Q: How long have you been in business?
A: Destiny's Garden has been in business since early 1993, with the exception of some time off due to the owner's health and severe flooding and rebuilding efforts.
Q:Where are you located?
A: We grow our produce in two locations -- Our veggies and perennials are grown in several beds on our large back yard lot in Cedar Rapids, and the bulk of our annual herbs and edible blossoms with the Cultivate Hope Urban Farm on the NW side of Cedar Rapids.
Q: Why haven't we heard of you before?
A: For most of our years in business we have sold herbs/edible flowers wholesale to area retailers, caterers and upscale restaurants. We consider ourselves to be a "hidden gem" ready to be discovered!
Q: Why don't you have a public storefront?
A: The simplest answer for you is this: We run our business out of our home and, being a small-scale grower, cannot afford the luxury of a public storefront. We hope to someday remedy this, but until then you may find us vending at farmer's markets and some larger craft fairs -- and you can sample the fruits of our efforts at the restaurants who use our produce (see links page).
Q: Do you sell herb/flower plants or starts?
A: Not at this time. Occasionally we will offer chives, several types of basil, flavored mints (chocolate is our favorite) and others at market. Sometimes we may have an over-abundance of vegetable starts which we also take to market.
Q: Don't you use *any* kinds of pesticides or sprays at all?
A: NO CHEMICALS! We occasionally use all natural sprays to get rid of slugs or aphids, but all are completely natural and biodegradable -- we love our planet and want to keep it as healthy as we can for as long as we are counting on it to grow our plants. We never put anything on our garden that we wouldn't eat ourselves -- with the exception of maybe some of the organic fertilizers ;-)
Q: What do you typically grow, and what do you sell at markets?
A: As far as what herbs we grow, we always have chives, at least one or two types of basil, cilantro, chocolate mint, tarragon, rosemary, thyme, sorrel, arugula, Italian heirloom parsley, spearmint and a collection of herbs not readily found elsewhere. In terms of what we sell at market, we sometimes have heirloom vegetables, all herbs listed above (at one time or another throughout the season), edible blossoms and sometimes ornamentals, cut flowers and -- depending on the season -- wild-gathered herbs, vegetables and berries. In the autumn we have herb infused vinegars and gourmet jellies/jams. We will always make breads from scratch to order!
Q: Do you sell wild mushrooms? If so, what kinds?
A: Yes! When they are available, we thoroughly enjoy hunting, eating and selling wild mushrooms. We sell morels*, chicken of the woods, oyster and various other varieties.
*We are currently licensed by the state of Iowa as Morel Mushroom Identification Specialists. This license is required to sell Morel Mushrooms in the state of Iowa.
Q: I have no clue what you mean by "edible blossoms"??? Help!
A: Edible blossoms are just that -- flowers or parts of flowers that you can eat! Edible blossoms are used to garnish cakes, toss in salads, coat with egg whites & candy (try a candied violet someday! They are delicate and wonderful), freeze them in ice cubes for a lovely punch or simply garnish a plate with them for added color and dimension. Flavors vary from very subtle and barely flowery or full-on floral to green and tender or zesty and peppery. *note of caution: those with pollen allergies should exercise caution when eating any type of blossom, including herb blossoms and squash blossom (delicious fried).
Q: What about the Urban Farm? Can you sell me a share?
A: The Cultivate Hope Urban Farm shares are sold only through their website or by calling 319-362-2214 While we are really excited to be part of the Farm, we are only a small bit of it. If you want a share (or half share) of fresh, organically grown veggies, fruits and herbs that you can pick up weekly, you should check it out! Its always exciting to see what you receive in your shares and know you are part of a grassroots effort. On top of that, you save money when comparing to grocery store and even farmers market prices!
Q: You mentioned something about foraging -- what is that, what do you forage?
A: We have experience in gathering wild foods and love eating them, too! Foraging is basically just that, heading to a good spot where there is no danger of pesticide or environmental pollution such as exhaust fumes (found in roadside ditches), knowing what you are looking for, the proper way to harvest it and then bringing it home. Some days we gathers bushels of nettles or watercress, other days it is a couple pounds of mushrooms. It just depends on the season and the weather and the location and whether the critters get to them first or not. On our list of top favorite foraged foods in this area are: nettles, ramps, fiddleheads, morels, field mushrooms, berries, may apple, mint and water cress. On occasion we will harvest cattail pollen for food or ceremonial purposes. All foraging is done with utmost respect for the planet, the plant and those who may wish to forage in future generations.