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Homegrown Minneapolis celebrates local food champions

The Homegrown Minneapolis Food Council hosted its annual open house on December 3rd, 2015 at the Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) Davis Center in North Minneapolis. Over 250 attendees enjoyed the program and engaged with 31 local organizations at the local foods resource fair. The MPS Culinary and Nutrition Services Team showcased projects and local food they are providing to our schools, exemplified by a True Food taste test for all attendees given by Anthony Middle School students.

Attendees learned about the exciting work of their peers through a presentation of the Homegrown Heroes awards.

Homegrown Heroes

Learn more about these 2015 Homegrown Heroes below.

Attendees celebrated progress on local food access. The program featured remarks by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture Commissioner David Frederickson and City Council Members Cam Gordon and Blong Yang. Food Council Co-Chair Russ Henry shared highlights of 2015 local food system achievements supported by the Food Council.

View the Homegrown Minneapolis 2015 Highlights >>

Homegrown Minneapolis is a citywide initiative expanding our community’s ability to grow, process, distribute, eat and compost more healthy, sustainable, locally grown foods. Homegrown Minneapolis brings together key partners from local government, area businesses, community organizations, non-profits, and residents to build a healthy, local food system.

2015 Homegrown Heroes

As a part of our Annual Open House, the Homegrown Minneapolis Food Council recognizes and honors the accomplishments of community partners who help expand the community’s ability to grow, process, distribute, eat and compost more healthy, sustainable, locally grown foods.

The following individuals and organizations were recognized as Homegrown Heroes at our 2015 Open House:

Project Sweetie Pie's Green with Envy ProjectProject Sweetie Pie's Green With Envy Project
Project Sweetie Pie
Project Sweetie Pie empowers people by providing equitable access to local and healthy foods through education and training and also assists community garden efforts in North Minneapolis. The Green with Envy Project was a collaboration with the University of Minnesota Extension and the Compostadores to engage the community gardens of North Minneapolis about composting. Participants built their own compost bins and learned how to maintain a compost pile. Compost Captains and Youth Ambassadors sustained project functions. The project brought multiple generations and cultures together around gardening and their community. The knowledge gained and hearts changed are creating a successful, healthy, and local food system.

Kristy Lynn Allen
The Beez Kneez
Kristy Lynn Allen is founder and head beekeeper of The Beez Kneez. The Beez Kneez is a social enterprise of Minneapolis working on Revive the Hive for Healthy Bees, Healthy Lives through bicycle-powered honey production andKristy Lynn Allen of The Beez Kneez and Erin Rupp of Pollinate MN delivery, beekeeper services at the Beez Kneez Honey House, and sustainable beekeeping education through Camp Beez Kneez. Healthy Bees, Healthy Lives is an advocacy campaign of The Beez Kneez actively working to educate the public about the issues facing honeybees and other pollinators. The campaign advocates for the honey bee and all pollinators struggling to live in our modern systems of agriculture, eco-systems and urban landscapes.

Erin Rupp
Pollinate MN
Pollinate Minnesota is an education and advocacy non-profit working toward a better Minnesota for pollinators and people. They teach experiential, student-driven classes for youth and adults… in beehives. Pollinate Minnesota was founded in January 2015 to cultivate these opportunities as teaching tools for all communities and schools by youth worker, educator, and beekeeper Erin Rupp. Pollinate Minnesota is also actively working with the state legislature and agencies, municipalities and businesses, organizations and schools to ensure a pollinator friendly Minnesota. They provide standards-based classes that connect students directly to live bees, and offer safe empowering experiences for dynamic interdisciplinary learning success.

La’Taijah Powell
Appetite for Change
La’Taijah began working with Appetite for Change (AFC) in 2012 on their corner store project promotion and helping with Community Cooks. She quickly took the initiative to be a leader, bring her peers to the work and be a positive force in her community. La’Taijah has lived in North Minneapolis her entire life and recently graduated from Patrick Henry High School. She loves performing arts, music and hanging out with her friends and family. In the immediate future, she plans to work at Appetite for Change and attend college.

Christina Elias of the Mashkiikii Gitigan
Christina Elias
Good Juju Garden and Mashkiiki Gitigan (Medicine Garden)
Christina’s philosophy is that there is abundance available to us all when we work together as a community and are willing to share. Christina spent four years developing “The Good JuJu Garden” (2010 to present) which is still producing food for the community. She is now proud to be the Farmer for the “Mashkiikii Gitigan” (The Medicine Garden, also known as the 24th Street Community Urban Farm). Her hope is that The Mashkiikii Gitigan is the beginning of something very exciting and positive for the Phillips Community in Minneapolis. Christina is thankful to her Grandmother and Grandfather for their love of the earth that has been a huge influence in her life.

Demetria Fuller and Adam Pruitt
Brightside Produce
As 16-year-olds, Demetria (Deedee) Fuller and Adam Pruitt wanted to help corner stores provide healthy food options for their community. They knew that store owners needed a delivery service that provided small quantities of affordable fresh produce. They worked with folks at the University of St. Thomas to create BrightSide Produce, a nationally recognized and economically sustainable business for delivering a full range of fruits and vegetables to corner stores in underserved urban areas. They have operated this business every week since June 2014, delivering fresh produce to over 15 stores in the north and Phillips neighborhoods.

2015 Nominees:

Fernanda Sequeiros CANDO
Commissioner Dave Frederickson Minnesota Department of Agriculture
Joe Silberschmidt and Iman Mefleh Growing Lots Urban Farm and Youbetcha Kimchi
Jackie Baum and Vicky Vogels Minnesota Horticultural Society Garden-in-a-Box
JoAnn Ulm Northside Resident
Lara Bollweg Camden Farmers Market
Martin Brown Waite House
Matt Frank From the Ground Up North
Michelle Horovitz Appetite for Change
The North Country Food Alliance Park Center Highrise Community Garden, including community gardening residents, Cynthia Bergeron, and Mary Alice Smalls
Sarah Lawton NE Minneapolis United Methodist Church

View 2014 Homegrown heroes here

Last updated Sep 7, 2016



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