Tackling Food Disparities & Providing Land Access
At Sharing Our Roots Farm, we address issues of food insecurity and land access. We lease land to local Kenyan, Latinx and a small number of emerging white farmers at an affordable rate for them. Our emerging farmers have a range of zero to ten years of experience, while our Kenyan farmers bring more than ten years of experience, primarily from their home country. Many of them are harvesting foods familiar to their homelands, including chinsaga and managu. Moreover, our farmers enjoy working in community, sharing food, knowledge, experience and friendship.
Our land sharing efforts began as a co-creative process from conversations with community members who were seeking spaces to grow food for home consumption. Initially, these neighbors helped us harvest our food on the farm. Their desire to actually grow it themselves has now become a reality. Since 2019, the farmers on the land have doubled from seven to fourteen.
This has progressed to what we call today the Farmer Cohort. We are opening up our entire 100-acre farm to emerging and immigrant farmers from the community in a new commons based model. The cohort is a group of individuals who wish to farm alongside one another in ways that restore our soil and water, while also providing nourishing food for their families and communities. BIPOC, LGBTQ, immigrant, female, young and emerging farmers make up this initial Farmer Cohort.
While we formerly served as a training farm, we have pivoted to a commons based farming model. Our organization no longer views itself as a trainer in food production, but a support system for farmers in need of access to land and resources. Many of the immigrant farmers we work with already know how to farm, but often are unfamiliar with planting in Minnesota’s climate and, for those who wish to sell, navigating U.S. food regulations. Here, we follow the principles and practices of biocultural diversity, stacked functions and shared decision-making.
We honor the knowledge and experience our farmers bring to the land. Our supportive knowledge of local soil conditions, pests, equipment training, food and safety regulations are welcomed. It’s a reciprocity that benefits all.
Interested in joining our land share?
Thank you for your interest in the Sharing Our Roots Community LandShare initiative.
We are thrilled to open the Sharing Our Roots Farm to emerging farmers (beginning, immigrant, and from historically underrepresented groups) to provide an innovative land access solution in our region.
The Sharing Our Roots Farm is 100-acres of formerly mono-cropped farmland in Dakota County, just north of Northfield, MN. Currently, approximately 50 acres are available for regenerative farming. Of those 50 acres, 10 acres are suited for annual/perennial crop production and 40 currently support rotational livestock grazing. The remaining land is either in conservation easement or not suitable for farming. Sharing Our Roots Farm exists as a place to both foster growth of new farm enterprises and to model how conservation and agriculture can coexist.
Because of this, we are only able to offer a limited number of farmland leases each season. The land currently supports eight emerging farming enterprises. To learn more about them, check out their bios on the Sharing Our Roots website.
We have reached our capacity for farmers on the land for the 2023 season and will not be accepting applications for the coming growing season at this time. However, land may become available for the 2024 season.
If you are interested in more information or want to apply for the 2024 season, please check back in February 2023 for the Interested Farmer Application form on our website. Once your application is submitted, a Sharing Our Roots team member will contact you with more information and will be available to answer your questions.
All applications will be considered and reviewed by our team and will be prioritized based on the following criteria:
- Demonstrated farming experience and ability to manage your farming operation independently
- Commitment to regenerative farming practices
- Demonstrated difficulty accessing resources to establish your farming operation
- Priority will be given to farmers from communities who have historically been excluded from farmland access due to systemic oppression and generational wealth gaps.
We look forward to hearing from you! If you have additional questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
I loved everything about this program -- planting, spending time with friends, getting to know other people and most of all seeing the harvest that God permitted us to have.Araceli
I’m happy I was part of this program because I got to meet new people from different cultures.Rebekkah
I liked the ability to grow my own vegetables, the support and supervision from staff and the feeling of community. Joy
Awesome folks running the program. Really enjoyed meeting new people and just being able to spend time outside gardening.Gerri
My farm cannot shine without Sharing Our Roots. I want to uplift Sharing Our Roots. If I am shining, it is because of Sharing Our Roots.Elkanah
There is always someone around to talk to, to learn from, to share with, and to just grow together. Having that support to learn and grow [has] meant everything to me and my business.Delanie