Twin Cities residents looking for information on urban food growing, zoning changes, permits, community kitchens and other food topics now have a one-stop
, thanks to the City of St. Paul.
The Healthy and Local Food site is intended to aid the growing number of community organizations and individuals who are working on local food issues like food security and backyard farming.
"One of the things we kept hearing from the community was that they'd like to have a central source of information about local food issues," says Anne Hunt, the city's Environmental Policy Director. "We developed this to help people navigate all the information that's available, especially since there's such a growing interest."
Through the site, visitors can find out about permits for having chickens in their yard, for example, or the rules regarding compost on an urban property. The site also offers guidance on finding resources like gardener networks and food share programs.
St. Paul supports numerous initiatives designed to increase the production and distribution of sustainable, locally grown food. Recently, the city broke ground on the development of a huge greenhouse on Rice St. where fruits and vegetables will be grown for Twin Cities grocery stores.
The Healthy and Local Food site lists a few of these projects, including micro-farm collective Stone's Throw Urban Farm
and a master plan for turning Lowertown into a massive urban farm.
"We're trying to make things really clear and straightforward for people," Hunt says. "Hopefully, this will accommodate even more access to urban agriculture."
Source: Anne Hunt, City of St. Paul
Writer: Elizabeth Millard