Connecting Cultural Communities to Urban
Agriculture and Gardening
Minneapolis residents who join the Local Food Resource Hubs Network receive free seeds and seedlings as well as access to a gardening tool lending library and food preservation equipment.
DID YOU KNOW...?
- People who garden reap health benefits. Gardening is great physical activity, and gardeners get to eat the nutritious fruits and veggies they grow.
- Participation in community gardens and urban agriculture by community members from various cultural groups helps build a strong local food system. Community gardens offer people an opportunity to contribute their knowledge, skills, and experience toward a common goal.
In 2011, the Minneapolis Health Department (MHD) partnered with Gardening Matters to create the Local Food Resource Hubs Network (Hubs Network). These neighborhood-based Hubs were designed to help community members connect to existing gardening and urban agricultural resources to help them grow, consume, and preserve more of their own healthy food. Hubs members receive free seeds and seedlings, access to gardening tools and educational classes, as well as connections to other community members who share an interest in healthy, locally grown foods.
Despite the initial success of the Hubs Network, the membership was not truly representative of the diversity found within Minneapolis. With support from MHDs Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP), Gardening Matters selected three community based organizations to serve as “cultural liaisons” to help connect members of the African American, Latino, and Southeast Asian communities to gardening and urban agriculture activities as well as the Hubs Network and its related resources. The goal of this effort is to ensure that all interested community members have access to the resources they need to grow, eat, and preserve healthy fresh foods for themselves and their family.
- CAPI - working with the Southeast Asian population in areas of South and North Minneapolis
- Afro-Eco - working with the African American population in North Minneapolis
- Waite House - working with the Latino population in South Minneapolis
Accomplishments and Results:
- Cultural liaisons recruited more than 75 individuals from diverse communities to join the Local Food Resource Hubs Network in 2012! As a result, these new members received important gardening resources and were connected to others in their community who were knowledgeable about growing and preserving fresh food.
- Each cultural liaison hosted a listening session with members of their target community to learn more about the needs of each group related to healthy food and gardening. Many participants felt that they were unable to access as much fresh produce as they would like (due to financial constraints, lack of transportation, and lack of convenient gardening space). The feedback gained through this outreach is helping to inform the work of the cultural liaisons.
- CAPI helped Southeast Asian residents in North Minneapolis start a new community garden and Afro-Eco community organizers helped revitalize two community gardens on the Northside. Each garden has created an opportunity for culturally diverse groups to work together to grow nutritious home grown produce.
- CAPI Report: Hmong Gardening Focus Group, June 2012
- Learn more about the Local Food Resource Hubs Network
Last updated Nov. 15, 2013