Farming out the back yard

  • Article by: KIM PALMER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 5, 2009 - 9:43 PM

Professional gardeners are nurturing their clients' ag skills along with their produce.

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psoulenJun. 5, 0911:12 PM

As in fishing guides and hunting guides have been doing this forever. Taking people out who have gotten a bit too far removed from the generations in their families who knew how to hunt and fish - and re-connecting them with the ability to harvest good health food from the land.

I could see other types of services springing up that guide people though things like canning, smoking, pickeling and other old time methods for preserving food. Not much sense in having all these veggies or a 200lb deer if you don't know how to keep them so you can use them in January...

Way to go people! Food doesn't just naturally come from stores... It's good to take some of that responsibility on yourself and you don't need to become Grizzly Adams to do it!

chazzieJun. 6, 09 6:42 AM

How wonderful for all parties concerned!! People want to have fresh produce and someone who, for a fee wants to teach and give services!! It's the American way!!! I have always had a garden and can most of what I grow. Many meals start by going to the garden and seeing what is ready to pick.

waywaysJun. 6, 09 7:40 AM

This is great. People have jobs and the ones that hire them have home grown food.... Just chuckled a little by Jennifers comment, she said they don't have time to garden themselves. Well, back in the day, everything was made from scratch and the majority of your food you grew and raised yourself. You didn't have birth control so you had many, many children to care for and feed. Just going to the store was an all day trip. Clothes were scrubbed by hand and made by hand. Bread was made by hand. Every meal was made the long way. Your "oven" needed to be refilled with wood. Rest was only when you drug your body to bed. Look at how much time you have compared to families of the past.

mail136532Jun. 6, 09 8:49 AM

Your article and pictures show a fun family event. Getting produce right by your back door in a easily managed space makes decisions to grow easy. No worry about digging over other utilities. Great help to get the "A" grade produce selections from a pro vs. just grabbing the unknowns off the rack. There are sure a lot of benefits to this service besides the taste of great FRESH produce!

birchnose25Jun. 6, 09 9:22 AM

There are lots of benefits to this model, but it seems to me like the most exciting part is the potential for job creation. The more opportunities for people to create small businesses in Minneapolis the better! I hope to see more and more of these small enterprises related to urban farming pop up. How about one on a rooftop?

kokoonelliJun. 6, 09 9:25 AM

perhaps should be balanced with rural studies. Rather than being a bizarre development, sharecropping has been an integral part of agriculture for thousands of years.

eterrellJun. 6, 0911:31 AM

I'm a big fan of grown local and people taking charge of their food, but it is irresponsible to try to cast this as a cost savings tactic. At $1,300 for an approximately 18 week season, there is no cost benefit at all. You could buy a bushel of heirloom tomatoes and basil and other local produce at the store or coop, and still have excess to give away, and it would be less than the approximately 75.00 dollars a week your own veggies are costing you. As usual, and not that it's necessarily wrong, you are still paying someone to grow your food. It's just closer and more expensive. You could join a CSA, and have the veggies delivered for around 500.00 a month. This is really just another perk the well-heeled can afford, which is part of the problem with the organic movement. Why should only the middle class and up be able to afford healthy food? The market needs to readjust so that everyone can afford local/organic. Just saying...hate to burst happy garden bubbles.

eterrellJun. 6, 0911:32 AM


waywaysJun. 6, 0912:47 PM

I believe the $1300 included the wood and construction of her garden along with the plants and upkeep. She doesn't have a traditional flat garden, it's boxed and slightly raised. I have a boxed garden also and would love to raise it higher so I can stand when I plant and weed, but I feel the cost of lumber is too high to justify doing it.

MellersJun. 6, 09 1:11 PM

I attended the fundraiser for the event at Merlin's Rest this spring (late winter?) and have worked with Krista on ways to encourage folks to sign up. I'm so glad it's a success! As an apartment dweller, it's a different concept for me, but for those with a backyard, I'm glad folks are trying it. It's worth it!


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