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Global Greens Gardening with Refugees

May 26, 2017

Lutheran Services of Iowa (LSI) has invited Young Professionals Connection (YPC) members and non-members to help volunteer at their Global Greens Refugee Garden in West Des Moines on Saturday, June 3. LSI supports the Global Greens agricultural programs which coordinate land access, production education and business development training for refugees in Greater Des Moines (DSM)who want to reconnect with the land. The program helps to grow local, sustainable food that invests in and enriches the lives of people in our community — it’s good food for a great cause!

Many refugee families have agricultural backgrounds, and growing food has so many benefits.

Advantages of Growing Your Own Greens

  • Reduced grocery costs and better access to healthy produce
  • More income and business opportunities for families
  • More social connections with neighbors and less isolation
  • Emotional healing for refugees who have faced past trauma
  • More connections to cultural traditions
  • Opportunities to share agricultural traditions with the next generation

Some refugee families want to grow food for home consumption. Thanks to partnerships with the City of Des Moines, organizations and private landowners, LSI helps connect refugee families to small garden plots near their homes.

Other refugees are interested in small business farming to supplement their income long-term. In 2013, LSI started Global Greens Farm, an urban farm made possible through a land partnership with the Valley Community Center, in West Des Moines.

Global Greens Farm in DSM USAGlobal Greens Farm

At Global Greens Farm, beginning market farmers take the first step by cultivating a larger 50’ x 50’ plot of land. Advanced market farmers then move to a ¼ acre sized plot and receive intensive training on crop production, business development and marketing to help them turn their passion into a profitable business. Their food is locally grown and chemical-free. Their food is certified naturally grown. They teach natural and sustainable farming methods and do not use synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. All the seed they plant is non-GMO.

Please join us on Saturday, June 3 from 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. to help support this great program!

Event Structure and Format

10 a.m. — Arrive at Global Greens located at Valley Community Center (4444 Fuller Rd., West Des Moines, Iowa)

10:10 a.m. — Short tour and educational session on refugee gardens

10:25 a.m. — Start project

11:45 a.m. — Clean up

Noon — Leave for LSI's Farmers Market (3200 University Ave., Des Moines, Iowa) where we can purchase vegetables from refugees that they grew on the farm

12:15 p.m. — Tour LSI Farmers Market and purchase vegetables 

12:30 p.m. — Lunch and drinks at Wellman’s (2920 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines, Iowa)

Please contact Emily van Oosbree with any questions.