Des Moines task force presents "foraging as a human right" resolution

·1 min read

Harvesting edible plants on public land would be a human right under a proposed resolution presented to the Des Moines City Council Wednesday.

Why it matters: The measure, which was recommended by the city's food security task force, would help provide residents with resources to grow their own food.

  • It may also drastically change the landscape of Des Moines.

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Driving the news: The task force, which was created in December, published a report of recommendations for the city Wednesday.

Key takeaways: Des Moines should identify available land throughout the metro that could be used for agriculture and pass an ordinance that specifically allows residents who live near the public right-of-way to plant fruit and vegetable crops there.

  • On-site sales of locally grown produce would be permitted.

  • Animal breeding and processing for personal consumption would be allowed.

The intrigue: Des Moines would set a goal for 30% of the food consumed by residents to be grown within the city by 2050. The goal would double to 60% by 2075, under the recommended resolution.

What they're saying: The city doesn't have problems with people harvesting from public land but it could in the future, task force member Ed Fallon told Axios.

  • Details like signage to protect specific areas from pickers will be necessary, Councilman Carl Voss noted in Wednesday's meeting.

What's next: The task force will continue to meet. Expect more discussion and possible action on some of the group's first ideas in coming months.

Read the full report.

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