DES MOINES, Iowa –- You don't see too many farms in the middle of city neighborhoods, but a former high school science teacher changed the landscape of one acre of land in Des Moines.
Looking around at the land just north of Meredith Drive and west of NW 50th St., you'll find more than your average garden. "We're an urban farm. Our address is in Des Moines, but we're in an unincorporated pocket, so we're in Polk County," said Jenny Quiner of Dogpatch Urban Gardens.
"I grow annual vegetable crops, specifically salad greens are our focus. Everything is grown organically," added Quiner.
She and her husband bought the acre of land at 5085 Meredith Drive four years ago. They turned the house into an Airbnb vacation rental, and most of the yard is now growing food. "So, we're kind of this diversified farm model," said Quiner.
They sell the food they grow inside a Farmstand on the property. You'll also find other local producers' items, like eggs, meat, and snacks. New this year is a grab and go cooler. "We'll be using our new kitchen space to sell salads, sandwiches, and wraps,” said Jenny.
The DUG Farmstand is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m, and anytime the garage is open. "People come and shop and we talk about food. I'll show them the high tunnel. Everyone wants to know how we keep our weeds down, and I love talking about farming," said Jenny.
It’s a dream this former high school science teacher didn't even know she had. Jenny said, "It's kind of evolved into this dream because I grew up in Urbandale. I was a suburban girl. I don't have an agricultural background, but I always enjoyed the food system, enjoyed growing my own food, and it just keeps evolving into this bigger thing."
Dogpatch Urban Gardens also sells many of their salad greens to area restaurants.