Experience Urban Farming with Dogpatch Urban Gardens in DSM
During the latest Small Business & Startup Stories DSM podcast, Jenny Quiner discussed urban farming and Dogpatch Urban Gardens in Greater Des Moines (DSM). For six seasons, Dogpatch has created a space close to their customers so patrons can experience a farm close to their home.
Prior to owning Dogpatch Urban Gardens, Quiner did not have a farming background. She grew up in DSM with a background in health and education and taught high school science at Dowling High School, where her love for environmental science led her to the idea for the business. Quiner’s husband, Eric, is a real estate agent who has done much behind the scenes to help make the farm a success. The Quiners bought the half-acre for Dogpatch because it was located in the neighborhood they live in, also named Dogpatch, and was located just two blocks from their home. Building the business in their own neighborhood, their mission is to make their community better, which brings a lot of value to what they do. This is part of the reason that they named the business after the neighborhood. They added Urban Gardens to the name, making the acronym DUG, which works well for farming.
Where Salad is a Specialty
Dogpatch Urban Gardens has become known for its salad greens, such as lettuce, kale and arugula. Quiner said these are the key crops grown at the gardens, although tomatoes and auxiliary crops like beets and carrots are offered as well. The number of offerings is small in order to maintain a profitable business. The Quiners are selective in what they grow and are careful to choose what will make money in the fastest amount of time on the small amount of land they own.
Dogpatch Urban Gardens Growing Season
High tunnels and caterpillar tunnels are like greenhouses that aren’t heated. These structures allow Dogpatch Urban Gardens to extend their season. They will offer greens through Christmas. In early March, product will be planted and be available April through December of 2022.
Quiner also discussed other revenue streams, including salad dressing sales, an Airbnb, agritourism farm-to-table dinners, as well as COVID-19 effects, navigating zoning and planning for a new land purchase and more during the podcast
Dogpatch Urban Gardens has been highlighted in a recent post for their Downtown Farmers’ Market booth and you can visit them at the Winter Market Saturday, Nov. 20 and Saturday, Dec. 4. They will also have a stand open on their farm throughout the winter.
Listen to the entire podcast above.