Linda Gobberdiel Works with Two Farmer Mentors to Improve Her Farm Business

by Leigh Adcock Linda Gobberdiel is no stranger to growing food. The Des Moines resident has been gardening in her backyard with her husband for 30 years, and as a registered dietician, she knows the nutritional benefits of fresh, locally grown vegetables and herbs.

In 2014, Linda scaled up her growing to a 1/3-acre community garden plot rented from the city of Des Moines. Since then, she has raised and sold vegetables to area restaurants and the Iowa Food Coop (of which she was a founding member). Her business is called Garden on Garden, based on the location of her plot at the intersection of Garden Road and SW 23rd St. in Des Moines.

In the summer of 2016, Linda took advantage of WFAN’s Harvesting Our Potential program to work with not one, but two of our female farmer mentors, both near Ames, Iowa. At Lacewing Acres, she learned about starting and growing a vegetable operation on her own from farmer Julia Slocum – and learned to use a swivel hoe. With Alice McGary at Mustard Seed Community Farm, Linda says she learned to use a wheel seed planter. She has since bought both pieces of equipment for her own farm.

“I used the swivel hoe last season and was able to keep weeds down much more easily,” she said. “I will use the seed planter this season, and look forward to being able to direct-seed a number of vegetables in much less time.”

Linda spent two full days a week at each mentor’s farm, while still operating her own. “My goal was to become more efficient in my own operation,” she said.

She says she plans to continue production at her current location for at least this season and the next. After that, she may investigate the possibility of purchasing her own land.

You can see Linda’s farm profile on the Iowa Food Cooperative website at this link. She is also a food systems consultant doing business as Food and You, LLC.

WFAN’s Harvesting Our Potential program is made possible through support from Ag Ventures Alliance and Iowa Women's Foundation.