Helping Low-Income Families & School Children "Grow Their Own"
Garden boxes are available for purchase at our office as a fundraiser for the program
What is Garden-in-a-Box?
Started in 2008, Garden-in-a-Box is a program created by the Minnesota State Horticultural Society that aims to support regional, low-income individuals, households, and families in growing their own vegetables. This year we are working with schools with summer gardening programs in the Twin Cities and Duluth. The boxes will reside at the schools and, in some cases, at the homes of students. This sharing of resources and knowledge increases the resilience of individuals and families, and in turn the broader community.
What is provided to low-income families?
Through our May donation to the schools, all the materials needed to start a square foot garden at no cost to the schools.
What grows well in a small space garden?
Click here for ideas about which cultivars will grow best in a small space garden like this one.
How is it funded?
Garden-in-a-Box is funded through a variety of grants, donations from the community and MSHS members, affiliated garden clubs and plant and horticultural societies, as well as partnerships with local businesses. With these generous donations, we are able to provide the greatest number of boxes to interested families and individuals.
How you can help
If you would like to contribute financially to the success of this program for 2013, please click here to contribute. You can help low-income families grow their own fresh produce. $80 would set up a family with a Garden-in-a-Box, soil, and vegetable plants to supplement their diet with fresh, home-grown veggies, but any amount is appreciated.
Saint Paul Garden Club
Garden-in-a-Box: Duluth Community Garden Program
The mission of the Duluth Community Garden Program (DCGP) is about fostering self-sufficiency by providing access to food production, which made the organization the perfect partner for MSHS' Garden-in-a-Box program.
DCGP staff selected 50 families to receive a Garden-in-a-Box kit. On a warm May day, I helped happy gardeners load their vehicles with garden boxes, bags of soil, and beautiful vegetable plants grown by Wagner's Greenhouses. A month earlier, the 50 boxes (or 400 pieces of wood) and the 700 twenty-pound bags of soil (14 bags per box) were shipped to Duluth. The DCGP staff had to unload by hand in an April snow storm.
Jahn Hibbs, program coordinator, oversees the Plant-a-Lot community gardens, the Cannery, the Kids Garden Program, and the Produce for the People Program. "There's been a lot of interest and gratitude up here," Jahn says. "A Garden-in-a-Box recipient told me that her garden was going gangbusters. But what was she supposed to do with all the kale?" Fortunately, kale was their vegetable of the year in 2011, so Jahn had lots of recipes and tips to send to the gardener.
According to Jahn, "The raised-bed gardens really engaged people in the community, and they produced a lot of good food."
Katie Hanson is the DCGP hands-on liaison for the Garden-in-a-Box recipients. The gardeners really appreciated having someone come to their garden to get their questions answered. Katie helped them deter rabbits and deer and offered encouragement when the deluge of rain came in June. "Everyone was grateful for the chance to grow their own fresh produce, despite some of the challenges," says Katie.
Pictured: (from left to right) Nikki Crowe, Program Coordinator 13 Moons Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College Extension; Deb Topping, Fond du Lac Elder Advocate; Jahn Hibbs Duluth Community Garden Program Coordinator.