Hey everyone! Andy here with a short recap of 2023. We hope you had a peaceful and bountiful summer! After another rewarding season in the community garden, it’s time to take a look back at this year’s growth.
This was our third year growing seedlings for sale. It’s been exciting and humbling to watch our little business grow, and grow it has. Last spring we grew 3,300 seedlings, that’s 1,000 more than the year before! We sold at 3 different markets: Linden Hills, Northeast, and Midtown. Each was great in its own unique way. We had a record breaking year of online sales, too, and we can’t wait to reinvest your support into the garden community.
Speaking of which, we had a stellar summer of events this year! All together, we offered 13 free classes and events in community gardens in 2023. Reducing the total number of events we offered this past summer allowed us to focus more attention on preparing and advertising them, which paid off in record-breaking attendance!
We enjoyed continuing to coordinate with the Old Highland Peace Garden to offer free outdoor movies this summer. That tradition is so easy and fun, we just love continuing to enjoy it each year! Kid’s Day with the O.H. Peace Garden was great, too. We’re excited by the co-operative format, where so many organizations have set up fun stands in the garden during events. Among them were the Story Orchard Free Library, the J.D. Rivers Garden, massages by Heavy Meadow Healing, the U of M entomology students, and so many more.
Hiring performers for events was another great first this summer! It’s really been fun getting to know these talented local acts, and having live performance and D.J.’ing at an event really brings it to life in a whole new way. It’s been such a blast being able to pay artists to bring the excitement of their art into the community garden, so thank you for your support and allowing us to afford that.
Looking forward into 2024, we aim to keep these trends growing and offering bigger events! Our most exciting news for this coming year is our co-operation with the McKinley Neighborhood. We will be offering classes in their building, and helping to supply their community garden, and best of all, we will be growing seedlings in their building this coming season! This will allow us the space to keep expanding, to reach even more community gardens with support!
Other exciting new collaborations have been with The Folwell Neighborhood Association and The DREAM Shop, where we have recently started offering some free workshops, and, of course, Camden Cycles. Camden Cycles continues to be a great venue, and generally a wonderful space of mutual aid. We look forward to continuing these relationships, as well as offering classes in the new space at North Market!
Thank you all so much for your continuing support, be it buying seedlings, attending or supporting events, or just rooting for community growing spaces. We are so grateful to be able to continue to work at this mission, together with so many inspirational individuals, and we can’t wait to see what 2024 brings.