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Oscar Zebedee and Sindiyehebura Emeranse
Why do you want to farm?
I want to farm because I love to farm. I grew up farming in Africa, and love it because it gives me exercise, supports my family by providing them healthy, chemical-free food and provides financial support. It also supports the Burundian community by providing them with food they want and need.
What are you farming right now?
Right now, I am producing on three 50-by-50-foot plots at Global Greens Farm, but I consider this just gardening because I am only growing about 20 varieties of vegetables. Most of the produce I grow is African varietals for my community, but I am continuously learning how to grow “American vegetables.” I am continuously experimenting and learning which vegetables are the most profitable and in demand. I sell my produce at the Global Greens CSA and farmers market, as well as at other small farmers market in the area and through my community.
What’s your vision for your farm?
I envision having a 10-acre farm on the outskirts of Des Moines. Seven acres of this would be perennial production that would include a fruit tree orchard, grapes, raspberries, blueberries, asparagus and others. The other 3 acres will be dedicated to vegetable production.
I would like to have high tunnels dedicated to vegetables that mature quickly, like lettuce, carrots, radishes, etc. Since I do not plan to live on this farm, I won’t have livestock on the land. I do plan to have chickens, and maybe other livestock, at my home in Des Moines. I will feed my family and community healthy, chemical-free vegetables from my farm and them both financially from the income generated from my farm.
Why do you want to participate in this program?
I want to be in SIP because I want to farm for a living and farm on more land. The Savings Incentive Program will help me with these aspirations through the training provided for production and business planning.