2013 Urban Agriculture Expo @ The Sabathani Community Center

While the seeds are sprouting in the greenhouse and the ground is thawing, there is plenty of community collaboration and resource planning to do! Over the past few weeks, I have become acquainted with some of the neighborhoods in which the Tiny Diner and Honey House Farm reside. The Tiny Diner borders four major neighborhoods – Powderhorn Park, Bancroft, Bryant, and Central. The Honey House Farm is part of the Longfellow area, which is organized by the Longfellow Community Council. Within these neighborhoods alone, I have attended workshops, meetings and events about local food and urban agriculture. There are many innovative and cooperative community-building efforts in these areas.

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Many different languages are spoken at the Sabathani Community Center. Can you identify the ones on this sign?

One event was the 2013 Urban Agriculture Expo at the Sabathani Community Center (if you have not gone to an event at Sabathani, I suggest you do. It is a hub for many diverse classes and communities in the Twin Cities). The Expo was sponsored by the NCR Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) and the University of Minnesota Extension in Hennepin County, this free (donations accepted) event included workshops on agricultural business planning, sustainable growing methods, local food policies, and community engagement. Each workshop looked quite full, 20-60 people in each.

Dan Halsey of Southwoods Permaculture Designs. He is showcasing Ollas,  a porous clay pot that has been used for centuries to water root zones effectively and reduce water evapotranspiration. Reducing our water use!

Dan Halsey of Southwoods Permaculture Designs. He is showcasing Ollas, a porous clay pot that has been used for centuries to water root zones effectively and reduce water evapotranspiration. Reducing our water use!

In addition to workshops, there were vendor booths  about farming techniques, local farms and CSAs, and other local food initiatives in the Twin Cities. I visited each booth to meet and greet, discuss their projects, and to tell them about the up-and-coming Tiny Diner restaurant and Farm just east of Sabathani. The vendors included Stone’s Throw and Growing Lots urban farms, Homegrown Minneapolis, Wirth Cooperative Grocery Store, Gardens of Eagan, The Women’s Environmental Institute, Permaculture Research Institute – Cold Climate, Southwoods Permaculture Design, and many other vendors. Maybe next year, the Tiny Diner and Honey House Farm can add a booth to this rich urban farming event.

Candy, the advocate for a local grocery store in north Minneapolis, proudly displays Wirth Cooperative Grocery.

Candy, the advocate for a local grocery store in north Minneapolis, proudly displays Wirth Cooperative Grocery.

Another event I attended was the Hack Factory’s Minne Faire. This event showcased electronic, wood, and metal makers’ inventions and art

Kristy with Beez Kneez. The peddle-powered honey extractor that she designed with Carl of The Hack Factory is on the right.

Kristy with Beez Kneez. The peddle-powered honey extractor that she designed with Carl of The Hack Factory is on the right.

pieces. As an interactive event, there was a mobile sauna, a woman carving a violin, a peddle-powered honey extractor (Beez Kneez Delivery), a catapult in the street, a pedi-truck, and other intricate and innovative inventions I couldn’t begin to describe. With food and indoor/outdoor exhibits, this is a good place to peruse and find builders and designers who can build the idea you’ve had stuck in your head.

My next stop: checking in on the land. – Koby JH

Hack Factory invention: A pedi-truck by Carl and Nicholas. Intended to haul large, heavy deliveries of produce, honey, meats, etc.

A Hack Factory creation: A pedi-truck by Carl and Nicholas. Intended to haul large, heavy deliveries of produce, honey, meats, etc.

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