Dogpatch Urban Gardens is the only for-profit farm in Des Moines city limits – the realization of one of Jenny Quiner’s dreams.
Quiner, one of the Des Moines Register’s People To Watch for 2018, already has a steady flow of business and is looking to turn her farmstead into a rental property, teach urban farming classes and hold events such as concerts and weddings on the grounds in the coming year.
A teaching job at her high school alma mater brought the Quiner family back to Iowa in 2010. She enrolled in an online course about urban farming taught by her mentor, Curtis Stone, an urban farmer and educator from Canada.
“We are setting a neat model to show people how local food can impact your community,” Quiner said of her urban garden.
In only two years, Quiner has become a leader in the Des Moines food scene, says Jordan Clasen, owner of Grade A Gardens in Johnston.
Her produce was instantly recognized for its quality, which opened the door to placing it in local restaurants. Quiner opened a retail space on the farm in May, which includes her produce and some products from other farms.
What Quiner has done at Dogpatch has helped her capture the imagination of other local farmers and inspire innovation.
Quiner hopes the idea of urban farming will catch on and other people will recognize this is a feasible and sustainable business model.