Growing in the Twin Cities with Backyard Harvest

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

Broccoli, Cabbage and Cauliflower, Oh My! May 28, 2010

Filed under: Equal access,News/Updates — leaberg @ 12:02 am

Over the past few weeks, our urban farmers have been installing all of the ‘cold weather’ crops in the gardens of Backyard Harvest customers. Don’t you wish you could have their help installing your garden?!?

If you have a minute, watch this short video of our 2010 farmer team planting at Rivertown Commons:


Backyard Harvest Featured on! May 18, 2010

Filed under: News/Updates — Krista Leraas @ 2:01 pm

We are honored to be noted as one of the country’s most innovative urban ag programs. Read about us and ten other amazing programs (including one of our inspirations, Growing Power).

The bold new faces of urban farming

Posted using ShareThis


Meet Our Farmers: Andrew Montain May 14, 2010

Filed under: Farmers — Krista Leraas @ 10:35 am

Andy formerly worked as a certified arborist

As of March this year, I’ve teamed up with PRI Cold Climate officially – as a Backyard Harvest farmer! Over the winter, I volunteered with public school students. I hold a B.S. in Environmental Horticulture from the University of Minnesota. Being the biggest tree lover I know, I was formerly a certified arborist with Rainbow Treecare. Before that, I worked as the Farm Manager for Garden Farme CSA, a permaculture incubation site. When it was transitioning to being certified organic, I fused work and living at Hoch Orchard. I have also worked in native landscape restoration. At the U of M, I was Horticulture Club Greenhouse Manager, assistant to researchers in the Entomology Department, and lead researcher as an undergraduate (proposal funded by a scholarship). I intentionally lived with parents and friends and at farms in Minnesota for most of my life. I like big picture and detail viewpoints. Generally well-read, I’m highly opinionated about carbon cycles, positive human roles in ecology, roots, Biochar, trees, wood, pruning, how shoddy nursery plants have become, energy and opinions. I enjoy exploring the Twin Cities by walking, running and biking. I’m looking forward to helping you eat excellently.


Earth Day Reflections May 4, 2010

Filed under: Equal access — leaberg @ 10:53 am

Last Thursday brought a beautiful spring day as well as the culmination of a much anticipated event, Rivertown Commons Earth Day Kick-Off. For months, staff at the Cornerstone Group, Rivertown Commons and Backyard Harvest have been designing an event for residents that would celebrate spring, with a special focus on the new Backyard Harvest garden in the community.

Resident chefs jump-started the event by providing samples of an array of home-cooked specialties. Next, a presentation on nutrition was given by a staff person from Simply Good Eating (a program of the University of Minnesota Extension). Kids activities through-out the day included vegetable coloring pages, as well as painting flower pots and seeding them as a take home gift. Throughout the afternoon, residents were able to meet Farmer Dina and learn about the garden design, harvest schedule and upcoming planting event. Backyard Harvest staff were busy building potato bins and planting serviceberries and currents along the garden border.

Jamal Hashi, head chef of Safari Express, capped off the event with a fantastic cooking demonstration, including food samples. He used many fresh ingredients, giving reference often to the nutritional produce that will be grown in the garden this summer.

As residents expressed excitement about the garden, we knew the day had been a success. The enthusiasm surrounding this garden is a promising sign of the season ahead.