Author: Urban Roots

Apply for an opportunity to work at Urban Roots

Are you 14-18 and looking for a fun and engaging job experience working outside and in your community! Apply to work at Urban Roots for a chance to work in our urban gardens, kitchens, and local parks while building 21st century job skills, learning more about environmental issues and creating a positive impact on your community!

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Join Us for an Open House!

We’re halfway done with summer programming, but our event calendar is still in full swing! It’s been a summer packed with pizza nights and chef-led lunches, and we can’t wait to celebrate the final month of summer by opening our demonstration site to you! On Thursday, August 3rd from 4-7 p.m., join Urban Roots for our annual Open House! Our talented youth interns have been hard at work creating an Urban Roots Passport, to guide our visitors to our work sites. Our visitors will learn about all of our programming, play games designed by our talented Youth Council, and join in a raffle for a chance to win prizes! We’re excited to show off the work we do and show you more about our work with urban farming, parkland restoration, and healthy eating!

Another great draw to our open house: We’ll be firing up the Urban Roots Pizza Oven! Our pizza menu this summer has featured flavors from Hmong sausage to roasted beets, so you know we’ll come up with something creative and delicious. Our intern chefs will be cooking wood-fired pizzas for our community members to enjoy.

We can’t wait for this evening of environmental education with fun to be had by all. See you in a week!

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Get a Pi-zza This!

Urban Roots will be hosting our first Urban Pizza Farm! Local chefs and our exceptional youth interns will do a pizza oven take over- creating delicious pizzas made with Urban Roots produce for you to enjoy. The inaugural Urban Pizza Farm will take place on June 29th featuring Chef Yia Vang! Can’t make it? Don’t worry- we’ll have another pizza night on July 20th featuring Les Dames D’Escoffier. This is bound to be a delicious evening celebrating youth, community, and great food.

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What’s Growing?

Rivoli Bluff Farm is in full swing! Intrepid staff members have been plowing, installing drip irrigation and planting the quarter acre plot. Thanks to our partnership with the Dayton’s Bluff Neighborhood Housing Services, we benefitted from a Minnesota Superbowl Legacy Fund of the Minnesota Community Foundation and the hard work of Pentair volunteers who planted 60 fruit trees adjacent to the vegetable crops. Raspberries and other fruit shrubs will soon join the orchard plot. We’re excited to be heading into such a fruitful summer!

Another exciting growth opportunity for Urban Roots? This July, look for our newly built 38’ x 52’ high-tunnel as a pilot project in partnership with the Department of Agriculture. We look forward to increased production for 2017-2018!

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What’s Cooking?

What’s cookin’ in the Urban Roots kitchen? Lots of fun, summer activities! This summer, we’ll be working with seven chefs from around the Twin Cities- including Rajen Rayan, Beth Dooley, Jenny Breen, Yia Vang of Union Kitchen, Ruhel Islam from Gandhi Mahal, and Robin Asbel. We’re excited to be working with these fantastic chefs. Gandi Mahal and chef/owner Ruhel Islam will be giving our Cook Fresh interns a tour of his restaurant, and talk about what it’s like to own a restaurant business. Come join us for a Chef-led lunch on Tuesdays this summer! RSVP to

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Chef-Led Lunches: Ghandi Mahal

Cook Fresh’s summer interns have been busy in the kitchen, learning about produce seasonality, shopping on a budget, and working with chefs Yia Vang and Rajen Rayen, to prepare farm-to-table meals for 60 youth interns and our visiting partners. Last week, Cook Fresh ventured across the river to Minneapolis’ Gandhi Mahal restaurant to learn about aquaponics and options for growing food not in season.  After the tour, interns painted the Gandhi Mahal rain barrels, brightening them with pollinator flowers and honey bees. 

Chef/owner Ruhel Islam of Gandhi Mahal then came to Urban Roots and worked with the interns to create an amazing meal of vegetable curry and apple chaat. Interns added their morning harvest to the table – rhubarb, cilantro, and lettuce, combined with apple, garlic, chili, and some salt to make an incredible chaat! We’re so grateful to Ruhel and Andy and all our partners who give their time and talents to our Chef-Led meals!


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Cultivating Healthy Eating in the Schoolyard Garden

J J Hill Montessori students got to “eat the rainbow” in their schoolyard garden with the guidance of Urban Roots staff and a great crew of parent volunteers. Under beautiful blue skies, 15 classes of Children’s House and E1 learned salad making skills with the spring harvest from their raised bed gardens. Utilizing five stations, students assembled the rainbow salad:

Some made a homemade salad dressing (lemon, orange, honey, olive oil)
Others grated beets or
Chopped rainbow carrots or
Harvested and chopped radishes and
Harvested, washed, and spun lettuce.

The grand finale was a shared salad-picnic on the lawn.
“This is the best salad I ever had!”

Thanks to our partners at J J Hill for inviting us to work with their enthusiastic students!

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Just Saying "Hay!" from Urban Roots Staff!

The sky was cloudy but spirits were sunny for our Market Garden Staff Work Day! Market Garden team members Summer, Jaclyne, and Sydney led staff crews to get our garden at First Covenant Church in great shape for the production season. We edged the garden, raised new beds for tomatoes, mulched with a dozen bales of hay, and gave our garlic some love so that production can be better than ever.

The administrative staff enjoyed ditching their dress shoes and getting their hands dirty—it was a great way to remember why Urban Roots began and how we can keep giving back to the community in the future. Urban Roots wouldn’t be where we are today without the guidance of our talented staff and our amazing youth interns. Last year’s harvest of 10,500 pounds on 1/2 acre of land was so amazing, and with the new Rivoli Bluff site we’ll double our land and yield even more healthy food for our community!

Come visit us for a garden tour, or join the fun during our staff Conservation Work Day on June 6th!

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