Dubuque Rescue Mission Brings Urban Chickens to Downtown Dubuque

By Katie Wiedemann, Reporter

Chickens feed inside the new coop in downtown Dubuque. The Dubuque Rescue Mission added a chicken coop to its organic garden behind the Canfield Hotel. (KCRG/THE GAZETTE)

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By Katie Wiedemann

DUBUQUE, Iowa- A half of a dozen chickens now have a new home in downtown Dubuque. The Dubuque Rescue Mission has a large vegetable garden behind the Canfield Hotel. On Tuesday morning, directors added a chicken coop to that organic garden.

Tucked between a busy highway and several bustling businesses, six chickens are now living the city life.

Rescue Mission Executive Director Rick Mihm said, "This movement of urban gardens and urban farms is really taking off. "

The chickens and more specifically their eggs are the latest project in the Rescue Mission's mission to serve healthy, organic foods.

"That's 8 eggs every other day and in the height of the season that's 8 eggs per day, " said Mihm.

Rescue Mission residents help plant and grow the rows and rows of fresh vegetables.

They pick the vegetables and serve them with meals inside the shelter each day.

"We have such food deserts in the cities," said Mihm, "The poor especially are most harmed by that. They have to go to the convenience store for nothing fresh, highly processed and expensive foods. "

Next month directors plan to build a green house in the garden.
They'll partner with downtown schools and non-profits to teach children about whole foods and the organic lifestyle.

"More people are getting away from that highly processed stuff, away from chemical farming, " said Mihm.

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