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Friday August 18th 2017

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Concrete Beet Farmers Puts Down Roots in Midtown Phillips

By Dusty Hinz

What do you get when you mix a global environmental crisis, an industrial food system that threatens our food security, a city with an increasing number of vacant properties, and six conscious young people with an entrepreneurial and community spirit? The answer is a micro urban farm that seeks to help re-localize our community food system, beautify our neighborhood, and combat climate change.

Concrete Beet Farmers is a new urban farming venture being started in a vacant lot in the Midtown Phillips neighborhood that attempts to be part of this solution. The team of six entrepreneurs consists of four current Macalester students, a recent Augsburg graduate, and a recent University of Minnesota graduate now living in the neighborhood.

This farming venture will not be held captive to the sole pursuit of profit; rather, it will strive for ecological resilience, long-term financial sustainability, and community food access and education. This small-scale, tangible project is devoted to the triple-bottom-line—where profits are measured environmentally, socially, and economically.

Even with snow still blanketing the ground, numerous wheels are in motion for the farm: a lease is being drawn up for the land; seeds have been ordered and started; and start-up funding is being pursued through grants and potential investors.

Concrete Beet Farmers is exploring various ways of distributing fresh, quality produce to their neighbors at an affordable price, of which the central focus will be a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model. In a CSA, members invest in the farm with a yearly, one-time fee with an agreement to receive in exchange a weekly allotment of diversified produce for the duration of the growing season. At the core of the farm is a desire to grow food in Phillips for members of the community.

If you are interested in investing in a basic or deluxe CSA share or just buying fresh produce from us on a one-time basis during the peak of the growing season, please e-mail us at concretebeet@gmail.com, or visit our website at http://concretebeetfarmers.wordpress.com. Also, feel free to look us up on Facebook. We’re excited to get our hands in the dirt, and to get out and meet our new neighbors!

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