Rooted Farm Collective
Sweet Tooth Farm + Radiate DSM Urban Farm
In June 2021, Sweet Tooth Farm learned that the leases they hold in Central Place Industrial District will be terminated in 2022. This is almost three acres of space that will become fallow and that we will no longer be able to farm. Our friends at Radiate DSM Urban Farm, who are in their first year and are farming alongside Sweet Tooth on the spaces in the Central Place District will also lose all the space they have cultivated when the lease is terminated for Sweet Tooth Farm. While we were understandably devastated to hear the land we’ve literally poured blood, sweat, tears, and precious time into would no longer be ours, we immediately got to work to find permanent homes for our farms. We’re stronger together and from destruction comes rebirth. Welcome to our partnership: Rooted Farm Collective.
The dream is to build a network of small farm plots nestled in neighborhoods around the city. Des Moines is full of vacant lots that could and should be put to better use as growing spaces and could benefit entire neighborhoods and communities. Our mission to feed our neighbors remains.
Why This Matters
By shutting down multiple urban farms operating in a neighborhood subject to food apartheid, Des Moines would lose a vital source of fresh produce. In 2020 alone, Sweet Tooth grew over 8,000 pounds of food. The thought of this disappearing is simply not something we’ll entertain.
How to Help
We’re looking for plots of land! If you own a vacant lot or know of one in Des Moines, let us know! Think about empty lots you may see on your way to work or a plot your parents have owned for years. Does your company own vacant lots they’d be interested in selling? Let’s talk.
Please reach out if you have a lot you’d be interested in selling or are aware of a vacant space.
Show your support for the Rooted Farm Collective and look awesome doing it with a new shirt! When you purchase a shirt, you help us fund our future network of lots around Des Moines.
Spread the Word
Please share our mission far and wide. Follow our new collective on Instagram for more updates!
If you’re able to make a donation, we’d appreciate it more than you know
Make a Tax-Deductible Donation
You can make a tax-deductible donation through one of the best agencies fighting food insecurity in Central Iowa, Eat Greater Des Moines!
Are you interested in my backyard?
Thank you for the offer, but unless you’re willing to sell us your land, no thank you. We are losing 3+ acres in 2022 and are looking for plots to purchase that could help offset that loss. We would love gardens in every yard. But the reality is that we are running intensive vegetable production and not gardening.
Could you lease or buy another plot from the city?
The city of Des Moines has informed us that they will not sell to urban farms unless the farms are going to develop commercially. So if we wanted to put down a parking lot or build a large structure, we would be considered as buyers.
We are not interested in leasing from the city. Our hands are tied in so many ways when leasing. For instance, we are not allowed to put up high tunnels, we are not allowed to put in water lines, and are held back from our full potential. We would love to own the land we’re working so that we can feel some sense of security in ownership. Bringing life back to the soil of a vacant lot and keeping that soil healthy is back-breaking work and we don’t ever want to experience a loss like this again.
Would you lease land from a private landowner?
We’re interested in purchasing land. If you would be willing to do a permanent/long term lease we would like to talk. If you’d like to sell us your land, we’d love to talk!
Whether it’s a question about how to work with us, donate, or something else, send us a message.