Tackling Food Disparities
Across the nation, including our region of Southeast Minnesota, immigrants, people of color and low-income families are disproportionately affected by lack of access to affordable healthy food. Through community conversations, we’ve identified some of the barriers to food access: language, transportation and adequate income. So how do we tackle these issues and help communities reclaim their food sovereignty locally?
Addressing food insecurity and land access are the priorities of our Community Land Share Initiative in Northfield, MN. Through this effort, community members can rent a farm plot and grow nutritious and cultural foods, either for their own consumption or as an enterprise development. We give priority to families living in apartments and mobile homes and who identify as low-income.
Like many of our initiatives, the Community Land Share was developed co-creatively with members of our community. Three Latinx women came up with the idea and together, we created the participation guidelines, determined a fair annual rental fee for parcels and implemented a chemical-free policy Land Share members will abide by.
Sharing Our Roots staff is also committed to providing educational opportunities and technical support to Land Share members. We assist with soil preparation, identification of plant diseases, pest control, cover cropping, providing compost and maintaining an on-site toolshare.
The Community Land Share was designed to give community members an opportunity to grow the food they are culturally connected to, but the initiative has led to so much more. Greetings are exchanged by growers in each other’s native languages, they take photos together and help each other tend their crops. It is a multicultural space where people can share food, knowledge and stories.
Interested in joining our land share?
Our application has closed for the 2021 season.
Plot sizes and rental fees
- 1,500 square feet (30ftx50ft) / $40
- 3,200 square feet (80ftX40ft) / $90
- 4,800 square feet (80ftx60ft) / $140
What's included in the fee?
- Ground space
- Access to irrigation system
- Tilling provided by Sharing Our Roots staff
- Cover cropping provided by Sharing Our Roots staff
- Technical assistance
- Help finding markets for products grown
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