This week’s edition covers stories
from April 6th to April 12th, 2023.
Today’s issue is 510 words, a 4–minute read.
Today’s edition: Helene talks about some urban agriculture and community garden initiatives around the Twin Cities!
Good morning, NewPrensa readers. Helene here. It’s just me this week, but not to worry. Isabella will be back in no time!
Are you enjoying the arrival of Spring? It’s here full-force in the Twin Cities and our NewPrensa team has been out and enjoying the sunshine. There’s a good deal of exciting community work and efforts that have to do with urban agriculture and gardening in the Twin Cities. That’s exactly what I’d like to highlight today! There’s too many to name them all, but consider this your introduction to the Twin Cities’ world of community gardens and community based urban agriculture.
First up, we’ve got the West Bank Community Garden, a student run community garden initiative at the University of Minnesota since 2014. Plots are available for students to reserve each spring (which you can do here) and they also offer workshops and resources to help you along your gardening journey. They’ve also put out some learn-to-garden pamphlets and information in the past and encourage beginner and seasoned gardeners alike to get involved! It’s a cool, non-hierarchical, student-run opportunity to get your hands in the soil! What’s not to love?
Next, Urban Roots. They’re based in St. Paul and their community agriculture initiatives have been around since 1996. They’ve got a couple of programs, but I want to highlight their Market Garden program, where youth interns plant, maintain, and harvest crops from their gardens in St. Paul. Their interns are ages 14-18 and are from the communities they’re serving. The interns do a whole bunch of stuff for the farm: preparing their CSA baskets, harvesting produce, selling produce at the Mill City farmers market, and maintaining the 1.5 acres of farming space. I had the pleasure of seeing the farm myself and it’s impressive. The interns are young, but extremely capable and knowledgeable. Check them out if you have the chance, either on their website, through their CSA program, or at the Mill City farmers market.
Third, the Soo Line Community Garden. Maybe you’ve seen the garden while biking on the Greenway bike trail through South Minneapolis. In 1991, neighbors from South Minneapolis, with help from the Sustainable Resource Center and other donations, were able to establish the Soo Line Community Garden. The garden has grown through the years from a small group of volunteers to over 200 gardeners who donate a small fee to have a 10 x 12-foot plot. They’ve been insecticide, herbicide, and chemical fertilizer free for the past 30 years, a unique ecosystem that’s a pollinator and wildlife haven in the area. They’ve also been advocating against the proposed construction of two-way bike paths on either side of the garden that would eliminate a total of 31 garden plots. If you’re interested in learning more about this push to save the garden, you can read on here or sign their petition here.
This is by no means an exhaustive list. There’s tons of urban farms and community garden operations all over the twin cities and well beyond. From what I can see, most of them need volunteer help all through the growing season, so if you’ve been considering getting into gardening maybe this Spring is your chance! Cheers, everyone. Isabella and I will be back next Thursday.