Partner & Volunteer Appreciation Month – The Role of Churches in Urban Ag

LPAThere was an article in the StarTribune today about how so many Twin Cities Churches are digging up their grass lawns for gardens, and I thought that would be a great way to kick off our month long celebration of our partners and volunteers here at Youth Farm because without our church partners for land and kitchen space, Youth Farm would look a lot different. Each of our neighborhood programs has a key church partner: La Puerta Abierta UMC Church on the West Side, St. Stephanus in Frogtown, Zion Lutheran Church in Lyndale, Ba’Hai in Powderhorn, and St. Olaf in Hawthorne just to name a few. These urban churches have not only let our Youth Farmers dig up their lawns to grow food, they let us take over their kitchens, their meeting spaces and help us connect to new families in the neighborhood. These church partnerships are humbling – they require faith that a chaotic kitchen and a bountiful field of greens are worth their time and effort – and the tangible impact is real. Thank you to all our current and past church partners!

Taste of the Farm Dinner – What a Night!

3 Course Dinner by Brasa featuring produce from Youth Farm

Thanks to everyone who came to our 2nd Annual Taste of the Farm Fundraising Dinner this past Sunday, September 13th at our West Side Farmsite in St. Paul. It was an absolutely beautiful afternoon and evening and we were honored to spend the evening alongside 100 of our closest supporters and friends. We also cannot thank our community of business supporters enough (Brasa, Restaurant Alma, Fulton, Fair State Brewing, Commonroots Cafe, The Wine Company) for their time and effort to help pull off this event seamlessly, as well as our event sponsors (Juut Salon, Tradition Capital Bank, Seward Coop, and Sunrise Banks) and La Puerta Abierta UMC for hosting our event and farm for the past 16 years.

Taste of the Farm Dinner was the beginning of our final push in our Summer Growing Campaign, a season long campaign (May – September) of fundraising and special events to grow our community and sustain our free programming – if you came to Taste of the Farm, thank you for your role in helping us reach our end of year goal, and if you were not able to come, we need your support these last two weeks to end our Fiscal Year strong!

Over the next two week, we need the support of our Youth Farm family – help us raise our final $10,000 to reach our Summer Growing Campaign goal. Support Good Food and Great Young Leaders HERE!

Photos from Taste of the Farm Fundraising Dinner – 2015

Feature Raffle Items for Taste of the Farm Dinner


If you have NOT gotten your tickets to the Taste of the Farm Dinner,  you are going to miss out on a chance to win some great raffle prizes!  We’ve got gift cards from partners like Lakewinds Coop, The Wedge, and Jerrys Foods, not to mention Juut SalonSpa who also sent over a great gift basket!  We’ve also got gift cards from local restaurants such as Sen Yai Sen Lek and Josephs Grill.  There are still some tickets available so get yours HERE and we’ll see you Sunday for a Taste of the Farm!

Farm in the Cities 2015


If you got your tickets to this years Farm in the Cities Event this year, consider yourself lucky! Surly Brewing Co. is hosting this years event and it’s going to be a blast!

Not only is there going to be a chance to meet some local farmers, eat some great food paired with some awesome brews, but there are a whole list of excellent raffle and live auction prizes!  There are gift cards from Meritage, The Buttered Tin, Pizzeria Lola, just to name a few raffle items AND live auction items to include a cocktail lesson for two from Bittercube, a tour of the new Tattersall Distillery with cocktails to follow, or a 4 day/3 night stay at the Dooley Cottage on Madeline Island.  Whew!

Thanks to Surly Brewing Co. Chef Jorge Guzman, and Chefs from Tilia, The Bachelor Farmer, Sea Change, Red Table Meat Co., Heirloom, Travail, Lowry Hill Meats, Marin, Birchwood Cafe, and Chow Girls for putting this event together!

This Week In Frogtown

Youth Farmers in Frogtown had so many highlights this past week.  We welcomed guests to lunch and had awesome farm time. We had a guest artist show us how to make copper artwork, trellised beans, and got to explore Como Lake’s creatures with the MN Wildlife Refuge. All in a week’s fun at Youth Farm!



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Back to Our Roots: NSJ Year-End Celebration

Last Thursday, Hawthorne LEAD returned to their old stomping grounds at Nellie Stone Johnson School for their Year-End Celebration. Our star LEAD Sergio, India and Ronnisha hyped summer program, passed out salsa verde samples and reconnected with old mentors. We can’t wait for summer!

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Humboldt Garden Gala

Each Spring Humboldt High School hosts a Garden Gala. Youth Farm’s West Side program supported the gala again this year by offering some hands on learning focused on spring garden work. Thanks to Mr. H’s advisory for visiting today.  

Additionally Humboldt Ag Teacher Andrea Nthole brought numerous farm animals to share with students. Llamas, pigs, sheep, bunnies and goats. All in all a lot of fun.  


Thank You Allison!

Thank You Allison!
Thank You Allison!

This weeks marks the last week of work for our Macalester intern, Allison Vandenberg-Daves. Over the course of the year Allison harvest hundreds of pounds of foods, canned so many goodies, served up loads of snacks, facilitated countless cooking groups, mowed more times than we should count, and led a buzzworthy garden planting project. We wish her the best of luck next year out west and will miss all her hard work!  A special thanks to Macalester’s Off Campus Student Employment program for making her work here possible.

Spring Connections over Tacos

Last Tuesday our All Stars cooked up some delicious smoothies and chicken tacos with all the fixings for the elders at North Oaks Assisted Living. In the weeks leading up to the dinner, the All Stars, with the help of the LEAD, carefully planned out what they were going to make, how it was going to be prepared and they even went a little shopping spree to pick up the ingredients. Everyone had a good time getting to know one another and getting reacquainted over some good food. In our reflection afterwards, the All Stars were excited about the experience of showing off their cooking skills and having people like the food they prepared. Everyone is ready for the next feast and for the garden to produce abundance for our Wednesday distributions that the All Stars will carry into the summer.


MPS School Garden Summary

Screen Shot 2015-04-30 at 11.12.36 AMIn fall 2014, Youth Farm partnered with Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) Culinary and Nutrition Services to conduct a School Garden Survey with all Minneapolis Public Schools. We are excited to share the results of this survey, which help to identify the current landscape of school gardens in the district and the areas that need the most support.

Read the summary to see data, quotes, and photos from several school gardens in the district. The results demonstrate widespread interest in and support for school gardens throughout the district. We look forward to growing our partnership with MPS Culinary and Nutrition Services to support school gardens and create opportunities for food, farming, and nutrition-based education.

Here’s the link to the summary: 2014-15 MPS School Garden Summary (pdf)