Monday, November 07, 2011

Garden Food for Food Shelves = Training for Urban Farmers

I ain't got no shame when it comes to the awesome work that Dina & I have been doing as Harvest Moon Backyard Farmers. We're pioneering innovative new services for Twin Citians, yo! The people want food growing in their yards & we are bringing it to them!

Not only that, we've been making sure that folks who can't always afford fresh, organic food or garden coaches can have these things too. (In fact, we've got a funding campaign going on now through December 2. More on that below....)

The Ali family helping me plan beans for them
By partnering with Habitat for Humanity, we've been given the awesome opportunity to work with their homeowners on learning garden skills and growing their own vegetables in their own yards. My favorite family this year was the Ali family. They are immigrants from Somalia overflowing with enthusiasm for their new garden projects. Mahdi (the dad) is so stoked on his gardens that he's got plans to turn the whole yard over to food production - veggies, fruit trees, the works. Warms the heart!

We've also been providing produce to various local food shelves and hot meal programs. This summer we teamed up with two urban farming students from the Permaculture Research Institute Cold Climate to grow about 200 lbs of healthy produce for the Division of Indian Labor's food shelf & The Aliveness Project's hot meal program, which serves folks diagnosed with HIV & AIDS.

Urban farmer grad, Anna, with her garden
And we want to do it all again! So help us out! Back us on Kickstarter. "What is Kickstarter?", you ask. Why it's an easy-to-use & fun website through which creative projects can get funded. When you back us on Kickstarter, you can sign up to receive one of our super cool rewards including garden coaching services, a veggie garden kit, pretty garden photo notecards & more.

So get on over to our Kickstarter page, make a pledge ($1? $100? $1000? More??!) & get a reward. Keep in mind that we only get funded if we reach (or exceed! :) our funding goal so be generous, pass it on & enjoy the updates. Thanks for helping Dina & I do the work that we love!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Making a long commute for the greater good...

Taking bicycle commuting to a whole other level, starting the beginning of September, Cindy Gilbert, my coordinator at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) Sustainable Design Program's, will ride 1000+ miles across the U.S. from her home in Montana to her office in Minnesota.

Normally a telecommuter for this online program, Cindy sees her journey as a stellar opportunity to raise awareness about current issues in sustainability, to create a platform to discuss the power of making personal commitments that lead to a sustainable life, and to raise money for need-based scholarships for students devoted to solving sustainability challenges that face humanity today.

For more information, or to follow Cindy's journey, visit:

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

"I used to have a lawn but now I have...."

A message from my colleague who works with the new Lawn Reform Coalition about a fun little contest:

I'm a member of the new Lawn Reform Coalition, and today we are launching a national campaign to provide information on regionally appropriate lawn species, eco-friendly lawn care, and ways to reduce and replace lawn. (Here is our official press release :

To celebrate our launch, one of our members is offering a contest, with copies of The American Meadow Garden as prizes, for those who finish the sentence, "I used to have a lawn, but now I have..." at this link: (deadline Sept 30).

Friday, January 09, 2009

so excited about Backyard Harvest!

Wow!! I am amazed, heart-warmed & energized by the great turnout at last night's first public event for the new Backyard Harvest program, for which I serve as Program Coordinator. Over 100 people showed up, packed in & gave us great feedback & encouragement. Much gratitude to everyone who showed up & to my marvelous colleagues!

In a nutshell, Backyard Harvest is an urban farming program in the Twin Cities & is a program of the Permaculture Research Institute - Cold Climate. 2009 is our launch year & we're anticipating great success (or at least a fun season). To learn more about this exciting program, go here where you'll find a description, brochure, updates on events & more. I'm very proud to be working on this project in the service of our communities, urban farmers, urban food production & permaculture.

Anyone who wants to have a good time & show some love for my new project should show up at Merlins Rest Pub in Minneapolis on February 9th at 6:30pm. More info on the website.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Introduction to Permaculture Workshop - November 8

The Permaculture Research Institute, Cold Climate presents:
An Introduction to Permaculture


Workshop - Saturday November 8, 2008, 9:00 AM


Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD), 2501 Stevens Ave, 240 College Center, Minneapolis, MN 55404 - MCAD Parking in 3rd Ave Ramp or on Stevens Ave.


Instructors include Bruce Blair, CPD; Daniel Halsey, CPD; Reed Aubin, CPD


Participants will be given supporting materials based on the days presentations. Participants should bring lunch. Snacks and refreshments will be provided at breaks.


$75 Members,
$85 Non-Members,
$150 Workshop Kit (Workshop, Mollison Permaculture Intro Book & PRI Membership) Save $30
Please register on line
Space is limited. Register ASAP. The next workshop will not be until February 2009.

Questions? Contact:

Daniel Halsey, PRI Teachers Guild Coordinator,, 612.720.5001

Monday, October 06, 2008

explaining permaculture

This video, entitled Permaculture: A Quiet Revolution, is a great one for those of us who already love permaculture & for those of us who don't yet know what it is. For the latter, permaculture is a design theory that seeks to create small-scale regenerative systems of agriculture & culture. It is one of the more practical & practiced frameworks for sustainability that exists. This video gives a decent notion of its current scope around the world.

DVDs of this documentary are available from 21st Paradigm. Contact the filmmaker, Vanessa Schulz, at to order.