Ben Allen has been in the publishing industry for more than 20 years as a reporter, editor, web content developer, freelance writer, and occasional artist or graphic designer when the need arises. He most recently has been wrtiting and editing in the home improvement and gardening subject areas for a variety of clients. He has written catalogs for sporting goods and was the co-publisher of a gardening website and free email newsletter called The Iowa Gardener. He formerly was an executive editor of home improvement, home design, decorating and gardening books at Meredith Corporation, where he helped create more than 100 books and DVDs under the brands of Better Homes and Gardens, Ortho, The Home Depot, Stanley, Miracle-Gro and Scotts, among others. Click here for a more in-depth look at some work he's done.
Ben has earned a bachelor's degree in English literature from The Colorado College (go Tigers!), a master's degree in journalism from the University of Kansas (Go Jayhawks!) and an MBA from Iowa State University (Go Cyclones!) Part of his childhood was in Columbia Missouri (Go Tigers!) and part was in Gainesville Florida (Go Gators!). As a result Ben is often confused regarding whom to root for at many sporting events. He also completed the Master Gardener courses at Iowa State.
His Craftsman-style home built in 1912 and small lawn and productive garden give him ample opportunities to put his do-it-yourself and gardening skills to good use. Recently Ben gutted and remodeled the kitchen making it a place that not only is the spot for producing great tasting food, but also is a pleasure to sit in. Ben lives in Des Moines with his wife Dr. Marguerite Fitch and two spoiled cats named Manchester and Tiger Lily.
The Iowa Gardener is a series of web pages written by and for Iowans looking for gardening information specific to our state. It has specific tips, tricks, and plant recommendations that you won't be getting from sites and publishers who are trying to cater to a national audience. The website has lots of information about gardening in Iowa.