container garden

Valley Natural Foods Connects With the Community Through Gardening

Gary Johnson, Community Relations Developer at Valley Natural Foods in Apple Valley, is a busy man with big goals."We're trying to get the community to be smarter about their environment," he tells me, "we want people to have a positive experience with gardening, to have some success, and to have a non-retail experience with our co-op."

We're looking at a grassy area just off of busy County Road 11, approximately 64 by 40 feet. Gary tells me that there's space for 22 keyhole gardens and 34 field crop areas here, and that many of the garden spaces, which will be ready for planting in mid-late May, have already been claimed. I'm amazed and impressed by what Gary and the Valley Natural team are pulling off in this relatively small area. Gary hands me a colorful brochure and refers me to the Co-op Community Garden Vision printed on it:

People will drive by:

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Cabbage Patch Garden Launches a Vegetable Revolution

Dick Larsen is not the guy you'd expect to be at the helm of a revolution. He's soft-spoken and slightly built. With his thick, retro, architect glasses and pink rock-a-billy shirt with two roosters over the left pocket, it wouldn't be surprising to see a pack of cigarettes rolled up in his sleeve, but there are none. A carpenter by trade and, now, the sole proprietor of The Vegetable Revolution, Larsen is a self-taught man. His workshop, located in Northeast Minneapolis, is bathed in sun pouring in from the windows that run the length of the space, crowded with heavy duty carpentry machines. The air is light with the smell of freshly cut cedar, which he fashions into cold frames, the starting point of his brainchild, The Cabbage Patch Garden.

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