News & Events

Change Food Eats: interview with Mary Swander


Mary Swander was the featured guest on the show, Change Food Eats, talking about AgArts and the intersection of art, food and agriculture. Listen to Mary Swander and host Diane Hatz, and meet Chef Ebeth Johnson, who regularly shares health and wellness tips from her Delicious Living with Ebeth.

The November 3 interview is available at the Change Food library.

Sponsor is Change Food®, which aggregates and collaborates with others working toward healthy food change, amplifies their voices through events and programs, and advances the work and the goal of the food movement – to provide healthy, safe, delicious, fair food to all.

For more information about Change Food Eats, the lunchtime talk show, click here.


Mapping out your Memoir: Online Class

What makes a good memoir? Learn from author Mary Swander ways to narrow your story, use a natural voice and shape it all into a compelling narrative.

So you are excited to sit down, write about your life and publish a memoir. How to get started? You can pour your heart and soul into your computer and end up with 400 pages of unfocused writing that drifts from place to place, incident to incident. Or you can take some time to study and understand what makes a good memoir, how its subject matter is narrowed and focused, and how each chapter propels the narrative forward toward a revelation of character and a satisfying closure.

We will have four sessions in this Saturday series, 10am to noon Central Standard Time. (No class the Saturday after Thanksgiving.) Each session will build upon the past class, culminating in an outline that will serve as your guide to begin writing a book-length manuscript.

Some writers bat around for years trying to shape their memoirs, having no sense of where they will end up. This class will save you that time and frustration, sending you on your way toward publication.

This class is taught by award-winning and nationally acclaimed author Mary Swander.

Session 1. Nov 7, 10am-noon: Find a one-sentence book description and a natural voice.

Session 2. Nov 14, 10am-noon: Shape chapter focus and the central scenes.

Session 3. Nov 21, 10am-noon: Learn to do research and write background summary.

Session 4. Dec 5, 10am-noon: Seek publication.

Sponsored by Land Alliance Folk School and by AgArts, a non-profit designed to imagine and promote a healthy food system through the arts. $138. REGISTER FOR THIS CLASS


Entrepreneurship for a New Era: The Economy of Enough: Online Course

The pulse of our nation is changing, and for business start-ups, that is both a challenge and an opportunity to think in new ways. 

The experience of a global pandemic has led many to reconsider priorities and reevaluate what success looks like. In this course, we’ll learn the steps of starting an enterprise that grows out of your values and redefines success.

Week 1:  Crafting a vision based on your values.  Jan. 9, 10 am – 12 pm. 

Week 2:  Building a container: Leveraging what you have with what you need.  Jan 16, 10 am – 12 pm.

Week 3:  Cultivating systems of simplicity and adaptability.  Jan 23, 10 am – 12 pm.

Week 4:  Navigating the inner landscape.  Jan 30, 10 am – 12 pm

Instructor Anna Geyer has 20 years of experience creating and operating several small businesses in rural Iowa.  Best known is her wood-fired pizza venue, Geyer’s Oven.  Most recently, she founded Land Alliance Folk School & Retreat Center, offering lodging, classes and retreats. 

Sponsored by Land Alliance Folk School and by AgArts, a non-profit designed to imagine and promote a healthy food system through the arts. $138. REGISTER FOR THIS CLASS



Color for the Winter: Natural Dyes at Home: Online Class

Brighten up your winter by learning natural dye techniques at home!

Join us to learn natural dyeing at home in this virtual four-week class presented by Lesley Darling. Over the first three weeks, we will cover beginner’s topics including shibori, how to make a dye bath, bundle dyeing, mordanting cotton, and more! Lesley will send out kits for each student. Students will create at least 3 projects, combining the provided kit with common household materials. Kit fees are covered in the cost of the class.

Projects may be completed at any time between classes, and during the last class we will share our results and continue discussion. Students are encouraged to start saving onion skins upon registration (red and yellow)! We will discuss other necessary materials during the first week of class, so don’t rush out to buy anything!

Week 1: Feb. 6, 10am-noon: Shibori techniques with madder.

Week 2: Feb. 13, 10am-noon: Bundle dyeing on silk.

Week 3: Feb. 20, 10am-noon: Mordanting cotton.

Week 4: Feb. 27, 10am-noon: Final discussion and follow-up.

Classes will be conducted via Zoom and recorded for those who need to miss a class. Kits are not available to ship internationally, but students located outside of the US are encouraged to get in touch with us and we can discuss local sourcing and other options!

Lesley will mail out kits 1 week prior to class beginning so early registration is recommended. Students who register by Jan. 29 should have their kits by the start of the class. Students who register later may not have their kits for the first class, but will be easily able to catch up. Please note that we are not responsible for pandemic-related shipping delays. All packages will ship USPS.

Instructor Lesley Darling is a Midwest-based fiber artist with international experience and 7+ years of textile practice.

Sponsored by Land Alliance Folk School and by AgArts, a non-profit designed to imagine and promote a healthy food system through the arts. $159. REGISTER FOR THIS CLASS


Swander Woman Productions

Online and in-person touring schedule. Very little in-person touring currently due to safety guidelines related to covid 19. For a presentation for your virtual event, contact

Map of my Kingdom



Farm-to-Fork Tales



AgArts Field Day: Drive-In Puppet Show at the Land Alliance Folk School

Imagine that you are an alligator, visiting a deserted mall!

The annual AgArts Field Day will be held Sunday, August 30 at the Land Alliance Folk School and Geyer farm at 1259 Rohret Rd SW, Oxford, Iowa, west of Iowa City. The program will begin promptly at 7:00pm.

Advance registration is required. The fee is $10 per car. REGISTER HERE.

The field day is a drive-in event this year, featuring Eulenspiegel Puppets performing Shenanigans: Animals in Charge! It’s a new show based on true stories of animal antics during a pandemic, “with a lot of imagination thrown in,” said Eulenspiegel director Monica Leo. The show will be entertaining for all ages.

Mary Swander will give a concise talk about AgArts, which imagines and promotes healthy food systems through the arts.

In addition, Anna Geyer will tell briefly about the Land Alliance Folk School, located on her family’s diverse farm which includes a food forest, cutting garden and wood-fired pizza oven.

Jean Graham, artist from Austin, Texas, participated in an AgArts Farm-to-Artist Residency at the Geyer farm last summer, and created a graphic zine about her experience. A few of Graham’s images will be shown before and after the puppet show.

Ice cream bars will be provided to all guests.

Sound will be available through FM car radios and through smart phones. Attendees are to remain in their vehicles and stay for the entire program, 7:00-8:15pm.

Attendees must register and pay $10 per car by August 29.

Rain date is Monday, August 31 at 7:00pm. Check AgArts or Land Alliance Folk School on Facebook for rain-related announcements.

The AgArts Field Day is a Friend-of-Practical-Farmers-of-Iowa event.

For more information, see, contact Mary Swander at 319.936.0187, or contact Anna Geyer at 319.325.6609,