Welcome to Middlebrook, a community which leverages its agricultural past to create future prosperity. A place of special moments, Middlebrook builds off of its enviable position in the region only twenty minutes away from downtown Des Moines, anchoring the southwest corner of the city. By building off of the foundation of an agricultural community, Middlebrook establishes itself on the street corner at the intersection of real estate and food. New neighborhoods of agricultural estates, suburban townhomes, and a town center bring vibrancy and livelihood to the community, creating a catalyst for commercial uses at a variety of scales. The Great Western Trail, a recreational gem, and the I-35 corridor provide connectivity to the community and the broader region, allowing residents and visitors alike the opportunity to explore and experience the greater Des Moines metropolitan region. Middlebrook envisions a community of neighborhoods, where families can be raised, memories created and dreams achieved; it’s Middlebrook, in sustainable harmony.
A growing movement of communities being built around working farms and community gardens is taking root across the country. The Urban Land Institute (ULI) has been following this trend closely for several years and recently published two reports on the topic; Cultivating Development, Trends and Opportunities at the Intersection of Food and Real Estate and Agrihoods – Emerging Best Practices. ULI defines “agrihoods” as single family, multifamily or mixed-use communities centered around working farms.
Instead of development pushing agriculture further away from population centers, agrihoods enable development to preserve land for farming where people live, invest in critical farm infrastructure and subsidize a portion of the cost to operate a diversified community farm. Some of the biggest barriers to new and beginning farmers are access to land, capital and customers. Agrihoods reduce all of these barriers and create a win-win-win for the developers, farmers and residents as well as for the land and broader community.
Agrihoods also make it easy for people to foster a deeper connection to the land, improve their health and strengthen relationships with their neighbors. They are a tool for building community, nourishing people with healthy food and teaching people about agriculture. Community farms also serve as a social gathering hub for a diverse community to come together for seasonal celebrations, special events and farm-based experiences.
Similar to open space and parks, community farms and gardens increase the value of the homes around them. Dozens of new agrihoods are sprouting up every year creating a growing demand for people seeking to live in communities focused on healthy sustainable living. Middlebrook in Cumming, Iowa seeks to join this movement by creating an agrihood that honors the agricultural legacy of the state and region, while building a vibrant neighborhood that nourishes community through healthy food and farming.
DES MOINES REGISTER Goodbye, city life: Iowa’s first ‘agrihood’ promises country living on edge of Des Moines
This is an exciting opportunity for the state of Iowa! Our Middlebrook Estates development would be Iowa’s first agrihood - a community that’s anchored by a working farm or community garden.
WHO-TV CHANNEL 13 Cumming Could Quadruple in Size With Iowa’s First ‘Agrihood’
“When you Google ‘top 10 things to do in Des Moines,’ I think the agrihood could potentially be one that starts to make that list.” Kalen Ludwig talks to WHO-TV about Middlebrook Estates.
KCCI CHANNEL 8 Agrihood could transform Cumming, quadrupling its size
"(City leaders) are excited to see something like this come to the community, and it keeps its rural roots," said Keaton Dreher, with Diligent Development.
The farm at Middlebrook was carefully designed and planned by Daron "Farmer D" Joffe. A nationally recognized biodynamic farmer, educator, consultant, speaker and entrepreneur, Joffe is the author of the acclaimed book Citizen Farmers: The Biodynamic Way to Grow Healthy Food, Build Thriving Communities and Give Back to the Earth. He is the founder of Farmer D Consulting and has spent the past 20+ years designing and building community farms and gardens all over the country for agrihood communities, resorts, spas, hospitals, non-profits, schools, cities and private landowners.
Middlebrook presents a new community anchored in tradition and respect for the land, while leveraging the energy of its prime location along I-35 and its proximity to nearby communities, school districts and shopping hubs. Located immediately east of I-35 along Cumming Avenue / Hwy G-14, just south of the City of Cumming, the community has easy accessibility to the Des Moines Metro area. The nearby Norwalk school district is one of the most desired and highly rated school districts in the Metro.
Thoughtful growth and development have preserved Cumming’s small town character and enabled the city to exist in sustainable harmony with the agrihood. Middlebrook provides over 700 housing options, ranging from single family and town homes, to apartments and senior living, to high-end estate homes. Over 45 acres of land remain devoted to agricultural and open space in Middlebrook’s initial Parcel A development, including a central commercial agricultural area with bike/pedestrian greenway, community gardens and other parks. Parcels B and C will have an additional 75 acres devoted to agriculture and open space, with plans to include an orchard, winery and green house / hydroponic site.
Built in 1900, Cumming’s historic one-room schoolhouse provided kindergarten through high school education to the local community for several decades and was attended by U.S. Senator Tom Harkin. Although the schoolhouse officially closed in 1969, it was reopened as a restaurant in the 1990s and recently received a new brick façade and windows. Still maintaining its historical character, the schoolhouse will serve as a centerpiece of new commercial development just north of Middlebrook. Plans to transform the schoolhouse into a craft brewery with a hops garden are already underway. Thirsty bike riders passing through Cumming on the Great Western Trail will have a new watering hole!
Cumming Avenue/Highway G14
Cumming, Iowa 50061
12119 Stratford Drive, Suite B
Clive, Iowa 50325
Middlebrook development is immediately east of Interstate 35 along Cumming Avenue/Highway G14, just south of the city of Cumming.
West Des Moines Proper: 5 minutes
Jordan Creek Town Center: 10 minutes
Downtown Des Moines: 20 minutes
Des Moines International Airport: 10 minutes
Norwalk: 5 minutes