Jenny is the head farmer at Dogpatch Urban Gardens (DUG) in the suburbs of Des Moines Iowa. DUG is transforming their food system and the perception of their neighborhood with a farmstand (ft. local products), a farmhouse for farm-curious tourists, and a vibrant vegetable garden, specializing in salad crops.
Jenny is currently running a Kickstarter campaign to help meet the "$75,000 of imposed infrastructural changes" they need to be legally certified operation. Due to misinformation from their local county, they have only recently learned about these rules and need your help to fund the changes. >>>Check out their campaign page.<<<
To start off, we asked Jenny about how she keeps inspired & to share with us some of her favorite books & podcasts:
Book - The Lean Farm Guide to Growing Vegetables by Ben Hartman
Podcast(s) - The Farmer to Farmer Podcast by Chris Blanchard, Farm Small Farm Smart by Diego Footer, Female Farmer Project, How to Be Amazing with Michael Ian Black
Cookbooks - Dishing Up the Dirt and Iowa Girl Eats
Tell us more about Dogpatch! What are you all about?
Dogpatch Urban Gardens (DUG) is an urban farm in Des Moines, Iowa. DUG is a diversified farm that has both a FarmStand as well as an "Urban FarmStay" (Air BnB) on the property. We grow annual vegetable crops and specialize in salad fixins'. We just finished our second season and provided Des Moines citizens with over 7500 pounds of organically grown produce. Over 95% of our produce was sold within 10 miles of the farm and we grow with a strong focus of being stewards of the land.
What was your path into farming? How did this all begin?
Prior to beginning farming, I was a high school science teacher. I taught Biology and Environmental Science at Dowling Catholic High School for six years. I loved my job, but in those six years I had 3 boys (Oliver, Walter, and Lewis) and felt compelled to have a life change. Through many serendipitous events, my husband and I were able to purchase the farm property and dive into the farming adventure! I love my life change and being able to raise my boys with a better appreciation for food!
What's a recipe you love to share that gets people excited about eating fresh foods?
I have three young boys and they love morning smoothies! This recipe "hides" spinach and microgreens from them and adds some extra nutrition.
1 banana (frozen or fresh)
1 tsp chia seed
1 Cup Kefir milk
10 sprigs of sunflower shoot microgreens
Handful of spinach
2 tbs peanut butter
Vanilla Greek yogurt (optional)
Questions? You can contact Dogpatch Urban Farm at: firstname.lastname@example.org