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News & Views of Phillips Since 1976
Friday May 24th 2024


Growing the backyard container demonstration garden by the Cultural Wellness Center designed and maintained by Tim Page. Photo credit: Cherry Flowers

Growing the backyard container demonstration garden by the Cultural Wellness Center designed and maintained by Tim Page. Photo credit: Cherry Flowers

Cultural Wellness Center Garden

2020 Oakland Ave

Contact: Tim Page, 651-271-3795,

As part of the Backyard Initiative, this site is organized by Tim Page, project lead of Growing the Backyard CHAT and co-owner of Page & Flowers/Holistic Health Farms. It is designed to demonstrate produce container gardening for people who may have limited access to the land needed for an “in ground” garden or for places where the soil is poor or contaminated. We have also found that it is possible to grow more food in less space by arranging the planters in a block without walkways because you can always move them if you need to. This also saves water since you can water just the plants and not the walkways!

Vegetables are planted in individual pots or raised beds including a number of Garden-In-A-Box containers donated by Minnesota Green of the Minnesota Horticultural Society. Some of the boxes are assigned to various neighbors. There is a focus on growing the herbs used for making herbal teas as part of a Youthprise product development project. The Wellness Center Garden is also home to a composting project implemented by Patsy Parker, the incredible committed founder of Compostadores. At many locations around the Twin Cities, Patsy has helped to implement compost bin building projects and she works tirelessly to make sure the bins are filled with food waste quickly so they can begin a year long process of transforming into compost. The compost is then used to amend the soil in the garden where it is located.

English Learning Center Student Garden

2315 Chicago Ave S

Contact: Kathleen Roche, 612-874-9963,

The English Learning Center Student Garden takes learning outside school walls for our adult immigrant and refugee students. Fifteen students have grown tomatoes, carrots, lettuce, green peppers, spinach, hot peppers and onions to full blooming life! As a school we believe that knowledge is empowering and will lead to a better life and livelihood. The school garden enables a holistic learning experience alongside our usual programming, which offers students classes in English, Computer, Math, Reading, and Citizenship. Students relax and find purpose in using their hands to plant, weed, water, tend and harvest. Best of all, they get fresh foods for family,and learn how to grow food in Minnesota. One student originally from Somalia said, “My aunt used to garden, but I am just now learning. I love the hard work and all vegetables.”

The ELC Student Garden is a vital place for our students, a place for relaxation after class and growing food for friends and family. If you are interested in supporting our garden, we could use donations of vegetable seeds, tools, and fencing to keep rabbits out. In addition, for next season we would love a volunteer to help prepare the garden, monitor plots and provide guidance to students as needed.

The Gardens at Hope Community

Contact: Alisa Hoven at 612-435-1683,

Our goals at Hope Community are to grow food, create a community space for everyone, develop skills to cook healthy food, and develop leadership of youth and families in the neighborhood. We work as a team and celebrate the successes of our garden.

We are looking for more community members to get involved in the garden and grow food with us. We also are seeking volunteers to help us plan for a new large growing space in 2016 at the corner of Franklin and Portland Avenues. We would be grateful to accept donations of seeds, plants, wood chips, cover crops, as well as, small garden tools, extra gloves and garden signs.

We have three current gardens at Hope Community. One is a collective garden where everyone grows food together. A second garden is an individual plot garden where you have your own 5”' X 5”' plot for the season. The third garden is a youth garden and acts as a space for youth to work together on environmental projects and grow food together. More information can be found at our website at

Our Savior”'s Community Garden

Contact: Terri McGinley, 612-872-4021 ext. 1 or email

Rooted in the Phillips Community, Our Saviour”'s Community Services is a human service nonprofit with two programs””the English Learning Center and Our Saviour”'s Housing (OSH). The English Learning Center provides educational services for adult immigrants and refugees. Our Saviour”'s Housing provides emergency shelter, transitional housing, and permanent supportive housing to people who are experiencing homelessness.

This summer, the residents of OSH have been tending four different gardens on OSCS properties””the Westwood, Calvary, Normandale, and St. Stephen”'s gardens on 23rd St. and Elliot Ave and 22nd and Chicago.

PJ is one tender of the gardens. She is a resident of the women”'s transitional house and originally started gardening to beautify the yard. However, the work quickly became a way for her to show pride in and contribute to her community. Everything the gardens produce is shared amongst residents and others connected to OSCS. Herbs and flowers will eventually be dried and made into potpourri. Tomatoes, jalapenos, cilantro, and onions will supply many with salsa!

For PJ, gardening is also a form of therapy. “If you need therapy but can”'t afford a doctor, this is perfect.” It”'s a gratifying and cheerful part of PJ”'s day that brings her back to Mother Earth, which she says “grounds” her. She only wishes there were more perennials!

The gardens are helping the Health Program at OSH to grow too. The produce is used in cooking classes. Plus, it”'s a way for the residents to manage stress. According to Gardening Matters, simply viewing plants has been shown to reduce fear, anger, blood pressure, and muscle tension.

These gardens are the result of a collaborative effort from the residents of the transitional houses and permanent supportive housing. They are planting roots, quite literally, in a community where so many people call home.

To donate supplies and for more information and/or questions call Terri McGinley, Transitional Housing Case Manager at 612-872-4021 ext. 1 or email

Window boxes on the gazebos filled with ornamentals.

Window boxes on the gazebos filled with ornamentals.

Ebenezer Garden (4 gardens)

Ebenezer central campus Horticultural Therapy Gardens

Locations: Ebenezer Care Center ”“ 2545 Portland Ave. S.; Ebenezer Tower Apartments – 2523 Portland Ave. S. (under construction); Ebenezer Loren on Park ”“ 2615 Park Ave. S.; Ebenezer Park Apartments ”“ 2700 Park Ave. S.

Contact: Paula Vollmar-Heywood, HTR

Ebenezer Tower Apartments, Portland Ave. S., 612-871-4594

The Ebenezer Horticultural Therapy Program”'s mission is to provide all our residents access to nature, meanwhile sharing the sense of ownership and control that tending, or simply viewing, one”'s own garden provides!

Nature can be a powerful healing force. At Ebenezer, we”'re harnessing that power through an innovative horticultural therapy program serving residents who enjoy tending their own garden. Honored as an “Innovation of the Year” by LeadingAge Minnesota, the Ebenezer central campus program offers residents the opportunity for hands-on participation in activities that connect them to the natural world.

Accessible, therapeutic gardens are growing at four Ebenezer facilities – two apartment complexes, an assisted-living facility and a skilled-nursing care center. The program serves residents of many ability levels, from those who are independent to individuals who need daily assistance and ongoing medical attention.

“Our gardens offer a place to observe, contemplate and learn. They are a place to meditate, and alternately to socialize with others. The identities of the gardens change over time, re-shaped by the current interests of the residents who create and use them,” says Paula Vollmar-Heywood, HTR (Registered Horticultural Therapist).”

PHOTO CREDIT: Cherry Flowers

PHOTO CREDIT: Cherry Flowers

The Sabathani Community Garden

directly behind the Sabathani Center on East 38th Street between 3rd and 4th Avenues South. Phone : 612-547-6910

Sabathani Community Center hosts 118 plots that are 20 ft. x 10 ft. Plots are tended by individuals and families from the community. Cost is $20/season/plot. We are committed to south central Minneapolis and welcome gardeners who live west of Hiawatha, South of Lake Street, North of HWY 62 and East of Lyndale Ave. We are proud that our garden reflects the diversity of our community. At Sabathani, gardeners may speak Spanish, Somali, Hmong, or English at home. When they are out at Sabathani, we all speak garden. The garden is managed by the gardeners themselves. We have communal workdays and teams to look after specific tasks like composting, tools and equipment and communication. The garden has a free peripheral watering system and provides basic tools for the members.

Paradise Garden

Paradise Garden

East 34th Street and Chicago Avenue South

Contact: Janet Court, 612-721-9284,

Paradise Garden is tended communally by a small group of stalwart individuals using companion planting techniques in broad plots defined by a winding path. The garden is situated next to the Southside Cafe. Produce is used by the gardeners involved and also shared to others. Paradise garden could use more people participating in garden tending.

City Kids Farm and Urban Ventures urban garden site and hoop house for season extension-5th Avenue and the Greenway. PHOTO CREDIT: Cherry Flowers

CityKid Farm and Urban Ventures

2832 5th Ave S Minneapolis

Contact: Brian Noy Phone (612) 545-9846,

CityKid Farm is a part of the CityKid Foods program at Urban Ventures which address hunger, nutrition education, job creation and social entrepreneurship. CityKid Farm targets youth, exposing them to the food cycle and sustainable food systems.

Help wanted: We are looking for volunteers Mon & Wed from 4-6 pm as well as shoppers for our farmers markets at our garden location Wed & Fri 4-6 pm.

Hoop houses at one of Stone”'s Throw vacant lot locations on 15th Ave. S. PHOTO CREDIT: Cherry Flowers

Hoop houses at one of Stone”'s Throw vacant lot locations on 15th Ave. S.
PHOTO CREDIT: Cherry Flowers

Stone”'s Throw Urban Farm. NOW CERTIFIED ORGANIC!

15th Ave S., Contact: (612) 454-0585

We grow delicious, fresh vegetables on a number of plots in the heart of the Twin Cities.

We are creating a dynamic urban farm that strives toward ecological sustainability, community empowerment, and financial viability in Minneapolis and Saint Paul.

Sign up for our CSA! Veggies! Meat! Honey! Mushrooms!

This garden flanks the south side of the church building and includes tomatoes, peppers, squash and cilantro. Photo Credit: Cherry Flowers

This garden flanks the south side of the church building and includes tomatoes,
peppers, squash and cilantro. Photo Credit: Cherry Flowers

New Hope Baptist Church, 2525 5th Avenue S

Rosa runs the market

Mashkiikii Gitigan and Good Juju Garden

(The 24th Street Community Urban Farm,) 1316 East 24th Street Contact: Annelie Livingston-Lindbergh,

Mashkiikii Gitigan is a teaching and demonstration garden grounded in Native American agricultural principles. On Mondays from May to October, we offer pay-what-you-can Karma Markets from early afternoon to 7:30pm, free Grow Your Own classes Wednesdays from 5:30 to 7:30, and gardening advice from our full-time farmer-educator. This year we are also farming the Good Juju Garden at the corner of 14th Ave South and East 22nd Street. Learn more at

500 and 800 year old sacred heirloom tobacco seed are grown here along with other crops

PHOTO CREDITS: Cherry Flowers

The Little Earth Urban Farm

Ogema Place, north of EM Stately Street

This expansive garden includes raised bed plantings, a large round keyhole garden, an herb garden, an orchard with apple and pear trees, composting and more. It features culturally important plantings like sweet grass which is later braided for ceremonial use, sage and tobacco as well as a variety of vegetables, fruits and herbs and plants grown for medicinal and ceremonial purposes. Some of the tobacco plants are from 500 and 800 year old saved seed and the leaves are huge! Grapes ripen on the fences and comfrey grows in abundance.

“Joe Dirt” event – Every Wednesday morning at 10am, a group gathers at the Little Earth Community Garden to share wisdom around growing, traditional foods, herbal medicine, and ceremonial or sacred plants. I was recently honored to be welcomed into this group. The event commenced with a sage smudge, a prayer, a song, and continued with the packaging of dried herbs from the garden for personal use and to exchange. The discussion revolved around ways of using the herbs for medicine. One example is to put about 1 cup of dried St John”'s Wort into a quart jar and fill it with oil and leave it in a sunny spot for 2-3 weeks to infuse the oil with the flavor and properties of the herb. After infusing the herb can be strained out and the oil can be used as usual. St John”'s Wort is purported to have anti-depressant properties.

The Little Earth Garden is a great example of people coming together around growing and sharing knowledge to the benefit of all.

Photo credits: Brad Pass

East Phillips Community Garden

2428 17th Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55404

In the Mid ”˜90s, when three neighboring houses on the 2400 block of 17th Ave. S. were torched and burned to the ground in a gang war, the neighbors came together to retrieve the vacant lots for a much needed positive opportunity of community building. They fenced the lots and turned them into a “Guerilla” Garden, preventing the use of the land as an alley-to-street escape route for drug dealers fleeing the police and a refuge for shooting-up and prostitution.

When rumors surfaced that the city-owned land might be taken and repurposed to high density housing, the East Phillips Improvement Coalition (EPIC) polled the community and received overwhelming support for purchasing the property using some of their Neighborhood Revitalization Program (NRP) funds. An analysis of the garden topsoil revealed lead and arsenic contamination. Incredibly, the City of Minneapolis paid over $25,000.00 to remediate the garden by replacing the top 18 inches with new, farm-fresh black dirt.

With soil replacement complete, the East Phillips Community 17th Ave. Garden was purchased. A conservation easement was placed on the land guaranteeing its ongoing use as a community garden. Gardeners are East Phillips residents and include recent immigrant refugee families from Bhutan, the children of a Native American Dakota language immersion school, and members of many of the other nationalities and ethnicities in East Phillips (East African, West African, Asian, Latin American, African American and Euro American), all with the purpose of cooperatively and sustainably perpetuating this inner-city agricultural community experience.

EPIC”'s goal for the garden is to provide a safe, inviting, sustainable, and healthy place with the requisite facilities and tools for residents to provide food for their families, carry on traditions from their home countries, while meeting new friends ”¦a company of multi-cultural urban family farmers for the 21st century.

East Phillips residents may contact Brad Pass at 612-916-8478 or to be placed on the 2016 Garden Plot Wait List. Also;

Please enjoy the new “Little Free Library” and community bulletin board at the garden entrance.  Join us for the Annual Fall Harvest Party & Pot Luck on October 17th starting at 4:30 PM.

PHOTO CREDIT: Cherry Flowers

PHOTO CREDIT: Cherry Flowers

Home Garden at East 21st St. and 5th Ave South

Bicycling past on 5th Avenue, we were taken by the sight of a fenced yard packed with garden vegetables! Elizabeth Garcia, who happened to be in the yard with her daughter, explained that it is her mother Maria Garcia”'s garden. They are growing corn, tomatoes, tomatillos, cilantro, papalo (which is used like cilantro), peppers including the hot ones like habanero, and pumpkins which will be used to make pumpkin quesadillas. Elizabeth provided us with a simple recipe: RECIPE ALERT!

We use a tortilla, put mozzarella cheese and put a pumpkin flower inside and that”'s how we eat it. And it can go together with Pico De Gallo; chopped onions, chopped tomatoes, chopped jalapenos and some cilantro. Really good!

PHOTO CREDIT: Cherry Flowers

PHOTO CREDIT: Cherry Flowers

CUHCC (Community University Health Care Center) Garden

Bloomington Avenue and East Franklin Avenue

According to Peter Dinh and Melissa Flores, who came to the Wellness Center Garden to pick up a tomato plant donation, the goal of this garden site is to promote healthy eating and physical activity by practicing mindful gardening in a group setting in order to promote symptom management of mental health conditions. The 7300 square foot garden space is planted in a variety of produce including tomatoes and peppers. They expressed their appreciation for plant donations from many sources including Growing the Backyard and for donations of supplies from Welna Ace Hardware, which is a great local source for garden tools!

Sven Glader puts new meaning in the words garden bed! Photo credit: Cherry Flowers

Sven Glader puts new meaning in the words garden bed! Photo credit: Cherry Flowers

Sven Glader”'s Box Spring Raised Bed

Mid-summer, we ran into Sven Glader at the East Phillips Community garden where we were invited to try ripe cherries from a group of trees as we toured this beautiful garden oasis. Sven showed us his garden plot including a planting of Malabar spinach. After our tour of the East Phillips garden, Sven led us to his backyard where we were impressed by this novel reuse of a box spring turned garden bed!

Arboretum Step up crew helping with a garden at Waite House/Pillsbury Center Photo Credit: Cherry Flowers

Arboretum Step up crew helping with a garden at Waite House/Pillsbury Center
Photo Credit: Cherry Flowers

The Growing Good MN program of the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum works with Step Up youth to help maintain a number of food bearing garden sites in the Backyard neighborhoods during the summer: Waite House, American Swedish Institute, Pillsbury House, as well as sites in North Minneapolis.

First community-owned garden in Minneapolis! PHOTO CREDIT: Cherry Flowers

First community-owned garden in Minneapolis! PHOTO CREDIT: Cherry Flowers

12th and 13th Avenue Block Club Garden

2727-12th Ave. S. Claudia Slovacek

Racing Heart Farm

Racing Heart Farm

Racing Heart is a small farm using sustainable and organic practices to grow local food for year-round eating. Much of the year in Minnesota, the produce found in the grocery store is being trucked or shipped from thousands of miles away. This comes at a cost to the environment and the local economy. At Racing Heart we are committed to changing that by providing fresh vegetables grown within 60 miles of the Twin Cities. By harvesting the fall abundance and keeping food fresh through proper storage techniques, our members can enjoy local veggies all year long! Les Macare and Els Oh”'Clock are the team behind this operation. They live in the backyard in Phillips and grow outside of the city. They offer a winter CSA made up of stored vegetables and late summer produce you can preserve to enjoy locally grown food all year long.

Gardeners during gardening class at Sabathani Community Garden. Credit: Eric Gruen

Gardeners during gardening class at Sabathani Community Garden. Credit: Eric Gruen

CANDO Central Area Neighborhood Organization

Fernanda Sequeiros ,Sustainability and Food Access Coordinator


PLANT- Families that participate in the project are provided with the materials needed to grow their own organic raised-bed gardens. Families are also paired with a mentor. The relationship that grows between mentors and mentees provides support throughout the gardening season.

GROW– Through a series of workshops and gardening classes, participants gain confidence and gardening knowledge while getting to know fellow community members. Relationships, food, and skills are grown throughout the program.

SHARE – As the summer progresses and the vegetables have ripened, families can contribute produce to the Little Free Farmers Market. This pop-up food cart will be biked around by volunteers every Saturday morning to share the harvest of this project with the community. or 612-824-1333

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