Frogtown Gardens is inviting the public to a neighborhood-cooking event at the Rondo Library using backyard locally grown vegetables. Tracy Yue, owner of One Dish At a Time cooking service, will do a food demonstration on January 26 from 6:30-8:30.
“We don’t have a lot of amenities in our neighborhood but our strength is our agricultural traditions. Blacks from the south and immigrants make up our neighborhood,” said Patricia Ohmans, coordinator for Frogtown Gardens. “The household income in Frogtown is $16,000. We are Asian, Black, White and Latino with 40% of population being children under 15 years of age.”
Video clips to be shown at the event will feature diverse food traditions with recipes cooked by Frogtown residents:
Gloria Quiroga’s Caldo de Arroz con Pollo (chicken soup)
The Horton family’s corn mango salad
Nou Lee’s easy stir-fry with vegetables
Joyce Wiliams’ stuffed green peppers
Larry Paulsen’s Frogtown chili
Recipes will be posted on the Frogtown Gardens blog page.
As a non-profit organization, Frogtown Gardens’ mission is to grow a green, healthy neighborhood by protecting and enhancing green space and parks, promoting gardening for food, and advocating for sustainable development. Frogtown neighborhood is a long narrow strip of land in St. Paul, bounded by University Avenue on the south, Pierce Butler Road on the north, 35E on the east and Lexington on the west.
Scheduled spring and summer happenings will be discussed, too. Among them:
St. Paul’s city forestry unit will have a pop-up nursery in a vacant lot along Dale Street that will educate the public how to grow trees. Those trees will disappear with nursery’s fall sale. There will be planting of 24 fruit trees (plum, apple, and pears) in backyards; last year 12 trees were planted in public spaces.
Arbor Day will be observed in late April.
The green bean project begun last year will kick off again in late April or early May. Green beans are given to residents to plant along their fences. “It is the quickest way to green up a neighborhood,” said Ohmans.
“Efforts to create a farm in Frogtown will be discussed,” said Ohmans. “Frogtown Gardeners has a sealed bid for purchase of a 13 acres green space now owned by Wilder Foundation, that will be opened on January 27th.” The group wants to take five acres of the land and turn it into a demonstration farm for learning to grow food from the many agricultural traditions of Frogtown families.
The green space is located on the site of the old Wilder Foundation headquarters, between Minnehaha and Lafond, west of Victoria. The Wilder Foundation is selling the land through a sealed bidding process.
“We have the least green space of any neighborhood in St. Paul,” said Ohmans. She is encouraging the public to support their efforts by asking for the development of the land into a park/farm by calling the Mayor Chris Coleman’s office 651-266-8510.