Grape Escape Winery’s name isn’t simply a boozy play on a Steve McQueen movie. For its vintners, planting their own vineyard signified the chance to break free from the typical work routine and spend more time together. From their 8 acres of grapes—supplemented by pickings from 15 other Iowa vineyards—the crafters fill their casks with 13 varietals ranging from sweet to dry. Visitors to the winery may saunter through the pastoral rows of vines, savor tastes of a red, white, or blush over the fire pit, or, on Saturday nights in summer, take in a movie right in the vineyard.
Owner Phil Glaser and his staff of grass whisperers have been nurturing lawns for more than 10 years. Yard experts aerate homeowners' slices of the outdoors to stimulate new root growth, creating durable root systems able to withstand the heat of summer, the cold of winter, and the chill of spilled ice water. Alternatively, the grass gurus can nourish lawns by spreading seeds. The tiny morsels of flora food help transform sparse plots into luscious and verdant grasslands rivaled only by a biodome stocked with chia pets.
Farm & City Supply's friendly staff dedicates itself to stocking empty garages and bathroom cabinets with name-brand tools, pet supplies, housewares, and farm equipment. Do-it-yourselfers can wrap their opposable thumbs around a vast array of hardware, such as a window shrink/seal kit to guard households against winter blasts or a new hammer to finally pound that unsightly tree stump back into the ground. Armor All cleaner ($3.59) brings out cars' shiny personalities and Purina-wild-bird chow ($18.95) keeps feathered-kitchen invaders at bay. A vast array of automotive supplies keep horseless carriages galloping smoothly. While perusing the aisles, patrons can feel free to consult Farm & City's staffers, who can locate items throughout the store using high-tech divining rods as well as answer any questions and dole out expert advice.
When they look at a yard, Cold As Ice's landscapers see endless possibilities. Decorative walkways, fountains, and vibrant flowers in every hue come to mind. The team consults closely with homeowners to dream up a picturesque yard design that will charm neighbors and passersby. Lawn technicians, meanwhile, mow yards and maintain lush grass. As its name suggests, Cold As Ice operates in cold months as well. Their crews can remove snow from driveways and help lost snowmen find their ways back to their igloos.
At Matthias Arabians, seasoned horse trainers Leon, Lon, and Kim Matthias teach visitors the art of steed steering in a scenic setting. In one-hour riding lessons, students of varying equine aptitude can take the reins of safe learning mounts, absorbing instructors' wisdom until their horses glide over terrain as smoothly as refurbished hovercrafts. Topics covered may range from horse-care fundamentals to proper discipline or mastering a stately trot, but all are presented with expertise and a sense of humor.
Jaques Lawn Care keeps home landscapes neat and manicured all year long, maintaining yards in every season since 2000. Through spring and summer, its crews canvas lawns with mowers and fertilizer, decimating weeds and aerating grassy soil. As the weather grows cooler, staffers round up piles of leaves and truant scarecrows then return in the winter to remove snow and ice from walkways and driveways.