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News & Views of Phillips Since 1976
Monday July 15th 2024

The Growing the Backyard CHAT Looks Ahead Into 2014

African suburban farm growing food for the BYI and Hmong farmers delivering vegetables to the BYI

Submitted by members of the Growing the Backyard CHAT

Growing the Backyard Community Health Action Team (CHAT) has a clear agenda for 2014 to build a sustainable food system for the common health and wellness in the neighborhoods of the Backyard Community. The Growing the Backyard CHAT looks at 2014 as a year that will encourage backyard neighborhood residents to participate in all of the Backyard Initiative projects, which will include a healthy diet based on a locally grown sustainable food system. Growing the Backyard initiative collaborates with the Community Table Cooperative.

This work includes community education about the necessity of exploring, planning, and implementing a sustainable food system in order to improve health and wellness in underserved neighborhoods which are now considered food deserts. Foods are grown which are specific to cultural communities as well as the typical American diet or garden.

The Growing the Backyard CHAT will invite residents throughout the Backyard neighborhoods to get involved in the following: Farmers Markets (which will be at the Midtown Global Market and Hosmer Library this summer), C.S.A activities, Buyers Club, Aggregation, Sorting, Processing, and the Distribution of farm fresh products. Also included are cooking classes, farm work, and many more sustainable food system opportunities.

“Growing” our 2013 Achievements 

Youth farm workers tour the African farm

Youth farm workers tour the African farm

General Workplan 2013 Achievements:

  • Developed a CHAT work plan and activity list which includes seed selection, planting, growing, and harvesting schedule.
  • Developed Growing in the Backyard Buying Club, CSA programs, created a distribution and delivery system which includes cleaning, sorting, and processing with the Community Table Coop, one of our project partners.
  • Organized residents and organizations in the Backyard area to create a network of healthy food businesses and developed partnerships in South Minneapolis to apply healthy eating solutions.
Growing the Backyard and Community Table Coop processing food

Growing the Backyard and Community Table Coop processing food

Specific 2013 achievements:

  • Collaborated with youth farm to train 15 youth and start 10 gardens
  • Collaborated with Happy Acre Farm to plant and grow on 2 acres and trained 3 youth
  • Produced 15,000 pounds of vegetables
  • Offered 6 cooking classes with the Hope Community that has an average of 10 people per class
  • Served 45 families who benefited from our CSA project
  • Distributed 6,000 pounds of vegetable which were made available to 2500 people during the months of July, August, and September of 2013.
  • Partnered with 2 Southside Community Centers: Sabathani and Waite House Food Shelf
  • Delivered an average of 600 pounds of fresh produces to 2 farmers markets located within 3 Churches


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