The Minnesota State Horticultural Society's Minnesota Green Program began in 1988 and has been serving the greening efforts of thousands of volunteer gardeners throughout the state. Minnesota Green promotes community greening as a means to strengthening neighborhoods through activities that connect people and plants.
Minnesota Green is open to anyone interested in community gardening. We are proud to offer:
Registration form: pdf file
Midway Greenspirit Gardens
"My vision for the garden," says coordinator Stephen Mitrione, "is connected with the concept of placemaking. Through the many interests of the community, the garden becomes a destination." Located at a triangular right-of-way at Pierce Butler Route and Hamline Avenue in St. Paul, Midway Greenspirit Gardens consists of common areas, an orchard, and 50 garden plots—but there's so much more going on there than vegetable gardening.
Because one of the gardeners was interested in pollinators, they installed a bee hive and have programs on beekeeping, which are often attended by school groups. Another gardener is a drummer, so they performed a drum circle in the garden. They've also had literary readings and picnic operettas arranged by local theater groups. The gardeners gather for potlucks; they hope to expand the community building act of sharing food by adding a wood burning oven to the garden.
This garden has been members of Minnesota Green since it was started 10 years ago. "You can come to the garden empty-handed and still have everything you need to garden—tools, seeds, and plants—for less than the price of a movie," says Stephen. "There's no better deal than that. Obviously there's a little sweat equity, but that's the fun part. Minnesota Green allows us to provide this service to people."
Future goals include expanding their educational programs and getting more schools involved. They want to build a greenhouse so kids can participate when school is in session. "Teaching kids about the science of plants, the natural world, nutrition, and where food comes from—community gardens have an important role to play in that education."
For more information on starting a community garden, download GardenWorks’ Community Garden Start-Up Guide: http://www.gardeningmatters.org/resources/startupguide.pdf