Farm Programs

Mashkiikii Gitigan

Mashkiikii Gitigan (Ojibwe for medicine garden) was created in 2013 on a formerly vacant, contaminated lot by the 24th Street Urban Farm Coalition as a way to address the food justice needs of people living in the Phillips community of South Minneapolis. WEI’s Executive Director, Karen Clark, had initiated and then facilitated weekly gatherings at the Indigenous People’s Task Force’s community center that continued faithfully for one year. It had begun as an invitation to six independent nearby organizations, including several residents, to coalesce around their concern for lack of healthy food access and related health disparities with a focus on potential organic gardening opportunities in adjacent vacant lots.

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Little Earth

WEI played a leading role in helping Little Earth of United Tribes (LEOUT) create an urban farm as part of their residential housing site in South Minneapolis and continues to support its ongoing development today.

In 2006 WEI brought Will Allen, CEO and founder of Growing Power Inc. to meet with Little Earth Administration and residents. Working all together over a few years’ time to envision, plan and lay out the farm using Growing Power’s methods of creating raised beds with organic soil and compost. Reclaiming and utilizing traditional Indigenous Native American farming knowledge and techniques has always been the farm’s base of production.

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Deep Winter Farming

As WEI enters 2016, we will be initiating more intensive deep winter farm production on the WEI Farm Campus. We will utilize our Aquaponic hoop houses and begin building a new Deep Winter Greenhouse which maximizes passive solar energy and stores this energy in an underground thermal mass. This will be the first year of WEI’s four-season production which will close the gap that winter has forced upon Minnesota and hence our dependence on out-sourcing our vital food needs to sources thousands of miles away from Minnesota.

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Farm History

WEI runs an organically certified demonstration and education farm which supports a CSA, cultural heritage projects, an active internship program, community visitors and volunteers. In 2006, 2 years after Women’s Environmental Institute was started, we took over the neighboring farm land on Amador Hill in North Branch in an effort to connect our environmental justice work with agricultural justice. We started with a 25 member CSA and we focus on using the farm as a demonstration and education farm.

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