Mulberry Farm & Food is a growing program run by CISS staff and clients that provides fresh, locally-grown food for our kitchen program. The farm is comprised of our state-of-the-art Schoen Greenhouse and our 4-acre Agrihood featuring raised growing beds, which is expected to be completed in 2024.
With expanded space and an ever-growing list of supporters, we will produce enough food annually to begin selling to local businesses, increasing the amount of local food consumed in Des Moines.
Mulberry Farms & Food is operated by CISS clients, who apply and interview for the job. Once hired, they work with our on-staff Master Gardener to help plan, care for, and manage all of the outdoor aspects of our facility. The trainees, who must be clients staying at the shelter, make above minimum wage, allowing them to quickly save up for things that help them get back out on their own.
Trainees in this 8-week program learn the basics of greenhouse growing and general facilities upkeep, as well as the essential job skills needed to keep any job—like showing up on time and working with a supervisor and co-workers. Participants get 1-on-1 assistance from staff members to help them build their resumes and increase their chances of being hired. Mulberry Farms & Food is committed to putting people back to work!