What's an Educational Urban Farm? 

An Educational Urban Farm can take many shapes.

 

Central themes often include:

  • merging indoor and outdoor learning experiences,

  • building connection to food sources, 

  • learning by doing, 

  • building community and economic development.

Do you have more ideas and want your voice heard?

Do you have a special skill set that could be put to use to get this project going?

JOIN the Urban Farm planning team and make it happen!

 

SignUp here to help build the farm!

Some notable examples of urban farms that exist around the world

  • Edible Schoolyard Project in California is a garden, kitchen, and cafeteria at King Middle School, serving as a demonstration site and innovation hub for the edible education curriculum and pedagogy.

  • Great Kids Farm in Baltimore City is a living, working farm that educates students of all ages about healthy eating, sustainable agriculture and the natural sciences.

  • The Farm on Ogden in Chicago, Illinois is an incredible project that sustains a healthy urban community by bringing food, health and jobs together in one location. They work have a 7,300 square foot greenhouse and a 50,000-gallon aquaponics system that produces not only fresh vegetables but fresh tilapia all year. 

  • The Urban Green Blue grid is a resource that help make cities sustainable, resilient and climate-proof. Their goal is to bring the different key players together along with examples of projects so that more sustainable projects can be created.

UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY

Sam's Club

BACK ON MARKET

Imagine an SLP Community Center focused on Food Security and Living-Wage Jobs/Training through year-round food production, processing and distribution.

 

UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY NOW with Sam’s Club back on market.

  • $12.5m for 13 acres available IMMEDIATELY to provide an Equitable Community Center with food provision for ALL SLP:

    • City of SLP has dedicated $23m for Trails

    • City of SLP has spent $23m for Westwood Nature Center

    • City of SLP has spent $8m for ROC

    • Will the city consider INVESTING $12.5m to end hunger and raise economic justice in SLP?

      • GIVE THE COMMUNITY FOOD PROJECT 5yrs to prove viability or sell it !

 

  • An Equitable Community Center for Food and Environmental Justice will provide:

    • IMMEDIATE Food Justice and Security for SLP; 

    • IMMEDIATE FREE Job Training and Placement in ESSENTIAL WORKERS trade of food provisions; 

    • IMMEDIATE MEALS PROVIDED for ALL Out-Of-School days (185 days/year PRE-Covid numbers)

 

  • City of SLP could SPLIT purchase price with:

 

    • Met Council Parks & Open Spaces (Three Rivers Park System charged with finding open space in first ring suburbs to build equitable attendance from POC’s and elders to the parks)

 

    • Public & Corporate Support and Employee Memberships (like Costco or Wedge Co-Op)

      • Allows eventual future Owner-Cooperative buy-backs for raising economic justice in SLP 

 

    • PARTNERSHIPS IN DISCUSSION:

      • Mn Dept of Education (MAELC & FHAN)

      • Hennepin Tech Greenhouse and Urban Farm Department 

        • Satellite & Adult Education supervisory entity

      • MN DEEDS

      • MN Hort Society

      • ISD #283 Nutrition 

      • Park Nicollet Food Security Team

 

  • 150,000 sq ft ready now for vertical growing, processing 

    • Kitchen & Lockers & Freezers & Purchasing & Serving from previous use set up

    • Utilize NOW for food growing, processing, storing, distributing

    • Create pay-what-you-can CSA’s

    • Deliver fresh food weekly for Th-Sun consumption in between district meals M-W

    • Assembly and Distribution of at least 400 home gardens with plants, seeds and soil

    • The ability to freeze, cook, store and deliver foods and consumption supplies for both district and GROW SLP, STEP and others in need

    • Begin training interns and apprentices within the guidelines of our Food Safety Plan

 

  • 7 acres parking lot

    • Brownfield CONVERT TO GREENFIELDS through clean-up and educational grants to train future generation in new industries of clean-up

    • Utilize now for farmers market, CSA pickups, gardens distribution, free produce distributions

    • Eventually plant orchards and Urban Farm

    • Eventually open to public (next to LTR)

 

  • FUTURE POTENTIALS:

    • Entrepreneurial Training & Incubators; 

    • Industry Certifications; 

    • Childcare on-site & daily transportation

    • STEAM Charter School daytime

    • ADULT ED/Cert evenings and weekends

 

  • WIDE-OPEN REVENUE GENERATION will allow for purchase back from city by Community Members

    • Public Tours, Classes, Conferences

    • CSA’s of hyper-local food

    • Farmers Restaurant: only grown here!

    • Beehives: Flower Sales, Honey, Mead

    • Chickens: Eggs

    • Hallal and Kosher Butcher (Goats?)

 

Our city invests in what it believes will better the lives of residents, students and workers. This community center will benefit them and beyond!

SWLTR Louisiana Station and Bike Trail

ONE Sams Club IDEA...

What's yours?

MORE INFORMATION

HOW WOULD THIS URBAN EDUCATION FARM BE FUNDED?

As part of this study, our partners will be developing self-sustaining funding options for the educational farm. The farm itself will not have any negative economic impact on the city, school district or community. Ideas to-date for self-sustaining revenues include:

  • education (on a sliding scale basis) including certification programs, 

  • year-round growing and selling fresh produce to school district(s), local restaurants, Farmer's Market & CSA, Summer (out of school) Food service, etc..

  • Memberships (at various levels)

  • Rentals, Catering, and "Destination Attraction" fees.

WHAT WILL SLP'S URBAN EDUCATIONAL FARM BE LIKE?

The purpose of the community engagement phase is to involve students, community groups, parents and faculty/staff in contributing their perspectives about what's best for SLP. No matter the outcome, education will be the core purpose to the end goals of eliminating hunger and improving nutrition in SLP and beyond.

WHERE WILL IT BE LOCATED?

We are excited to conduct a site selection process based on the outcomes of the input phase. We look forward to working with our neighbors, curriculum and learning experts, landscape architects, soil professionals, agricultural educators, surveyors, planners, and other experts to help in this process. Numerous factors such as soil contamination and size of parcel in an urban setting will affect the final decision.

WHEN WILL WE FIND OUT MORE?

The community-led engagement phase started in April of 2015. Since then, over 900 names have been submitted to City Council and the District School Board. In cross sector partnership we seek a Community Food Project grant from the USDA, the SLP Food Security Task Force will recommend a site and model for the educational farm. We look forward to sharing more as the process moves forward! 

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