The Kingfield Community Garden Group is a project of the nonprofit Kingfield Neighborhood Association whose mission is to create a network of gardens and access to fresh food throughout the neighborhood in south Minneapolis. “Community gardens work because people take mutual ownership of a space and are brought together because of it,” says Sarah Linnes-Robinson, Kingfield Neighborhood Association executive director.
The Kingfield Pleasant Garden has traditional rented beds, including a food shelf plot and a common garden area, which receives plants and seeds through the MSHS program, Minnesota Green.
“Minnesota Green has been amazing,” says Sarah. “Plants we received years ago have really become established, and we’re able to expand that space because the donors are so generous.” The land is rented from a performing arts center where classes in everything from karate to belly dancing are held, so “you never know what you’re going to see and hear,” says Suzie Lillyblad, the garden’s coordinator. In partnership with master gardeners and MSHS, beginning gardening classes have been held the past several years in the garden.
The Mosaic Garden at Martin Luther King Park is used as an educational site for youth; the focus is on growing multi-cultural foods, some of which are grown in MSHS Garden-in-a-Box kits. The group’s newest garden is a boulevard demonstration garden on 37th Street. “People say they can’t garden because they don’t have enough space—we want to show them all they can do even in a small boulevard,” says Sarah.
These gardeners definitely have their hands full. As Suzie says of the group’s efforts in the community: “If we all just do a little bit together, we can get it all done.”