Baby tomatoes

Baby tomatoes

Friday, September 18, 2015

Country Life: Greene County Iowa Part 1

Here is another installment from the west central Iowa tourism project blog I worked on a couple of years ago. In this post we are visiting Greene County, Iowa, on a cold and windy autumn day.

Let's face it, some counties are just too big and have too many places we could spend all day visiting- we can't get it done !! Jefferson proved to be just that. After a quick stop at the Chamber of Commerce office, we were joined by Barb Watson as our official tour guide. 

It truly is all about who you know. The Mahany Bell Tower is normally closed BUT..........Barb has the key so...... it's all about who you know !! The bell tower is located on the Jefferson town square and is  a fourteen-story carillon. 

Don't look down !!

The structure is built of glass and ceramic cement. After taking a ride on a glass elevator to the 120-foot high observation deck, visitors can view the city and its surrounding countryside. 

The windows on each side tell you what towns are in the background. The fourteen cast bells chime the time of day every 15 minutes; concerts are also offered daily at 11:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m., and 5:00 p.m.

After exploring the bell tower we made our way over to RVP~1875. We could have spent all day here. Angie and Robby Pedersen have built a furniture/performance dynasty in their fantastic building. The front is a showroom highlighting most of the pieces built by hand by Robby.

Robby is known for his 1875 lifestyle, dressing in period clothing and using only tools and techniques that were used at that time. No power tools, no glue, only antique tools and construction techniques are used.

In addition to the furniture they build, they also house an artists' colony within the building. Artisans from all over the country, sculptors, tinsmiths, textile artists, and many more have booths in the colony.

Also in their building is a theater, in which the Pedersens and others perform plays, musicals, concerts, and so on. The theater stage is multi-level and the mezzanine floor above is also used in some performances. They plan to add balcony seating as well.

If you're lucky, and you probably will be, you might find Jackson wandering about the workshop. Jackson is the family's cat who loves spending time among the wood shavings doing all sorts of cat things.

Even though it was hard to tear ourselves away, we knew we had other places to visit so we headed to the Deal Apple Orchard. 

They are preparing for their upcoming fall festival and had huge piles of pumpkins and gourds everywhere. 

Scarecrows and metal yard sculptures are scattered about. 

The orchard's shop offers a wide variety of decorating and gift ideas, several types of apples, pies, cider and much much more.

The apples !!!!  They have several varieties in the orchard, it's so hard to make a choice.

Outdoors there are loads of activities for the whole family, games, a jumping pillow, animals and an apple slingshot. Plus the pumpkin patch, and farm cats everywhere. What a great way to spend a fall afternoon !

We got to peek inside the pressing room, and on the day we visited
they were pressing apples to brew up some hard cider

We were unable to visit the vineyard today but we did head over to Country Blessings, a cute little store just off the highway to the north of Jefferson. Antiques and cute fall and holiday decor fills the shop.

We finished off our visit to Jefferson with a stop at Angie's Tea Garden.

This quaint little spot offers lunch and catering and other tempting treats. Today the cheesecake of the day was caramel apple and the cappuccino flavor was pumpkin spice. Sooooooo delicious !!  You should never make a trip to Jefferson without stopping here.

There will definitely be a Greene County, Part Two, as we just didn't get to see all the sights we had planned, so stay tuned !! 

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