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Global Food Project connects newly arrived and established Iowa City and Johnson County residents through garden plots located at the Johnson County Historic Poor Farm. We use sustainable practices, provide gardening assistance and resources, and help to build and expand communities. We create a safe, nurturing, and inclusive environment at our gardens for sharing life experiences, building trust between cultures, and of course, growing healthy and fresh fruits and vegetables.

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Global Food Project was founded in 2016 by a group of folks seeking to make a more inclusive and interconnected Iowa City. They thought that different communities coming together to grow food alongside one another would be one way to achieve this. The program was established at the Johnson County Historic Poor Farm. In 2020, the program came under the wing of IC Compassion but the gardens were put on hiatus for that season due to Covid-19. In January 2021, a Program Manager was hired and worked to re-establish the garden program. That year 20 families gardened on 35 plots. Every year since we have increased the number of gardens but have been unable to keep pace with the ever-increasing demand for gardens.

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After three successful seasons under IC Compassion, we continue to grow! We now offer both smaller plots for families to grow for themselves (Family Plots) and larger plots for those who are looking to grow for sale (Market Plots). In 2024 we will offer nearly 100 family plots, as well as increasing market plots from six to eleven. Last year we updated our infrastructure to include a large shelter and a greenhouse. This year we will add an updated wash area, a cooler, and a tractor to help us manage our ever-growing area at the farm. The market plot growers will be selling their produce through a variety of avenues including a market at the Johnson County Historic Poor Farm dedicated to selling a diverse array of international crops.



Although we increase the number of plots we offer every year, the increase in interest continues to outpace us. We plan to continue to update our infrastructure and search for more land to accommodate this demand in the future. As more families choose to scale up with a market plot, we also plan to help those gardeners find larger plots of land in the area to grow more food in the future and help them transition to becoming independent food farmers in the area.



Our gardens are located at the Johnson County Historic Poor Farm

4811 Melrose Ave, Iowa City, IA 52246

You can help grow the Global Food Project.
We appreciate your generosity.
Select "Global Food Project" on our donation page.

2023 Sponsors

Block Supporters

  • Hills Bank

  • MidAmerican Energy

  • Resilient and Sustainable Future for Iowa city

Plot Supporters

  • Iowa City Landscaping

  • Silk House Publishing

  • Amel Ali

  • Marty Monick

  • Mean Mike's Hot Sauce

  • Friends' Collective

  • Swander Woman Productions

  • Trumpet Blossom

  • Field to Family

  • James Investment Group

  • Mike Carberry

  • Calyx Creek

  • Terra Products

  • Laura Bergus

  • Jessica Yoder and Sarah Bigley, Lepic Kroeger Realtors

  • Agape Café

  • ICAD & Iowa City Area Business Partnership

  • Brandi Radcliffe, Realtor

  • Bob Bruskewitz

Partners and Donors

Many thanks to our past, present and future donors, partners & friends

  • Johnson County Board of Supervisors

  • Iowa Valley RC&D

  • Astig Planning

  • Center for Worker Justice

  • Grow Johnson County

  • Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship

  • Beautiful Land Products

  • Community Foundation of Johnson County

  • Calico Farms

  • Quality Care

  • Filaree Garlic Farm

  • Seed Savers Exchange

  • High Mowing Seeds

  • Johnny's Select Seeds

  • 5224GOOD

  • Public Space One

  • FilmScene

  • GreenState Credit Union

  • Theisen's

  • Ceres Trust

  • Johnson County Community Food and Farm Program

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