Garden-in-a-Box at Work
Hallie Q. Brown Community Center
A shining example of GIAB at work in Minnesota is the lighthouse in the heart of St. Paul. The Hallie Q. Brown Community Center is nicknamed the lighthouse of the Summit-University neighborhood because of the access that it provides to critical human services that foster personal growth and develop leaders in the community. In response to a community crisis, the community center used five GIAB kits awarded this year to provide even more services.
When two neighborhood food shelves closed, the Center’s food shelf went from handing out 315,000 pounds of food to over 560,000 in 2016. In order to meet the increased demand, the Center looked for community solutions to solve this crisis and applied to the Garden-in-a-Box program. With help from staff, youth participants partnered with a local edible landscape company (Dina’s Garden), community volunteers, and a master gardener to grow food for their food shelf to meet the needs of this St. Paul community.
Over the summer, the gardens produced an astonishing amount of fresh produce every week. Kids in the youth program jockeyed for a chance to water the garden and bring the harvest to the food shelf. Fresh collard greens were by far the biggest harvest and most popular vegetable. Carrots and sweet peppers straight out of the garden were a special treat. The clients loved it!
City of Arlington Master Gardeners
In the small town of Arlington, the University of Minnesota Extension and MSHS’ Garden-in-a-Box Program developed a small but sustainable way to connect and support the town’s Latino community through gardening.
“I help over 650 students in grades 1-4 experience hands-on lessons related to STEM: science, technology, engineering and math. In January of 2017, the students heard a presentation from two local beekeepers. It inspired them to ask the school for space to create a small garden for a pollinator habitat."
Chisago County Master Gardeners
After interviewing Sue Humble, the Chisago County Master Gardener program coordinator, in 2017 about the Master Gardeners’ community garden in North Branch, I learned that they do garden programming for children, too, and suggested they check out MSHS’ Garden-in-a-Box program.
Bemidji Food Shelf Farm
In 2013 the Bemidji Community Food Shelf (BCFS) needed more fresh fruits and vegetables for their clients so they took matters into their own hands. In collaboration with community partners they started their very own farm...