Brucemore and Feed Iowa First begin produce partnership

By CBJ News Staff

Brucemore and Feed Iowa First, two non-profit organizations in Cedar Rapids, have announced a partnership to provide fresh produce to help those in need in the community.

Feed Iowa First volunteers will prepare, plant, tend and harvest a specialty garden on the grounds of Brucemore over the course of the summer. Produce will be distributed through Feed Iowa First’s channels to local food pantries in Linn County.

“The former owners of Brucemore serve as the inspiration for using the historic ‘Cutting Garden’ to grow fresh produce in partnership with Feed Iowa First,” Director of Facilities David Morton stated in a press release. “Their legacy of philanthropy and community mindedness continues to guide the ways we utilize the property and engage the community today.”

The second owners of Brucemore – the Douglas family – developed the property in the early 20th century, adding small-scale-farming features, which included an orchard, alfalfa fields, beehives and a cutting garden. The cutting garden produced a mixture of flowers, fruits and vegetables that were used in the operation of the estate. The Douglas family often gave away or sold excess produce from the garden.

Today, Brucemore’s grounds are a living collection — the plants, trees, and gardens help us understand this history. The use of this space by Feed Iowa First provides a unique insight into the ways the property was used more than 100 years ago while also serving the community.

Founded in 2011, Feed Iowa First is a grass-roots community of businesses, faith organizations, schools, farmers and volunteers that unite in relationship-based service to help the community “Combat Food Insecurity by Growing Food and Farmers.” To learn more, visit www.feediowa1st.comCBJ