The BIG Dinner Party – 2017

Throughout the summer of 2017, Youth Farms’ Hawthorne Community Organizer Marcus Kar worked with a cadre of North Minneapolis organizations including Appetite for Change, Northside Fresh Coalition and West Broadway Business & Area Coalition, as well as North Minneapolis residents to combine resources and talent around a series of community events focused on healthy eating, food access and creative solutions to public safety. This inclusive dinner series, supported by the City of Minneapolis Public Safety Initiative, named The BIG Dinner Party by Youth Farmers in North Minneapolis used produce grown locally by Youth Farmers and local gardeners to break bread with thousands of North Minneapolis residents at community gatherings throughout the summer, to celebrate community, healthy foods, and active living in North Minneapolis.

In addition to food, the BIG Dinner Party actively utilized art and music as gathering and engagement tools. Musician/Organizer Marcus Kar led an African Drumming workshop focused on Djembe during the dinners. Youth Farm also worked with Soul Tools Entertainment to help document the happenings throughout the summer and fall in association with The BIG Dinner Party, culminating in a soon to be released short film. As the summer progressed into fall, the project, originally conceived as a series of 3 stand alone dinners, morphed into a project that utilized community and organizational partnerships to “bring” the BIG Dinner Party project to 7 different events and public gatherings across North Minneapolis with food, art, music, and engagement around public safety.

While the events have ended, The BIG Dinner Party work continues on. Marcus Kar will be releasing an EP with Youth Farmers and local hip hop artists highlighting many of the themes of the project. Artist Brandon Brown of Onyx Cycles and a group of Youth Farmers will be finishing their solar powered bike which will be utilized for neighborhood food distribution in 2018, and Youth Farm will be releasing the results from our community surveys around health and food access over the coming months.

The BIG Dinner Party is just beginning. What started as an idea about hosting community dinners and community engagement, has become a central part of Youth Farm’s way to engage youth in North Minneapolis in the real day to day work of food justice. Stay tuned for more in the coming months.

Powderhorn Empty Bowls event this Friday November 3rd

It’s that time of year again – the first Friday in November, November 3rd, is Powderhorn Empty Bowls! Come together with your friends and neighbors for a community meal of bread and soup to help raise money to impact food access in our neighborhood.  Pick out a handmade bowl for your meal, enjoy visiting with your neighbors, and when you leave, take your bowl home with you–now empty–as a reminder that you’ve done something good to help your neighbors.

Powderhorn is an amazing neighborhood and community, and this event signifies so much of what is good in Powderhorn. Started in 2007 by 5 neighbors, this event raises thousands of dollars, engages thousands of engaged supporters, and provides food access for so many. Beyond being a recipient of some of the funding in the past, Youth Farm is proud to work with PEB. They support so many organizations a groups doing amazing work – take 60 minutes out of your Friday, bring your co-workers or family, get a beautiful bowl, eat some good food, and be a part of this great work. More info can be found at:

photo: David Woolley – Powderhorn365

Thanks to Schwan’s Corporate Giving Foundation for their Bold Support of Youth Farm

Dimitrios Smyrnios, CEO of Schwan’s Company announces a new charitable partnership with Minnesota-based non-profit Youth Farm. Smyrnios presents Gunnar Liden of Youth Farm a $150,000 financial donation from Schwan’s Corporate Giving Foundation at U.S. Bank Stadium on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017, in Minneapolis. (Andy Clayton-King/AP Images for Schwan’s Company) (PRNewsfoto/Schwanís Company)

We were beyond honored to receive support from the Schwan’s Corporate Giving Foundation last night at Schwan’s Feast on the Field event, a celebration in partnership with the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee to honor the people, the food and the cultural traditions that distinguish the Bold North, as well as a celebration of Schwan’s Company’s 65th Anniversary and their commitment to the community. We look forward to our partnership and utilizing these resources to do great work and support amazing youth leaders in the Twin Cities!

Partner Event: B-Lectric: A Celebration of Art and Light on Sunday, January 29th from 4:30pm-9:00pm.

One of the things that does not get recognized enough is the amazing support so many business partners give to us throughout the year, especially those in the restaurant community. We have been honored to work with Barbette and Northern Spark for a number of years and we want to share an awesome free event that they are putting on.

Barbette and Northern Spark are collaborating to present B-Lectric: A Celebration of Art and Light on Sunday, January 29th from 4:30pm-9:00pm.  Free! Snow or Shine!   Northern Spark will commission artists to create projections on neighborhood buildings and ice screens that will be set up around the event.  Art Shanties will be on site,  DJ Jake Rudh(Transmission & 89.3 The Current DJ), Infiammati Fire Circus performance, Indeed Brewing, hot toddy’s and more!

Sponsor Highlight: Juut Salon bringing us Pedicabs!

(c) JEFF WHEELER, Star Tribune
(c) JEFF WHEELER, Star Tribune

Thanks to the generosity of a sponsorship from Juut Salon, we will have a fun addition to our Taste of the Farm Dinner this year – Pedicabs! Because our Lyndale Neighborhood program has 3 farmsites that are a couple blocks away, we thought it would be fun to expedite that process with a couple of Pedicabs during the beginning of our event when we have our Youth Farmers giving farm tours.

Big thanks to Juut Salon for their willingness to continue their support our event for the 3rd year in a row and to help make this fun idea happen. If you don’t have tickets yet, we still have a few left, so click below and act now.


Live Auction Highlight: 2 Night Stay at Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa

hyattHere is one of our best auction items we have coming to you this weekend – a weekends stay at the Hyatt Regency Resort and Spa in Scottsdale Arizona, that includes a $500 Visa Gift Card to use towards travel expenses. Take and weekend to relax and indulge at this beautiful Resort & Spa. Escape to the stunning desert retreat of the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch. Immerse yourself in our oasis-like hotel for business or pleasure, and experience the luxury services that define our Scottsdale resort and spa. Enjoy views of shimmering lakes from the patio or balcony of your guestroom, play 27-holes of championship golf, or dine alfresco as you gaze at the majestic McDowell Mountains from our open-air lobby restaurant and bar. Get your tickets now for a chance to bid on this amazing Spa weekend.


Live Auction Highlight: 4 Gophers Football Tickets, Tailgate, and Tunnel Passes

gophersAs we gear up for Taste of the Farm Dinner this Sunday, we continue our highlighting of Live Auction Highlights. For many fall mean Football, and there is always hope early in the season. For you Gophers Football fans out there, this Live Auction item features 4 tickets to the Gophers vs. Purdue game on Saturday November 5th, a hosted tailgate by Gophers fan and Youth Farm Executive Director Gunnar Liden (and family) on the East River Flats, AND special passes to be a part of the “Tunnel Team” that welcomes and High Fives the team as they take the field at TCF Bank Stadium. This is a great item for a family of 4 with kids, or a group of friends looking to have a fun day together.

So, gather your friends and family, purchase tickets below and bid on this fun football item!


Live Auction Highlight: 1 night stay & dinner for 2 at Alma 2.0

restaurant-almaContinuing our highlights of some of our awesome Live Auction items for Taste of the Farm Dinner this Sunday, how would you like to be one of the first people to stay and eat at Restaurant Alma 2.0. Now under construction, James Beard Award winning chef and Youth Farm Board member Alex Roberts and his amazing staff are making this dream a reality and will be open this winter.

Only a few days left, get your seat at the table and bid on this amazing auction item.



Live Auction Highlight: In home Dinner for 10

youth-farm-dinnerIt’s Taste of the Farm week, and we are highlighting some of our amazing Live Auction item, and who better to start with than, well, US. This Live Auction item features an in home dinner for 10 prepared by Youth Farm staff. We will work with you directly to develop a menu from our vast Youth Farm Recipe library and allow you and 9 of your closest friends to enjoy the night as we prepare, serve, and clean up dinner.

Get your tickets now for Sundays event and bid on one of our most popular items.