Today’s Read: Melody Mercado’s Piece on Sweet Tooth Farm

Monika is everyone’s favorite person including mine. So, it’s shitty when the city decides to fuck with her livelihood. My favorite Register reporter, Melody Mercado, details that shittiness the city is putting Monika, Sweet Tooth Farm and Radiate DSM through all in the name of money. Because feeding hungry people isn’t important. As someone who faced a lot of resistance to feed hungry college students, I cannot stand when people get in the way of food security. One of the easiest ways to maintain systemic discrimination is to keep the marginalized hungry. In other words, fuck the systems. We cannot fight for our wholeness if we can’t even keep people fed. (Sadly, that’s the whole plan by these assholes, isn’t it?)

Additional relevant links:

Sweet Tooth Farm

Her IG

Radiate DSM

Rooted Farm Collective

Heart of Des Moines Farmer’s Market

GIVEAWAY! DreiBerge Coffee

If you’re here, you probably here for the giveaway! I’m giving away ten free drinks (maximum $5 per drink) from DreiBerge Coffee! This is not a sponsored post. I just really love DreiBerge, and I want to support them.

So, here’s how to win:

  • Post a comment on this blog post,
  • In the comment, state your IG handle or email address*, so I can contact you,
  • That’s it!

The deadline to enter is 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, May 23rd. I’ll pick ten people around noon on Monday, May 24th and contact them letting them know they’ve won and how to claim your prize.

You’ll have until Wednesday, June 30th to use get your free drink from DreiBerge Coffee (they have a few non-coffee beverages as well including my favorite chai in Des Moines).

This giveaway is not associated with anyone but me. 😀

*PLEASE NOTE: If you enter your email address, you’ll be subscribed to my mailing list, so if you don’t want on that, please put your IG handle.

Thank you, and good luck!

Des Moines Politics: I’m Out

For most of my adult life, I’ve thought about going into politics. I specifically wanted to run for Des Moines City Council. That is no longer a goal or even a consideration for me. Not only does it kill whatever joy I have, it makes me feel like I’d be selling my soul. Here’s what pushed the decision:

For the last couple months, I engaged in an email conversation with council member, Josh Mandelbaum. I voted for him, and he seemed like the ideal liberal to represent my section of the city (where you can’t go far without running into a BLM sign). I was also asked to partake in Carl Voss’ campaign. I declined because I was concerned about his lack of work for people of color. Voss himself went door-to-door including to our home. I made my concerns clear to him, and he said he was aware and would work to improve it.

I was wrong to believe in either man.

Voss, it seems, has rolled over and played dead to appease the rest of the council. He’s stopped being responsive to emails or social media messages. It feels like a total bait and switch. That might be harsh, but it is my experience with him, and I’m beyond disappointed.

Mandelbaum gave me a little hope because he was so willing to engage. And then I realized he was lawyering me in his emails. I see no soul in his response; just legal maneuvering to make it look like he cares. I know ego-writing when I see it. I engage in it all the time, I graded it for twenty years, and I edited four books (this, friends, IS ME EGO WRITING). I know when someone is trying to leverage their experience.

But experience means jack if you don’t give a fuck. Caring is asking questions and trying to figure out how to do better. And none of the words Josh Mandelbaum sent me seemed about anything more than his ego. I recall no questions about what he can do better. I felt no effort to empathize. The whole thing read like campaign about why I should vote for him again.

It should also be clear I’m pretty sure the only reason he contacted me was because I threatened to run against him the next time he runs. It seems he saw a threat to his power, and he wanted to squash it.

This is why people hate politicians. This is why good people don’t run for office, and if they do, they end up so corrupted that there is little redemption left.

To my fellow Desmoinians: I hope you dig deep into what’s going on behind the scenes in this city. A major portion of the control here is about real estate. It’s about who owns what, who controls zoning, and who is related to or friends with whom. Des Moines is not unique in this sense. However, the Cownies are STEEPED in this apparent real estate corruption, and the rest of the city council is not much better. (I also had a moment where I found myself in Cownie’s old office before he was mayor, and the art on his wall shocked me to my core. It’s something I’ll never forget, but it’s also something I will never be able to prove. I trust no one in that family. Not even a little. And yes, I voted for Cownie more than once, and I’m ashamed of that.)

So, I’m out. I want to keep my soul. I want to make differences for others, and none of that happens in politics. What I want is community. I’ll always post about local stuff as long as I’m in this city, but I hope it will always be about the people we all can help, befriend, and support, not the people we can bribe and control.

Enjoy yourself, Des Moines City Council. I hope you find deep meaning in the pockets of the power-rich in this city because you’ve almost certainly lost your wholeness.

UPDATES: DSM Food Database, 5/7/21

Some quick thoughts:

  • Black Cat Ice Cream is going where Woody’s Smoke Shack was. That’s a sad sign for any potential return of Woody’s/Stew’s after Stew’s passing. We were holding out hope.
  • I’m pretty sure Tacos mi Carmelo is closed. We passed it, and it looked deserted. I’ll have to double check though.
  • I can’t find anything about Wol’s beyond filing for a liquor license.
  • TH Cheesecakes is in Waukee, but I can’t tell if they have a location or operate inside another place. I’ll be checking that out, and I’ll update when I find out.
  • Are picnics the new food trend? It’s a pandemic-friendly way to eat. Might as well be. I think we’re beyond the charcuterie boom.
  • As always, if you know of any changes for food businesses in the area, please let me know!

Des Moines: Support Community Fridges

If you’ve been following the nonsense that is the City of Des Moines’ Food Security Task Force, you’ll know they are partnering with an (alleged) sexual predator to bolster his business, and they’ve rejected real solutions from someone who is actually feeding the community, Monika Owczarski, owner of Sweet Tooth Farm.

On her urban farm, Monika provides a community fridge that is beyond successful. Several other community fridges are popping up around the city. However, one is under threat of fines from the city if it is not moved from the front yard of a property–where it is accessible to all . . . which is the point of provided food security resources–to the back yard of the property.

The North Des Moines Community Fridge is different from other community bridge’s only because of zoning laws. But hunger doesn’t give a single fuck about zoning laws. And the city needs to re-evaluate the law before removing a food source for the hungry.

So, if you want to help, there are a few things you can do:

This is particular important because both Sweet Tooth’s fridge and a Little Free Pantry in DSM have been vandalized in the last month. It’s pretty clear someone doesn’t want the hungry to eat, which is monstrous. So, yeah. You’re needed here. The most powerful thing you can do is contact your city council member!

4/17/21: DSM Food Database Updates!

Last week, I had no updates for the DSM Food Database, but this week . . . whoa! I did some digging on Facebook, and I found a bunch of stuff I didn’t know existed. Several new places came across from my friends and family as well. So, here you are. HUGE updates in the graphic below!

Two notes though: Steve McFadden owns Tipsy Crow Tavern, Sambetti’s, Grumpy Goat, and several other places in the area. If you don’t know, he’s not our peeps. Well, he also owns 50th Street Tap, which is now Boomer’s Bicycle Lounge, which means I won’t be trying TäKō.

But the sad part for me is I learned his wife, Trisha, owns Early Bird Brunch, which is opening in West Des Moines. I was looking forward to that one because we have such a shortage of breakfast and brunch places here, but so much for that.

It would help if The Breakfast Club that just opened wasn’t owned by the Gusto Pizza/El Guapo dudes because I don’t like them either. Could we please get a Black-woman owned breakfast place in this fucking city?! OH WAIT. I forgot we live in hell now.

And if you’re the odd racist dickwad hate-reading this, you’re welcome. Lots of places for you to spend your money. Enjoy eating with people who all shit in the the same gene pool. Makes you wonder how many times they coughed on your food. Oh! I guess it would’ve helped if y’all were pro-mask, huh?

12/9: Resource of the Day (RoD): Pho King 2020

Pho King 2020 is happening. Between the fantastic name and the fact that pho is beloved, I wanted to make sure everyone knew this existed. In addition to merch, you get discounts on several restaurants that serve pho. Most of the discounts go through December 31st, but that’s only three weeks away, and with the holidays, availability may be even more limited. So, please support local, support marginalized communities, and get cheaper pho.

(Secret: I’ve not had pho yet. I’m waiting for it to get ass cold outside.)