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Urban Food Production

eggplant_thumb_thumb.jpgGrowing food in a city can create stronger communities, open doors for new businesses, provide educational opportunities, and bring healthy food into neighborhoods. Use the resources below to find information about growing food in Saint Paul. Contact Mark Granlund, Arts and Gardens Coordinator, at 651-632-2454 or  with questions.

Community Gardens and Urban Farms
Over 58 community vegetable gardens provide Saint Paul residents with access to gardening plots. To inquire about joining an existing garden, contact Gardening Matters at 612-821-2358.

Interested in starting a new community garden or farm on public property? Check out the information below.

Finding Land
A land inventory of Saint Paul was completed in 2012 to document vacant land in the city for possible food production sites. A formal process for accessing land on public property was also implemented for the 2013 growing season.

Soil Testing
Urban soil is often polluted with lead and other contaminants that can be absorbed into plants. Soil testing is required for community gardens on City-owned lots. The University of Minnesota also offers soil testing for a small fee (contact 612-625-3101). For more information, see Gardening Matter's page on soil testing and compost and read this urban soil information from the Minnesota Department of Health.

Water Access
Water access is a priority for gardeners but is not always easily available at each site. The City is willing to work with groups to find the best source of water. 

Fertilizer and Pesticide Use
Organic methods for growing plants on City-owned property is preferred. If there is a need for chemical pesticides, the applicator must be licensed (contact Mark Granlund at 651-632-2454). Click here for a list of organic soil amendments that are allowed without an applicator's license.

Am I allowed to sell produce?
See the Zoning and Permits page for details.

Which animals am I allowed to keep in the city?
See this for details.

Are hoop houses permitted?
Hoop houses are considered accessory buildings and are regulated under section 63.501 of the City code.

Can I harvest food in City parks?
Parks has a No Harvest Policy except in designated community gardens or orchards. To see the Parks Community Garden and Orchards Policy, click here.
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