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INDOOR GARDENING : GARDENING : URBAN GARDENING : UNITED STATES: CITIES: MINNEAPOLIS-SAINT PAUL, MINNESOTA: Urban Agriculture in MSP: Growing, Diversifying, Sustainable


David P. Dillard
 

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INDOOR GARDENING :

GARDENING :

URBAN GARDENING :

UNITED STATES: CITIES: MINNEAPOLIS-SAINT PAUL, MINNESOTA:

Urban Agriculture in MSP: Growing, Diversifying, Sustainable

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Urban Agriculture in MSP: Growing, Diversifying, Sustainable

By Brian Martucci

MinnPost

https://www.minnpost.com/line/2015/08/ urban-agriculture-msp-growing-diversifying-sustainable

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A shorter URL for the above link:

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http://tinyurl.com/prh59l9

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MSPs urban agriculture ecosystem isnt confined to larger growing operations that the mimic sustainable, family- or cooperatively-run market farms (like Shared Grounds non-urban members) popping up just beyond the regions sprawl. The most exciting urban ag developments are increasingly found at the smaller end of the spectrum, as individuals and small business owners rediscover the joys and benefits of growing food for their own use and, often, extra income.

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The most visible examples of MSPs small-scale urban ag movement are community gardens, where single people, families or small groups grow produce for themselves and, sometimes, a small farmers market stall. The regions community gardening scene has exploded in recent years, with far too many individual gardens to name. Gardening Matters, an urban gardening and agriculture organization, maintains a comprehensive map of community gardens in Minneapolis and St. Paul using data supplied by the gardens themselves.

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According to Gardening Matters annual Community Gardening in Minnesota: A Snapshot report, nearly 350 community gardens existed across MSP in 2014. Of those, more than 250 produced food. Most are owned and operated by city governments, nonprofit institutions, faith institutions or private individuals.

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[Community gardens] are very creative at finding land to support their activities, says Granlund, citing churchyards, tax-forfeited and foreclosed lots, and land leased by local businesses.

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The communal gardening community clearly sees itself as a force for public good. About 35 percent of food-producing gardens statewide (Gardening Matters doesnt break out data by city) donate some or all of their harvest to local food shelves. Donations are either made piecemeal a gardener loads up a few boxes and takes them to a local shelf or through a specific program, such as the city of Minneapolis Healthy Food Shelf Network.

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Meanwhile, about 40 percent of all community gardens statewide, and an even higher percentage in historically disadvantaged parts of MSPs urban core, intentionally involve youth. For instance, Project Sweetie Pie recruits and trains young people to tend gardens in several North Minneapolis neighborhoods.

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McKinley Urban Farm, also located in North Minneapolis, caters to kids but accepts volunteers of all ages. McKinley is one of the few community gardens with its own CSA, an 18-week affair filled with produce grown on a handful of vacant residential lots.


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The complete article may be read at the URL above.

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