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
East Whittier Community Garden
The Whittier neighborhood’s long running campaign "Make Whittier Prettier" has been lovingly applied at the East Whittier Community Garden in Minneapolis. Gardeners there grow an array of vegetables in plots that are framed by a gorgeous communal area where roses and peonies burst with color amid the concrete jungle. Plant donations from Minnesota Green are grown in individual vegetable plots and the common area.
“It’s a place to nurture yourself and your plants,” says Jenny Bachovchin, who has been a volunteer at the garden for 15 years. “To feel the sunshine on your face, watch the birds play, and see a butterfly land on a flower is something to cherish. It makes you appreciate nature, how delicate it is, and to respect it.” The garden also has areas dedicated to trees, composting, wood chips, and a walk-in tool shed.
Gardening has closed gaps between people of diverse backgrounds. “It's all about plants and nature and not about what you do outside the garden, what you own, or how much money you make. Nobody judges people or cares about those things here,” says Jenny.
Picnics bring the gardeners and the food they grow together. “We often share recipes,” says Jenny. “People make something special with what they grew, and that inspires us all!”
The gardeners teach each other about various gardening techniques and new plants, and form unforgettable bonds. “When I first started gardening here,” says Jenny, “there was an elder Vietnamese gentleman who had a plot next to me. He didn't speak English, nor I Vietnamese, but we communicated through plants. He taught me a lot about gardening and kindness.”
There are many ways to give back to your community. Donating plants to public spaces is great way to support community greening spaces. The following businesses and individuals donated plants to Minnesota Green in our fiscal year 2012 (July 1, 2011 - June 30, 2012)
Bachmans Floral, Home & Garden
Edina Garden Council
Friends School Plant Sale
Hennepin Technical College
Lake Owasso Garden Club
Dianne Plunkett Latham
McKinley Community CSA
Rush Creek Growers
Squire House Garden
For more information on starting a community garden, download GardenWorks’ Community Garden Start-Up Guide: http://www.gardeningmatters.org/resources/startupguide.pdf