Homegrown Minneapolis Open House
This past Wednesday (December 5th), the Minnesota Homegrown Council hosted an open-house as an effort to open the public up to the recent developments in Minneapolis city ordinances. These new developments were big news for urban farmers, as they opened the doors to things such as chickens, bees, and expanded produce sales. Various programs and organizations set up booths around the Phillips Neighborhood Community Center, many of which took advantage of the new city ordinances.
One organization that I found really interesting was YEA Corps. This organization went into schools and taught students how to build aquaponic systems. The students were then able to keep the systems in their classroom and observe the processes of the fish fertilizing the plants, the growth of algae, and the fish then eating the algae.
For no reason in particular, I've always wanted to keep bees. It's been a crusade of mine to convince my parents to install a hive on their property. With that being said, it's no surprise that I took interest in Beez Kneez. This organization delivers bee hives by bike to willing locations, and focuses on installing the colonies at schools, in parks, and other public places. They also offer beekeeping classes for people interested in keeping bees.
I was really surprised and excited by the turnout of people at the open house -- it was definitely more than I had anticipated, and it's a great testament that the community finds food access to be an important issue. There's certainly a lot of progress to be made, but the diversity of efforts and organizations out there is extremely hopeful. I was also excited to see R.T. Rybak, who, along with his wife, opened the presentation portion of the night. The fact that the Minneapolis food movement has so much support, not only from the community, but also from its leaders, is huge, and I think that will ultimately make the difference in the success of the movement.