Help Plant Miles of Produce for DMARC Food Pantries!

By Matt Russell

Plant a Mile will be bigger and better in 2013 – But we need your help to make it happen.  We’re looking for people to donate time, talent, and treasure this summer.  We had fifty people participate in 2012, and this year we’re looking to double that number. We’ve created some new ways for people to join this effort, attempting to connect eaters passionate about local foods, the farms growing that food, and the organizations and businesses making this connection possible.

The first opportunity for donating is our June 16 fundraising dinner at HoQ Restaurant.  In addition, we’re scheduling volunteer work days at participating farms in Boone, Grinnell, Indianola, Newton and even with the City of Des Moines.  BFBL includes urban agriculture!

This project provides locally grown produce to Central Iowa families using the Des Moines Area Religious Council (DMARC) Food Pantry Network.  The creativity and team spirit of the Greater Des Moines Buy Fresh Buy Local network is expanding the project from one farm and one mile of produce in 2012 to five farms and almost two miles in 2013.

The project identifies farms willing to provide produce at a price that reflects both the value of the crop and the volunteer efforts that make the production possible.  The DMARC truck will pick up the produce from the farm and people can participate in Plant a Mile in a number of ways.  One important way to help out is to volunteer to work on one of the farms.  Those farms include: Ali Family Garden, Grinnell Heritage Farm, Maytag Dairy Farms, Busy Bee Garden Center, and Rinehart Family Farm. We’re creating a list of potential volunteers in the Greater Des Moines BFBL headquarters at Drake.  Please e-mail us at for more details about getting involved or joining us for dinner on June 16.

The sponsors of Greater Des Moines BFBL have once again come together to make Plant a Mile a reality.  Please share a word of gratitude with these members who’ve made a sponsoring commitment to BFBL that provides the resources for Drake University to do Plant a Mile: Campbell’s Nutrition, Cultivating Compassion: The Dr. Richard Deming Foundation, HoQ Restaurant, Kitchen Collage of Des Moines, Maytag Dairy Farms.

“This is a great way for people to help make a difference and become part of a project that’s building bridges in education, health, and wellness through locally grown foods, while serving those who are not able to afford the nutrient rich food that’s becoming increasingly abundant on Iowa farms,” says Teresa Adams-Tomka co-owner of Kitchen Collage of Des Moines.

Make plans to support Plant a Mile by attending the fundraising dinner at HoQ Restaurant on June 16.  What a great way to celebrate Fathers’ Day.  E-mail us for a reservation at


Plant a Mile Fundraiser $75 donation
5 PM, Sunday June 16
Light appetizers, salad, choice of entrée, dessert, and coffee
$10 corkage fee to bring along your own wine.  Fee goes to Plant a Mile
Cash bar