Growing in the Twin Cities with Backyard Harvest

Building a sustainable (and delicious) urban food system – one yard at a time

Farewell February 8, 2011

Filed under: News/Updates — Krista Leraas @ 5:32 pm

After two incredibly successful seasons, the Permaculture Research Institute Cold Climate is saying farewell to Backyard Harvest. Although Backyard Harvest is no more, PRI will continue to support urban farmers through our Urban Farming Certification Program. We are also extremely excited that Backyard Harvest Program Coordinator, Krista Leraas, and Urban Farmer, Dina Kountoupes, will continue to do backyard farming and permaculture work as Harvest Moon Backyard Farmers. PRI will partner with them this summer to continue supplying fresh vegetables to food shelves and to offer hands-on training for urban farmers.

Deep gratitude to everyone who helped to make this program a success whether you donated a few dollars, volunteered to flyer or care for a food shelf garden, or played a cheerleader role! We couldn’t have done it without you.

 

Your garden – not just for eating anymore! January 19, 2011

Filed under: News/Updates — Krista Leraas @ 9:41 pm

Friend, fellow permaculturist & all-around awesome guy Dave Boehnlein recently penned (pixeled?) a great article for Urban Farm Hub. In it, he points out a myriad of ways that your garden or urban farm could be producing a yield – well beyond the familiar foodstuffs. Curious? Check it out:

Urban Agriculture: Beyond Your Stomach by Dave Boehnlein

 

2010 Reflections December 22, 2010

Filed under: News/Updates — Krista Leraas @ 12:05 am

Wow, what a year! The gardens were bountiful thanks to good planning, great weather and deft farmers.

a midsummer harvest at Rivertown Commons

Our unique partnership with the Cornerstone Group met with great success at their new urban farm at the Rivertown Commons housing complex in St. Paul. Over 460 pounds of produce was made available to residents at weekly vegetable distributions. Residents and managers were so pleased with the project that they are already moving to institutionalize it by hiring a staff farmer! Backyard Harvest will continue to assist them on their urban agriculture journey.

Homeless youth and neighbors with HIV/AIDS also benefited from the abundance. Over 160 pounds of fresh veggies and herbs was donated to the hot meal programs at The Aliveness Project and a homeless youth shelter. Youth Farm and Market Project kids chipped in at a garden dedicated entirely to food donations at the Powderhorn Park Neighborhood Association offices. A grant from the Seward Co-op Community Fund will support this continuing work next season!

Collaborations were also started with Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity, Frogtown Gardens and the Macalester-Groveland Community Council.

And let us not forget about garlic! Everyone’s favorite flavoring made its debut appearance in our gardens this year. Yum!

Big thanks to our awesome staff including our fantastic farmers – Dina Kountoupes, Andrew Montain, Anders Gurda and Stefan Meyer – who once again inspired and enlightened clients with their plant and soil passions. Lea Berg put her heart into forging what we hope will be long-term relationships focused on getting more fresh food into the hands of those with little access to it. Krista Leraas and Paula Westmoreland (along with Stefan) have continued to provide steadfast leadership.

We hope that this December finds you safe, warm and enjoying the holidays!

Back (l-r): Stefan Meyer, Krista Leraas, Anders Gurda, Paula Westmoreland; Front (l-r): Lea Berg, Dina Kountoupes, Andrew Montain

 

Photos from Rivertown Commons November 18, 2010

Filed under: Equal access — Krista Leraas @ 2:57 pm

 

 

Yep, it’s another Canning Bee on Nov 7 October 29, 2010

Filed under: Events — Krista Leraas @ 6:44 pm

Our first canning bee was so popular that we decided to hold another one!

In the spirit of “using what you have” and leveraging community assets, please join Backyard Harvest in our SECOND canning bee.  Backyard Harvest and local preservationist Jill Jacoby are teaming up to help you preserve your bounty and share the use of canning equipment for individuals new to canning.  Participants will learn proper home-canning techniques, and each take home jars according to the amount they bring.

Bring your cool-season crops or what’s available at the farmer’s markets, and we provide the rest.  Base fee covers kitchen rental, pantry items, equipment, and a certified Food Manager; 50 cents for each glass jar you use (or bring your own).

Fall Canning Ideas:
Pickling– beets, brussel sprouts, peppers, etc.
Tomatoes
Green Tomato Mincemeat, pickles, relish
Sauerkraut
Apple Sauce, Apple Butter, Apple Pie Filling,
Pumpkin Spread
Garlic
Picallili (zucchini, carrots, cauliflower)
Cranberry relish, cranberry jelly, etc.

When: Sunday, November 7 starting at 1:00pm for first-time canners, 1:30pm for repeat canners and going through 5pm
Where: St. Olaf Community Campus, 2901 Emerson Ave N, Minneapolis
Cost: $10 plus cost of jars used. Please bring cash to the event.
To register: Contact Jill at 414-708-8191 or jilljacoby@hotmail.com by November 4th

 

Come to our Canning Bee on October 16! October 12, 2010

Filed under: Events — Krista Leraas @ 2:08 pm

In the spirit of “using what you have” and leveraging community assets, please join Backyard Harvest in our first canning bee.  Backyard Harvest and local preservationist Jill Jacoby are teaming up to help you preserve your bounty and share the use of canning equipment for individuals new to canning.  Participants will learn proper home-canning techniques, and each take home jars according to the amount they bring.

Bring your cool-season crops or what’s available at the Farmer’s Markets, and we provide the rest.  Base fee covers kitchen rental, pantry items, equipment, and a certified Food Manager; 50 cents for each glass jar you use.

Bring fruit…we’ll make preserves or conserves.
Bring peppers, zucchini, green beans, watermelon…we’ll make pickles.
Bring any type of vegetables and we’ll make stone soup!

Where: St. Olaf Community Campus, North Minneapolis
Cost: $5 plus cost of jars used. Please bring cash to the event.
To register: Contact Jill at 414-708-8191 or jilljacoby [at] hotmail.com by October 14!

 

American Farm Bureau Federation takes an interest October 5, 2010

Filed under: News/Updates — Krista Leraas @ 12:54 pm

Backyard Harvest gardenBackyard Harvest is featured on the front page of Foodie News, a food trend newsletter of the nation’s largest farm organization. The American Farm Bureau Federation has been following sustainable & urban agriculture for some time. Foodie News features several articles about these cresting movements. Read the article about Backyard Harvest & our Northwest colleagues, Your Backyard Farmer, in the October issue.

 

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 37 other followers