Did you know that 52% of both minority-owned and woman-owned businesses have between 1-4 employees? So when times are tough, as they have been with COVID, it’s especially important for us to support these small businesses. Not only can we help them survive, but more importantly, we can help them thrive. Wealth is health in our Green Zone communities, and the more a community thrives, the more everyone contributes positively to the local economy. Let’s increase the number of minority-owned (18 percent of all firms) and woman-owned businesses (20 percent) by supporting these small businesses in our own backyard. Support these Northside Green Zone businesses, and share with your networks.
Edible Boulevards is an initiative devoted to dismantling food apartheid policies and creating self-sustainability in our Green Zone neighborhoods in North and South Minneapolis. Over the last two years, they’ve partnered with Little Earth Farm, Growing North Minneapolis and their Step-Up youth to teach participants how to create gardens on their boulevards. By teaching people how to create their own gardens and grow their own food, they want participants/mentees to use these skills again and become mentors in the community.
Through this “shared fruit” vision, participants have access to the produce they grow while also sharing it with passersby, whether it be someone who doesn’t have access to land for growing their own or someone who is curious about trying something new. They’re changing our broken food system, neighborhood by neighborhood, block by block, boulevard garden by boulevard garden.
Now Edible Boulevards has a directory! Thanks to a Green Zones’ grant, Janicea Coney, Timya Jones, Julius Rennie, Michelle Shaw and Kelly Shay have been creating a number of different items to benefit our Green Zone communities. Whether through the cooking classes, fliers for community outreach, the summer curriculum with Growing North Minneapolis or the directory that debuted on April 7, a huge shout-out goes to everyone who has participated and the collaborations that have evolved along the way.
The “Minneapolis Edible Boulevards Budding Plant-Based Directory: A Fresh Take On Growing BIPOC and Women-Owned Plant-Based Businesses In the Minneapolis Green Zones” is a project Janicea and Michelle have been working hard on together. If you know of other businesses that meet the criteria of being a plant-based business in one of the Green Zones owned by a woman or Black, Indigenous or Person of Color, they’d love to have them reach out. Even though the grant is over, Michelle can still send the directory to a business to have them fill out their info. Green Zone businesses are featured in zip codes 55411, 55412, 55413 and 55418.
Share this directory far and wide on social media or via email so that we can all be intentional in how we support our local small businesses. Find the Edible Boulevards directory at lims.minneapolismn.gov or FaceBook.