The Univ. of MN Extension Service has gardening resources for backyard gardeners. Backyard gardening can also be promoted by efforts like the Harvest Moon Backyard Farmers business that works with residents to plant, maintain and harvest backyard gardens.
Some cities may wish to embrace the self-sufficiency culture of keeping chickens that the USDA promoted in 1918. For example, in March 2012 the La Prairie, MN Zoning Committee held a public meeting, studied the raising of chickens and recommended to the city council a chicken ordinance, which was adopted.
Agrihoods: Cultivating Best Practices (ULI: 2018) identifies strategies to aid developers and their (city and other) partners in planning, creating, and operating single-family, multifamily, or mixed-use communities built with a working farm and other food-production space as a focus. See, for example, how developers at the Cornerstone Group brought an urban farm plot to the Rivertown Commons apartment complex in St. Paul.
Using flat roof space is one strategy for producing local food on multifamily residential buildings (and on commerical buildings and unused top-levels of parking ramps). See resources from the Minnesota Green Roofs Council.
Remove restrictions to food gardening/raising of chickens/bees in residential areas. Report beehives on city property under action 18.5
Proactively zone for & allow by right food gardening/raising of chickens/bees; report one or more developments that have dedicated, permanent and managed growing space, such as resident garden space, and/or related facilities (such as greenhouses). Report under GreenStep action 3.5 adopted city guidelines that prevent the restriction of food production through homeowner (HOA) agreements (CC&Rs).
Work with a rental building owner to establish a community garden, farmer's market or CSA/food buying club drop-point within 1/2 mile; establish tax incentives to use vacant lots for urban agriculture.
Who's doing it
Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa - 3 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 1997
Fond du Lac's Gitigaan Program offers gardening and food-related workshops throughout spring and summer.
Ashi-niswi Giizisoog, 13 Moons Program, connects Fond du Lac Band members and surrounding community members to natural resources by increasing awareness of and knowledge about traditional and other resources; to social knowledge networks by providing new opportunities for social interaction and education in the context of traditional and other natural resources; and to Ojibwe culture by highlighting and honoring the importance of natural resources in the traditional and contemporary Ojibwe lives and livelihoods and the skills that will allow these lives and livelihood strategies to endure.
Free tilling is offered to community members for home gardens.
Northwoods Food project is a non-profit organization who's purpose is to increase Cook County's long term food sustainability and self reliance by eating and growing locally produced food. Some of the ways to accomplish this is through:
Develop community garden space that can be utilized by market gardeners, low-income residents and food shelf users that includes education on northern climate growing techniques, seasonal eating, low tech water usage, composting, food preservation, root cellaring and cooking with unprocessed foods.
Provide education / training / marketing to potential food micro-enterprises for use of locally grown food products.
Provide food based internship and educational opportunities for local youth.
Conduct research projects to develop uniquely suited vegetable & fruit varieties that do well in our northern climate.
Develop an evaluation system for long-term viability and sustainability of the Northwood's Food Project.
The Northwood Food Project is supported by and promoted on the Cook County website; http://www.co.cook.mn.us/index.php/northwoods-food-project#sthash.tAYmLEj9.dpuf. The project is run from the Cook County Community Center in Grand Marais.
Red Lake Band of Chippewa Tribal Nation has a Local Food Initiative with which the goals are to decrease diet-related health issues, increase access to local healthy foods and develop a local foods economy. The Initiative incorporates community beliefs and attitudes about contemporary and traditional foods, in which the community garden is a part of. This community garden was started to provide food for the community and for the Oshkiimaajitahdah (New Beginnings) kitchen for employees. The food produced will also be used for cooking classes and programs to teach locals how to prepare traditional dishes, start a farmers market and help individuals start their own garden plots. There is also a High Tunnel Training Program with which, after community members finish the 13 week training, they receive a grant and a loan for a high tunnel and other equipment to start their own garden. The community garden currently has 1 high tunnel to help extend the growing season. The garden was done all by community members and includes the following foods:
4 types of Tomatoes- Heirloom Cherry, Beefy Steak, Big Girl, and Aroma
4 types of Potato- Russets, Red, Yukon Gold, and Purple Viking
5 types of Peppers- Green, Chili, Jalapeno, and Poloma, and Hungarian wax Pepper
3 types of Lettuce- Red Heirloom, Red Leafy, and Kale
3 types of Corn- Heirloom Vanity, Hominy, and Popcorn
The Community Garden space also includes an orchard which contains 60 trees with 4 varieties of fruit- Apple, Pear, Plum, Cherry, and Apricot. The Garden also has flowers planted throughout the space and has a plot for just wild flowers. For the future, Dave has a “Dream List” of things to add to the community garden space that includes: better irrigation with soaker hoses, inputting landscape fabric, adding 2 more green houses, and adding a deep winter green house.
Partners: Oshkiimaajitahdah (New Beginnings); Red Lake School District; Poly Tex; Project Grow; DNR; Wozupi Tribal Gardens; Sanitation Department; Comprehensive Health; local SNAP educator, Debra Hawthorne
Saint Paul updated its ordinances for urban agriculture in March 2013, to align beter with resident requests and current practices. The Public Health Dept. has worked with Saint Paul Public Housing to pilot gardens for residents at several sites. Based on the success of the pilots PHA now will install gardens at any of the 20 sites where residents request it.
The City of Brainerd approved community member's request to create several personal chicken coops in the Northside neighborhood as well as one at the local charter school, Discovery Woods. Additionally, Crow Wing Energized funded the establishment of various community gardens around the city. Specifically, the City of Brainerd oversees the Kiwanis Community Garden off of the Mississippi River.
City Code allows permitted accessory use of gardens for single family and multifamily housing units (see attached excepts from City Code of Ordinances).
Columbia Heights has had a residential garden plot for many years (see link). In addition, the school has a garden to teach kids how to grow their own food see link http://www.colheights.k12.mn.us/education/components/layout/default.php?sectiondetailid=10127&.
The ordinance establishes a registration requirement for any person keeping honey bees in the City. In addition, the ordinance establishes regulations relating to where honey bees can be kept, how many can be kept, notification of abutting property owners, equipment and maintenance regulations, and other regulations relating to the keeping of honey bees.
The Apiary ordinance #2015.02 published 4-2-15 establishes a registration requirement for any person keeping honey bees in the City. In addition, the ordinance establishes regulations relating to where honey bees can be kept, how many can be kept, notification of abutting property owners, equipment and maintenance regulations, and other regulations relating to the keeping of honey bees. The Fowl ordinance #2015.05 published 4-2-15 permits the keeping of up to 4 female Gallus gallus domesticus.
In 2009 the city passed an ordinance allowing chickens to be kept in R-1 zones. The ordinance was updated in 2016 to allow an additional 10 permits to keep chickens (20 total). The keeping of bees is allowed in R-A zones. The Parks and Recreation Department has a community garden with 12 garden plots available for residents to use annually. The Fergus Falls School District often operates a garden for students and Lake Region Healthcare opened a large community garden plot in 2014 that helps support our local food shelf. A Farmers Market is now operational on city property twice a week during the spring, summer and fall months.
Fridley's first Farmer's Market will be starting on May 9, 2015. A representative from one of our newest immigrant communities has undertaken the task of creating and managing the market, after meetings with the City, School system, Anoka County and experienced market managers. The event will be held on Saturdays at the Fridley Community Center.
In regard to poultry in the City, Fridley permits chickens and other domesticated poultry with a permit under Chapter 101.03 in the livestock control section of City code. A permit is required: http://www.ci.fridley.mn.us/images/article-files/Ch_101_Animal_Control.pdf
On December 23rd, 2017, the City ordinance allowing bee-keeping will go into effect.
In 2013, the City amended its Animal and Fowl-Keeping ordinance (Section 6-71 of the City Code) to allow for the keeping of chickens. Residents who wish to keep chickens must obtain a license annually and fulfill the provisions established by the City. Information on the regulations regarding chicken keeping is available on the City’s website.
As of December 1, 2015, the City Council may only allow a new land use project through the planned unit development process if the proposal includes enough pre-rated public amenities to total at least 5 points. One public amenity option developers may choose to include is a community garden (3 points).
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Between 2013 and 2017, 12 licenses for keeping chickens were issued in the City. In 2017, there were 9 current licenses.
The City of Hermantown intends to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the community while allowing for responsible small scale agricultural activities. Agriculture, particularly subsistence farming, is a part of the communities heritage and is viewed as a valuable community resource going forward.
The City of Inver Grove Heights allows residents in urban lots to raise chickens as long as appropriate permits are obtained. Development of community gardens and home gardens are permitted in all zoning districts. The City has created a community garden in a municipal park, Salem Park, that contains 20 plots available to residents throughout the city.
Maplewood has a community garden located in Edgerton Park that can be rented out for gardening. The garden is attended by community members and local school children to promote local gardening practices. Some of the community members involved are residents of near-by high density, multi-cultural housing residents that are involved with the gardens. They are allowed plots as well as information concerning best gardening practices. This education is coordinated by both Maplewood and North St. Paul Parks and Recreation. A local church, the First Evangelical free church, in Maplewood also hosts a community garden.
Maplewood promotes many other local food and gardening programs and informational resources. These include working with Ramsey county Master gardeners and Gardening Matters.
Maplewood has an ordinance that allows for residents in single family residential areas to have up to 10 hens on a property. These chickens must have a permit from the city, consent from 60% of neighbors, a spacious coop and run, as well as yard specifications that allow for healthy animals.
Link to aerial view of community gardens.
Link to chicken ordinance
Community Blooms is a transformative model of community gardening that creates community, provides affordable nutritious food to participants, gives back to the community by providing surplus produce to the local free food shelf, and generates revenue to sustain the garden by also selling some of the surplus produce at the local farmers market. The community gardens are located on Western Community Action grounds which are located directly across the street from a low-income trailer park. The goals of Community Blooms include: grow nutritious affordable food for participants from low-income neighborhood, reduce the number of missed meals among low-income people, increase the family budget by reducing money expended on produce, be a catalyst for community development. Future expansion includes a water reclamation pond to recycle water from the parking lot and roof as well as a hoop house for extending the growing season and starting our own seedlings.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
The total number of participants in its first year included 69 adults and 29 children and the second year had 64 adults and 31 children. The size of the garden is 280 X 140 and has been planted using a surplus style of arranging plants.
Agriculture, farming and truck gardening are permitted uses by right within the city’s predominate single family zoning district. For those who are unable to have a garden, the city owns, organizes and facilitates a community garden with 50 lots. Residents are able to rent up to two 20x20 plots per year. The city has continued to allow “farm animals” within the city. By ordinance, farm animals include cattle, mules, sheep, goats, swine, ducks, geese, turkeys, chickens, guinea hens, horses, rabbits, llamas, ostriches, emus and other animals. While the keeping of farm animals does not require a permit, the number of animals is dependent on the property area and must have a fenced-in area with a shelter. Additionally, bees are allowed within the city by right without a permit. To date, the city has knowledge of at least four active beehives.
The city adopted a resolution supporting pollinators and pollinator habitat on April 23, 2018. The resolution states that the city will undertake its best efforts to become a Bee-Safe City by undertaking best management practices in the use of plantings and pesticides in all public places within the city. It will refrain from the use of systemic pesticides on New Hope city property, known to be harmful to pollinators, specifically but not limited to those that contain neonicotinoid. It will undertake its best efforts to plant flowers favorable to bees and other pollinators in the City’s public spaces and undertake best efforts to communicate to residents the importance of creating and maintaining pollinator-friendly habitats.
Section 7-6 of the City Code states "It shall also be a public nuisance and unlawful to allow, permit, keep, maintain, sell or harbor animals within the city, in violation of the following regulations or without a city permit as provided for in subsection (8)." Section 7-6 (4) of the City Code states "Four or more fowl of any kind or combination thereof. Fowl means chickens, ducks, geese, pheasants, turkeys or other domestic, agricultural or wild fowl. Fowl does not mean roosters and no roosters of any kind are permitted within the city by this section." Per Section 7-6 (8) (i) (ii) of the City Code, permits are required for bees and the hive(s) must be located at least 500 feet from any other property.
The City of Pierz has partnered with a local business and has been utilizing some of their vacant property to host a community garden area. We have 22 25'x25' garden plots available for resident use, and 22 25'x25' garden plots that the school uses for the local FFA class.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
The gardens have been successful at allowing the community to have a space to grow local produce. The school has considered it a great success for their students.
During May through June 2020, the Community Garden, through a SHIP grant, ran a backyard gardening initiative where if a community member built a raised bed on their property, the Community Garden would fill it with soil. This initiative was also paired with a planted giveaway. The plants were started vegetables, herbs, prairie, medicines, and some fruits.
Section 512.03 (e) of the Zoning Code defines the following as a permitted use in all zoning districts: "Horticulture/community gardens as an accessory to an established institutional use (school, church, park), provided that plants and related materials are maintained in a clean and orderly manner and that waste is disposed of appropriately."
Section 905.37 and section 906 of the city code addresses maintenance of fowl/birds and beekeeping, respectively.
The City of Royalton allows residents to raise chickens in the city. Many residents like the idea of having fresh eggs. Permits are granted on a year by year basis depending on how the resident maintains the area.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Residents know that animal permits are available for them to apply to raise chickens or other animals such as rabbits.
Section 15-9 of the City Code permits residential chicken keeping. A permit is required for keeping chickens.
The city also adopted resolution 2015-181 (attached) which endorses the protection of pollinators and enhancement of pollinator habitat for bees and butterflies. It is a commitment to best practices to avoid neonicotinoids, which are toxic for bees and butterflies. The city commits to purchasing only bee/butterfly friendly fertilizer and plantings.
The city of Stillwater permits bee keeping in all zoning district (Sec. 27-3). The city of Stillwater allows for the keeping of chickens on all properties greater than 3 acres and in properties of all sizes in RB and RA zoning districts provided they obtain a chicken keeping permit (Sec. 31-514).
Since 2008, the City has allowed homeowners to keep 12 chicken hens at residential properties. In 2017, the City established a 50 plot community garden at our East Recreation Center. Before the garden opened, all plots were reserved. All plots are reserved in 2018. The East Recreation Center will also be hosting a seed library in conjunction with a WSU student in February 2018.
Redeemer Lutheran Church leases land to gardeners, with a community garden run by the County Master Gardeners (http://winonaeducationgardens.weebly.com/). Produce grown in the Redeemer Lutheran community garden plot is donated to local food shelves, or given to other gardeners.
The City's Unified Development Code, approved in June 2017, allows community gardens in all residential and mixed use zones.
Well established program called Community Gardens through Park & Rec, located next to Woodson Kindergarten Center, by residential neighborhoods. Space is 15'x20' plots at $20 each for the season, comes with irrigation
Burnsville adopted an Urban Agriculture Ordinance in 2011. The ordinance allows for local food growing and community gardens throughout the city. Also, in 2009, Burnsville adopted an ordinance (City Code Section 6-2-31) that allows chickens and chicken coops within the city.
Community gardens exist in Niell City Park and Wolk City Park. Burnsville worked with Valley Natural Foods to allow development of demonstration gardens and a community garden on their property (13750 County Road 11). Valley Natural Foods is also a CSA drop-point.
Other examples of farmers markets, and community gardens within Burnsville include:
-St. Paul Farmer's Market received IUP approval to operate at an MVTA site.
-St. Paul Farmer's Market operates at Mary Mother of the Church.
-International Outreach Church operates a community garden at 1512 Woodhill Road.
The City of Coon Rapids works to promote the use and production of local food for our residents in various ways. Coon Rapids offers community garden plots at reasonable prices for those who do not have access to garden spaces at their homes. Coon Rapids has a very large rental population in the city, so these garden plots provide access to local food for those individuals who may not otherwise have it. Our city’s Sustainability Commission also hosts annual workshops about local food production providing tips to residents about permaculture, tips specific for Coon Rapids lots and local farmers markets and CSAs.
In May 2016, Coon Rapids passed an ordinance to allow for the keeping of backyard chickens. This initiative was brought to council by the Sustainability Commission after numerous residents inquired about raising backyard chickens. The ordinance allows for hens for egg production for any resident who gets a permit approved by City staff. There has been a lot of discussion around this and Coon Rapids is excited to start allowing this change for those interested.
* A farmers market is open in the community spring-fall at Old Cottage Grove Church.
* All elementary, middle school and high schools within the community have a garden or wooded area. All areas are utilized by the students as well as the community.
Community gardens have been allowed in Eagan City Parks and on church properties. They are permitted in: agricultural, parks, research & development all residential districts as an accessory use and possibly commercial & industrial zones as an accessory use. The City has partnered with a local food shelf by providing space in a City park (Woodhaven Park) for the installation of a produce garden to be used by food shelf patrons. The City also provides community gardens plots in a neighborhood park (Holz Farm) that are available for residents to rent
Although there are no urban beehives in the city at present, the city presently has and promotes a community garden as well as a farmer's market.
Due to the rural nature of this area, no guidelines prevent the restrict the production of local food through, for example, agreements like Homeowner's Agreements.
Although the city has not worked with private property owners for items like a community food drop off point nor does it offer tax incentives for urban agriculture, it does not have to. Ag business makes up a significant percentage of the city (and areas) economic activity and farmland still exists within city limits.
The agricultural arrangement includes the operation of several small to large (i.e., Dean Farms, Organic Valley) private actors. Farms operate in and around the city (within 2 miles) providing goods that range from organic lettuce to apples, various meats, fresh chickens, eggs and diary products.
There are no vacant lots to allocate for urban ag in the city at this time.
The City is implementing a 100’ x 200’ community garden into one of their new park facilities. The City will operate and perform all maintenance of the community garden. There will be at least 60 plots as well as larger plots for the local school to develop long term monitoring practices and handicap accessible raised beds. The cost will be $15 / 100 sq. ft per season.
Local Food: We revised our residential development code to reflect lots large enough to allow for gardens. Educate residents about the opportunities of cooperative gardening.
We amended our Zoning Ordinance to allow for the raising of chickens by residents.
Bee-keeping: In April the Greenstep Committee will begin the discussion about backyard beekeeping.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
One of the city residents has developed two large garden spaces and has made it available for free gardening for senior citizens that live in apartment buildings. This resident also provides free tilling and free water for irrigation. Those seniors are making use of this opportunity and donating excess vegetables to the food shelf which is located in our city. The spring 2012 city newsletter featured an article from the Mayor urging residents to consider cooperative gardening and describing the benefits of cooperative gardening.
We have a few residents that have chosen to raise chickens and we established some chicken raising rules which lessened the impact to neighbors.
In 2013, the City Council updated its animal ordinance to allow for the keeping of bees (up to two hives) and hen chickens (up to 12; more by Council approval). This is allowed on any residentially zoned property in the City (single-family or multi-family).
The City of Lexington does allow chickens with a permit from the city. They can only have 4 females chickens. They must have a coop- a structure for keeping or housing the chickens is permitted by the ordinance with a fully enclosed run an covered area attached to a coop where the chickens can roam unsupervised.
Staff has adopted policy that gardens in residential areas have no requirement for setback and there is no maximum lot coverage for garden areas.
Atemporary ordinance amending section 9.61 of the Mankato City Code regarding the keeping and control of animals within the city limits (maintaining a chicken coop and/or chicken run) was adopted on June 14, 2010 with a two year sunset. In July 2012, the ordinance expired.
In 2015, Ordinance 903 (Chickens/Ducks) and 908 (Honeybees) were adopted by the Mounds View Council. Ordinance 903 requires annual renewal, Ordinance 908 is ongoing (but can be revoked for cause). Both ordinances have minimal regulatory provisions as a mechanism to encourage activity. To date we have four of each.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Increase number of residents growing own food or supporting pollinators
In 2012, the Planning Commission and City Council approved ordinance amendments to Chapter 6, Animals, allowing for chickens and bees. Chickens are allowed on single-family properties in the R1, R1-A, RE, MX-1 and MX-4 Districts. A person is allowed 4 chickens per acre. The City Council issued 2 chicken permits in 2017. Bees are only allowed in the RE District. The amount of colonies allowed is based on the number of acres a property has. A property owner with 1 to 5 acres is allowed 8 colonies and the City Council determines the number of colonies for any property larger than 5 acres. To date, there have been no permits issued for bees.
The City of St. Cloud has been working very closely with the Central Minnesota Sustainability Project on developing neighborhood organic gardens for the community. With special focus on new americans and education of proper plant selection for this zone. The City has allowed gardens to be developed in local neighborhood parks.
The City of Savage allows keeping of chickens and bees in City Code Chapter 91 (Animal Control). Section 91.04 details keeping of farm animals, inlcuding chickens and bees, according to regulations in the City Code. This keeping of farm animals is a permitted accessory use in all resdiential districts, including single family and multi family.
Yes, Shoreview allows chickens and beekeeping. Chickens may be kept within the City limits on residential properties located in the RE, Residential Estate Zoning District and the R1, Detached Residential District, subject to the following conditions:
On residential properties less than 2 acres in size can have a maximum of (4) hen chickens or pullets. Roosters are prohibited.
On residential properties more than 2 acres, may need a conditional use permit for more than (4) hen chickens or pullets. Roosters may be permitted.
The butchering of chickens is prohibited
Chickens shall be fully contained on the property at all times through the use of fencing.
Shelters must comply with all requirements of the Development Code.
Food materials are stored outside shall be in closed containers with lids
All contaiment areas and shelters shall be maintained in a clean, sanitary, and odor free environment and shall be free from the presence of rodents or vermin at all times.
Chickens shall not be raised or kept for fighting. Cockfighting is prohibited.
License: No person shall keep, maintain or breed chickens on property located in Shoreview unless a license is obtained pursuant the provisions of the City Code, Chapter 600. Licenses are valid for 2 years, and the license fee is $30.
There are no restrictions on personal gardens for food. Both chickens and beehives are allowed by permit within the City. The permitting process requires filling out an application, paying the permit fee, an on-site visit by a City representative, and when adjacent property owners' questions have been addressed a permit typically is issued.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
There are personal vegetable gardens throughout the City. Several chicken flocks and bee hives within the city limits have received permits.
The City of Victoria promotes a community garden area that is accessible to multifamily residential developments.
The City's Community Garden is located at the Victoria Recreation Center. Residents are encouraged to participate. Annually the garden plots fill up quickly with interested residents. The City manages the Community Garden. The Recreation Center is a centralized place that is accessible to all people.