The Wallace Centers of Iowa

The Wallace Centers of Iowa WCI produces more than 40 varieties of sustainably-grown fruits and vegetables, donates produce from its Garden for Good, offers locally-sourced meals, operates a shared use kitchen, and provides educational programs.
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A non-profit organization with two historic locations: the Wallace House and the Henry A. Wallace Country Life Center. WCI also operates the Mickle Center Shared Use Community Kitchen in Des Moines.

A non-profit organization with two historic locations: the Wallace House and the Henry A. Wallace Country Life Center. WCI also operates the Mickle Center Shared Use Community Kitchen in Des Moines.

Operating as usual

Henry C. "Harry" Wallace was born on this date in 1866, the oldest child of Henry and Nancy Cantwell Wallace. The family...
05/11/2021

Henry C. "Harry" Wallace was born on this date in 1866, the oldest child of Henry and Nancy Cantwell Wallace. The family eventually combined their interests in farming and journalism into the successful Wallaces' Farmer, one of the leading agricultural periodicals in the U.S. As associate editor and then editor after his father died, Harry got the attention of the newly-elected Harding administration and accepted the position as Secretary of Agriculture in 1921 (back row, 3rd from right, standing next to fellow Iowan Herbert Hoover, then Secretary of Commerce). During his term, he reorganized USDA to make it more efficient, advocated for the improvement of rural schools and the advancement of agricultural colleges, and championed conservation efforts. He died while in office and his funeral held in the East Room of the White House. He is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in Des Moines.

Henry C. "Harry" Wallace was born on this date in 1866, the oldest child of Henry and Nancy Cantwell Wallace. The family eventually combined their interests in farming and journalism into the successful Wallaces' Farmer, one of the leading agricultural periodicals in the U.S. As associate editor and then editor after his father died, Harry got the attention of the newly-elected Harding administration and accepted the position as Secretary of Agriculture in 1921 (back row, 3rd from right, standing next to fellow Iowan Herbert Hoover, then Secretary of Commerce). During his term, he reorganized USDA to make it more efficient, advocated for the improvement of rural schools and the advancement of agricultural colleges, and championed conservation efforts. He died while in office and his funeral held in the East Room of the White House. He is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in Des Moines.

The countdown begins! You have ONE MONTH from today to pick up your Prairie Art board, create your artwork and turn it b...
05/11/2021

The countdown begins! You have ONE MONTH from today to pick up your Prairie Art board, create your artwork and turn it back in! Our theme is "Prairie Creatures Great and Small." What's is going to be? A bison? Prairie dog? Rattlesnake? Butterfly? Lots of great choices! Still need a board? Message us with your preferred pick up location or call 641.337.5019 (Orient) or 515.243.7063 (DSM).

The countdown begins! You have ONE MONTH from today to pick up your Prairie Art board, create your artwork and turn it back in! Our theme is "Prairie Creatures Great and Small." What's is going to be? A bison? Prairie dog? Rattlesnake? Butterfly? Lots of great choices! Still need a board? Message us with your preferred pick up location or call 641.337.5019 (Orient) or 515.243.7063 (DSM).

Chef Katie just wrapped up her spring cooking class series this week with a class on grilled salmon and a seasonal panza...
05/07/2021

Chef Katie just wrapped up her spring cooking class series this week with a class on grilled salmon and a seasonal panzanella salad. As she starts to plan her next series, what suggestions do you have for classes? Any techniques or ingredients that you'd like to explore?

Chef Katie just wrapped up her spring cooking class series this week with a class on grilled salmon and a seasonal panzanella salad. As she starts to plan her next series, what suggestions do you have for classes? Any techniques or ingredients that you'd like to explore?

Let's get creative! We're looking for artists of all ages and skill levels (really, anybody who can pick up a paint brus...
05/06/2021

Let's get creative! We're looking for artists of all ages and skill levels (really, anybody who can pick up a paint brush) to paint a 2' x 2' plywood Prairie Art board, following our theme "Prairie Creatures Great & Small". Contact-less pick up available at either the Wallace House in DSM or the Henry A. Wallace Country Life Center near Orient. Just reply and we'll work out the details. Boards are due back June 11. The exhibit runs June 25 - October 1.

Let's get creative! We're looking for artists of all ages and skill levels (really, anybody who can pick up a paint brush) to paint a 2' x 2' plywood Prairie Art board, following our theme "Prairie Creatures Great & Small". Contact-less pick up available at either the Wallace House in DSM or the Henry A. Wallace Country Life Center near Orient. Just reply and we'll work out the details. Boards are due back June 11. The exhibit runs June 25 - October 1.

Happy work-versary, Lisa! Site Manager Lisa Swanson is clocking 18 years at the Country Life Center today. There's almos...
05/01/2021

Happy work-versary, Lisa! Site Manager Lisa Swanson is clocking 18 years at the Country Life Center today. There's almost nothing that she hasn't done during her tenure. She says, "There's always something new and different here at the farm. I love meeting people and visiting with them when they stop by." What great inspiration for all of us! Thank you for all your years of service!

Happy work-versary, Lisa! Site Manager Lisa Swanson is clocking 18 years at the Country Life Center today. There's almost nothing that she hasn't done during her tenure. She says, "There's always something new and different here at the farm. I love meeting people and visiting with them when they stop by." What great inspiration for all of us! Thank you for all your years of service!

On this final day of National Volunteer Month, we want to again say THANK YOU to all our volunteers who help us in every...
04/30/2021

On this final day of National Volunteer Month, we want to again say THANK YOU to all our volunteers who help us in every way possible. You are so important to us!

On this final day of National Volunteer Month, we want to again say THANK YOU to all our volunteers who help us in every way possible. You are so important to us!

Hey, guess what? Our Pizza on the Prairie was named Outstanding Event: Rural at the Iowa Tourism Conference earlier toda...
04/28/2021

Hey, guess what? Our Pizza on the Prairie was named Outstanding Event: Rural at the Iowa Tourism Conference earlier today! We couldn't be more thankful for everyone who made this award happen--guests, sponsors, volunteers, board members and staff. Reservations for this season open to the public May 1 or make early bird reservations with a $50 donation. Details here: https://wallace.org/pizza-on-the-prairie/

Hey, guess what? Our Pizza on the Prairie was named Outstanding Event: Rural at the Iowa Tourism Conference earlier today! We couldn't be more thankful for everyone who made this award happen--guests, sponsors, volunteers, board members and staff. Reservations for this season open to the public May 1 or make early bird reservations with a $50 donation. Details here: https://wallace.org/pizza-on-the-prairie/

Spring is here!!! Next week is our last online cooking class for the season. Learn how to make Pan Seared Salmon with Sp...
04/28/2021

Spring is here!!! Next week is our last online cooking class for the season. Learn how to make Pan Seared Salmon with Spring Panzanella Salad. Sign up at www.walllace.org or follow the link in bio. #onlinecookingclasses #springveggies #asparagus #radishes #snappeas

Our popular Pizza on the Prairie resumes June 4 and will be every Friday night thru Oct. 1 at the Henry A. Wallace Count...
04/23/2021

Our popular Pizza on the Prairie resumes June 4 and will be every Friday night thru Oct. 1 at the Henry A. Wallace Country Life Center. Reservations open to the public May 1. If you're an early bird and want to reserve that special date(s) NOW, you can get advanced access with a $50 minimum donation to WCI. Details: https://wallace.org/pizza-on-the-prairie/

Our popular Pizza on the Prairie resumes June 4 and will be every Friday night thru Oct. 1 at the Henry A. Wallace Country Life Center. Reservations open to the public May 1. If you're an early bird and want to reserve that special date(s) NOW, you can get advanced access with a $50 minimum donation to WCI. Details: https://wallace.org/pizza-on-the-prairie/

Snowy days in April did not dampen the enthusiasm of the food entreprenuers here at the Mickle Center Shared-Use Commerc...
04/20/2021

Snowy days in April did not dampen the enthusiasm of the food entreprenuers here at the Mickle Center Shared-Use Commercial Kitchen. Yesterday was rocking with Dinner Dispatch , Magoo's Pizza DSM , New World Kitchen and DSM Pasta Co.
Have you thought of operating your own food business? Contact the Kitchen manager, Mary, at 515-282-4715 and she'll be glad to answer any questions and assist with your business development.

After many years of poor health. Nancy Cantwell Wallace passed away on this date in 1909. Nancy is the inspiration behin...
04/19/2021

After many years of poor health. Nancy Cantwell Wallace passed away on this date in 1909. Nancy is the inspiration behind our Hearts and Home Historic Teas at the Wallace House. We use editorials and letters from her column to spark discussion about all kinds of issues that still impact women's lives. She probably never dreamed that her work would live on more than 100 years after her death. We hope to offer Hearts & Homes Teas again beginning in July. Thank you, Nancy!

After many years of poor health. Nancy Cantwell Wallace passed away on this date in 1909. Nancy is the inspiration behind our Hearts and Home Historic Teas at the Wallace House. We use editorials and letters from her column to spark discussion about all kinds of issues that still impact women's lives. She probably never dreamed that her work would live on more than 100 years after her death. We hope to offer Hearts & Homes Teas again beginning in July. Thank you, Nancy!

We hear SO many positive comments about Chef Katie's cooking classes. She's teaching a special online class on Thursday,...
04/16/2021

We hear SO many positive comments about Chef Katie's cooking classes. She's teaching a special online class on Thursday, April 22 just for teens and pre-teens. It's a great chance to learn from a pro and connect (virtually) with other kids who like to cook--don't miss it! Sign up ends Sunday! https://wallace.org/culinary-classes/

We hear SO many positive comments about Chef Katie's cooking classes. She's teaching a special online class on Thursday, April 22 just for teens and pre-teens. It's a great chance to learn from a pro and connect (virtually) with other kids who like to cook--don't miss it! Sign up ends Sunday! https://wallace.org/culinary-classes/

Recipe testing for next week’s cooking class, Kids in the Kitchen. We’ll make meatball sandwiches with peppers, tomato s...
04/15/2021

Recipe testing for next week’s cooking class, Kids in the Kitchen. We’ll make meatball sandwiches with peppers, tomato sauce and cheese. Check out wallace.org to sign up. #onlinecookingclasses #kidsinthekitchen🍴 #cookingisfun

Recipe testing for next week’s cooking class, Kids in the Kitchen. We’ll make meatball sandwiches with peppers, tomato sauce and cheese. Check out wallace.org to sign up. #onlinecookingclasses #kidsinthekitchen🍴 #cookingisfun

Too cold to prime Prairie Art boards at the farm yesterday, but Ellie was pretty cozy in the garage. These 10 boards are...
04/15/2021

Too cold to prime Prairie Art boards at the farm yesterday, but Ellie was pretty cozy in the garage. These 10 boards are already spoken for, but we'll have lots more available soon. Want to paint a board with our "Prairie Creatures Great & Small" theme? Comment with your pick-up location (Wallace House in DSM or Country Life Center near Orient) and how many boards. We'll confirm with more details.

Too cold to prime Prairie Art boards at the farm yesterday, but Ellie was pretty cozy in the garage. These 10 boards are already spoken for, but we'll have lots more available soon. Want to paint a board with our "Prairie Creatures Great & Small" theme? Comment with your pick-up location (Wallace House in DSM or Country Life Center near Orient) and how many boards. We'll confirm with more details.

Due to the cool weather, we will NOT be working/painting on the Prairie Art boards today.  At this time, we have not res...
04/14/2021

Due to the cool weather, we will NOT be working/painting on the Prairie Art boards today. At this time, we have not rescheduled, but please keep watching for any updates!!

This is Kiran. Kiran took a kids soups and stews cooking class with us a couple years ago. He has been taking our online...
04/14/2021

This is Kiran. Kiran took a kids soups and stews cooking class with us a couple years ago. He has been taking our online cooking classes throughout the pandemic and we enjoy having him in the class. His love of food is contagious and his excitement for cooking new things is inspiring. Kiran joined our Moroccan class and here he is with the Chicken Pastilla. His family has enjoyed the benefits of the weekly cooking classes 😊 #kidsinthekitchen #onlinecookingclasses #cookingisfun

This is Kiran. Kiran took a kids soups and stews cooking class with us a couple years ago. He has been taking our online cooking classes throughout the pandemic and we enjoy having him in the class. His love of food is contagious and his excitement for cooking new things is inspiring. Kiran joined our Moroccan class and here he is with the Chicken Pastilla. His family has enjoyed the benefits of the weekly cooking classes 😊 #kidsinthekitchen #onlinecookingclasses #cookingisfun

Had a beautiful day to start prepping our Prairie Art boards for exhibit later this summer.  Got lots done but still hav...
04/12/2021

Had a beautiful day to start prepping our Prairie Art boards for exhibit later this summer. Got lots done but still have some more to do. If you'd like to help us finish, we're going to get back at it again on Wed, April 14 around 1:00 pm. If you have a couple of hours that you could help, give me a call at 641-337-5019, we'd love to have you!

Diamond Vogel and Keep Iowa Beautiful announced that WCI received one of 132 Paint Iowa Beautiful grant awards in 2021. ...
04/09/2021

Diamond Vogel and Keep Iowa Beautiful announced that WCI received one of 132 Paint Iowa Beautiful grant awards in 2021. The program provides free paint to a wide variety of public service projects throughout Iowa. WCI will get 6 gallons of paint to use on the interior and exterior of the Farmhouse at the Country Life Center. Thank you for this support!

Diamond Vogel and Keep Iowa Beautiful announced that WCI received one of 132 Paint Iowa Beautiful grant awards in 2021. The program provides free paint to a wide variety of public service projects throughout Iowa. WCI will get 6 gallons of paint to use on the interior and exterior of the Farmhouse at the Country Life Center. Thank you for this support!

We're getting ready to kick-off our Prairie Art for 2021, but before we do, we need some volunteers.  We need to prime a...
04/07/2021

We're getting ready to kick-off our Prairie Art for 2021, but before we do, we need some volunteers. We need to prime about 80 boards and have set our "priming party" for this Sunday, April 11 from 1-5 pm. If you'd like to help, click on the link below to sign up and to get more details! https://www.signupgenius.com/go/9040a48abac2da4fb6-prairie

We're getting ready to kick-off our Prairie Art for 2021, but before we do, we need some volunteers. We need to prime about 80 boards and have set our "priming party" for this Sunday, April 11 from 1-5 pm. If you'd like to help, click on the link below to sign up and to get more details! https://www.signupgenius.com/go/9040a48abac2da4fb6-prairie

Even though our sites are closed to indoor visitors, things are still happening! At the Wallace House, handyman Dean is ...
04/06/2021

Even though our sites are closed to indoor visitors, things are still happening! At the Wallace House, handyman Dean is making repairs on the back deck. Lumber prices are skyrocketing but the improvements so necessary before the public returns.

Even though our sites are closed to indoor visitors, things are still happening! At the Wallace House, handyman Dean is making repairs on the back deck. Lumber prices are skyrocketing but the improvements so necessary before the public returns.

It’s looking more like Spring around the farm and we’re excited about it. Eggplant and tomatoes are popping up!!
04/02/2021

It’s looking more like Spring around the farm and we’re excited about it. Eggplant and tomatoes are popping up!!

It's Day 1 of National Volunteer Month! Our admiration and appreciation of our volunteers is no joke--we can't thank the...
04/01/2021

It's Day 1 of National Volunteer Month! Our admiration and appreciation of our volunteers is no joke--we can't thank them enough for all they do for WCI. Whether you serve on the board, plant sweet potatoes, prepare a mailing or create a painting, we salute you!

It's Day 1 of National Volunteer Month! Our admiration and appreciation of our volunteers is no joke--we can't thank them enough for all they do for WCI. Whether you serve on the board, plant sweet potatoes, prepare a mailing or create a painting, we salute you!

Snap peas and radishes will be in our vegetable slaw in next week’s online cooking class!! Learn how to make Falafel Pit...
03/31/2021

Snap peas and radishes will be in our vegetable slaw in next week’s online cooking class!! Learn how to make Falafel Pita, Tahini Sauce, and Vegetable Slaw. Get tickets at www.wallace.org #springveggies #moreveggiesplease #onlinecookingclasses

Drum roll, please...Announcing the 2021 Prairie Art Exhibit theme: "Prairie Creatures Great and Small". Bison, butterfli...
03/26/2021

Drum roll, please...Announcing the 2021 Prairie Art Exhibit theme: "Prairie Creatures Great and Small". Bison, butterflies, prairie dogs or 'possums--the list of possibilities goes on and on. Tell us what you're going to paint!

Details on how to pick up your board and turn in your painting coming soon.

Drum roll, please...Announcing the 2021 Prairie Art Exhibit theme: "Prairie Creatures Great and Small". Bison, butterflies, prairie dogs or 'possums--the list of possibilities goes on and on. Tell us what you're going to paint!

Details on how to pick up your board and turn in your painting coming soon.

Chef Katie's online cooking classes will introduce you to ethnic cuisines, get your kids into the kitchen and help you w...
03/26/2021

Chef Katie's online cooking classes will introduce you to ethnic cuisines, get your kids into the kitchen and help you welcome spring weekends with fresh new appetizers and cocktail recipes. Spots for next Thursday's Moroccan Favorites are going fast! Register now: https://wallace.org/culinary-classes/

Chef Katie's online cooking classes will introduce you to ethnic cuisines, get your kids into the kitchen and help you welcome spring weekends with fresh new appetizers and cocktail recipes. Spots for next Thursday's Moroccan Favorites are going fast! Register now: https://wallace.org/culinary-classes/

Chicken Pastilla with Apricot Chutney is on the menu for next week’s online cooking class. We have a few spots remaining...
03/24/2021

Chicken Pastilla with Apricot Chutney is on the menu for next week’s online cooking class. We have a few spots remaining. Sign up at wallace.org #onlinecookingclasses #moroccanfood

Chicken Pastilla with Apricot Chutney is on the menu for next week’s online cooking class. We have a few spots remaining. Sign up at wallace.org #onlinecookingclasses #moroccanfood

Patriarch of the Wallace family, Henry Wallace was born on this date in 1836 in Pennsylvania. He became a Presbyterian m...
03/19/2021

Patriarch of the Wallace family, Henry Wallace was born on this date in 1836 in Pennsylvania. He became a Presbyterian minister and came to Iowa in 1862, where his first congregation was a church in Monroe County. Henry had tuberculosis and he left the ministry in 1871 on the advice of his physician in order to spend time out in the fresh air on farmland he had purchased in Adair County. His farming experience led him, his wife Nancy and their grown sons Henry C. and John to begin publishing Wallaces' Farmer in 1895 with Henry as the first editor. Legend has it that Henry was twice offered the position of US Secretary of Agriculture and turned it down both times. His son Henry C. and grandson Henry A. both held the job.

Patriarch of the Wallace family, Henry Wallace was born on this date in 1836 in Pennsylvania. He became a Presbyterian minister and came to Iowa in 1862, where his first congregation was a church in Monroe County. Henry had tuberculosis and he left the ministry in 1871 on the advice of his physician in order to spend time out in the fresh air on farmland he had purchased in Adair County. His farming experience led him, his wife Nancy and their grown sons Henry C. and John to begin publishing Wallaces' Farmer in 1895 with Henry as the first editor. Legend has it that Henry was twice offered the position of US Secretary of Agriculture and turned it down both times. His son Henry C. and grandson Henry A. both held the job.

Address

756 16th St
Des Moines, IA
50314

General information

Wallace House: Farm to Table Thursdays 5:30 to 8 pm, monthly Hearts & Homes Historic Teas by reservation, cooking classes. Country Life Center: Lunches on Fridays from 11 am - 1 pm. Reservations recommended. Mickle Center Shared Use Community Kitchen: open by appointment, 515-282-4715.

Opening Hours

Monday 09:00 - 16:00
Tuesday 09:00 - 16:00
Wednesday 09:00 - 16:00
Thursday 09:00 - 16:00
Friday 09:00 - 16:00

Telephone

+15152437063

Products

Locally-sourced meals including Pizza on the Prairie and Farm to Table Dinners, Mickle Center Shared Use Community Kitchen, fruit and vegetable sales, Abundance food products, garden workshops, cooking classes, Hearts & Homes historic teas, seasonal Prairie Art exhibit, and civility programs.

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Our Story

WCI includes two properties on the National Register of Historic Places. The Wallace House in Des Moines is the home of "Uncle Henry" Wallace, the first editor of Wallaces' Farmer magazine. The Country Life Center in Orient is the birthplace farm of Henry A. Wallace, U.S. Vice President, Secretary of Agriculture, and Secretary of Commerce during the Roosevelt administration.


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