The Twin Cities has a vibrant and thriving local food scene. Residents enjoy an abundance of farmer’s markets, food co-ops, and new and established restaurants and food trucks with chefs strongly committed to featuring regional suppliers on their menus. The area also has many urban agriculture and food justice organizations working to revitalize the local food system and address food access issues. Participants will meet representatives from a variety of urban ag-related organizations and learn about their goals, approaches, and strategies during tours of program sites.
Our first stop will be the University of Minnesota Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center in North Minneapolis. Minnesota Landscape Arboretum’s urban outreach leaders and participants will give an overview of their programs.
Two other projects will be highlighted: St. Paul's new Frogtown Farm currently under construction and Project Sweetie Pie, 2014 Community Action Winner of the Environmental Initiative.
Our next stop will be at the Tiny Diner. Over delicious, locally sourced box lunches, hear about their sustainability focus including a rooftop solar array, stormwater management, and demonstration permaculture plantings.
Next we will visit Growing Lots Urban Farm, a 2 acre CSA and market farm where the founders have used organic methods to transform two previously vacant lots into productive green space with long growing beds, high tunnel, walk-in cooler, covered harvest processing station, vermicompost and vortex compost tea system.
Across the street, Beez Kneez partners with Twin Cities parks, schools, and community gardens to bring bee hives to the city. Our last stop is the Waite House, where Chef Austin Bartold and his staff provide hot, healthy lunches on weekdays for adults and youth in the community who lack access to nutritious food. They will tell us about the 10-week culinary arts training and kitchen apprenticeship program for young adults encountering poverty and educational barriers to unemployment.