Jenny started Dogpatch Urban Gardens in the fall of 2015 with the help of her husband, Eric Quiner. The main reasons for starting the farm are to promote health/nutrition, enhance community, environmental conservation as well as instill family values for their sons.
Jenny is a Des Moines native and loves the Des Moines community. Her husband Eric is also a Des Moines native, and they have three sons: Oliver, Walter, and Lewis.
Jenny graduated from the University of Iowa with a B.A. in Health Promotions. She has always been very health-minded and this is one of the guiding principles behind the creation of the farm.
Eric and Jenny relocated to Fort Collins, Colorado in August of 2008. They moved when the economy had crashed and the job market was very difficult. While searching for jobs, they discovered a farmer in Greenly, CO looking for laborers, so Jenny and Eric both helped on the farm. This experience was very impactful for Jenny and opened her eyes to the world of small-scale farming.
While in Colorado, Jenny earned of Master’s of Education (science content area) from Colorado State University. After graduating from CSU, she was offered a job to teach science at her alma-mater Dowling Catholic High School in West Des Moines, Iowa. Jenny and Eric moved back home to Des Moines in 2010.
Jenny’s main scientific teaching focus is in Life Sciences with an emphasis in Biology. During the 2014-2015 school year Jenny had the great opportunity of teaching Environmental Science. This course allowed her to dive into the food system more deeply and allowed her to see what she can do to help enhance the way food is provided to the community. She wants the farm to help make a positive impact on the environment by decreasing the use of fossil fuels in food production and delivery, conserving resources, building up soil rather than degrading it, and encouraging biodiversity.
Jenny could not be more excited about starting this farming adventure! She envisions her sons growing up on the farm and being integrated in the farm operation in years to come. The idea of her kids “knowing where their food comes from” is a very important and exciting thing for her kids to experience.