We, revolutionary urban vegetable growers in the Twin Cities, need to convert 10 new vacant lots into vibrant, productive micro-farms.
YES!!! We made our goal! Thank you! You are all amazing! Any money we make over 15000 will not go to waste. We have so many projects on the stove. We are making a transportable cold storage unit to keep our veggies fresh. Operation Chill Wagon. We are building on site compost bins for us and our neighbors to recycle our wastes into dirt. We are building storage sheds. We are building a hoop house to extend our season. We want our community to have access to local food longer! We are building a salad spinner, possibly bike driven. The list goes on and on.
As you can see any extra support will go to great use. Thank you so much for your support. We are very, very grateful.
Stone’s Throw Urban farm is a new vegetable operation formed through the collaboration of three urban farms in the Twin Cities. We transform vacant lots into micro-farms, and run a diversified rotation on about 18 lots around the city. We’re taking on new land this year, with the goal of feeding more people in our community and working towards paying ourselves a living wage. We will be running a 100-member vegetable CSA, selling at the Mill City Market in downtown Minneapolis, and hopefully selling directly to our neighbors.
We're turning over 10 new lots this year, which means that we need your help to fund some start-up costs: compost, a tiller, potting soil, seeds, tools. We're expanding so that we can better serve our community for years to come. We just need a little financial support to get going.
We are passionate about growing food for our community. We all want to make our living doing the hard, honest, sweaty, joyful work of farming. We need your help to fund the start-up costs of turning over 10 new vacant lots this spring, and converting them into productive farmland. Right here in the city.
2/26/2012: Project launched, and baby onions and leeks are popping their little heads above the soil in the greenhouse!
2/28/2012: Flurries flying outside, and nearly $1,800 raised by 7:30 this morning! We're blown away by all the support. If you're snowed in, take a moment to watch our video and donate a few bucks!
2/29/2012: Happy Leap Day! We're astounded by the support you've shown thus far, and couldn't feel more grateful. Check us out in today's Star Tribune: http://www.startribune.com/local/minneapolis/140806483.html and call your city council member to express your support for urban agriculture in the proposed zoning code text amendments.
3/2/2012: Wow! Many thanks to those who helped us reach $5,000 in less than a week! Can we double our support by next week?
3/15/12: Hit the halfway mark today, with 21 days to go! Great job, everyone!
3/21/12: IMPORTANT UPDATE! We've decided to offer a new gift to all those who give (or gave) $99 or more! Support us in a big way and you'll get a pint of John Seitz' one of a kind SMOKED PEPPERS mailed to you along with your other prizes. They're worth their weight in gold!
We test all soil for contaminants before planting vegetables or amending the soil. If levels are above the EPA federal PPM (parts per million) regulations, we do not use the site. On all sites, we apply a prodigious amount of compost which serves to simultaneously add needed organic matter to the soil and bind heavy metals in the soil, impeding plant uptake. Lastly, almost all soil contaminants are consumed through dirt residue left on the leaves, fruit, or root. We take great care to wash all dirt from our vegetables before CSA distribution or market sales. We stay up to date on news memos and scientific studies that change our understanding of soil contaminants and our management strategies.
We encourage our members and supporters to maintain a holistic view of pollution. While consuming organically-grown produce is beneficial on a personal level, it must also address pollution and contamination on a landscape-level. Pollution, through industrial processes or fossil-fuel consumption, affects the land and water we all depend on for sustenance and health, on a global scale.
We acquire our land from a variety of sources, including individuals, institutions, and community organizations. We find land through word-of-mouth, riding our bikes and surveying, or city/county land records. Upon using the land, we sign a personalized contract that incorporates our needs for food production with the needs of the land owner.
Urban farming cannot be taken out of its community context. Therefore, the best resources are the one found in your immediate area. The best measure of success (and key to success) for an urban farming venture is the interest, support, and involvement with the community surrounding the plot. Also, the community gardeners, land-grant university, landscapers, and preexisting urban farms are all great resources.
We have found a combination of agricultural and ecological texts invaluable. Here are a sampling:
SARE publications: Building Soils for Better Crops and Crop Rotation on Organic Farms
The Nature and Properties of Soils - Neil Brady
Farmers of 40 Centuries - F.H. King
The One Straw Revolution - Masanobu Fukuoka
Cornell University and Roxbury Farm provide excellent crop planning resources including sample spreadsheets.
Lastly: Trust your intuition, get your hands in the dirt and don't forget: The last seven letters in agri-CULTURE