VOL 1, No 3
“Planting the seeds of food justice in our community” September-October 2012
The Corn Supremacy
How Corn Came to Reign Supreme by R. C. Mantley
The settlers now began to consider corn more
precious than silver; and those that had some to spare
began to trade with the others for small things, by the
quart, pottle, and peck, etc.; for they had no money, and
if they had, corn was preferred to it. ---William Bradford,
Are You Eating GMO Foods? Puritan father and governor to the Pilgrims.
Page 4 Humble Origins
Corn. From its humble beginnings as a food staple
in the diet of Native Americans, where it was more
commonly called maize, corn has grown to become the
number one commodity consumed by Americans. Corn
is descended from a plant called teosinte, which still
grows in Mexico, and the first corn plants seem to have
appeared in Mexico. The earliest known ears of corn
were tiny - only a few inches long. Centuries of breeding,
first by Native Americans, then by early settlers and
modern scientists, have resulted in bigger, fuller ears
of corn and made corn one of the world’s three leading
Empty Bowls Fill Empty Bellies grain crops.
Page 7 -A pound of corn consists of about 1,300 kernels.
-100 bushels of corn produces approximately
-Each year, a single U.S. farmer provides food and
fiber for 129 people - 97 in the U.S. and 32 overseas.
-In the U.S., corn production measures more than 2
times that of any other crop.
The inauspicious origins of corn have been largely
forgotten and nowadays its ubiquity is taken for granted.
People cannot imagine a world without corn; a world
where sweet corn cannot be eaten with relish, where
Food Preservation corn syrup doesn’t flow in abundance in soft drinks or
Page 8 used to create candy bars, where kernels and husks of
Illustration by Maxeem corn are ground into animal feed, where corn oil is used
in cooking, converted into ethanol, and more recently Polylactic acid (PLA), a plastic substitute made from fermented
plant starch (usually corn) that is quickly becoming a popular alternative to traditional petroleum-based plastics.
-Most of Iowa’s corn crop goes into animal feed. In livestock feeding, one bushel of corn converts to about 5.6 pounds
of retail beef, 13 pounds of retail pork, 28 pounds of catfish, or 32 pounds of chicken. Iowa’s corn is also processed into
starches, oil, sweeteners, and ethanol....continued on pg 6
Corn: One Kernel of Obesity by Ken Meter
As Michael Pollen points out, corn is part of nearly every industrially processed food we eat. Corn syrup is a leading
sweetener, and corn starch thickens many commercial sauces. Corn is fed to cattle (even though their rumens evolved to
eat grass), pigs, and chickens. Chemical analysis shows how dependent our bodies are on corn.
Calendar of Events That fact alone might be enough to temper food technicians’ desires to increase corn production through genetic
Page 10 modification. If we are eating corn that has been genetically designed to produce as many tons per acre as possible, and
we feed this corn to animals that have been genetically designed to gain weight as fast as possible — is it any wonder
that we as consumers are becoming heavier?
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 36% of U.S. residents are overweight, and another 28% are
obese — for a total of 64% of us carrying more than an optimal weight. That compares with 51% in 1995. Almost all of
the growth is at the higher end of the spectrum — the rate of obesity was 16% in 1995.
The CDC publishes a dramatic animated map showing the growth of this national epidemic. Scroll down to the bottom
of the page, look for the map, and click on “play” to watch obesity spread across the country: locathttp://www.cdc.gov/
Long before national statistics were kept, however, school nurses tracked the rising weights of their student charges.
These measurements showed weight gains as early as 1974, only a few years after food chemists engineered a new
enzyme process that made it more efficient to produce high fructose corn sweetener (HCFS).
Urban Ag Tour Yet the emergence of this new industrial process was facilitated by a global economic event, as well. It came from a
Page 11 surprising source. In 1973, the energy producing nations (OPEC) limited the amount of oil they would pump each year, in
an effort to raise the prices they would receive. The strategy worked well: oil prices shot up to what we thought was the
unbelievably high prices of $40 per barrel (this is less than half of what we pay in today’s dollars)...continued on pg 6
Growing Pathways 2
Growing Pathways N o t e f r o m t he Edi t or
“Planting the seeds of food justice in our
community.” Welcome to the third edition of Growing Pathways! Your comments and support have kept us going
through this long, hot summer. There are some exciting things happening at Growing Pathways.
Managing Editor Our website is being redesigned to be much more user-friendly with far more content and up-to-date
Starr Carpenter information. We have also just launched a Kickstarter campaign to cover the printing and distribution costs
for the next 6 months while we build up an advertising base that will allow us to continue to keep Growing
Layout & Design Pathways a free publication. If one of every 10 people who reads this edition pledges $10, we will meet our
Victoria Carpenter goal. Should we exceed that goal, the additional funds will be used to add more pages, print and distribute
more copies and compensate our writers and other staffers who have invested their time because they
Copy Editor believe we can help make local foods a reality here in the Twin Cities.
Lizzie Carolan You can help us by sharing our website with people you know will be interested, liking us on Facebook,
or just help distribute copies where you live and/or work, submit event listings and articles about meetings,
Contributors projects and alert us to other food news that we should all know about.
Rick Mantley Thanks again for your well-wishes and words of encouragement. They mean a lot to us as we work to
Ken Meter figure out how to keep on keeping on.
Jim Lovestar “Planting the seeds of food
Theresa Rooney aka gardenchicken
Illustrations by Maxeem
justice in our community”
Infographics by Cole Sutton
We’ve got mail!!
Submission Policy Not long after the second edition of Growing Pathways hit the streets, we received a
Growing Pathways welcomes submissions of number of postcards signed with only a first name of the sender and “Postcard Underground”
food justice related articles, news feeds, blogs,
over the course of a couple of weeks. I looked forward to them each time I checked the
your recipes, garden tips and artwork.
Letters to the editor are also welcomed and will be
mailbox. What a simple, yet powerful idea! There isn’t much information available on this
included as space allows. group – a Google search only turns up a few blog posts from other postcard beneficiaries.
Deadline for the next edition is October 15. Each postcard has reinforced our belief in the power of co-ordinated simple actions. The
messages from this mysterious group of supporters energizes all of us at Growing Pathways
Contact Us to continue our mission of “Planting the seeds of food justice in our community”.
Editor Thank you, Postcard Underground. Keep spreading the love!
PO Box 18018
Minneapolis 55418 To all of you at Growing Pathways
Congratulations on your latest edition of Growing Pathways. Such good work—BE PROUD! Thank you
or email: so much for your efforts to strengthen our local food community.
email@example.com Sincerely, Nina in Minneapolis w/ Postcard Underground
Articles may be edited to fit available space. The entire Greetings from another local eater. I heard about Growing Pathways recently and wanted to write you
article will be available at:growingpathways.com and say kudos for the heart and soul behind this work. It is the single most important part of change
making, isn’t it? Keep it up, enjoy the sun and don’t stop belivin’
Peace, Lily—The Postcard Underground
Rick Mantley and Growing Pathways,
Growing Pathways is a bi-monthly publication Hats off to your vision. So important for each of us to find the way to make a difference that fits. You will
highlighting the importance of healthy food and make a difference for all of us.
equitable food access in our community— the Twin Good Luck—Karen
Cities metro area—and beyond. Although Food
Justice and Food Access is our primary focus we I just read about Growing Pathways and want to thank you for all the time and energy you have put
are dedicated to covering a variety of topics ranging into this wonderful and needed source of information. It is so very important and can change lives and
from recipes to gardening tips to best growing communities. Your work gives me faith in a brighter, healthier and greener tomorrow.
practices, youth involvement in growing food, Thanks!! Sue
starting and maintaining a food business, and how
to preserve locally produced foods to enjoy during Hi
the off season. Also included will be food news The postcard underground salutes you! Food Justice—what a grand idea! Of course it’s relevant t to
from around the country, state, and food system poverty and social justice for all! Great beginning, Growing Pathways—happy sunrise to you all! Keep up
issues that affect us locally. Growing Pathways will the great efforts!
always endeavor to live up to its motto of “planting Kristie from MN
the seeds of food justice in our community.” The
Food Justice movement is an expanding 21st Thanks for a place to find food justice news, local farms, markets and community outreach programs.
century social justice movement and Growing Evey, Postcard underground
Pathways wants to be in the trenches leading
the charge for social change for the community Good eating is a blessing and so are you! Keep up the great work!
driven by the community. The mission of Growing Brian
Pathways is two fold: to plant the seeds of food
justice and to be an inclusive vehicle for bringing Dear friends,
about greater awareness of food as being far more Not just food…but food justice! Thank you!
than the source of sustenance. Growing Pathways A well-wisher from the postcard underground
will promote the idea of food as a manifestation of
the quality of life, as a manifold indicator of what it Just a note of appreciation for your efforts to help build your local food community. Your vision and
actually means to pursue life, liberty and happiness commitment make this world a better place.
in a complex and challenging world. Jana, Postcard Underground
Growing Pathways 3
Help Support Growing Pathways
The Growing Pathways newspaper was started with the idea of gathering as much information as possible about the grassroots, local food movement in the Twin
Cities (Minneapolis/St. Paul) and then making that information available free of charge to our readers. We try to include good, basic information about issues that
people don’t really know much about because they aren’t often reported in the mainstream news media.
We are planting the seeds of food justice in our communities by publicizing the efforts of activists, growers, organizers, and just plain folk interested and inspired
by the concept of food justice—a 21st century social justice movement. By building common ground we can bring together all of the voices in the food justice
movement—growers, educators, non-profit advocates, grass root activists. We all consume food and want to know more about where it comes from and how it can
improve our lives.
Food justice is about access to food that is healthy, nutritious, and culturally appropriate. It is also about knowing exactly where your food comes from, how it is
grown and knowing where to go to find it. Ultimately food justice is about empowering people to take control of their own health. We are sharing the stories of food
justice advocates--local growers, backyard gardeners, grassroots food justice groups, co-op members, food industry workers, migrant farm workers, and immigrants
striving to become growers--with the community and also with decision makers.
Our goal is raise the funds to cover the printing and distribution costs for the next 6 months while we build up an advertising base that will allow us to continue to
keep Growing Pathways a free publication. In addition, our website needs a make-over to be more user-friendly with far more content and up-to-date information.
Should we exceed that goal, the additional funds will be used to add more pages, print and distribute more copies and compensate our writers and other staffers
who have invested their time because they believe that together we can make a difference.
This newspaper was launched only with passion, conviction, and out-of-pocket financing from the creators. The first three editions have gotten overwhelming
positive public response. Thanks to your support, GP will be able to remain a free publication. Join us in “planting the seeds of food justice in our community”.
We’ve launched our Kickstarter campaign and have 30 days to meet our goal or we get nothing. If you would like to support this publication monetarily, please visit
www.growingpathways.com for the project link.
We can’t thank you enough for your support.
A very special thanks to Mojo Solo for allowing the lovely and talented Elijah Chum
to use their resources during office hours to produce our Kickstarter video!
Local Action to Support Fair Wages for Farmworkers by Chrissy Sierra
In downtown Minneapolis a delegation representing four local organizations and allies to the Florida based Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) delivered over
2,000 signatures on September 7th to a local Chipotle restaurant, stating that they stand with Florida farmworkers and want Chipotle to meet with the CIW and sign
a Fair Food Agreement. Individuals from the Twin Cities, Land Stewardship Project (LSP), Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP), Centro de Trabajadores
Unidos en la Lucha (CTUL), and the Department of Chicano Studies at UMTC were present to support these basic rights.
The majority of the delegation remained outside of the restaurant in the US Bank Plaza lobby area holding supportive signs and a large banner made up of petition
signatures for people to see. They received much concern and questions from the on-looking crowd. Meanwhile, part of the delegation entered the restaurant and
requested to speak with the General Manager of the US Bank Plaza Chipotle. The GM was busy with the Friday lunch rush line out the door. She and many of the
onlookers that spoke with the delegation had no idea about the CIW and Chipotle’s refusal to be part of the Fair Food Agreement. The GM listened to the delegations
concerns and agreed to call their regional manager right away. Before the group received a response, they were asked to leave by security and peacefully regrouped
outside for photos and to pass out informational fliers to passersby.
The 2,000 signatures delivered were the second round of the local petition drive this summer. Previously a delegation delivered 500 signatures to the Uptown
Chipotle, for a total of 2,570 signatures this summer. This particular GM also asked his regional manager about the issues concerning CIW’s allies and encouraged
the delegation to continue their work.
For two years now, Chipotle has refused CIW’s request to meet with them and sign the Agreement—a shocking fact considering how Chipotle has become proud
of their ‘Food with Integrity’ initiative involving humanely raised meat and certain locally sourced herbs and produce. So far 10 major food corporations have already
signed onto the Fair Food Program including McDonald’s, Trader Joe’s, and Whole Foods.
The petition was designed by the four local
organizations (LSP, IATP, CTUL, and Dept. of Chicano
Studies UMTC) in support of CIW’s Fair Food
Campaign. The Fair Food Agreement asks for Chipotle
to ensure that they are 100% transparent about
where their tomatoes are from, that the company
buy tomatoes only from suppliers that guarantee one
penny more per pound (than the current average
tomato-picking wage), and the suppliers have to allow
the CIW to monitor fields for issues of harassment and
The CIW is an organization of farmworkers that
defend Florida farmworker rights and provide regular
workshops on safety and protection (i.e. harassment,
pesticides, work rights, etc).
For more information contact Chrissy Sierra at
firstname.lastname@example.org or visit ciw-online.org.
To see the action online, view facebook.com/
Growing Pathways 4
GMO Sweet Corn—Is it at your local Walmart?
The GMO corn Wal-Mart will be selling for the first time
comes from Monsanto, the giant agricultural biotech company.
But you won’t know if the corn at your local store is or isn’t
genetically modified because:
“After closely looking at both sides of the debate and
collaborating with a number of respected food safety experts,
we see no scientifically validated safety reasons to implement
restrictions on this product” .
So now Walmart gets to decide what information we have
about our food?
Read the entire article: http://supermarketnews.com/blog/wal-
GMO Food Worldwide- How much is grown in the US?
Worldwide, 395 million acres of farmland were planted in 2011
in biotech crops, 30 million more than 2010. The U.S. grew
Maxeem grew up in Minneapolis, but he’s found homes in many parts of the world. Wherever he 45% of the world’s biotech crops in 2011, followed by Brazil with
goes, he finds time to make cartoons and other laborious art. You can see and read his work at: 17%, Argentina with 16% and India and Canada each with 6%.
www.maxeem.com The United States still leads the world in GM plantings, with
170 million acres in 2012. That is 95% of the nation’s sugar
Will California be the first State in the Nation to Require Labeling of GMO foods? beets, 94% of the soybeans, 90% of the cotton and 88% of the
feed corn. Brazil and Argentina mostly grow biotech soybeans,
Did you know that the first genetically engineered food (GMO) sold in the United States was the feed corn and cotton. India only grows biotech cotton. Canada
“FlavrSavr” tomato in 1995? The Calgene Corporation (now a subsidiary of Monsanto) altered a grows biotech canola, feed corn, soybean and sugar beets.
gene that controlled the ripening enzyme, producing a tomato that could be picked ripe but would Only two biotech crops are grown in the European Union, a
remain firm and not continue to ripen as it travelled through the food chain. small amount of feed corn and 245 acres of potatoes. Public
These tomatoes were proudly labeled as genetically engineered and sold under the friendly fears over these crops including possible health concerns and
sounding “MacGregor” brand-name. The developers expected that consumers would rush to worries about the potential for irreversible damage to the food
try this cutting edge technology allowing them to be sold for a higher price. But even the friendly chain have resulted in a more cautious approach than that
sounding name was not enough to entice consumers to gamble on this first “frankenfood.” being taken here in the US.
Since then, the food industry has not labeled any GMO foods. In fact, with many political allies, Even though only a handful of crops are genetically modified
they have successfully fought against any labeling requirements for GMO foods. Wal-Mart recently — including some squash, papaya, sweet corn, soy, cotton and
stated that it will not require GMO labeling of sweet corn sold on its shelves. They are satisfied with sugar beets (a GE apple and salmon might soon be approved) it
the scientific evidence offered by food manufacturers, which shows that GMO sweet corn is safe. is estimated that about 70% of processed foods on supermarket
Wal-Mart does not feel that it is necessary to label GMO products so that the consumer can make shelves now contain genetically modified ingredients, due in
their own informed choice. large part to the inclusion of high fructose corn syrup in the
Meanwhile in Califonia manufacturing of so many processed foods.
If approved by voters, Proposition 37 would make California the first state in the nation to require
labels on genetically engineered crops or processed foods that contain genetically engineered fruits
or vegetables, such as corn, soybeans, sugar beets and Hawaiian papayas.
Proponents argue that shoppers have a “right to know” whether their food has been genetically
modified in a laboratory. Many consumers are concerned that there could be unforeseen health
or ecological effects from tinkering with plants’ DNA. Labeling laws similar to the one proposed for
California currently are in effect in about 50 countries in Europe, South America and Asia.
Despite the millions of dollars poured into the effort to defeat Prop 37 by such food giants as
Monsanto and Cargill, polls show overwhelming support from the consumer for the “right to know”
what is in our food. California is spearheading what promises to be a vigorous and hard-fought
campaign to mandate GMO labeling. It’s the age-old David versus Goliath story of grassroots
activists versus well-financed, corporate interests over a crucial quality-of-life issue: Do we have the
right to make our own food choices? Should this information be kept from us?
GMO vs Hybrid Crops- Is there a difference?
by Starr Carpenter
Growers have been working to improve plant varieties for many centuries through cross-pollination and saving seeds from plants that show disease resistance,
increased yields and superior flavor. The limitation to this old-fashioned method is that it naturally only works with characteristics that are already present in the
species —a tomato couldn’t be crossed with a carrot for example.
Genetic engineering has removed that barrier and now scientists can transfer a desired trait by taking genetic material from one species and inserting it into
another. Did you know there is a strawberry that has a gene from an arctic fish inserted into it to make the strawberry more frost-resistant? One of the unexpected
results was a change in color. The berries are bright blue! Check it out at: www.care2.com/greenliving/blue-strawberries-raise-more-gmo-questions.html
There is much we don’t know about this new technology. Many have hoped that GMO foods would solve the world’s hunger issues by developing plants that will
produce bountiful crops in spite of disease, pests and weather extremes. One of the claims most often used is that this technology can greatly reduce our need for
chemical use when growing food crops.
Several issues have already arisen from opening this “Pandora’s Box”
The pollen from wind and insect pollinated plants can contaminate other crops. A specific concern has been that once released, it would not be possible to contain
or control these organisms yet there is no global monitoring system. Because of this failure of national and international agencies, GeneWatch UK and Greenpeace
International launched a joint initiative in 2005 to record all incidents of contamination arising from the intentional or accidental release of genetically modified (GM)
The EPA is launching a review of one of Monsanto’s corn strains engineered to produce the natural pesticide Bt. “There is mounting evidence raising concerns that
insect resistance is developing in parts of the Corn Belt,” where Monsanto’s corn dominates the fields. Root worms exposed to the corn’s toxin seem to have become
immune to it, breeding an unprecedented colony of superworms that are bound to spread throughout the entire Midwest. Read about it at: http://thkpr.gs/RLh9Gb
There are at least 10 confirmed weeds resistant to glyphosate that are estimated to affect more than 7 million acres of farmland, and now there is a genetically
modified variety of grass seed that may soon be on the market. Maybe we should take a lesson from the unintentional escape of genes of rice bred for resistance to
the Clearfield herbicide…Now there is “a very bad, weedy rice in Costa Rica that’s resistant to the herbicide, It doesn’t happen easily with rice. If it happens with rice,
it will happen with bluegrasses.” The full article: www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/07/engineered-bluegrass
This debate is far from over as scientists and consumers wrestle with issues that have the potential to put us on a course that may not be easy to reverse. It does
seem ironic that so many of the public figures who use the slogan “Know your farmer, know your food”, would work to promote the interests of large agri-business
companies to prevent the labeling of GMO foods so that we could indeed “know our food”.
Growing Pathways 5
Seco n d A n n u a l F o o d S u m m i t Op- Ed by Mustafa Sundiata
This year saw an amazing increase in participants, 450 individuals registered and attended this event that brought the start of work on a statewide food charter and
highlighted some of the wonderful work being done by the Lake Superior good food network and its many partners and alliances. The Minnesota Food Charter seeks
to create a document that will guide the State’s priorities around food and give a unified vision to the many corporations, organizations, and individuals working on
these issues every day. This new endeavor is being sponsored by Minnesota Department of Health through a CDC grant and many others.
Held 8/21-23 in Duluth at the Duluth Entertainment and Conference Center, a first class facility just off beautiful Lake Superior, it was a grand event in a grand
location. The key note address was delivered by Audrey Rowe Administrator U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Services who has admittedly used
food support while trying to support family and attend college. She remembers the customer service she received at that time, and which she is now so adamantly
trying to improve. And another guest speaker, Chef Michel Nischan CEO of Wholesome Wave gave a very enthusiastic talk about his program and its mission to
overhaul the nation’s food system.
The only real shortcoming of either of these events is not the content. I can assure you that most of the organizations, agencies and individuals are earnestly
looking for real time solutions and acting upon best practices learned from each other. No, it is for me the very real fact that most of the populations being targeted
are very under represented at these events. This shows a very serious lack of diversity in these organizations to be able to understand and reach out to underserved
populations or quite frankly a lack of will to include them. It was once said, “Any meeting about me that doesn’t include me is not really for me.” That obviously begs
the question, “then who is it for?”
It is imperative that you have an insider’s view so to speak, of the barriers and limitations to healthy foods that are faced by real people on a daily basis and not just
regurgitated data that was collected years before. The dynamic keeps changing because we are not dealing with the root causes of poverty head on. Where do we
even begin to deal with some of these serious issues such as mental health issues stemming from unrelenting years of cyclical poverty? Do we understand how this
is a barrier to food access? What about the years of constant brainwashing through commercials and advertisement that have left in its wake a population who have
conceded the power of choice of what they eat, how they eat and where it comes from to a very few who having gone unregulated and unwatched have and replaced
healthy, quality ingredients with non-food fillers? Because of the billions of dollars a year put towards advertising and marketing, these practices are actually viewed
as a viable and most often a more affordable alternative, regardless of the resultant health care cost of food related diseases.
There are two redeeming factors in all of this, and the first is that everyone will have a chance to have input on this new food charter. There will be numerous
meetings held around the state to seek out the public’s input on just what this document should contain. It is my hope that those underserved communities make it
their business to attend as many of these meetings as they possibly can so that their voice is heard and viewpoints are considered. I hope in the coming years to
see more representation of those underserved populations at the very summit that seeks to address their needs. The second is that for the first time I saw some food
justice/food movement people in the room and common words were being bandied around like healthy, local, and justice, which could quite possibly mean that the
two communities of Food are finally coming together and finding common ground to work towards common goals. Contrary to popular belief in both camps one is not
different from the other. Both movements should assist and bolster each other to assure healthy, good, just and local food for everyone! March On!
Mustafa Sundiata is the Co-Chair for Homegrown Minneapolis Food Council and a Community Nutrition Educator with The University of Minnesota Extension
Simply Good Eating Program.
Advertise in Growing Pathways. Contact
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P u t t i n g Sa in t P a u l o n the M ap by Danny Shaheen
On Monday, August 13, Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman revealed the city’s draft budget for the year 2013. Missing among the causes for celebration, like a $1
million boost to the Frogtown Gardens’ proposed park and demonstration farm was a proposed curbside composting collection plan that would provide the city with
nutrient rich dirt for its public spaces.
In 2005, the Saint Paul Environmental Roundtable (a volunteer driven initiative with the goal of policy change through citizen participation) first proposed this
collection plan. It is a key part of a mutual goal between the city of Saint Paul and its nonprofit partner, Eureka Recycling, to divert about 100% of the waste now
going to landfills and incinerators by 2020. Ramsey County has already stated it will require organics collection by 2015, but if it could be a reality sooner, and it’s
already something that thousands of residents are asking for, why should we wait? I recently spoke with Dianna Kennedy, director of Communications for Eureka
Recycling, and learned about its history with proposals to the city, what makes this particular method of compost collection so unique, and why now is the perfect
time for this plan to come to fruition.
San Francisco, CA has been collecting organics from the curbside since 1996, and other progressive cities such as Seattle, WA; Boulder, CO; and recently
Portland, OR have followed in its footsteps. This is with good reason, too, for organic materials (such as leftover food scraps and egg cartons) currently make up
about a quarter of what we put in our trash cans. Due to the lack of oxygen they receive decomposing in landfills, they produce the harmful greenhouse gas
methane. Alternatively, these materials can be processed into compost that can be used to improve our soil, decrease our reliance on chemical fertilizers, and grow
healthier food! When put in these terms, it sounds like a no-brainer, however there have been some bumps along the way to getting this plan enacted.
The opposition to compost collection is comparable to that which recycling faced 20 years ago. Social change of this sort always takes time and convincing, that
and other political factors can leave well-meaning projects barely managing to keep afloat for many years. The first formal proposal from Eureka came in 2008.
That resulted in the city’s request for a labor peace agreement instead (this required Eureka to unionize in 2009). A new and improved plan was proposed last year,
and included in Mayor Coleman’s budget, but was removed due to a perceived lack of community support for the service. This latest proposal sits on the table, as
the city now wants to conduct a public input process to determine what the residents of Saint Paul want from their recycling program.
Created in 2001, Eureka Recycling is a Twin Cities-based nonprofit organization that has returned over $3.3 million to the City directly from the sale of recyclables.
The goal is not only to provide the service of collection by truck, but to also provide training for volunteers to teach their neighbors how to compost in their own
homes (either in their backyards or with worm bins), and to prevent wasted food by providing storage, shopping, and food preparation tips. These preventative
measures will be taken before the materials are collected from the curbside. The organics collection plan to be mandated by Ramsey County in 2015 does not
include waste prevention education.
An advantage of this program having been worked on as long as it has is the body of research Eureka has accumulated. The initiative preventing wasted food is
the first project of its kind in the nation, and would help stretch families’ food bills. Eureka created and tested these tools in the Frogtown, Macalester/Groveland and
East Side neighborhoods of Saint Paul. They also conducted an experimental pilot program in Macalester/Groveland in 2010, using the feedback from residents
to help shape the current proposal. Lastly, Eureka has been working with national experts and researchers from the University of Minnesota, and the Institute for
Agriculture and Trade Policy, to compare the environmental, financial, and social impacts of different processes for composting so that Saint Paul’s efforts result in
the best possible product. Kennedy states that “Saint Paul could be the first community in the nation to say that it made a measureable difference in its soil.” There
are no other known communities that get their dirt back from their composting efforts. The plan’s projections claim that each year 5,500 tons of dirt would be returned
to the city.
Lastly, this plan would be one of the least expensive per household of its kind in the nation at $1.90 per month, and would actually save residents money by the
lowering their garbage bills. This is a chance for us to reduce waste, save money, grow better food, and take a more active role in building a stronger, more unified
community. Let’s take advantage of the opportunity and put Saint Paul on the map as being a national leader in waste reduction.
Saint Paul residents are encouraged to continue to call their council members to let them know that this is something that they want to be a part of their city.
Readers can request a lawn sign to show their support, or sign up for updates at Eureka’s composting website, www.makedirtnotwaste.org.
Growing Pathways 6
...Corn Supremacy from page 1
-Many ethanol plants now produce 2.7 gallons of ethanol and about 18 pounds of animal feed
from each bushel of corn. Corn and ethanol production are now so efficient that it takes less energy
to grow the crop and process it than the amount of energy in the ethanol itself.
Thousands of products in a typical supermarket contain corn. For many years, the Corn Refiners
Association (CRA) has conducted surveys by sending researchers into a typical supermarket
to read all the labels and tally all the products containing corn ingredients. The last CRA study
found corn ingredients in almost 4,000 products - and that doesn’t count all the meat, dairy, and
poultry products that depend on corn for livestock feed or the many paper products that don’t have
ingredient labels but do contain corn.
Where Corn is King
Because it is a crop that demands much in the way of growing area, equipment and processing,
it is mostly large agribusiness conglomerates and mega-farms in the Midwest growing on a large
scale. In fact, corn is dangerously close to becoming a monoculture crop in some regions. Is it now
possible to sweep back the ever expanding tide of corn production? Are there risks or benefits
associated with the pervasiveness of corn in our consumer culture?
-Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska and Minnesota account for over 50 percent of the corn grown in the U.S.
Other major corn growing states are Indiana, Ohio, Wisconsin, South Dakota, Michigan, Missouri,
Kansas and Kentucky.
-The “Corn Belt” includes the states of Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, Minnesota, Indiana, Ohio,
Wisconsin, South Dakota, Michigan, Missouri, Kansas and Kentucky.
-Corn is produced on every continent of the world with the exception of Antarctica.
-The area known as the “Pacific Rim” region (in Asia) is emerging as the world’s fastest growing
market for U.S. corn. There, most of the corn is fed to livestock to produce food for humans. The
majority of the world’s population is located in the Pacific Rim region.
-Exports are critical to the well being of American agriculture. Nearly one third of our nation’s corn
crop is targeted for exports.
-In 2011, Iowa corn farmers grew almost 2.3 billion bushels of corn on 13.7 million acres of land.
-Iowa has produced the largest corn crop of any state for almost two decades. In an average year,
Iowa produces more corn than most countries. For example, Iowa grows three times as much corn
as a country like Mexico.
The Future of Corn
Ethanol and Polyactive Acid (PLA) are two of the uses of corn that divert it from the food system.
By law up to 40% of the U.S. corn crop goes into our gas tanks in the form of Ethanol. In 2011,
more than $4.6 billion dollars of farm assistance was paid to corn producers whose product went directly into our gas tanks and never entered the food chain. But in
2012, the Corn Belt states are suffering through the worse drought since 1998. In the state of Indiana this year’s crop is anticipated to be less than half of what it was
last year. As the result of current drought condition corn producers will experience record low yields. Will future trends regarding corn mean more ethanol production
vs higher prices of corn-related food products for consumers? Given that more corn than ever before is being diverted to uses away from the table does the future of
corn bode well or ill for you and me?
...Corn: one kernel of obesity from page 1
Americans faced considerable stress. Many waited in long lines at their local gas stations, hoping to buy fuel. Many waited two to three hours, only to discover
there was no gasoline left once they arrived at the pump. This was a significant challenge to the U.S. economy, because the money we spent buying gas and oil
from the Middle East was seldom reinvested back in the States. Our dollar supply began to erode.
The folks at the White House launched what they hoped would be a “win-win-win” strategy for
recovering our dollars. They would ask farmers to raise more grain, especially wheat and corn. Our
agents would invite the Soviet Union to buy this grain, because they had suffered severe crop losses,
and food distribution breakdowns. Moreover, the Soviet Union held large bank accounts denominated
in dollars. Farmers would make more money, the Soviet people would eat better, and the U.S. would
get its dollars back.
The Secretary of Agriculture took to the media, imploring farmers to plant as much wheat and corn
as they could. “Plant fence row to fence row,” Earl Butz urged, cautioning farmers to “get big or get out
of farming.” His office, he assured, would find farmers “permanent export markets abroad” if farmers
would only ramp up production.
Farmers willingly complied. They were rewarded well in 1974, when they earned a net income of
$112 billion from $436 billion of sales (in 2010 dollars), a 26% return. Yet, after buying tons of wheat
and corn from the U.S. for two years, Soviet farms returned to normal, and the Soviets stopped buying
our grain. Net farm income plunged in half in 1975.
Alas, U.S. farmers had ramped up production on a massive scale, trusting on faith that those export
markets would reward their labor. Nothing of the kind happened; exports were an illusion. Immense
stockpiles of unsold corn rose near grain elevators across the Midwest. With little demand and a huge
supply available, corn prices plummeted. This made it quite cheap to produce high fructose corn
Rapidly, HFCS was adopted by the food processing industry as a lower-cost alternative to sugar.
Moreover, since it was a liquid, HFCS was often easier to blend into recipes than sugar granules.
In 1974, school measurements show, the weight of our nation began to increase. Nutritionists I have
worked with say that this is no mere coincidence (although certainly corn is not the only factor). If I eat
something with sugar in it, my body has enzymes that will send me a signal I have had enough sweets
for now. If I eat something sweetened with HFCS, my body has no such biological signal. It is easy to
add just one more portion.
Now, nearly forty years later, we have become an obese nation. Ubiquitous corn was one reason
we got to this condition. Today, the medical costs of obesity total $174 billion per year — about half of
the money all U.S. farmers earn selling all the crops and livestock they sell.
Growing Pathways 7
Frogtown Gardens “Green Vision” Grows by Patricia Ohmans
Advocates of urban farming in Saint Paul’s Frogtown neighborhood got a boost last month when Mayor Chris
Coleman announced his intention to find funding for Frogtown Farm in the 2013 city budget.The proposed urban
demonstration farm is expected to occupy six out of a total 13 acres in a new city park on a vacant parcel of land
south of Minnehaha Avenue and west of Victoria Street.
The Frogtown neighborhood is home to a diverse ethnic and immigrant population that shares strong agricultural
traditions. Frogtown Farm will be a place where neighbors and visitors will be able to demonstrate those traditions,
learn sustainable ways to increase productivity and yield of backyard and community garden plots, and share ways of
harvesting, preserving and cooking.
Frogtown Gardens is the non-profit organization that has promoted the Park & Farm for the past three years. As
a co-founder as well as a 32-year resident of Frogtown, I couldn’t be
more delighted that the city now publicly supports our “green vision.”
It really helped that so many urban farming supporters made their
support known to the mayor, city council, and parks department, signing
postcards and petitions, showing up for meetings and hearings, and
joining our Facebook page.
We’ve got a long way to go to reach our $3.45 million fundraising goal, before seeds can actually be planted on
Frogtown Farm land. Most of the funds allocated from public sources and raised from private foundations and individuals
will be used to purchase the land from the current owner, the Wilder Foundation, and to help plan and install the park
and Farm. We are working closely with the Trust for
Public Land, a national non-profit which is managing
the fundraising campaign.
The park and Farm are the cornerstone of
Frogtown Gardens’ efforts to make our neighborhood
a greener, healthier place, but they are only part of
our efforts. We’ve been really busy! This summer
we’ve also installed a temporary fruit and shade tree
nursery at Dale Street and Lafond Avenue, built a
28-bed community garden at Pierce Butler Route and
Milton Street, and installed a permaculture demonstration garden on a vacant lot on the 800 block
of Blair Avenue. To learn more about our work, please “like” Frogtown Gardens’ on Facebook or
visit our website at www.frogtowngardens.org
Thanks to all who share our vision for a greener Frogtown. With your help, we’ll make Frogtown
Farm a reality soon!
Empty Bowls Fill
by Sarah Dallum Empty Bellies
Powderhorn Empty Bowls (PEB) got its start in the late fall of
2006 when a pottery instructor at the Powderhorn Park building
and an old potter who was looking for a reason to make pots again
talked about creating an event in the Powderhorn neighborhood.
With the help of three other neighbors, they created an event that
has occurred the first Friday of every November since that first
Powderhorn Empty Bowls is a chance to have a great meal with
your community. Choose one hand-thrown ceramic bowl out of
hundreds available, make a free-will donation and then fill your bowl
with homemade soup and fresh baked bread. This celebration of art
and food transforms the park and community center into the living
room of the neighborhood. The empty bowl you take home serves
as a reminder that hunger exists in our community and there is
something we can all do to make a difference.
Photo credit Jake Premack Nickel Horse Photography
The original core of five founders has expanded into ten
board members. There is no paid staff; all of the work is
conducted by hundreds of volunteers. PEB is now entering
its sixth year and has successfully raised over $100,000 to
be donated to the food shelf at the Division of Indian Works,
Powderhorn Youth Farm and Market, and Sisters Camelot.
This money goes toward feeding neighbors, promoting
healthy nutritional habits, and instilling confidence in the
children of Powderhorn. In addition, PEB contributed funds
to make micro-grants available to Powderhorn neighborhood
community gardeners through a new relationship with
Gardening Matters. They also introduced a pottery fellowship
within the Powderhorn Park Pottery Program this year.
Mark your calendar for this year’s event Friday, Nov. 2,
11am-7pm, Powderhorn Park Building (3400 E 15th Street)
Please email us at email@example.com or go to our
website at: ppna.org/peb/ for more information.
Photo credit Jake Premack Nickel Horse Photography
Growing Pathways 8
Getting Back to Our Roots Pick 5% for Pickling
Rutabagas, turnips, parsnips, sweet potatoes or yams—included any of these Vinegar, that is. When pickling vegetables, fruit or fish, be sure to use white or
root vegetables in your meals lately? These vegetables plus beets, potatoes and cider vinegar with 5% acidity. There are vinegars on the market shelves that are
carrots sustained our 4% or even 3% acetic acid. Be sure to read the vinegar bottle label and purchase
ancestors for centuries 5% vinegar for safe, quality pickled products.
through many a cold
winter.If we didn’t Preserving Soup--Cool
grow up eating root Safely!
vegetables, other than
carrots or potatoes (yes, Turn this season’s abundance of garden vegetables into a large kettle of soup.
potatoes are technically Plan to freeze in containers to enjoy for lunch or quick evening meals. Preparing
a tuber, but they fit well a large batch of soup can present a food safety challenge—Cooling!
with this category!), One of the leading causes of foodborne illness is the failure to properly
they may seem foreign cool foods. The food danger zone is that place between 41⁰ and 140⁰F where
or old fashioned to us. pathogens grow most quickly. It can take a long time to get through the danger
We can broaden our zone when cooling a large batch of chili, soup, or stew. The soup must cool
vegetable horizon by from 140⁰ to 70⁰F in 2 hours and from 70⁰ to 40⁰F in no more than four hours. To
adding beets, yams, or rapidly cool soup safely, follow these guidelines:
a rutabaga potato dish
to our meals. They add Use Ice Water Bath
a wealth of flavor and An ice water bath is effective for cooling soups. This method helps decrease the
nutrients to our diet. soup temperature quickly and safely.
Carrots, sweet ⁰⁰Fill a large container or clean sink with ice and a small amount of water. Place
potatoes, and yams, the kettle of soup into the ice bath.
with their rich deep ⁰⁰Stir the soup to release heat and aid cooling.
yellow and orange color,
are excellent sources Use Shallow Pans
of vitamin A. The white The smaller the portions, the quicker the cool down.
root vegetables are sources of potassium and vitamins. Beets do contain iron and ⁰⁰Divide large batches into small containers, no deeper than 3 inches.
the greens are rich in vitamin A. ⁰⁰Stir occasionally to aid cooling.
What do you do with a rutabaga? First, if you are not familiar with it, you may
need to do some identification of rutabagas, turnips and parsnips. Parsnips look Use Ice in the Recipe
like white carrots. Turnips are white with a lavender, pink top on the outside and You can reduce cooling time by adapting your soup recipe.
white on the inside. They are also shaped like tops, the children’s toy. Rutabagas ⁰⁰Prepare a thicker soup, reducing the amount of liquid called for in the recipe.
are the largest of the lot, golden yellow on the outside with a creamy yellow flesh. ⁰⁰Add ice to the soup at the final preparation step.
Root vegetables are often combined with or substituted for potatoes in many
countries. They are a tasty addition to vegetable soups and stews. Do not put a large container of hot soup directly into the refrigerator. It may
The recommended preservation methods vary by the vegetable. Many can take too long to cool and can raise the internal temperature of your refrigerator.
be canned or frozen or pickled, such as beets or carrots. Check recommended When making a large batch of soup, plan ahead for the cooling method you plan
guidelines to ensure a safe quality product. Remember, they are all low-acid to use. Begin your plan by having an accurate food thermometer to keep tabs on
vegetables, requiring pressure processing if canned and blanched if frozen. the temperature during the cooling process.
Another option for preserving root vegetables? The age-old method used by our
ancestors for generations: storage in a cool, moist root cellar. To learn more read
Harvesting and Storing Home Garden Vegetables on the University of Minnesota
Extension website: http://z.umn.edu/8m7
When in doubt, throw it
Do not taste or use food from a jar with an unsealed lid or food that shows signs of
spoilage! Look closely at all jars before opening them. A bulging lid or leaking jars
are signs of spoilage. When you open the jar, look for other signs such as spurting
liquid, an off odor or mold.
Veggie Chips & Tasty Dried All food preservation information on this page
Tomatoes was taken from the Home Food Preservation
Gather your favorite root vegetables—carrots, potatoes, beets, sweet potatoes Newsletter put out by the University of
or parsnips, slice thinly, blanch, and dry to make veggie chips, a healthy snack.
Vegetable flakes and powders can be made by crushing dehydrated onions, green Minnesota Extension. For more information or
peppers, spinach and tomatoes. Learn how at http://z.umn.edu/8pz
Enjoy flavorful dried tomatoes, a tasty winter addition to pasta, soup, pizza, and to sign up for the newsletter go to
more. Directions at http://z.umn.edu/8py http://www1.extension.umn.edu/food-safety/
Food Co-op to Open in North Minneapolis in 2013
The newest food cooperative is coming to North Minneapolis in 2013- Wirth Cooperative Grocery. The effort to open a
food co-op on the Northside is a project of the Harrison Neighborhood Association. Wirth Cooperative Grocery’s mission is to
provide healthy, local, and organic food choices and to help build community in the Harrison neighborhood and its surrounding
neighborhoods. Wirth Cooperative Grocery aims to provide foods specific to its neighbor’s needs including non-traditional ethnic
foods while building upon Cooperative principles and values.
The Wirth Cooperative Grocery project is working on completing the business plan and growing membership to support the next
steps towards opening a store in 2013. You can find Wirth Cooperative Grocery at the West Broadway Farmers Market every
Friday from 3:00 to 7:00 pm., on Facebook, and on the web at http://wirthcoop.com/.
Growing Pathways 9
How to Preserve Foods by Drying
by Jim Lovestar
Fall is the time of food bounty--great food, whether from the garden or farmer’s market. How do we
make it last into the winter? As so many of us have difficulty with finding time for the things we value,
food drying is a perfect solution. It is the most convenient, least expensive, and simplest means of
preserving the harvest.
Drying techniques range from low-tech, slicing zucchini or apples, running a thread through them,
and hanging them in the warmest room ala’ Laura Ingalls Wilder. Then there is the high tech, buying an
electric food dryer and laying those sliced fruits or vegetables on the trays. Actually, even that is pretty
low-tech, just considerably more expensive.
The necessary elements of successful food drying are the following: heat, air circulation, and exposing the maximum surface area to the first two factors. That
means using a sharp (I mean sharp) knife to slice your selected food as thin as possible (faster drying) or thicker (chewy texture). Having sliced your food and placed
it on drying racks, hanging on a thread, or some other means of exposing it to heat and circulating air (use your imagination) you then go about your life allowing
nature to take its course. Compared to the investment of time and money for canning and freezing, drying is a winner.
Rather than list all the foods you can successfully dry (your Uncle Google can tell you that and you can experiment, you know a science experiment), I’ll give you
the principles: wet foods (ripe peaches, tomatoes, pineapple) take longer than foods like summer squash or
peppers. Leave adequate room between slices for air to circulate and draw that moisture away. Be aware that
foods raised with pesticides will have the poison concentrated just as the rest of the food is concentrated by the
elimination of moisture. Sweet foods will become sweeter--think raisins compared to grapes. Yes, a raisin is just
a dried grape. You can blanch a food prior to drying if the browning that often occurs is a problem for you. The
color does nothing to change the nutritive value or flavor. Check the food every few days to see if it is dried to your
satisfaction--crispy to chewy, your choice.
Once you have found the food dried as you like, store it like you store seeds, a tightly sealed container in a cool,
dark, dry place. Dried food will last a long time and make a great addition to camping. You know that freeze dried,
incredibly expensive food. See what you can create for yourself, for lots less moola.
Jim Lovestar has been teaching the fine art of food drying for thirty years. Contact Jim: jimlovestar@comcast.
net or 612-588-8984 with questions.
What’s the Story on Squash?
By Michelle Horowitz
Summer squash, winter squash, pumpkin or gourd? Ever wonder what that vining, blossoming
“vegetable” is in your garden? Well, look no further, because the squash demystification happens now.
Even though most people identify squash as a vegetable, much like the tomato and from a botanical
standpoint, they’re actually fruits because they contain the seeds of the plant itself.
Squash are typically thought of as summer or winter (hard) squash. Summer squash are divided into
four groups -- crookneck, zucchini (green and yellow), straightneck, and scallop (pattypan). They have
thin, edible skins and soft seeds, and are high in vitamins A and C, and niacin. The tender flesh has a
sweet, mild flavor, and requires little cooking. Have you ever seen a zucchini the size of a baseball bat?
Don’t be fooled by their awesome size, summer squash actually have the best flavor when they are
picked relatively small (4-6 oz) since the flesh has such a high water content. The big ones are just for
show. Speaking of just for show: gourds aren’t really edible at all, they are purely decorative and most
varieties are not meant for eating.
Winter squash on the other hand are a whole other story. They are split into four species-- curbita
pepo (acorn, spaghetti and others), cucurbita moschata (calabaza and others), cucurbita mixta
(butternut and others), and cucurbita maxima (hubbard, turban, banana and others) with pumpkin varieties in all of them. Despite their name, winter squash are a
warm weather crop, but get their name because they can be stored through the winter. Winter squash have hard, thick skins and seeds, and are high in vitamins A
and C, iron and riboflavin. The flesh is firmer than summer squash and requires longer cooking. When choosing a winter squash look for the ones that are heavy for
their size and have a hard, deep-colored, blemish-free skin. Winter squash can be stored unrefrigerated in a cool, dark
place for a month or more.
The squash blossoms from summer and winter squash are edible, and are available from late spring to early fall in
many markets (or your backyard). Choose blossoms that have closed buds. They will be somewhat limp, but this is
normal. Store them, refrigerated, for no more than one day. They can be eaten raw as garnish, in salads, battered and
fried or stuffed (with cheese...mmm) and baked. The blossoms are an important part of native American cooking, and
are also used in many other parts of the world. The shoots, leaves and tendrils of squash can also be eaten raw in a
salad, or sauteed, steamed or boiled like any other green.
Whatever squash you choose, you can’t go wrong. They are nutritious, delicious and if you’re not careful, can
take over your entire garden. Watch out for squash borer too which can kill the entire plant if you don’t stop it quickly.
Check out this great risotto recipe which is a wonderful fall or winter comfort dish.
Preheat the oven to 425º and lay the squash out on a baking sheet. Drizzle half the
Winter Squash Risotto
oil and half of the salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Spread the squash in an even layer
and roast for about 20 minutes or until golden and tender*.
3 cups squash chopped ¾ inch pieces (butternut or other winter variety)
In a small sauce pan combine the chicken stock, half the thyme and half the sage
½ onion finely chopped
and bring to a simmer.
3 cloves garlic minced
In a large sauce pan or skillet heat the remaining olive oil on low heat. Add the
¼ cup olive oil
chopped onion and garlic and sweat until onion is translucent and soft (about 5 min).
4 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock, or water)
Add the arborio rice and remaining salt/pepper, and increase heat to medium. Saute
2 cups arborio rice
for 2-3 minutes and then add white wine and cook until all is absorbed.
½ cup white wine (optional)
Then add chicken stock in ½ cup increments stirring constantly until all the liquid is
1 tsp salt
absorbed. Continue until all of the stock is gone (about 20 minutes).
¼ tsp pepper
Add the roasted vegetables near the end and the cheese after all the liquid is added
4-6 sage leaves
Taste and add salt or pepper if needed. Mince the remaining thyme and sage and add
8 sprigs of thyme
at the very end.
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
Risotto should be soupy, not stiff or mushy. Add more liquid (water, stock or milk) if
* You could also add the raw squash to the pan with the rice and cook it along with
the risotto for a softer squash texture without the caramelization that comes with roasting it.
Growing Pathways 10
Calender of Events
Sep 17 Occupy Monsanto
Occupy Monsanto, a Global Week of Action dedicated to “empowering citizens of the world to take
action against Monsanto”. More info at: occupy-monsanto.com/genetic-crimes-unit/
Farm2School Community BBQ Sep 21
Farm2School Community BBQ. 4pm-7pm 812 N. Plymouth Ave. The Culinary and Nutrition Services
team is cooking up a delicious meal for all MPS families to celebrate Minnesota Farm to School month!
Join us for a cookout and enjoy some great local food. There will be fun activities for the whole family!
Local dignitaries will join the celebration to fresh food in school meals and connect students with where
their food comes from.
Food + Justice =
It’s time to face hard truths: The U.S. food system has never been fair, just or healthy. This event will
help shift the historical narrative by telling the story through the voices of tribal nations and communities
of color and envision the food system we want to build. This national meeting is a call to action for
activists, urban farmers, food system workers, immigrant rights advocates, and anyone seeking to explore
community-driven solutions to promote food equity through the lens of race, class and gender. McKinley Community CSA Chef-In-The-Box was held
More details at www.iatp.org on Saturday August 25th at their office at 3300 Lyndale
Ave North. Chefs from Tilia demonstrate what they
Open Streets Minneapolis S e p 2 9 would do with that week’s CSA share. Another event is
Harvest Festival being planned. Like them on Facebook to get alerted to
the details. www.facebook.com/mckinleycommunitycsa
11am-6pm--Open Streets/Minneapolis Harvest Festival The festival will be held along Lowry Avenue.
Enjoy good food, urban agriculture, music, art, children’s activities and the fun of biking or walking along Lowry Avenue with family and friends; free of vehicle traffic.
Oct 10 Chat and Chew
Wed, October 10, 6:30pm-8:00pm—Chat and Chew Free and open to the public, these events invite urban farmers and affiliates to join us for food, festivities, and
fun opportunities for discussion and networking. Every 2nd Wednesday throughout the 2012 growing season, PRI invites you to a discussion and informational event
where you can connect, share your urban farming projects, and exchange support on any questions or issues you may be experiencing! This will also be a great way
to network, share seeds, plants, information on local resources, and discover ways that you can further expand your plans and goals in urban farming. More info and
RSVP for free at www.pricoldclimate.org/events/chat-n-chews
Food Day! Oct 24
Many local events will be taking place across the country
Nov 14-18 Sacred Agriculture, Creating a New
Relationship with the Earth
Biodynamic Gardening and Farming Association’s Annual Conference “Sacred Agriculture, Creating A New Relationship With The Earth “will be held in Madison, WI.
Conference website: www.biodynamics.com/conference
Farmers Seeking Land
Bossy Acres is a USDA Certified Organic diversified vegetable farm operation that
will be in its 2nd season for 2013. We run a 50-member CSA program as well as sell
through various channels such as farmers’ markets, co-ops, and small cafes/restaurants.
We are seeking a land rental agreement for 2-3 tillable acres that are either certified
organic or have not been sprayed for a minimum of 3 years.
Optimally, we are interested in serving as an incubator farm on an established
organic vegetable farm with access to greenhouse space, irrigation, plowing/cultivating
equipment, cooler space, etc. This will allow us, as beginning farmers, to establish
further experience and education as we continue to save for our own equipment and
farm. We will consider and welcome all options that are within 40 miles maximum of
Please email us at: bossy-acres@HOTMAIL.COM
Learn more about us at: bossyacres.com
Do you want more fresh foods in North Minneapolis?
Join the Northside Fresh Coalition in making it happen!
Send your announcements to:
Like Us on Facebook facebook.com/northsidefreshmpls
DeVon Nolen 612-267-9221
firstname.lastname@example.org and check for updated events at
Michelle Horovitz 612-655-6791
email@example.com w w w. g r o w i n g p a t h w a y s . c o m !
Growing Pathways 11
News From the West Broadway Farmers Market
The West Broadway Farmers Market, in its second season, continues to grow with the heart of the harvest season approaching. Be sure to stop by to enjoy the
bounty and stock up for winter! This month, the focus is on the market’s exciting programming expansion.
Expanded programming this year is due to a Neighborhood Health Connection grant from Allina Health. The funding has allowed the market to offer cooking
demonstrations, physical activities, and hold a weekly drawing for $25 to be spent at the market for those who walk or bike.
Cooking demonstrations are done by local community chefs using market produce. Patrons are taught how to make a healthy dish, receive a sample, and leave
with a recipe each week.
Physical activities occur at the market each week as well. They are run by local residents with a talent and willingness to teach. Physical activities this season
include hula hooping, qigong, double dutch, four square, stepping, and line dancing. Keep an eye out for more information on our second annual Market to
Mississippi Bicycle Ride and Dine.
The Bike Walk drawing each week is meant to encourage health through green transit options and eating more local produce. It also benefits market vendors by
bringing additional capital into the market. One winner shared that she had just been diagnosed with cancer and had doctor’s orders to eat a lot of fresh produce.
Winning the Bike Walk drawing meant being able to fulfill the doctor’s orders by purchasing an abundance of locally grown produce and several items not grown in
Minnesota (i.e. bananas and peaches) at the market.
This new programming both attracts customers and promotes community wellness. “It
is wonderful to see the impact this grant has had in making the market a place to focus on
health with a holistic lens,” said Alicia Uzarek, West Broadway Farmers Market Manager,
“the Allina money has made a very positive impact at the market and on the Northside
The market is open every Friday, 3-7pm, through October 19. Customers can buy local
produce, honey, bread, spices, and jewelry; Broadway Family Medicine Clinic offers free
health information; and community groups like the Wirth Coop Grocery share project
information each week.
Also new this year is a market distributor offering fruits and vegetable such as avocados,
bananas, melons, berries, peaches and pineapple that aren’t grown in Minnesota.
Did you know… On an average market day, market staff can speak six languages?
Did you know… To date, 64% of WBFM vendors are Northsiders.
Did you know… You can sell produce you grow in your garden at the WBFM free of charge?
Yes, even if you have only a handful of extra tomatoes! Contact Market Manager Alicia
(612.353.5178 or firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
Extending Your Growing/Harvesting Season
by Theresa Rooney aka Gardenchicken
With the cooler weather your fall crops will probably grow very well. You did not plant any fall crops? There is still time to plant lettuces, radishes and spinach.
The seeds sprout a bit faster in the warm soils, and with the cooler days and fall rains the plants grow very well. Of course, you may only get ‘baby’ greens, or micro
greens, but that is still a wonderful treat from the fall garden. You may need to protect some of these from those first frosts. The easiest protection is a light sheet or
light blanket tossed over the plant before the sun sets on those days when frost or near frost is predicted. Your warm season crops like tomatoes, beans, peppers,
pumpkins, squash, eggplant, etc. do not like temperatures under 40-50, so keep them happy by covering them at night. Other plants like cabbages, brussel sprouts,
lettuces, kale, root crops, spinach and other green, leafy crops can handle some light frosts. In fact, your cole crops (cabbage, brussel sprouts) will be sweeter after
a few frosts. You can also build low tunnels over your gardens and these, covered with plastic, will allow you to continue to grow and harvest many crops, even with
light snows. A low tunnel is often about 2-4 feet high with plastic placed over hoops of metal or plastic that hold the plastic above the plants. This allows a tunnel for
growing. Low tunnels used in the fall will extend your harvest; the plants may not grow much, but you can harvest for a longer time. Do not cover your veggies and
flowers with just plastic, the plastic must be held above the plants to be an effective frost guard.
If there is a hard frost predicted, then you can cover your veggies and flowers and add a closed container (like a milk jug) filled with warm water under the blanket.
Also, watering your plants during the day before the frost will plump them up and allow them to withstand the stress of frost a bit better.
Sooner or later though the snow will fly and you may think that all your gardening is done, but that need not be the case. You can still harvest carrots from the
ground and brussels sprouts from the snow drifts. For the carrots, make sure to mulch the carrot bed very well. You are trying to prevent the ground from freezing;
straw is a wonderful mulch to use for this. As long as the ground does not freeze you can continue to dig the carrots after you pull away the snow and straw. The
carrots will be quite sweet. Beets will work well up to a point, but they don’t do well in cool soils and may freeze easily. Parsnips are usually left in the ground all
winter, mulched well and harvested in the spring. Brussel sprouts can be harvested after they are frozen (yep, at Thanksgiving or Halloween!). Harvest the frozen
sprouts and then cook them. If you need to refreeze, pressure can or dehydrate them, do so after they are cooked. Or, just eat them! Delish!
You can also extend the season in the spring by using these methods: create a low tunnel in March and the warmth will melt the snow and warm the soil so you can
plant those cool season crops 4-6 weeks earlier than normal. By using these methods, you can increase your growing time on both ends of the season by a month
But what if you don’t want to put in low tunnels? The frost is predicted and your tomatoes, peppers and eggplants are too big to cover and you don’t have time to
harvest and process all the green and nearly ripe fruit. You can pull the entire plant, hang it in the garage or basement, any area where it will not freeze and deal with
them at your leisure. Many may still ripen on the vine; they may be a bit less sweet, but will still be delicious.
Another option is topping your plants. While this may sound mean, actually you can top your tomatoes, brussel sprouts and even peppers, eggplants, and pole
beans. Cut off the top growing points of the plants on about the third or fourth week of August
(or in early September). This allows the plants to ‘finish’ the current crop and not start new
flowers that will never reach maturity.
It is always your decision when to pack it in for the season. With the first light frosts of
September it is often fun to cover the plants and then continue to enjoy them for the time that
follows as we usually get a few good weeks of growing weather after the frosts. But maybe
you are done for the season and ready to just plant the fall bulbs, the garlic, clean up the
gardens and create your winter container arrangements. That is ok, too.
Do you have any gardening questions or concerns? Please send your questions to Growing
Pathways, Attn GardenChicken and I will do my best to answer.
Be the Change
U r b a n A g To u r 2 0 1 2 by Starr Carpenter
This was the 4th year, (my third) for the Urban Ag bus tour sponsored by the U of Mn Extension, the Minnesota NCR-SARE program and the Minnesota Institute
for Sustainable Agriculture on August 12. Each year I look forward to getting up close with growers I’ve never met as well as catching up with some that I just don’t
see very often during the growing season.
The selected sites for this year’s tour featured the Frogtown neighborhood of St. Paul, highlighting urban farms that bring communities together through
agriculture by teaching and demonstration; growing to donate; and growing as a main source of income.
Stone’s Throw Urban Farm was the first stop. They convert vacant lots in St. Paul and
Minneapolis into beautiful, productive micro-farms and grow food for a CSA, the Mill City Farmers
Market, and various local wholesale accounts. This is the first year of a collaborative effort between
several experienced urban growers. Together they are figuring out what it takes to be profitable in
an urban setting.
Then off to Amir’s Garden,
named for Amir Coleman, a
toddler killed in a devastating
house fire on this lot in 2010,
honors his memory and
serves many children in the
Frogtown area of St. Paul.
It serves as a community
demonstration garden with
support from Frogtown Farms
(see article pg. 7)
Page & Flowers/Holistic Health Farm’s high tunnel was the next
stop. Tim Page and Cherry Flowers shared the story of how the
was built last
fall in our
tank (It is the
from a field
hospital kit that
Tim found at
will be used to
Cornercopia Student Organic Farm at the U of M St. Paul campus was the last
stop. The chicken tractors do a great job of keeping the weeds down on unplanted
fields. We were able to see produce being readied for market as we went inside
for lunch. During lunch, the tour participants shared their connections with urban
There are an amazing number of urban agriculture projects in the Twin Cities that people aren’t aware of.
Please contact us at Growing Pathways if you would like to share your story with our readers.