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Change Comes from the Ground Up

As the staff and member-leaders of the Land Stewardship Project conduct our organization’s work for stewardship and justice on the land, the central concept that keeps arising is “change comes from the ground up.” Whether the subject is farming practices, public policy or community vitality, thinking about positive change in this way is enormously helpful…  Read More

The Joy of Making Positive Change

“Be joyful though you have considered all the facts.” — Wendell Berry The line above from Wendell Berry’s poem, “Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front,” has stuck with me since I heard it many years ago. For me, its staying power comes from Berry’s ability to both reassure and challenge us in a single simple…  Read More

Building Connections Over Food Justice

My name is Maria Russo and I am a senior at the University of Minnesota majoring in political science. This semester I was a part of HECUA’s Environmental Sustainability: Science, Public Policy and Community Action program. HECUA stands for Higher Education Consortium of Urban Affairs and is an off-campus study program. The program I’m in…  Read More

Our Voices Matter: Minneapolis Park Board Adds Racial Equity to Urban Ag Plan

On May 21, Neighborhoods Organizing for Change member and Food Justice Leader Selam Yosief joined dozens of others in demanding racial equity in the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board’s (MPRB) Urban Agriculture Activity Plan. “I ask you Park Board to take action tonight and add racial equity into the plan,” said Yosief. Later, she reflected…  Read More

The Roots in Wild Places

Having just come from working several seasons as an outdoor educator, I have had ample time to appreciate our wild places. In my previous position as an instructor leading canoe and dogsled trips in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, I was able to explore the interactions between humans and nature and marvel in the…  Read More

Urban Ag + Housing Development = A Rose in the City

Despite the unrelenting rain, more than 100 people congregated on the corner of Franklin and Portland Avenue in Minneapolis last Tuesday to celebrate the launch of the South Quarter IV development project, which included a heartfelt speech from Mayor RT Rybak. The ceremony was hosted by Aeon, affordable housing developers and long-time partners in Hope…  Read More

America’s Newest Disease

Last month, the American Medical Association (AMA), the largest association of physicians in the United States, officially recognized obesity as a disease. Previously, obesity was only recognized as a “condition,” defined as a range of weight that may have an adverse effect on health, reduce life expectancy and increase the likelihood of certain chronic diseases,…  Read More

Raising Vegetables, Raising Kids

Hope Community, a development organization in the Phillips neighborhood of South Minneapolis, owns a community garden in the center of what they call the “Hope Block.” Hope owns 176 units of affordable housing, almost all of which are on one block of the corner of Portland Avenue and Franklin Avenue. In the center of this…  Read More

From Empty Lot to Full Blown Garden

Gardeners at Hope Community in the Phillips Community of South Minneapolis have been working hard this week to prepare soil and create a design for the urban agriculture space that has come to be known as the “2012 Garden,” in honor of its address at 2012 Oakland Avenue. The 2012 Garden has gone through many…  Read More

Cooking Up Some Hope in the Phillips Community

On April 13, Hope Community intern Taya Shultz lead a cooking class at Hope’s community kitchen. “The topic was breakfast. We made almond milk, vegetable breakfast smoothies and buckwheat muesli pancakes,” Taya told me. Hope Community is a place-based community development organization that is entrenched in the Phillips Neighborhood, one of the most economically challenged…  Read More