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?
Our application has closed for the 2022 season. We will be posting our 2023 season application soon.
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