Community gardens open gates for visits on August 6 in Twin Cities and beyond

Dowling community garden (Some rights reserved by mhartford)

Mark your calendars for Saturday August 6, 2011 to visit a Twin Cities garden at Community Garden Day. More than 35 gardens in the Twin Cities and suburbs and a few others in greater Minnesota will be hosting open houses to showcase their community gardens. Formerly known as the “Parade of Community Gardens,” the name has been changed this year to reduce confusion and reflect the open house, festivity-laden celebration each garden will have. Some feature food, others music or arts and crafts, and all offer conversation with gardeners.

“We want communities to know that gardening is more than just a hobby,” said Nadia Berneche, Program Director of Gardening Matters, the non-profit organization dedicated to helping individuals create and sustain community gardens and sponsor of this event.

Community gardening has a long history in Minnesota, but its popularity has increased the last several years. Gardening Matters offers this definition of a community garden:

A community garden is any space where plants are grown and maintained by a community to meet the needs of that community.

Community gardens provide opportunities to grow food, to share traditions between cultures and generations, to create habitable environments, and most importantly to build community.

In the last five years, Gardening Matters has helped over 2000 people start community gardens. They have provided start-up workshops, consultations with experienced gardeners, advocacy in public policy, and raised awareness of the multiple benefits of community gardening.

Every garden is unique, from the types of gardeners who work there to their specific mission. While all of the gardens aim to build community, they may have one or many of the following goals: to have a central gathering place for people of all ages and races to come together, share in a common endeavor, and build meaningful relationships; to celebrate art in a public space; to beautify our neighborhoods; to grow food for ourselves, our families and those in need; to reduce our carbon footprint and improve the health of the community’s ecosystem; to educate children about where our food comes from and nutrition; and to extol the many health benefits of growing our own food.

One reason community gardens have increased in popularity is because of the growing epidemic of obesity in our society and the many diseases that result from it such as heart disease and diabetes. Gardening strikes at the heart of these maladies and is one of the best forms of prevention. Beth Kackman, a nurse and director of the International Outreach Church Garden in Burnsville, is passionate about promoting wellness through food. She said, “Food is a form of medicine. Eating the right foods will build our immune system, whereas gardening promotes physical exercise and emotional well-being. The results of gardening are very holistic, meeting different dimensions of our being.”

On August 6, community gardens participating in this event will have celebrations that are as unique as the gardens themselves. Many of the gardens will feature tours, food samples, culinary dishes and recipes, activities to engage children, and helpful gardening information from the growers themselves. At the International Outreach Church Community Garden in Burnsville, visitors will be able to sample ethnic food recipes, pick fruit from their orchard of 24 fruit trees, listen to music, and relax in their beautiful arbors. They will also have activities for kids such as a garden scavenger hunt and a butterfly garden. For a complete list of gardens participating, their individual attractions and activities, and maps of their locations, visit gardeningmatters.org.

There's a garden near you!

As of July 11, the following gardens were listed on the map at the Gardening Matters website. Check back for later additions.

  • Alley Cat Garden - 3606 1/2 Van Buren St NE Minneapolis, MN 55418 Features: Food Production, Youth Engagement Activities: Gardeners will be on site. There will be simple arts and crafts activities for children.
  • Bethany Gardens - 7121 Bloomington Ave, Richfield, MN 55423 Features: Food Production, Beautification, Youth Engagement Join us for garden tours from 10am-2pmwww.bethanygardens.wordpress.com
  • Celeste's Dream Community Garden - 1884 Randolph Ave St Paul, MN 55116 Features: Art in the Garden, Food Production, Beautification, Youth Engagement, Communal garden Heirloom. Organic. Community. Beauty.
  • Central Clinic Youth Garden - 2610 Central Ave NE, Minneapolis MN Food Production, Youth Engagement Join us from 10am-2pm! For Youth Registration: Melanie Richie FIT Force Program Coordinator Neighborhood HealthSource (612) 277-3195
  • Common Ground Community Garden - 52nd Ave N & Newton Ave N, Minneapolis, MN 55430 Features: Food Production, Native Plants, Beautification Come wander through our wooded path, our native prairie, taste the fruits of our raised beds and more.
  • Como Corner - 1000 22nd Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414 Features: Native Plants, Beautification Activities and food in partnership with the FairShare Farm Community Garden a half block south of the Como Corner garden...
  • Co-op Community Gardens - Valley Natural Foods, 13750 Co Rd 11, Burnsville MN 55337 Features: Art in the Garden, Food Production
  • Crystal Care Center Garden - 3245 Vera Cruz Ave N Crystal, MN 55422 Beautification, Accessible Gardening Ice cream treats and beverages, gardeners will be around from 10am-2pm Contact: "Karen Kako-763-971-6364, kkako [at] voa [dot] org
  • East Phillips Community 17th Ave Garden - 2428 17th Ave S Minneapolis, MN 55404 Features: Food Production Enjoy beverages, seating in the shade, chat with gardeners, enjoy the day. Gardeners will be around from 10am-1pm.
  • Edgerton Community Garden - 2005 Edgerton St Maplewood, MN 55117 Features: Art in the garden, Youth Engagement Stop by for garden tours, heirloom tomato tasting, garden crafts, see our children's garden
  • Eleanor Graham Community Garden - 1335 Ashland Ave. St Paul, MN 55104 Features: Food Production, Orchard We'll be having a BBQ! Gardeners will be around from 10am-2pm to welcome visitors. Contact: poultonbrian [at] aol [dot] com
  • Fairshare - 22nd Ave SE & Fairmont Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414 Features: Food Production
  • Gardens of Hope - 601 13th Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55415 Features: Native Plants, Beautification, managing runoff - rain gardens and barrels Join us from 10am-1pm for treats and live music!
  • Garden to Table  - 3910 Rahn Rd, Eagan MN Features: Art in the Garden, Food Production Join us from 10am-2pm for garden tours, a meal, and a Master Gardener presentation! www.eaganrc.org
  • The Good JuJu Garden - 14th Ave S & E 22nd St Minneapolis, MN 55404 Art in the Garden, Native Plants, Beautification, Youth Engagement Enjoy a three sisters sprial garden and a Native American Medicine Wheel.
  • Greenleaf Garden - 2718 Stevens Ave S Minneapolis, MN 55408 Features: Food Production
  • The GROW Gardens - 2116 Commerce Blvd Mound, MN 55364 Features: Food Production, Youth Engagement Gardeners will be around in the morning, from 9-10am
  • Guardian Angels Church Food Shelf Garden - 8260 4th St N Oakdale, MN 55128 Features: Food Production Vegetable tasting Gardeners will be around from 8:30 am - 12 pm More info: Contact Maggie Lindberg m [dot] hansel [at] comcast [dot] net
  • Harvest Gardens - Hazelwood St & County Road C E Maplewood, MN 55109 Features: Food Production, Food Shelf Plot Contact: harvestgardens [at] gmail [dot] com http://www.harvestgardens.org/
  • House of Prayer Reaching Richfield Community Garden - 7625 Chicago Ave S., Richfield MN 55423 Features: Art in the Garden Check out our Reaching Richfield Facebook Page!
  • IOC Community Garden - 1512 Woodhill Rd Burnsville, MN 55337 Features: Food Production, Beautification, Youth Engagment, ethnic foods Enjoy ethnic food samples, childrens activities and more.
  • Jardin Paraiso - 3405 Chicago Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55407 Features: Art in the Garden, Food Production, Beautification, Youth Engagment, bilingual, communally-shared space Check out our blog and photos!
  • Lind Community Garden - N Dupont Ave & 51st Ave N Minneapolis, MN 55430 Beautification, Youth Engagement Learn the history of our raised beds community garden, and get to know the diversity of groups and ages of gardeners here.
  • Little Earth Community Garden - 2518 Ogema Pl, 2518 Minneapolis, MN 55404 Features: Food Production, Native Plants, Beautification, Youth Engagement Gardeners will be present from 9am-3pm
  • Lyndale Park Peace Gardens - 4124 Roseway Rd Minneapolis, MN 55409 Features: Youth Engagment, Beautification Hiroshima Nagasaki Commemoration Events: 7:30am Ceremony of the Cranes Music by Greg Herriges, Dance by KAIROS, Keynote ...
  • Milly's Peace Garden - 2017 E 38th St Minneapolis, MN 55407 Features: Food Production, Native Plants, Youth Engagement, Beautification Check out our website, www.corcorangrows.org
  • Minnehaha Avenue Community (MAC) Garden - 3128 Minnehaha Ave Minneapolis, MN 55406 Features: Food Production Garden tours and food! Gardeners will be around to welcome visitors from 10am-2pm. Contact: http://minnehahagarden.org/drupal/
  • Nashwauk Community Garden - Food Production, Beautification, Youth Engagement Contact: 218-885-1184, kmpeterson4724 [at] gmail [dot] com, Facebook group: Nashwauk Community Garden
  • North End Community Garden - 3027 and 3031 Penn Ave N, Minneapolis, MN 55411 Features:Art in the Garden, Food Production, Native Plants, Beautification
  • Peace Garden - 1744 Walnut St Lauderdale, MN 55113 Features: Art in the Garden, Food Production, Youth Engagement A storyteller in the garden for the chidlren,music, food preservation demo, food preparation
  • Partnership Garden - 12155 Johnny Cake Ridge Rd, Apple Valley MN 55124 Features: Food Production
  • Southside Star Community Garden - E 42nd St & 32nd Ave S Minneapolis, MN 55406 Food Production, Beautification, Youth Engagement Contact: Southside Star Community Garden can be found on Facebook. Contact # 612.819.3319
  • Ss. Martha & Mary Episcopal Church Gardens - 4180 Lexington Ave S Eagan, MN 55123 Food Production,Native Plants, Beautification, Community Building There will be music, games, a show case of plants and harvested vegetables, hors doevres.
  • St. Anthony Park Community Garden - Robbins St & Raymond Pl St Paul, MN 55114 Food Production, Native Plants Join us from 5-6:30pm for music, tomato tastings, and a pie potluck! More info at http://sapcc.org/garden
  • St Cloud State University Community Garden - 500 5th Ave S, St Cloud, MN 56301 Features: Art in the Garden, Native Plants, Beautification Join us for garden tours from 11am-1pm. Learn more at our website or find us on facebook!
  • St Stephen's Whittier Community Garden - 2224 Clinton Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55404 Features: Art in the Garden, Food Production The St. Stephen's Whittier Garden will have a potluck from noon - 2 p.m.
  • U of M Cornercopia Student Organic Farm - W Dudley Ave & Field Rd N, Falcon Heights, MN 55113 Features: Food Production, Beautification, Youth Engagement Hope you can make it out to our farm! The student interns would love to meet you.
  • Victory Peace Garden - 4735 Bassett Creek Dr, Golden Valley, MN 55422 Features: Food Production, Youth Engagement Join us for lemonade from 10am-noon! Facebook page
  • Wolk Park Community Garden - 13800 Parkwood Ln Burnsville, MN 55337 Come celebrate with the planting of an orchard tree! 10am-2pm Check out our facebook page!
  • Waite Park Community Garden - 3601 NE Lincoln St Minneapolis, MN 55418 (south of the railroad tracks) Taste of the garden progressive sampling of the bounty from 6:30-8:30pm Visit the garden's website at https://sites.google.com/site/wpccngwm/

 

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Nancy Klausner's picture
Nancy Klausner