Volunteers plant peppers at the historic Brucemore garden on Thursday, May 21, 2020.

Brucemore and Feed Iowa First, two non-profit organizations in Cedar Rapids, are excited to announce a partnership to provide fresh produce for people struggling with food insecurity in our community. Feed Iowa First volunteers will prepare, plant, tend, and harvest a specialty garden on the grounds of Brucemore over the course of the summer. Produce from the garden will be distributed through Feed Iowa First’s channels to local food pantries in Linn County.

“The former owners of Brucemore serve as the inspiration for using the historic ‘Cutting Garden’ to grow fresh produce in partnership with Feed Iowa First,” said Brucemore Director of Facilities David Morton. “Their legacy of philanthropy and community mindedness continues to guide the ways we utilize the property and engage the community today.”

The second owners of Brucemore – the Douglas family – developed the property in the early 20th century, adding small-scale-farming features, which included an orchard, alfalfa fields, beehives, and a cutting garden. The cutting garden produced a mixture of flowers, fruits and vegetables that were used in the operation of the estate. The Douglas family often gave away or sold excess produce from the garden. Today, Brucemore’s grounds are a living collection — the plants, trees, and gardens help the community understand this history. The use of this space by Feed Iowa First provides a unique insight into the ways the property was used more than 100 years ago while serving the community today.

Brucemore has been dedicated to celebrating the history and vibrant artistry of Iowa with local, regional, and national audiences. The site’s story offers a lens to the past and a reminder of the people, the events and the drive that shaped the Cedar Rapids community. The independent non-profit preserves seven historic structures, 26-acres of landscape, and thousands of artifacts. As the only National Trust Historic Site in Iowa, Brucemore has served more than 1 million people through innovative programming since its founding as an organization in 1981. Brucemore annually welcomes visitors from all 99 counties in Iowa, nearly all 50 states, and over 20 countries. For more information, call (319) 362-7375 or visit www.brucemore.org.

Feed Iowa First is excited to begin the new partnership with Brucemore and continue to serve those struggling with food insecurity in Linn County through the historic garden.

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