This blog aims to document the unfolding of the Tiny Diner demonstration gardens and the Farm . The Tiny Diner is a restaurant showcases small-scale, local food and energy production through its permaculture design. The Farm is a double-lot site located a few miles east of the Tiny Diner. It will supply local fruits and vegetables to the Tiny Diner. Both sites will have skill-sharing workshops about growing our soil, preserving our produce, and capturing water and renewable energy.
There are many stewards who help keep the Tiny Diner gardens and Farm full of pollinators, people, and tasty produce. Here are a few core characters to get to know.
As the owner and restaurateur of many successful establishments across the Twin Cities (Barbette, Bread and Pickle, Bryant Lake Bowl, Gigi’s Cafe, Pat’s Tap, and Red Stag Supperclub), Kim Bartmann brings plate loads of experience in delicious food, community organizing, and business development. With the purchase of the Tiny Diner and the Farm in 2012, she has continued her efforts to go beyond green-washing practices in the business world. She is opening up a new kind of restaurant – one that showcases as well as utilizes local food production through whole system, ecological design.
Paula Westmoreland designed the Tiny Diner landscape and Farm with abundant experience. She has a master’s degree from the University of Minnesota in Ecology, Sustainable Agriculture, and Landscape Design. She is the Co-founder and Design Director at the Permaculture Research Institute Cold Climate and the President and Lead Designer of Ecological Gardens. Her design and installation work includes urban and rural homesteads as well as commercial properties and rooftop farms. In addition to design work, she created a plant database for building polycultures and guilds. Recently she co-authored a book of illustrated essays, This Perennial Land: third crops, blue earth and the road to a restorative agriculture, that provides a vision for restoring ecological health to Midwest corn and soybean country. Paula is passionate about creating abundant places to learn, dine, and collaborate at the Tiny Diner and Honey House.
Koby Jeschkeit-Hagen is the Urban Farm Manager and Community Outreach Coordinator for the TinyDiner and Farm. Starting out as an intern at a small, family-owned CSA in Colorado, she continued her farm sabbatical for several years to work at educational, research, biointensive, urban youth, and seed-saving farms across the country, including Emandal Farm, JD Rivers Children’s Garden, Seed Savers Exchange, Seeds of Change, and Ecology Action. With a masters in Community and Regional Planning (Environment and Natural Resources emphasis), a PDC from the Permaculture Drylands Institute, and a permaculture teacher certificate, she draws on many approaches to share diverse farming and community-building methods. If you ever fail to find her at one of the sites, she can be found spending time with her family, teaching about seed saving with Seed Sages, dancing, playing dulcimer, running/biking, and laughing.
TD Farm Lead
Mary, a Longfellow resident, is starting her third year with the Tiny Diner Farm. She is passionate about sharing how the concepts from the Tiny Diner Farm can be integrated into our own lives and in the larger community. Previously, she worked in environmental education and created and taught classes on a wide variety of environmental topics. She has a B.A. in Environmental Studies and Anthropology with a minor in Justice & Peace Studies. She also works with volunteers on habitat restoration projects, volunteers monitoring wetland health and is a Master Recycler/Composter.
TD Farm Lead
Laura grew up in S.E. Minnesota and has lived in Minneapolis on and off since 2007. Dropping out of college at the age of 20 to pursue her childhood dream of becoming a farmer, she went on to spend two years working on farms in Oregon, New Mexico, and Vermont. All farms were rural, small-scale CSA’s using a variety of techniques including no-till, permaculture, and bio-intensive planting. After re-rooting in south Minneapolis she went on to graduate with a B.S. in Horticulture and Social Justice. She taught summer school for two summers at Gordon Parks High School in St. Paul–focusing on how the history of colonization and oppression influences, has changed, and continues to be a daily reality within food, land, and environmental justice struggles. As an assistant at the Tiny Diner Farm she is passionate about learning the stories of the land and people at and around each site. She likes snail mail, using her hands, and soil horizons.
TD Farm Mushroom Assistant
Martin started playing around in gardens when he was much younger at his childhood home near Madison, Wi. Through the years he kept an interest in science and nature and went on to earn his undergraduate degree in Environmental Sciences in late 2013. For the past four years he has worked on student farms, medicine gardens, aquaponic facilities and more. The diverse blend of sciences, ecology, engineering, economics that farming requires on a daily basis is what draws him to work in this field of work. Hoping to keep momentum going, Martin and the Tiny Diner farm team are designing and installing a mushroom growing area inside our farm space to provide fresh fungi to the restaurants. This season is shaping up to be very exciting for him and the rest of the farm crew and they are looking forward to what it has in store.
TD Farm Assistant
Caleb grew up gardening, hunting, fishing, foraging, and frolicking in the wild lands near St.Cloud, MN. He attended Lawrence University in Appleton, WI, where he graduated with a B.A. in Philosophy in 2013. While living in Appleton he spent two years working as a volunteer service leader at Riverview Gardens, a community farm and park space,where he first learned and practiced permaculture. He is excited to deepen his knowledge and practice of permaculture in the Twin Cities and to cultivate home-grown foodways at the Tiny Diner & Farm. When not at the farm, Caleb can be found leading a team of youth in gardening and community engagement projects, at the pool-where he both coaches and trains-or biking, cooking, reading, or running off into the wild blue yonder.
Tiny Diner @ Garden Farme Manager
Taya Schulte is the farm manager for the Tiny Diner at Garden Farme, in Ramsey, MN. She instantly got hooked on farming when a good friend brought her to visit a local CSA farmer in North Dakota 8 years ago. Since then her farming career has brought her to farms big and small, from the plains of the Red River Valley to 10,000 feet alititude of the Rocky Mountains in southwest Colorado. Though she is totally happy cultivating rural america, she has recently learned to love urban agriculture just the same. Taya identifies well with Arugula. She’s unique in flavor and grows steadily in almost any condition. At any given moment she would drop what she was doing to cuddle a baby goat. There’s always lots of work to do on the farm, so if any city folks ever need some extra sunshine and fresh air, feel free to lend a hand and see whats growing at Garden Farme!
Tiny Diner @ Garden Farme Assistant
Tony loves the natural earth purely and true. This love of nature fuels his hands and heart to tend the growing gardens at Tiny Diner farm. Tony’s ‘farmers heart’ sprouted about a decade ago… though he is certain that certain elders planted seeds in him as a youth. Tony has plotted ground at Emily Peake and Augsburg Community Garden’s in seasons past as well as developed homebase plot’s and gardens where he has lived and for friends/family. Tony led as the garden coordinator at Ox Lake Camp in WI where he worked with staff and youth to learn and grow food. Tony enjoyed being a harvest-crew member at Gardens of Eagan where he enjoyed harvesting in big fields and using conveyer belts and harvest bags and eating yellow watermelons. Tony especially enjoys root vegetables… beets, garlic, and onion… and honey. Tony is deep-rooted in Minneapolis and grew up in the West Bank/Cedar Riverside neighborhood. Aside from gardening and farming… Tony enjoys peace, landscaping, distance running, reading/writing, dreaming, cooking/baking, and creating. It is truly Tony’s dream job to be a farmer and henceforth he is grateful for the opportunity to labor and learn as such in the Tiny Diner farm fields. Tony hopes to plant his “own” ground some spring.
TDF Permaculture Research Institute Cold Climate Apprentice
Nick is a recent transplant to Richfield from the Corcoran neighborhood in south Minneapolis. He operates his own small commercial and residential painting business. He identifies as the spice pepper, not the main ingredient but at some level in just about everything.
TDF Permaculture Research Institute Cold Climate Apprentice
Laura lives in St. Anthony Park (St. Paul) and is currently a Grad Student in Agricultural Education, and is interested in community education about food. Loves include: reading, singing, walking, family, friends, God.
Tiny Diner Farmers Market Manager
Rina is a life-long farmers market shopper, a Powderhorn resident and gardener with experience working on sustainable produce farms, and sometimes a farmer’s market musician. She has worked in neighborhood-based organizing and event-planning.
TDF Intern and TD Restaurant Assistant
2013 & 2014 Farm Crew Members
Nick steps into this start-up season with a wide breadth of farming experience. He interned at Common Harvest Farm, a CSA farm in Osceola, WI, and at Cornercopia Student Organic Farm at the University of Minnesota. At these farms he became familiar with whole-farm sustainability using organic growing methods and modernized traditional practices such as using hand tools, draft horses, use of solar energy to minimize fossil fuel use, National Organic Program standards and more. He believes that at the core of a strong and equitable food system is a community of people who are directly involved or invested in the production of the food they consume; the Tiny Diner and Farm create a space for such a community to develop. In his free time he enjoys biking, hiking, backpacking, camping, beaches, parks, trees, plants, looking, listening, sun, snow, movies, and food.
Farmers’ Market Assistant
Emi is very excited to work with the communities surrounding the Tiny Diner and the Farm with hopes of bringing nature back into urban spaces! Over the last ten years, she has interned and volunteered at a couple different CSAs in the area. Through the Willing Workers on Organic Farms program she has worked on farms in Japan, Sweden, Ireland, and India. She loves seeing different cultural farming practices. When she is not at the Tiny Diner Farm, she is traveling, trying out new recipes, learning about alternative medicine, working on crafty projects, or playing with her new Shepherd rescue puppy . Whenever she gets the chance, she is gradually trying to transform her quarter acre lawn into a beautiful haven of edible goods!
Kara is always amazed by the power of seeds + love. She has been gardening and farming for 7+ years and gets more excited every year with new knowledge from the prior season under her belt. She currently obtaining a Masters of Public Health in the Community Health Promotion program at the University of Minnesota, with the goal of making local, affordable, sustainable growing practices the foundation for the food sources in our communities. She loves the mission of the Tiny Diner Farm and the people she works with and learn from. For fun she can be found knitting, sewing, biking, baking, camping, fishing, thrifting and reading. “Happy growing!”
PRI Cold Climate Apprentice 2014
As an educator, designer, artist, farmer, musician, nomad, photographer, entrepreneur, yogi, sailor, foodie, activist, explorer, firefighter, chocolatier, and fermentation scientist, to name a few. Cody wears many hats and is always in pursuit of more. He is a curious being; one who values learning, sharing, and connecting with others above all else. Cody is inspired by passionate individuals who live their lives with purpose and intention. Aside from his apprenticeship with Tiny Diner, Cody is currently leading youth in conservation work and environmental activism around the Twin Cities. In his free time, he is an energetic DIY’er and also helps organize skillshares with friends in his community. Cody studied Graphic Design & Sustainability at the U of M – College of Design, Class of 2012.