When Community Comes Together

Karen Olson Johnson
Published on: August 2013
The actual time a vegetable plant can grow outside in the city of Minneapolis, in the state of Minnesota, in the United States, is very restricted. Vegetables are planted outside in the spring months of April, May and June and then harvested in July, August and September. If you are lucky, the season may be extended, that is, if weather permits. It is within this short season of planting and harvesting, that a huge vision for the urban youth of Minneapolis has been seeded. The program is called "Project Sweetie Pie", and in only three short years, they have gone from 5 to 10 to now over 30 garden sites right in the city proper of Minneapolis, Minnesota.
when community comes together,youth
For a lot of youth, an understanding of what real food looks like and where it comes from has been hampered by urban food deserts where fast food restaurants and corner gas station food stores serve as the primary supplier of their meals. As young people learn how to grow their own food, not only is this short sighted supply chain broken, instead the potential future quality of their own health and the community's health is impacted. Imagine not knowing that the source of ketchup is a tomato let alone having the realization that you can grow a tomato in your own backyard?

Project Sweetie Pie (www.projectsweetiepie.org) was born out of a vision that kids deserve healthy food and, with the support of com-munity, these kids can learn how to garden, grow their own food and feed a larger community with not only the produce they have grown, but with the strength of youth who are engaged in the welfare of the place in which they live. These skills are the vital skills of a world focused on common good.
With broad goals encompassing the planting and harvesting of food for the community, Project Sweetie Pie, also envisions the potential of year-round growing programs. In planting these seeds of change, we plant the seeds of hope for a future filled with healthy food, eaten by healthy kids who are a part of healthy communities. This is a common sense approach to our collective common good.
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