“We started with five gardens in 2011.” said Chaney. “This year we have 20. We’re trying to replicate the whole food system and get young people involved.” The gardens, he said, offer kids an opportunity to learn skills that may lead to future jobs and to give them something to do that might keep them out of trouble. He also hopes that it can help pull North Minneapolis out of poverty.
“We can’t get a big company to come to North Minneapolis,” he said. “But what we can do is get empty lots and turn them into food production. This is getting the community involved in the free market system. There are 1,800 empty lots in North Minneapolis, some because of the tornado.”