Greetings DUG family. I realize it’s been far too long since I made a blog post, but (as you know) finding free time to write a blog is difficult during peak farming season. I am making time for this post because there are so many great things happening at Dogpatch Urban Gardens and I want to share all the positivity.
This past weekend I was awarded, “Partner of the Year” at the Urban Ambassadors FriendRaiser event. I was nominated by a community member and the board selected me (amongst many other great projects happening in the Des Moines area.) I was honored to be selected for this award.
The Urban Ambassadors mission is to, “Help you clarify your sustainability goals, connect you with local resources, and make a positive impact in your community for a healthier planet.” Their mission aligns so well with the principles and practices here at DUG, and that is one key reason why I’m so proud to win the "Partner of the Year" award.
Seedstock is a publication which, “fosters the development of robust and sustainable local food systems…” They are based out of California and just did a feature article on Dogpatch Urban Gardens. The editor happen upon our website when she was researching urban farms. She was formulating ideas for farming with families and when she saw the DUG website she thought our story was a perfect fit!
The Farmstand is continuing to expand and we are seeing more and more customers each week. I started working with a company called FarmTable Delivery (based in Harlan, Iowa). FarmTable works with smaller scaled farmers to both purchase and deliver their goods. The company has weekly pickups/deliveries and travels between Omaha and Cedar Rapids. They have allowed us to support other smaller scale farms that have similar farming philosophies thus allowing the farmstand to have more diversity in our products. I also recently connected with Berkwood Farms and are selling top-of-the-line Berkshire pig products. This past week we purchased a retail fridge and can now sell farm-fresh eggs, dairy products, hummus, and other cold storage items. The retail fridge is also great because we can keep our greens and microgreens in there during store hours and I don’t have to worry them wilting in the heat.
I’ve also been continuing to build relationships with local chefs and have really enjoyed providing them with DUG produce throughout the grow season. Check out the photos, and you will see a sample of how some of the Chefs are incorporating DUG produce into their beautiful dishes.
As the growing season is starting to slow down, it’s so great to be able to take a few breaths and really comprehend the things that have happened at the farm in just one season. As a start up business, there are always “teachable moments”, failures, difficulties, etc. but I’m very optimistic about the direction DUG is going. I realize I’m not in this alone and there have been so many people that have helped get us to where we are today. If you are reading this blog, I guarantee you are someone who has helped DUG be successful and I want you to know how appreciative I am for your support.
As an FYI, the Farmstand will be open through the month of October and we will close up shop for the winter. Eric and I have our flight to Florida booked for early November, and it will be a well deserved vacation for both of us!