by sarahtar
February 18, 2010, 1:48 pm
Filed under: Events

Drake University and the City of Des Moines are planning the Drake Sustainability Fair, a free event to raise awareness about ecological living, from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 28 in the Drake Olmstead Center.

Environmental non-profits, government agencies, private companies and others will come together to share information, answer questions and teach those attending how to live sustainably.

More info here:

Fair attendees will have the opportunity to meet with representatives from organizations such as the Center for Sustainable Communities, Barker Lamar Engineering Consultants, DART, Green Goods for the Home and many more. Energy auditors and other green-industry professionals also will share their expertise and information.

Green Gifts Fair by sarahtar
November 16, 2009, 5:22 pm
Filed under: Community, Events

It was completely awesome. It was busy from 10:00 until about 3, when it became markedly slower, but still with a steady stream of people. Some vendors sold nearly out of what they brought!

Green Gifts Fair
Green Gifts Fair
Green Gifts Fair
These photos are from when everyone was getting set up, after our heart-attack inducing discovery that they had NOT emptied the room as they were supposed to, and we had to do quite a bit of very fast carrying of things into the back room. BUT! It all worked out!

11/15 Green Gifts Fair
Green Gifts Fair
Green Gifts Fair
Green Gifts Fair
Green Gifts Fair

Announcing the first annual Des Moines Green Gifts Fair by sarahtar
September 8, 2009, 5:10 pm
Filed under: Events

I’m so excited about this! Natural Living Des Moines will be hosting the first annual Des Moines Green Gifts Fair in November!

The fair will be November 15, 10-4, at the Des Moines Social Club downtown. It should be an excellent opportunity to purchase eco-friendly gifts for the holidays – or for any event – or just for yourself!

We are currently accepting vendors for this awesome, unique event.

We are looking for vendors to sell items that are eco-friendly and that would make good gifts. We will be choosing vendors based on the items they plan to sell at the fair. Obviously, items should be eco-friendly in some way. Additionally, we will have a bias towards localism – items made from locally-sourced materials, items made locally, etc – but are not excluding non-local items/materials. Items do NOT need to be handmade, as this is not necessarily a craft fair. Additionally, food  and wine vendors are welcome, as long as no alcohol is sold to be consumed onsite. Green service providers would also be a welcome addition, if there is some sort of “gift” component to what you do (even if it’s just gift certificates – who wouldn’t love a gift certificate for a massage for Christmas?).

Each booth will be 10’ x 10’ and will cost just $20. Please just let me know if you’d like an application! (

The Iowa State Fair by sarahtar
August 16, 2009, 11:32 am
Filed under: Events, Food

It’s State Fair time again, and I thought I’d trot out last year’s post on healthy eats at the fair.