Helping Low-Income Families & School Children
"Grow Their Own"
Garden boxes are available for purchase at our
offices 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, Duluth and Red Wing. 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. $100 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
MSHS Spotlight - Garden-in-a-Box
Frost Lake Elementary Families- Known as “Frost Lake Learning Gardens”
When Cheri Romero, a teaching assistant who doubles as a Master Gardener, Robin Landowski - Frost Lake’s Family Liason, and translators along with the backing of Principal Stacey Kadrmas come together, the dream of a schoolyard garden can happen. This undertaking has taken a little struggle and given a great joyful learning experience.
“It seems to be in the right place in the full sun between the playground and the school. The kids will see it right outside the doors. The spring rains came at the right time, even though it was flooding the day we planted. It turned out alright!” This is the kind of positive attitude it takes to start a schoolyard garden with a little help from the Garden-in-a Box Program at the Minnesota State Horticultural Society. The program with its many funders and quality vendors supplied 3’ x 4’ x 9” poly material boxes, weed free soil, specially selected healthy vegetable plants and some fencing to keep the critters out. The rest of the effort comes from willing spouses and neighbor gardeners that may speak different languages but have one goal. The garden boxes and their produce will be shared by 16 students and their families with the classmates at Frost Lake Elementary in St Paul.
Vandals struck but that did not deter the gardening group. Possibly the resolve to build this garden got stronger. School employees, local law enforcement and neighbors have more eyes on the gardens now. They shared recipe ideas and made new friends. Language barriers including Karen, a Burmese dialect, are part of everyday life for this school but with enough time and resolve this too can be managed. Forms and labels are being translated and the students can help with communication. Cheri Romero says, “ The best part of Garden-in-a-Box program is making new connections with our families, strengthening our community all while enjoying the basics of good food.”