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FoodWords Draft

Food and Society Workshop, Tahsha LePage, Phoebe Ward, Monica Saralampi, Martha Megarry, Maria Frank, Matt Gunther, Authors

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Community &/or urban gardening and land usage -- layout 2

During the June 2014 workshop, Stones Throw talked to us about the issue of gaining access to land for urban farming and the difficulty of finding somewhere where they can set up long term and really invest in the soil etc. This sparked the idea for this module, and it would be interesting to return to interview them and add that to this module too.

The first resource is a webpage describing what is meant by "urban farming" in way that's short and easy to read. It differentiates urban farming from community gardening.

The second resource is a literature review of community gardening and its affect on the social capital of the surrounding area.

This informed the third resource, which walks the user through discussions with stakeholders within a community garden, its neighbors, etc. to evaluate the project's outcomes.

The fourth explains public policies in Minneapolis and Hennepin County that are pertinent to community gardens, providing specific information on city and county policies and resources to those interested in starting one.

The fifth discusses some of the policies that may present challenges to urban and community gardens, but focuses on detailing an analysis of publicly held land, which identified 135 that are "highly recommended for urban agriculture projects." The project's goal was to increase local production of food in N Mpls by identifying feasible locations for urban agriculture projects, in order to address problems of food sovereignty and food security.

The sixth resource is a learning kit for new urban farmers, addressing issues from soil fertility to business management to farm logistics. It is unique in that the author brings a designer's eye to the resource as well.

The seventh is an easy-to-reference tool on how to ensure healthy soil (for the plants & the people who eat them) used in urban gardening. It focuses on vegetable gardening but is applicable to all gardens and lawns, focusing on resources available in the Twin Cities.

And the final resource is the Urban Farm and Garden Alliance, which is a collaboration of six gardens in St. Paul that promotes social and environmental justice through cultivating and sharing food, an example of the community between the gardens described throughout this module.
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