Community Gardens

valley natural foods community garden

 

Since 2011, the Co-op Community Gardens at Valley Natural Foods have provided a growing space where individuals in the community can grow their own produce and herbs in a friendly, organic environment.

The goals of the Co-op Community Gardens are to:

  • Be an open growing space for our community
  • Provide home-grown produce for healthier eating
  • Mentor and develop tomorrow’s gardeners
  • Connect children, youth, adults and seniors
  • Share gained gardening knowledge through classes
  • Provide education and outreach to Dakota County schools
  • Promote and demonstrate environmental stewardship
  • Encourage gardening as a fun and enjoyable activity

How do I join?

Community Garden plots are available each Spring on a first-come, first-served basis. Each April, returning gardeners are given the opportunity to reclaim their spot for another year. Any available spots are filled by a waiting list. For more information on signing up for the waiting list, see Customer Service or email community@valleynaturalfoods.com

How much does it cost?

Member fees are $15.00 per plot. Non-member fees are $18.00 per plot. Gardeners must also pay a $15.00 clean-up deposit that is returned if the garden plots are cleaned and restored at the end of the season.

When is the growing season?

The growing season officially starts May 1st, though some garden areas may be available sooner than that if the weather cooperates. Gardens remain open until October 15th. Opening and closing dates are  weather permitting.

What types of spaces are available?

There are circular, “Key hole” plots that are eight feet in diameter, as well as “Field” plots that are approximately four feet wide by six feet long. There are additional growing spaces that can be utilized cooperatively by community gardeners.

Are there any restrictions?

  • The gardens are organic, so use of pesticides or herbicides is strictly prohibited.
  • Gardeners are expected to cultivate and plant before June 15th, refrain from leaving the ground unused or fallow for more than four weeks, and clean up their space (remove plants, weeds and debris) before October 16th.
  • Each individual is limited to two plots per season.
  • Gardeners must agree to follow the rules regarding plot management and other cooperative guidelines in order to ensure a happy, respectful and enjoyable space for all.

What happens to the food that is grown?

Gardeners can harvest their own produce or opt to have it harvested and donated to local food shelves by volunteers.

Who can I contact for more information?

Contact customer service at 952-891-1212 and ask for our Garden Coordinator Erika. She can also be reached via email at community@valleynaturalfoods.com