The Gardening for Good team with a set of Grow Bags at Urban Baby, a north Minneapolis nonprofit that runs workshops and provides educational material to mothers and families about growing and processing healthy baby food.
Grow Bags at the University of Minnesota Research and Outreach Center (UROC) in north Minneapolis. UROC is a community center, meeting space, and central organizing spot of community programs of the university.
With Grow Bags, you can put a garden almost anywhere: on a deck, balcony, porch or parking lot. A group of young people from Minnesota has started a program that shows urban residents how it’s done. Here’s their story:
Growing for Good
Our program, Growing for Good, is about showing people in our community that there are other ways to put in a garden besides the traditional backyard vegetable patch.
We are partnering with community organizations to demonstrate how to grow food in small, urban spaces. Our projects include installing and maintaining tomato fences at a local church, retirement home, and community center, and installing container gardens at nonprofit organizations and in high-traffic areas of north Minneapolis.
For our container garden sites we grow watermelons, basil, lemon sage, peppers, bush beans, malabar spinach, purple mizuna, squash, carrots, mint, parsley, cherry tomatoes, edible flowers and other annuals. Our gardens are free for the public to pick and eat, and our team members will be tending gardens and talking to passersby about gardening and fresh foods throughout the summer.
Our team has 39 years of garden and horticultural experience, ranging in age from 16 to 21. We are excited to make use of our skills from past summers to benefit the community and provide education about healthy eating and gardening as well as food relief support in Minneapolis.
Gardening for Good is under the umbrella of the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum’s Urban Gardens Youth Employment program. Other teams do different things: grow, market, and sell vegetables and herbs to restaurants, develop and market finished garden products, grow food to donate to hunger relief organizations, and research/remedy indoor air quality through partnerships and donations to local nonprofits.