South Minneapolis Creates Free Organic Market

Minneapolis, MN – On September 19th we met up with Fernanda Hart, the CANDO Sustainability & Food Access organizer, to learn about a project called “Plant Grow Share.”

We spent the day biking through the Center neighborhood of South Minneapolis following handmade maps with the safest quickest routes between gardens. We talked to Fernanda as we biked along side a food cart and a few volunteers. She told us that the project started as way to give families access to materials to make their own raised bed organic gardens.

picfreeorganic4 Fernanda explained Plant Grow Share by saying,

“We’re doing this combined effort and we’re putting our brains together and then dreaming of a project where food can be given away. Where more people will be growing food at home.”

picfreeorganic5The project itself began as conversations over a backyard fire pit where people came up with the idea to teach people to grow food, and through that process give food away for free. The project gives families classes with a master gardener and the resources to make a raised garden and help with installation. The agreement between the twenty participating families and the project was to give 3 small harvests a season to the free farmers market.

The harvests are moved by a food cart created as part of  volunteers dreamed up to make it all sustainable. That cart now pulled up to the various gardens driven by volunteers who gathered the food to give away for free at the market. picfreeorganic2In those rides and harvests we learned that Fernanda really hoped that people came together around growing and sharing food. She felt that process of planting, growing and sharing challenged societies perception of food and changed peoples relationship to the food they ate.

She’s excited for next year as she plans to help grow the project to include more families learning to plant their raised bed organic gardens, grow them, and share the food with the community.