Des Moines, Iowa—LSI (Lutheran Services in Iowa) recently received a $2,500 grant from the Metro Waste Authority to improve soil quality for Global Greens refugee farmers.
LSI’s Global Greens program provides land access and education for people of refugee status who are interested in community gardening or market farming.
The Metro Waste Authority grant will fund the purchase of compost to enhance soil at the Global Greens Farm and at community garden plots throughout Des Moines.
“Many former refugees who have agricultural backgrounds have a strong desire to reconnect with the land,” said Nick Wuertz, LSI director of refugee community services. “Growing food also has tremendous benefits in areas of nutrition, health and wellness, mental health and socialization, and it also provides opportunities for small business income.”
LSI partners with the City of Des Moines, volunteers, private landowners and refugee community members to establish local community gardens for people of refugee status.
LSI also supports refugee growers who would like to develop small market farming business on larger plots of land. Through a multi-year training program, growers learn to adapt their farming skills to the Iowa climate and environment and to build skills in business development and marketing.
In 2015, LSI partnered with 162 community gardeners and 34 beginning and market farmers through Global Greens programs.
For more information on Global Greens and where to purchase Global Greens certified naturally grown produce, visit www.LSIowa.org/globalgreens or call 515.271.7443.