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Made in Eastern Iowa: Rural Heritage

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It’s a business that’s all about the past. Rural Heritage is “Borrowing from yesterday to do the work of today,” said Joseph Mischka. The Cedar Rapids Based company has set up offices in the Time Check Neighborhood, and it’s fitting seeing as they’re very focused on history. The company publishes a namesake bi-monthly magazine with articles from contributors around the country.

“There’s a real drive for people to do things themselves,” said Mischka. People want to “Incorporate family more into their world, and community into their world. It’s many hands doing the work.” Contributors are the “hands” actually farming, working, and using mammal over machinery.

“This is an article about how to find a point of draft on a horse, which is critical for the horses’ comfort to make them work better,” he said, showing us one of the publications kept in the warehouse.

Mischka is part of a small but mighty staff of 3, and they’ve found that more people want to get back to their roots. “There’s a real desire among people to know where their food is grown. To buy local,” said Mischka. “This gives them the opportunity if they’re a weekend hobbyist to do more themselves.”

Rural Heritage carries a number of books catering to those looking for specific skills. From making Antique wooden wheels, to caring for a sick horse, it’s a resource of hard-to-find publications.

“It’s not the kind of book you’d find on,” said Mischka.

The print publication has gone high-tech with a weekly tv-show. “People will always be asking for a video on how to do something they like to watch someone doing it and explaining it while they’re doing it and video does a wonderful job of that.”

The videos help Giving people everywhere a chance to take their work in the fields, back in time. Mischka adds “There’s always been a video market for people showing how to drive horses. To train horses, to farm with horses. There are people that remember having done the work with horses when they were kids, or remember their parents or grandparents talking about it.”

Rural Heritage also produces very popular Draft Horse Calendars. “There are a lot of people out there now who have horses and they’re more lawn ornaments and they’re not really using them in the field, so they like to have pictures on their wall that show people actually doing work with the horses,” said Mischka.

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