Connecting Food, Land & People
Inspired by the Wallace family legacy, the Wallace Centers of Iowa connects food, land and people through a variety of programs and services. Both WCI’s historic sites, the Wallace Farm near Orient and the Wallace House in Des Moines, were once owned by the Wallace family. Program activities include:
Produce Production and Distribution
More than 40 varieties of fruits and vegetables are grown on about 4 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 Classroom offers 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 small-batch food products turns excess produce into apple butter, whiskey apple butter, tomato compote and culinary salts and sugars.
Special Events, Agri-Tourism Programs, Site Tours, & Artifacts
WCI hosts occasional special events such as the Valentine Dinner and Picnic Theater. The Prairie Art Exhibit 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 and Online Collections.
Pizza on the Prairie was named “Outstanding Rural Event” by Iowa Tourism in 2021.
Reserve Your Prairie Art Board(s)March 15 @ 8:00 am - May 5 @ 5:00 pm
Farm to Table Thursday: March 30 – FullMarch 30 @ 5:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Hearts & Homes Historic Tea – FullMarch 31 @ 11:30 am - 1:00 pm
Sauce It Up Cooking Class – FullApril 3 @ 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Farm to Table Thursday: April 6 – FullApril 6 @ 5:30 pm - 9:00 pm