Garden Pests Bothering You? Moni’s Here to Help!

Volunteer Helps Gardeners & Farmers Control Pesky Bugs

To teach gardeners sustainable, simple tricks to keep pests off vegetable plants, entomologist Moni Hayne created an e-book. Garden Insect Pests of North America: Pictures for Identifying and Organic Controls  contains pictures of 30 common insect pests. It also explains which are the good bugs that you shouldn’t control (because they eat bad ones). Moni, who holds two degrees in entomology, has participated in research projects involving many vegetable and fruit crops. She shares her insect and plant knowledge via volunteer programs in schools, 4-H clubs, and conservation groups at the local, state, and national level. Thanks, Moni!

Click below to hear entomologist Moni Hayne’s gardening & writing advice.

Tokyo Shop Sparked Couple’s Entrepreneurial Spirit

Frank & Kimberly Broz in their Tokyo Pen Shop in Fairfield, Iowa

Serendipity shapes lives. As teenagers Frank Broz and and his future wife Kimberly toured Iowa’s Sister State, the Yamanashi Prefecture of Japan, with a community group. In a Tokyo stationery store, Kimberly admired the exquisite quality of fine Japanese pens. Today she and Frank import and sell Japanese pens, washi tape, stickersmechanical pencilsjournals, and other niche merchandise online and inside their Tokyo Pen Shop near the Fairfield, Iowa town square. Formerly high-tech workers in Apple’s Cupertino, California headquarters, the couple enjoys operating a business that allows them to use their technological skills to enhance the merchandising of fine Japanese stationery. Below they describe their journey from hobbyists to full-time entrepreneurs.

Battling Disease, He Seeks Solace in His Craft

Via poetry, essays & sketches Bruce Hopkins reflects on the fate of nature & man in The Art of Decay.

Afflicted with Alzheimer’s after a distinguished career as an educator, environmentalist, and author Bruce Hopkins opted to continue pursuing his craft. The result? The Art of Decay. Released by Ice Cube Press this collection of his drawings, essays, and poems contains Dr. Hopkins’ keen observations about all forms of nature and people of all ages. Artfully braided together, his reflections suggest the power of  hope, renewal, and familiarity. With his wife, Jeanette Hopkins, Dr. Hopkins will showcase The Art of Decay Live From Prairie Lights.

Picture book author Jeanette Hopkins at Fairfest 2014 with James Moore, Station Manager of KRUU-LP 100.1FM


Stationery Store Sparks Artists Creativity

People who are serious about their work are serious about their tools – Frank Broz, Co-Owner of the Tokyo Pen Shop

Award-winning author and artist Michelle Edwards writes & illustrates stories for children and adults. Her books are about family, friendship, knitting, and community. Instagram is her sandbox, where she explores new ideas. She enjoys drawing #StudioScrawls with Japanese pens at The Tokyo Pen Shop, too.

Who Iowans Are May Surprise You: Sanskrit Scholar

Tom & Linda Egenes

Universities in the United States, Europe, and Australia use Tom Egenes’s guides for learning Sanskrit. His latest publication? The Upanishads: A New Translation, coauthored with Vernon Katz. Tom lives in Fairfield, Iowa with wife Linda Egenes. Her latest publication? The Ramayana: A New Retelling of Valmiki’s Ancient Epic–Complete and Comprehensive, co-authored with Kumuda Reddy. I photographed this adorable couple at Fairfield’s solar-powered radio station after interviewing them for The Studio: click below to hear their discussion of their creative process.