2019 Was a Great Season for Garden-in-a-Box

This article by Maria Brosofske appears in the November/December 2019 issue of Northern Gardener.

In 2019, the MSHS Garden-in-a-Box (GIAB) program distributed a whopping 545 gardening kits throughout Minnesota! MSHS worked with more than 75 participating groups: 58 percent of these groups were located in the Twin Cities metropolitan area, 24 percent were based in northern Minnesota, and 18 percent were located in the southern part of the state.

Harvest Challenge Grant

A long-time MSHS supporter has challenged us to raise $5,000 to support Garden-in-a-Box and other programs that serve community gardening. The challenge runs through the end of October, and you can donate online here.

Garden-in-a-Box provides access to gardening materials and educational support to help children and adults successfully grow local, fresh, homegrown produce. We are beyond grateful for our partnerships with schools, University of Minnesota Extension, adult centers, hospitals, cities, community centers, early childhood educators and an array of nonprofit organizations that hosted the gardens. Perhaps the best part of the program is seeing the diverse and creative methods used to grow gardens and communities.


The Garden-in-a-Box program was at more than 75 sites all over Minnesota in the 2019 season.

Barb Klavik, a master gardener in Hennepin County who worked with children at St. Joseph’s Home for Children and its day treatment program, says the Garden-in-a-Box program built social skills as well as gardening knowledge. “The kids loved, loved, loved picking tomatoes, cucumbers, etc. and were excited to share them with their classmates,” she says. “Sharing is generally something that is difficult for these kids. This would not have happened without Garden-in-a-Box.”

The successful 2019 season also grew from our material partnerships. Thanks go to Wagners Greenhouses, Garden Circles Raised Beds, Sustane Fertilizer, Seed Savers Exchange and Creekside Soil and Compost for providing boxes, soil, fertilizer, plants and seeds for the program. We look forward to continuing to grow together in 2020.

—Maria Brosofske



  1. Dayton MN Lions on October 25, 2019 at 2:04 pm

    What is Garden in a box?

    • Mary Lahr Schier on October 25, 2019 at 2:47 pm

      Garden-in-a-Box is an MSHS program in which we supply portable garden boxes (they are actually grow bags), soil, seeds, plants, fertilizer and education to bring gardening to youth and low-income families. The program is all over Minnesota and is very popular with summer programs at elementary schools. We are currently raising money to support the program in 2020. If you are interested in bringing the program to your area, you can contact MBrosofske at northerngardener dot org. Thanks for your interest!

  2. mycorrhizal on November 25, 2021 at 9:59 am

    Such a great way to give help the local community and spread awareness about the importance of organic gardening. organizations like you are the reason why people still like to do gardening and grow their plants in their gardens. Thanks for sharing this piece of information with us.

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