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Eat Global While Staying Local in DSM

Global Greens in 2020

June 30, 2020

Global Greens, a program serving refugee farmers in Iowa through Lutheran Services in Iowa (LSI), offers farming and agriculture support to those in the program, empowering them to eventually sell at the Downtown Farmers’ Market and across Greater Des Moines (DSM). Through Global Greens, refugee farmers learn to grow chemical-free Iowa vegetables and those of their home countries. 

Global Greens + the Community Alex Congera Planting Kale

Former refugees connect with small garden plots near their homes due to cooperative partnerships with the City of Des Moines, volunteers and private landowners, while farmer training and support happens at the Global Greens Farm located at Valley Community Center.

Daniel Bowser, food hub and markets supervisor of LSI’s Global Greens program, says that with the COVID-19 pandemic and closure of The Market in 2020, Global Greens farmers won’t be found at their typical booths, but will still sell at the LSI Global Greens Farmers’ Market happening from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Saturdays May 23 through October, as well as through the LSI Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program and the Iowa Food Cooperative.

CSA Offerings

The CSA assists more than 20 refugee families in their farm businesses, offering the DSM community opportunities to interact with farmers from Bhutan, Burundi and Rwanda. You can also find weekly recipes — like Garden Egg Stew using African eggplant or Ching Baung Kyaw using roselle leaves — in the recipe archives. Support CSA by signing up to receive box options from the program, including the Abundant Box (18 weeks of fresh produce weekly), the Generous Box (9 weeks of fresh produce every other week) or extend your share to the Fall Box (four weeks in October). Pickup locations are available in Des Moines, West Des Moines and Ankeny, while delivery is open to Des Moines customers for a $5 fee. Due to demand, this CSA is likely at capacity but don’t worry, it is an annual program so openings will be available in the future.

Watch a video overview of Global Greens below and make sure to shop with Global Greens vendors on the Online Marketplace.



Interested in learning how Global Greens supports Iowa’s refugee farmers, including how new graduates of the program start their businesses? Read about it here. Tika Bhandari

It’s not difficult to support refugees who are building a new life in DSM. Play a part in welcoming and making an impact on former refugees by shopping with Global Greens vendors, as well as partnering with Global Greens for volunteer opportunities and service learning.

Find information and updates from LSI’s Refugee Community Services by signing up for the newsletter.

The Downtown Farmers’ Market invites you to shop and buy vendor products through the Online Marketplace. It’s a virtual platform that helps people find access to fresh, locally-grown food.

Through the Global DSM: International Talent Strategy, The Partnership works to establish Greater Des Moines (DSM) as a global community attracting and retaining foreign-born persons to the region. Check out more Global DSM stories.

Lydia Zerby

Lydia Zerby is the program manager for the Downtown Farmers' Market in Downtown Des Moines (DSM).