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Edible Boulevard Applications Coming Soon

There are so many ways you can create your Edible Boulevard and a space to share produce with passersby. This is one of many!

By MICHELLE SHAW

Any time it’s above 32 and sunny, a bunch of us die-hard Minnesotans reach for our shorts and sandals. We’ve had plenty of those February days, which brings us hope for spring. And with spring comes the planting of our gardens, our Minneapolis Edible Boulevard Gardens!


Are you a first time gardener who’s been wanting to plant food on your boulevard but you haven’t known how to transform your grass to a garden? Or are you a veteran gardener who wants to grow in a space where fruit is shared but you’d like a few resources to support you? Our applications will be open towards the end of March and go through mid-May. Once approved, you’ll go through a process of receiving a soil test, seeds or seedlings (depending on availability), some new soil to mix into your current soil, mushroom compost, a trowel and a pair of gloves if needed, and education on how to create a garden, if needed. Resources are free for approved applicants in our participating neighborhoods, and we’d love to have you participate! If you’re interested, and your neighborhood isn’t yet partnering with us, reach out to your neighborhood association to let them know. Applications will be on Facebook and Instagram. As always, please contact us directly for an application if you’re not on social media.


Speaking of prepping our gardens for spring, you won’t want to miss our free online Zoom class on March 25, “Sowing Seeds for Summer with Tomia MacQueen”. Ms. MacQueen, of Wildflower Farm in New Jersey and Northeast Organic Farming Association board member, will show us how to start our edible garden seeds indoors. Then they’ll be ready to go at the beginning of June when we transplant them to our outdoor gardens. Find more details in the alley’s event section.


Lastly, our community survey will be up through mid-April, and we’d love to get your input. At this time, our data along with the City’s 100+ boulevards that have been tested, have shown that the boulevards don’t have the toxins some assumed they would. Minneapolis Edible Boulevards (MEB) has posted the Soil Test Data Map on social media, and we do soil testing before each garden. Even the City’s Health Department has confirmed that the toxin levels are much higher next to a building structure. We discuss all of this during your one-on-one when approved, and we talk about how to garden safely with toxins in the soil. Perhaps you have ideas for growing bioremediators, culturally appropriate seeds you’d really like to see, an event you think will bring your neighbors together by putting in a boulevard garden cooperatively, ideas for funding (we are grant based)…Whatever your idea, fill out the survey for a chance to win a prize. Thank you!

As a Northeaster, Michelle Shaw joined the City’s Community Environmental Advisory Commission in 2017 and became a fierce advocate for the Roof Depot and for the Northside community to be included in creating Upper Harbor Terminal. After spending time with community members in both Green Zones, the area she knew she could best partner with community (and you can find her subbing at a Southside school!) was food injustice; Minneapolis Edible Boulevards was born in 2019.

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