Local Food Resource Hub launched in Minneapolis

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Minneapolis residents can get a deal on seeds and seedlings, while networking with fellow gardeners, through an initiative that aims to increase the amount of food being grown in the city.

The Minneapolis Local Food Resource Hubs Network, in its first year, aims to bring together neighbors, community gardeners, nonprofits and others in order to support the development of a local food system.

For $10, a home gardener will receive 20 packets of seeds and 28 seedlings, and for $30 a community garden or nonprofit organization will receive 60 packets of seeds and 84 seedlings. The price of membership also includes access to low-cost, gardening-related classes.

The main benefit of membership, though, is being able to share ideas and network with other residents interested in local food issues.

 

  How to sign up:
Before April 30, fill out and return the application at hub website. Applications are also available in Spanish, Hmong and Somali. Scholarships are available for membership dues.

You will receive a message from the hub notifying you of where you can pick up your seeds and seedlings on April 30. Money for the cost of membership is due at the time of pick up.

“The idea is, it’s a resource-pooling endeavor,” said Colin Cureton, who works with the Youth Farm and Market Project. Cureton and others facilitated the first “hub” meeting for Southside neighborhoods on March 19.

There are three hubs in the network: North Minneapolis, Powderhorn/Central and West Phillips/Ventura Village. Residents select the hub they wish to participate in; they do not have to be residents of the neighborhoods the hubs are named after. The project seeks to recruit 200 members per hub this year.

After a general overview of the program, attendees of the Powderhorn/Central hub meeting organized in small groups to share ideas involving community gardens, diversity, composting, youth gardening and gleaning. (Gleaning is the collection of leftover food or crops from farms and gardens, which can then be donated to shelters and food banks.) The hub isn’t limited to those subject areas, though—it aims to be responsive to the interests of the community, Cureton said.

Vienna Rothberg, a community gardener who also facilitated the March 19 meeting, said she hoped participants would take the ideas from the meeting and organize other groups and meetings. “We’re hoping this is not a centralized effort,” she said.

A second meeting of the Powderhorn/Central hub has not yet been scheduled. The next time members would then link up is on April 30, when they are able to pick up their seeds and seedlings. The Powderhorn/Central hub has its own Google group at http://groups.google.com/group/southside-hub?lnk=srg