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Minneapolis Mayor Rybak signs Urban Ag ordinance, expanding community gardening

Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak

Community gardeners were out in force Monday to greet Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak at signing ceremonies for the city’s new Urban Agriculture ordinance.

“Minneapolis is once again ahead of lots of other cities,” the mayor told those gathered at Dowling Community Gardens, adding that the expansion of city gardening is “close to my heart.”

 The new ordinance expands gardening options in Minneapolis to include market gardens, where fresh produce could be sold for 15 days each summer, and the use of rooftops and vacant lots for growing space.

In 1943, the land adjacent to Dowling School became a Victory Garden as part of a national effort to encourage the creation of vegetable gardens during World War II.

Gardening continued on the land after the war but consisted of large plots, each about the size of a city block, with few gardeners. Today there are many small plots and many gardeners.

The new ordinance also expands the options for city gardeners to include farm-stand sales at market and community gardens, the construction of hoop houses to lengthen the growing season and the establishment of urban farms.

Two Cities blog, which covers Minneapolis and St. Paul City Halls, is made possible in part by grants from The Saint Paul Foundation and the Carolyn Foundation.

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Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by Ted Hallett on 04/03/2012 - 06:52 pm.

    It Is A Start But You Have A Long Ways To Go!

    15 days per year for sales is hardly practical with a professional market garden. This is more like a hobby gardener. Why was agriculture zoned out in the first place? In many towns and cities across the country agriculture has preference and can be practiced in any zone. Why is the most important stone to a foundation for a thriving civilization and economy is the last stone to be given attention? The research, structure and experience are already available for success, yet governments look around as if they need to start from scratch at reinventing the wheel. Quality and consistent food production are critical to a thriving society not oil. It cost me 600k to setup every acre on this system and I have my cost back plus a healthy premium at the end of the first year. We produce over 260 tons per acre with our system. It employs people, it feeds people and it eliminates the need for high long term capital investment. Google the poster. The need and the demand are there and can be fulfilled with the redirection of focus. The focus must be on a grass root agricultural base first and build from there. You leave out the grass root base and you malnourish and starve the people.

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