Henry A. Wallace, 33rd Vice President of the United States under Franklin Delano Roosevelt, was born in Adair County in 1888. Wallace also served as Secretary of Agriculture, founded Pioneer Hi-bred Seed Corn and served for a time as editor of his family’s publication Wallaces’ Farmer.
Today his birthplace is home to 10 acres of vegetable gardens and fruit orchards, and 9 acres of prairie with outdoor art installations and walking trails. The center is part of the Wallace Centers of Iowa, dedicated to the agricultural concepts promoted by Wallace of local food, sustainable agriculture, and civility. Various workshops and educational programs are conducted throughout the year.
More than 40 varieties of fruits and vegetables are grown on site for wholesale markets, and Garden for Good, a partnership with the Food Bank of Iowa, Eat Greater Des Moines and DMARC, and for locally sourced dining events at the Center and the Wallace House, the historic Wallace family home is Des Moines. Wallace Centers of Iowa also hosts online cooking classes.
A Prairie Art Festival and Prairie Art Exhibit are held each summer, featuring more than 70 paintings by local artists of all ages scattered along the prairie walking trail.
Pizza on the Prairie is held every Friday night throughout the summer with pizza cooked in an outdoor oven and made from fresh ingredients grown on site. Live music, a warm summer evening and beautiful sunsets over the prairie and Iowa countryside complete the package. Reservations are required.
2021 Iowa Tourism Award Winner – Outstanding Rural Event
The Country Life Center grounds and Gathering Barn are available for rent for special occasions and conferences. Tours of the gardens are available as well. The walking trails are open to the public free of charge. The site also includes a gift shop and information on the Wallace family and their contribution to modern agriculture.
Retired state park ranger Alan Carr takes us on a walk through the 9-acre prairie at the Henry A. Wallace Country Life Center. Watch as some of Iowa’s most common pollinators do their critical and fascinating work.
Ph: 515-243-7063 (DM)
Ph: 641-337-5019 (Orient)