Tuesday, June 25, 2013

So There Were These Chickens...

It all started when I drove by a couple of chickens.  


In a public park.

For the past few days I've been looking into what sort of fascinating places are located within the North Shore area of Minnesota, specifically the area in which my mother lives.

I think I've gone to heaven.

No, really.  It's an amazing area!  The city of Duluth, for example, actually has a Sustainability Team.  That's some pretty exciting stuff.  Taken straight from the city's website,
"Sustainability is a governing principle in implementation of the City of Duluth Comprehensive Plan. In 2011, the Duluth City Council endorsed the first City Operations Energy Action Plan for years 2011 -- 2015. The plan sets targets to reduce energy use in buildings, operations, and transportation." (source)
But Duluth doesn't stop at that.  This community doesn't just work on energy use and pat itself on the back.  No, Duluth goes even further than that. How far?

Well, let's get back to those chickens I mentioned.

Yep.  I really did drive by a couple of chickens.

Duluth actually has a Community Garden Program.  It's active, it's well structured, and it's truly catered to the public.


The rich, the poor, and everyone in between has access.  It offers quite a bit, too.

For one thing, the Duluth Community Garden Program offers classes.  Those classes have a recommended donation that they'd appreciate the student pay, but even the recommended donation is a low surprisingly low $10. 

Need to know how to raise chickens?  Want to know how to finally get those vegetables to grow in your window sill?  There just may be a class that'll help.  I was rather impressed.

But that's not it.

They currently have several active community programs.
  • Plant-A-Lot Community Gardens - 14 different garden locations that have 20 X 20 plots available.  Modest fees apply. (The one I drove past was Hillside.)
  • Taste of Summer Food Preservation - The community Garden Program has a cannery where you can take food preservation classes and check out or rent preservation supplies.  Wowsers!
  • Kids Garden Program - That's right!  Gardening activities for the kiddos.  Yay!
  • One Vegetable One Community - This program seeks to rally the community around one specific vegetable per year.  This year is squash.  Last ear was beets.  Pretty crazy, right?  Pretty awesome, too, I think!
  • Produce for the People - This is my favorite one.  Gardeners tend to end up with too much of one crop or another.  Sometimes it's tomatoes, other times it's zucchini, other times it's something entirely different.  This program provides those of us with extra to donate that surplus.  Gardening is great, but sharing the results of that gardening is priceless!
And, of course... the community gardens have chickens.  Or, at least... one of them does.  Have I mentioned I'm in love with the whole chickens-in-the-middle-of-downtown thing?  Yeah.  I'm totally sold.

Seriously, though, who wouldn't be? 

This is a spectacular community program that gives so much to so many.  Not every community has such a large program like this available.  None of the places I've lived in have had this.

The North Shore area is truly unique.  The Duluth Community Garden Program is just one of the many amazing eco-friendly opportunities out there.  I intend to find more.

And I'll be sure to tell you all about it!

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