About Black Radish
The Black Radish is an Artist-led, urban market garden and CSA* in the heart of South Minneapolis dedicated to providing affordable locally grown produce using sustainable and organic farming practices.
What We Do
Currently we work with and within the local community of Standish-Ericsson (in South Minneapolis) to convert ornamental lawns or unused private spaces into lush, food producing gardens. We then plant, maintain and harvest these spaces giving the homeowner a share of weekly produce while collecting the rest. The remaining harvest is sold to members as shares for a 14-16 week CSA that begins in early June. As of 2023 we grow out of 15 different yards and provide produce for 45 member shares on a sliding scale.
We know it may sound like a strange idea - growing food in other people's yards to sell and give away -but it’s working! And working in ways that we hadn’t previously imagined. Beyond growing food, this project is providing accessible inroads to engagement with our local community in a very real and dynamic way.
From March to December, not only are we all over the neighborhood working the various garden plots, but we are also talking to neighbors, introducing people, helping the elderly, lending a hand, swapping recipes and sharing knowledge. We are actively forging community relationships that are invested in real steps towards a healthy environment and local food security. We believe in this work and we believe that a world that values the health of the earth and the well being of each other is possible.
Our CSA began as an experiment of sorts after we converted our small urban yard into a landscape of "no-dig" garden beds. We realized that we could grow a significant amount of produce in a relatively small space and began offering our abundance to friends and neighbors.
As the neighborhood watched with curiosity we began to develop meaningful relationships with the individuals in our immediate environment and soon enough, people set about offering us use of their yards to expand our market garden. We have incredible neighbors and we are forever grateful. We developed a little trade system in which a share of weekly produce plus lawn conversion, care, upkeep and maintenance is exchanged for land and water use. It’s working out well too! In fact, we have so much demand for lawn conversion that we have to unfortunately turn people down each year. Which is a bummer.
So anyway… What began as an experiment in 2018 with one yard and 10 shares sold mostly to friends, has now blossomed into over 14 yards serving 45 members.
Our hope is to continue growing into a sustainable model that could be implemented in any urban community anywhere. Minnesota ranks as the 7th worst state for having accessible healthy food near people's homes. Implementing a hyperlocal, economically sustainable model for seasonal food production in other areas could benefit so many. We strongly believe there needs to be both “micro” and “macro” solutions to how we produce food toward a shared vision of community and planetary health.