Serving Rural and Urban Communities
Inspired by the Wallace family legacy, The Wallace Centers of Iowa provides a variety of programs and services connecting food, land and people. WCI serves both urban and rural communities with locations at the Wallace Farm in rural Orient and the Wallace House in Des Moines. Program activities include:
Produce Production and Distribution
More than 40 varieties of fruits and vegetables are grown on about 10 acres of gardens and orchard at the Wallace Farm. The produce is used in WCI’s two on-site kitchens, distributed to wholesale markets and grown for food-insecure Iowans through Garden for Good, a partnership with the Food Bank of Iowa, Eat Greater Des Moines and DMARC.
Seasonal Farm to Table Thursdays feature farm-fresh ingredients in changing menus at the Wallace House in Des Moines. Occasional Know Your Farmer dinners connect local farmers to diners and puts the spotlight on their specialty product. During the summer and fall, produce is transformed into brick-oven Pizza on the Prairie at the Wallace Farm.
Community-Building & Educational Programs
- Hearts & Homes Historic Teas share household tips and issues of the day from the women’s section of the historic Wallaces’ Farmer farm journal.
- Cooking Classes inspire cooks to use fresh, locally produced ingredients and expand their tastes.
- Garden Workshops offer advice from local and regional experts to both new and experienced gardeners.
- Cooking Classes for kids educates students about critical food issues such as food safety and nutrition with hands-on experiences and team building.
Food Production Processes & Activities
- Our Abundance line of preserved food products turns excess produce into apple butter, whiskey apple butter, tomato compote and flavored salts and sugars.
Special Events, Agri-Tourism Programs, Site Tours, & Artifacts
WCI hosts occasional special events such as the Valentine’s Dinner, Picnic Theater, and Quilt Show. The Prairie Art Exhibit and Festival celebrates the 9 acre prairie at the Wallace Farm. The Henry A. Wallace Historic Corn Plot showcases different varieties important in corn production. Audio tours at both locations enhance in-person visits. On-site group tours are available by appointment. Information about the achievements of Wallace family members is offered to the public through on-site displays of family artifacts.
Pizza on the Prairie was named “Outstanding Rural Event” by Iowa Tourism in 2021.