Minneapolis, MN – On September 19th we met up with Fernanda Hart, the CANDO Sustainability & Food Access organizer, to learn about a project called “Plant-Grow-Share.”
We spent the day biking through the Central neighborhood of South Minneapolis, following handmade maps with the safest, quickest routes between gardens. We talked to Fernanda as we biked alongside a food cart and a few volunteers. She told us that the project started as way to give families access to materials to make their own raised bed organic gardens.
Fernanda explained Plant-Grow-Share by saying,
“We’re doing this combined effort and we’re putting our brains together and then dreaming of a project where food can be given away. Where more people will be growing food at home.”
The project itself began as conversations over a backyard fire pit where people came up with the idea to teach people to grow food, and through that process give food away for free. The project gives families classes with a master gardener and the resources to make a raised garden, as well as help with installation.
The agreement between the twenty participating families and the project was to give three small harvests a season to the free farmers market. The harvests are moved by a bicycle food cart that was created to make the project fully sustainable. That cart pulled up to the various gardens driven by volunteers who gathered the food to give away for free at the market.
In those rides and harvests, we learned that Fernanda really hoped that people came together around growing and sharing food. She felt that the process of planting, growing and sharing challenged society’s perception of food and changed people’s relationship to the food they ate. She’s excited for next year, as she plans to help grow the project to include more families learning to plant their raised bed organic gardens, grow them, and share the food with the community.
Written by Andrew Neef