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We are an urban farm facing over $75,000 of imposed infrastructural changes due to misinformation from our local county.
320 backers pledged $27,751 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$27,751

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Background on DUG

Dogpatch Urban Gardens (DUG) is an urban farm located in Des Moines, Iowa.   Dogpatch Urban Garden's property is on one acre of land.  On that acre, we have one high tunnel, two grow plots, the DUG FarmStand, an "Urban FarmStay" (Air BnB), and green space for events.  

DUG grows annual vegetable crops using biointensive growing practices.  We just finished our second growing season, and in 2017 we produced over 7,500 pounds of organically grown food for citizens of Des Moines!

Our farm slogan is, "Cultivating Community," and in our two years of business we have loved the support from our community.  95% of our produce is sold within 10 miles of our farm, and that is a number we are proud of!  Selling our produce locally allows customers the freshest and highest quality produce possible.  It also lessens our ecological footprint.  Our farm tries to be as environmentally friendly as possible.  We are constantly working to enhance our soil through the use of compost, cover crops, worm castings, and minimal tillage/disturbance.  We do not use tools that rely on fossil fuels, nor do we use synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, or herbicides.  Because most of our items are sold close to our farm we do not depend on large amounts of gasoline for deliveries.   

 We are a unique business to the Des Moines area because we have an onsite FarmStand.  The DUG FarmStand sells our produce (grown on site), but we also source other items from local growers/producers.  We sell milk, cheese, eggs, meats, salad dressing, spices, oils, vinegars, jerky, honey, tea, maple syrup, jams, mustard, granola, sauerkraut, BBQ sauce, pasta, salsa, bread, baking mixes, soups, fruits, and vegetables all local to Iowa.  Our FarmStand allows Dogpatch Urban Gardens to be a sustainable business while also supporting other local growers/producers.

DUG FarmStand
DUG FarmStand

 

Interior of the DUG FarmStand
Interior of the DUG FarmStand

Help DUG Grow

We are launching this Kickstarter Campaign due to substantial infrastructural changes/improvements imposed upon us from our local county.  To make a long story short, we are being forced to add an ADA compliant restroom (which initially we were told we did not need), ADA compliant parking, fencing, landscaping, and more.  

We are a unique business to Des Moines and that has made it difficult for the county to classify us as residential, agricultural, or commercial.  Therefore, what they are requiring of us has evolved inconsistently.  Since the inception of DUG, we have made a point to be open and communicative with our intentions and goals, and have asked the county specific questions about requirements for our business.  In our two years of business, the county has made substantial changes in its requirements/policy for us. We are currently sitting at approximately $75,000 in imposed improvements due by the end of 2018.  

We recognize that the imposed infrastructural changes/improvements to our farm will allow us to continue to build on our mission of cultivating community by providing a supportive environment for all our customers.   We'd love to have a public restroom and ADA accessibility, at some point in the future, as we continue to grow. The struggle we are facing is two-fold: 

1.) These  additions are being required of us in a timeframe that is prohibitive to our small business as they need to be completed this (2018) season.

2.) Despite frequent communication with the county about our plans and reviews on their part, we were not told of these requirements until after we had built our infrastructure.

 If our county would have told us these things were required from the start, when we specifically asked them we would have planned our business accordingly.  Now we are being required to add onto current structures, as well as alter things we already built.

The photo below shows examples of some changes we will be making:  

The current door to enter the FarmStand is not wide enough to be ADA compliant, so we have to take out the door, widen the frame, and add a wider door.  We also have to remove & redo the concrete as the grade is not ADA compliant.
The current door to enter the FarmStand is not wide enough to be ADA compliant, so we have to take out the door, widen the frame, and add a wider door. We also have to remove & redo the concrete as the grade is not ADA compliant.

Estimated Project Expenses 

1. Restroom (including new septic system) - $35,000

2. Landscaping and Fencing - $5,000

3. Additional paved spaces for ADA compliant parking (this includes demo of concrete that was poured only two years ago) - $10,000

4. Additional ADA compliance - Had we been told this to begin with, complying would have been very simple.  Now we are required to remodel our current FarmStand building. - $3,000

5. Water run-off storage - Those of you that have followed our progress over the past few years probably know that during the 2016 season we dealt with flooding issues.  In the fall of 2016, we added a lift station and significant drainage tiling to mitigate water runoff.  Since that addition we have had no issues with flooding. Once again, had we known these requirements before we could have accommodated their requests at the time we did the work in 2016. - $4,000

6. Reconstruction after demo - Our current septic tank is not large enough to accommodate a new bathroom.  We need to replace our current tank to accommodate the new load of the added bath.  To do this we will be tearing up the driveway at our Air BnB.  - $5,000

7. Site Plan created by an engineering firm - $10,000

Note

We do not believe that the intentions of the county were ever to shut our business down. Sadly, we feel as if they did not listen to us and what we intended to do with the farm/property. We asked many questions throughout our building phases to avoid precisely what we are dealing with now. Knowing we are new business owners, we felt asking questions was the thing to do. We figured going directly to the source for answers/advice was the proper way to start up our business (without causing major issues after the fact.)  Unfortunately, we relied on Polk county to our own detriment. We never intended to break any rules/codes, but now we are forced to make changes to our land based on false information they gave us.

 

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Project Timeline

Our goal is to begin construction as soon as the ground thaws. At that point we will build the new restroom addition, add the new septic tank, regrade and pour concrete, and more. We plan to have the large infrastructural projects complete by the time the FarmStand opens in mid May. The landscape and fencing will be ongoing throughout the 2018 season, and should be complete in the fall of 2018.

Risks and challenges

Like with any construction project, there can be risk/challenges associated with the build.

We are a product of Iowa's weather, so hopefully it will cooperate with us during the construction phase. If the ground is too wet/frozen it will alter the timeline of the project. That said, we could see delays yet it will still get done!

Anytime you deal with large construction projects there may be unforeseen issues. We recognize these things may pop up and will work through them!

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Farm Recipe

    If you pledge $10 bucks, you will get an email of a farm recipe from Dogpatch Urban Gardens!

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    Reusable Tote

    This reusable tote will be your new favorite go-to bag. The exclusive design was created by Des Moines' finest, The Side Garage, and is only available to our campaign backers. Use it to carry your DUG FarmStand goodies, farmers market items, and so much more!

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    Pop Up Yoga

    DSM Pop Up Yoga instructor, Emily Steele, will lead a class at the farm on Saturday, June 16th starting at noon. Enjoy your practice in the beauty of the farm. Namaste!

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    DUG T-Shirt

    Snag an exclusive DUG tee designed and printed by Des Moines' finest,The Side Garage. This shirt is only available for backers of this Kickstarter campaign!

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    DUG Hoodie

    Snag an exclusive DUG hoodie designed and printed by Des Moines' finest, The Side Garage. This hoodie is only available for backers of this Kickstarter campaign!

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    44 backers
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    Pledge $110 or more About $110

    Photo Session at the Farm

    Stacy Harper Photography is snapping Family Photo Sessions using the beauty of the farm. On Saturday, June 23rd Stacy is offering 20 minute photo sessions between the time of 4-7pm. All families will get access to the digital images, and can order prints from Stacy.

    https://www.stacyharperphotography.com/

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    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    The Supporters Sign

    Supporters will have their name wood burned on a sign (made using wood from the Dogpatch farm land) hung in the DUG FarmStand. Des Moines artist, Ariel Minervini, will be burning the names. All DUG FarmStand customers will see your name and know exactly who helped to make this happen!

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    Pledge $225 or more About $225

    Be Our Guest

    Join the Quiner family, at their personal residence, for a home-cooked Sunday dinner. The meal will feature ingredients using items sold at the DUG FarmStand. We will feed up to two adults (as well as their children) per dinner.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Garden Consultation

    Farm(h)er Jenny will visit your residence and help you design/plan your garden for the 2018 season. The consultation can last up to 3 hours and must be local to the Des Moines (or surrounding suburbs).

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    Pledge $350 or more About $350

    Spring Salad Subscription

    Receive our spring bounty weekly through a DUG Salad Subscription. This donation gets you a subscription to our 12 week Salad Subscription (you choose full or half plate).

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    Pledge $675 or more About $675

    Spring & Fall Salad Subscription

    Receive our Spring & Fall bounty (weekly) through a DUG Salad Subscription. This donation gets you a subscription to our 12 week Salad Subscription in the spring as well as the 12 week Salad Subscription in the fall! (you choose full or half plate).

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    Pledge $700 or more About $700

    Urban Farm Stay

    Enjoy the beauty of the farm while staying on our land. Get three free nights stay at our on-site Urban FarmStay Air BnB. There will also be a "goodie basket" stocked with our favorite FarmStand items for you to enjoy during your stay. You can book for yourself or gift this item to someone else. Your stay must be booked in 2018 or 2019.

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    Pledge $1,250 or more About $1,250

    Party on our land

    Use of the Dogpatch Urban Gardens green space to host an event. The green space is a perfect spot for a party, farm to table dinner, wedding, business get together, etc. We are continuing to improve & beautify this area with fencing and landscaping. The event must be booked for the 2018 or 2019 season.

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    Pledge $3,000 or more About $3,000

    The Big One

    Lifetime Salad Subscription Membership!

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Funding period

- (30 days)