Greetings DUG family!
Spring is always a busy time of year for farmers and here at DUG we are no exception! So much is happening that it’s hard to even decide where to begin…
Yesterday was the first farmers market for DUG! We participated in the Johnston Farmer's Market and really enjoyed meeting community members. So many people have been driving by the plot recently and are interested in what we are doing. It’s nice to see the enthusiasm towards the farm and be able to “tell our story” to the community. I will be set up at the Johnston Farmer’s Market next Tuesday (3:30-6:30pm) and then will be a full-time vendor at the Beaverdale Farmer’s Market every Tuesday night (4-7pm) the rest of the season.
The Spring Salad Subscription has launched! This has been in the works for a few months and it felt great to get it released. The excitement towards this program has been overwhelming. We sold out of “shares” for the Spring Session in about a week. The two other sessions (Early Summer and Late Summer) still have openings, but they are filling up fast, so if you would like to be a part of the Salad Subscription you want to sign up soon. You can learn all about the program at http://www.dogpatchurbangardens.com/salad-subscription/
Chefs are excited about our products and DUG items are popping up in restaurants around the Des Moines Metro. You can sample our radishes at Le Jardin, pea microgreens at Grounds for Celebrations, microgreen varieties at Baru 66, salad mixes and root veggies at HoQ, and Chef Brett at The Cheese Shop has used our goodies for farm-to-table events. If you’re looking for a night out I highly recommend any of these dining establishments. Tell them DUG sent you!
Progress on the pole barn (which will double as our Farm Stand and my work station) is moving along.
The interior for the store is almost complete. Eric and friends completed the framing, sheet-rocking, mudding, and painting the interior of the farm stand. Electrical is complete and the garage door is installed. We need to finish installing some light fixtures and then we get to start setting up displays!
Our goal is to have the farm stand open starting in mid June. I am working on sourcing local goods from other farmers/producers in the Des Moines area. We will have honey, maple syrup, spices, oils, soaps, lotions, and other items. When we do open, we will have weekend hours. Stay tuned for more details.
Work is almost complete for getting my washing/package systems finalized
The framework for my wash station and dry station are put together. We have some dirt work to do outside of the pole barn and then those areas will be installed. Eric is also going to build a lean-to over my work stations, so I can have a covered work space.
We moved the smaller shed on the farm plot about 20 feet and rotated it 90 degrees in order to make the space more usable. It was a very impressive process to see Eric and his buddies remove the siding, put the shed on dollies, and move the structure all while keeping it in tact! We had siding leftover from the pole barn, so Eric used that to finish the shed. Our buddy, Mike Gannon, from AAA Roofing installed an awesome faux slate roof (made from recycled materials) for us and it looks great!
Seeds are planted, sprouting, and growing! The plot is really starting to emerge and it’s great to see all the shades of greens (and reds) pop up. I use successive plantings so I’m putting new seeds in the ground weekly. Most all of my beds are currently planted, and it’s just about time to pull some older crops and get beds prepped to plant a new succession.
My main summer crops are now in the ground. Last week, I planted around 90 tomato plants, 90 peppers, and 60 summer squash varieties (thanks for my dad for help with the squash transplants). The plants transplanted well and seem to be liking their new homes. Next week I will fertilize them with fish emulsion to help give them some added nutrients for growth.
This is my last week as a teacher. It is bitter-sweet to be saying goodbye to my Dowling teaching community, but I am excited to be able to commit more of my time to the farm.
I’ll keep you all posted on the farm stand progress and let you know when we will officially open. Our family is always at the farm on Sunday’s from 9-11 distributing our Salad Subscription, so if you’re in the area stop by and say hello!