R. Roots Garden
R. Roots Garden - a Minnesota Non-Profit - serving underserved communities of Minneapolis
We grow fresh produce on 4 privately owned lots, all located in North Minneapolis' Folwell, Jordan and Willard-Hay neighborhoods. We grow our vegetables using a permaculture growing method, imitating natural ecosystems. Copying nature, we work with nature instead of chemicals to grow organic foods that are clean, fresh and for everyone in the community. We do not copy what other institutional farms are feeding us. So far we grow THE BEST tasting collard greens, kale, zucchini, tomatoes and cucumbers!
R. Roots Garden began its operations at the start of the 2019 growing season as Guardin Roots, inspired by Mohamed Ojarigi's play. Queen was given the opportunity to start an urban farm in the neighborhood that she grew up in that needed a change in the food landscape and better opportunities for the youth and its residents of the underserved community of North Minneapolis. Partnering with Appetite for Change, R. Roots Garden was tilled, seeded and reaped a tremendous harvest that first year. Awaking the neighbors nearby to something truly positive taken place on a lot that stayed vacant for 15 years. The first year was met with challenges like the lack of financial resources, access to water, land ownership (displacement), culturally related seeds to purchase, lack of access to distribution chains to the very few local grocery stores, generational trauma with sharecropping and other food related stories, public safety and the overwhelming presence of fast food in an urban city that is held captive to a food desert. However, all Queen wanted to do was to revive her community through a conscious stream and she dedicated herself to growing food and teaching others how to grow food and feed themselves. Throughout our seasons we have created wonderful memories for a lot of people and built meaningful intergenerational relationships that will last beyond our lifetime. Our produce has been sold at the Broadway Farmer's Market, Mississippi Mushroom Farmer's Market, North Camden Farmer's Market and Storehouse grocer which provided us a small budget to keep our operations going to see another season.
We have had the opportunity to share our story and vision for urban agriculture and we've participated in conversations about the historical policies and practices that prevent Black farmers of America the right to an equitable future in agriculture at the Food Justice Summit in Duluth, MN (2019), at the National Young Farmers Convergence in Bolder, CO (2019) and with the Equity or Else Campaign with the Journey for Justice Alliance November 2021.
Our goals this next season is to continue the work that we have started. Intentionally, building a curriculum for youth in agriculture, providing seasonal jobs, seeking out veterans to become garden mentors and create a larger distribution chain to provide locally grown fresh produce to the city of North Minneapolis and other underserved communities. In addition to the healing opportunities that can be practiced at the garden.
This is our story. We invite you to #Grow with us.
R. Redemption, R. Reclamation, R. Restoration, R. Roots!!