a. A farmer's market or co-op buying club. b. An urban agriculture business or a community-supported agriculture (CSA) arrangement between farmers and community members/employees. c. A community or school garden, orchard or forest.
Protect and expand food-producing land within and near the city.
Increase the availability of locally produced food, and culturally relevant food, for residents and food businesses.
Depending on the specific action(s) taken, benefits of implementing this best practice include increased food security for residents, more healthful food and improved human health, food reflective of residents' cultural heritage, enhanced soil and water quality, reductions in energy use and CO2 emissions, improved wildlife habitat, enhanced community livability and vitality, creation of green jobs, and stronger local economies. For farmers markets alone, of each $100 spent by community members, $62 stays in the local economy and $99 stays in Minnesota's economy. And for farm-to-school programs, every $1 invested in them generates $2.16 back to the local economy according to the National Farm to School Network.
The MN Department of Health's Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP) funds community health boards and tribal governments across Minnesota to increase access to healthy foods.
TheAgricultural Grown, Research, and Innovation (AGRI) Program supports the advancement of Minnesota’s agricultural and renewable energy industries. AGRI provides numerous grand and cost-share programs to aid in development.
Minnesota Grown is a statewide partnership between the MN Department of Agriculture and Minnesota producers of specialty crops and livestock. Search the directory and more.
Providing city residents with regular access to fresh fruits and vegetables (stores with an NAICS code of 445110 or 445230) within a mile of their home (a 20-min. walk), or within a half-mile of a transit line, has documented health benefits and mitigates what are described as food deserts. See the Design for Health food access page and a 2016 report to the MN Legislature on Urban Agriculture in Minnesota.
Exploring Markets for Local Foods provides economic data from University Extension efforts to connect local growers to local institutional foods buyers such as schools, nursing homes.
The Climate-Friendly Gardener: A Guide to Combating Global Warming from the Ground Up (Union for Concerned Scientists: 2010) summarizes the science linking plants, soil, carbon dioxide, and other heat-trapping gases, and offers tips for planning a garden that takes advantage of these connections.