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A communal garden by a coalition of neighborhood groups in the works for the diverse Phillips area

The 24th Street Urban Farm Coalition in Minneapolis’s Phillips neighborhood will have its first official workday in its “communal” garden on May 19.

Phillips resident Sammie Ardito Rivera, who is the outreach and education coordinator at Dream of Wild Health, a 10-acre native farm in Hugo, belongs to the volunteer-driven coalition.   

The coalition is a joint effort of a number of community organizations including the following: Ventura Village Neighborhood Association, Indigenous Peoples Taskforce, Women’s Environmental Institute, Waite House, Indian Health Board, and Native American Community Clinic, along with Dream of Wild Health.  

It’s an opportunity for these organizations to do a demonstration farm that will help community members, especially American Indians, learn how to grow food, she says. That education is needed in the native community, which has high rates of heart disease and diabetes, Rivera adds.   

People will work in the “communal” garden collectively. “It’s not a community garden in the plot sense,” she says. “It’s more of a teaching opportunity for people who aren’t ready to grow their own food but want access.”

Nearby, a couple of other "communal" gardens are also in the works (see The Line's story here).

Planning for the 24th Street garden began last year, involving some minimal plantings last growing season. “This summer we hope to expand and have a more solid presence there,” she says.

The undeveloped piece of land, which the Indian Health Board owns, will be farmed temporarily. The Indian organization may have plans for the lot further down the line, she explains.

At the same time, the gardeners are also hoping to expand the farm in the future into a nearby lot that the city owns.

Right now, the farm is still fleshing out the details, she says, adding that for now, it’s on the lookout for rain barrels.

Source: Sammie Ardito Rivera, member of the 24th Street Urban Farm Coalition
Writer: Anna Pratt
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