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