Minnesotans like to live healthfully, especially when the weather warms up and the landscape turns green. More and more locals are growing their own produce to take advantage of the outdoors and eat nutritiously. For those who don't have their own land to grow food, communal gardens are becoming a popular alternative. As they sprout up all over the state, use this guide to find five established gardens in different communities.
Probstfield Organic Community Garden
11th St. N. & 43rd Ave. N.
Moorhead, MN 56561
Only organic gardening practices are used at this community garden near the North Dakota border. Roughly 100 plots of 20 ft. x 30 ft. are available to rent, and everything the grower produces within that plot belongs to them. While all the goodies in the plot are yours for the taking, all Probstfield gardeners are expected to volunteer at least four hours toward the upkeep of the common areas of the garden. Community amenities include a tool shed, wheelbarrows, water and tools.
Olson Community Gardens
800 Santa Vera Drive
Chanhassen, MN 55317
The gardens here are tilled up, fertilized and staked so they are ready for you to begin planting in the spring. All gardeners are prohibited from using pesticides, aside from insecticidal soap, and must maintain their plots. Newbies and experienced gardeners are encouraged to plant here, but gardens are reserved on a first-come first-served basis. An on-site orchard is also available to community gardeners and the public, with apples, cherries, blueberries and raspberries welcome for picking.
Duluth Community Garden Program
A range of features are offered across the seventeen citywide garden sites that make up Duluth's community gardens. The program, which started in 1977, is now utilized by over 220 groups each year. Those who lease a plot have access to a gardening library, food preservation equipment, gardening classes and more. Plot fees are based on a sliding scale to encourage people from every economic background to grow their own food and live healthfully.
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South St. Paul Community Garden
682 Verderosa Ave.
South St. Paul, MN 55075
This community garden located just south of the Twin Cities has perks like a coded gate and fencing to keep critters out and provide added security. Plus, plans are in the works to pave the parking area, provide disability parking and add security lights. Plot sizes are 15 ft. x 20 ft. and are available to rent in March each year. Discounted rental rates are available for South St. Paul residents and senior citizens.
Hope Community Gardens
611 E. Franklin Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55404
Hope Community Gardens truly fosters communal healthy living and eating. Not only are individual plots available, but there are also growing spaces where the entire community can share in the beauty, upkeep and harvest. Scheduled gardening events allow locals to come together to tend to flowers, vegetables, fruits and herbs as a group. Gardening workshops are provided, as well as visits from expert growers so you can learn from demonstrations and ask questions.
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Cortney Mohnk is a freelance writer covering all things Minnesota. She is also a public relations and event planning professional. Her most important job is mother to her young son and daughter, who are her partners-in-crime when checking out the family entertainment scene in the Twin Cities. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.
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