Please make checks out to IOC Community Garden and send to the following address:
IOC Community Garden
1512 Woodhill Rd
Burnsville, MN 55337
As a recipient of the 2010 Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP), funds were used to expand and improve our existing garden. The original 56 plots grew to 99, plot scholarships, seeds and plants were given to select families with limited income, communal tools were purchased and another water station was built. The SHIP, an integral part of Minnesota’s nation-leading 2008 health reform law, strives to help Minnesotans lead longer, healthier lives by preventing chronic disease risk factors of tobacco use and exposure, poor nutrition and physical inactivity. SHIP seeks to create sustainable, systemic changes in schools, worksites, communities and health care organizations that make it easier for Minnesotans to incorporate behaviors into their daily lives.
As a recipient of the 2010 North Central Region-Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (NCR-SARE), funds were used for the project titled The Kenyan Women’s Community Sustainable Farming (CSF) Project: Cultivation of Mwangani (Cleome gynandra). One-half of an acre on the Garden property is dedicated solely for its use.
Migration from Kenya has adversely affected the local Kenyan immigrant community to acquire Mwangani, a culturally important, highly nutritious and heavily consumed cultivar. Through collaboration with the International Outreach Church and Valley Natural Foods Co-op, the Kenyan Women’s CSF Project is designed to provide Kenyan women opportunities to plant, harvest and sell Mwangani in order to promote traditional foodways, sustain their culture and provide economic security.
Jesse Engebretson, is IOCCG's on site research director. He is conducting in-depth interviews and focus groups with Kenyan farmers/gardeners with the intention to understand the cultural importance of Spider Plant (Cleome gynandra) in their community and determine what affect, if any, immigration plays in humans’ relationship to plants. This research will add to the dialogue regarding cultural appropriation, culture change, and will hopefully play a small role in preserving Kisii plant knowledge in the context of Minnesota. His research methodology is rooted in ethnography and qualitative research.
Jesse grew up in Burnsville, obtained an undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies and Anthropology from the University of Minnesota and a Master of Arts in Environmental Anthropology from the United Kingdom with research focus on how plants are used, managed and perceived across human societies. In preparation for his doctorate, he is conducting a multi-site research project on how immigration has affected plant use in a Kenyan immigrant community in the south suburbs of Minneapolis.
Join us in our second year, along with the greater Twin Cities, to celebrate Community Garden Day! Enjoy live music, ethnic food samples, children’s activities, beautiful arbor, butterfly garden and a gentle stroll through the gardens. You will be amazed at the ethnic variety of cultivated vegetables and certainly will want to know more. Bring your family, friends and neighbors from 10AM to 2PM and take pleasure in the work of our community gardeners. Brochures are available online at gardeningmatters.org.
IOCCG cares for the community environment and composting aligns with our core value of stewardship. In partnership with Valley Natural Foods, organic waste is being utilized as a valuable nitrogen source to aid in the decomposition of plant material. Ultimately the composted product will be used to improve and enrich soil which reduces the need for fertilizer and water. Currently this process continues to be refined for sustainability.
Butterfly gardens add beautification and create a pleasing space for enjoyment in the garden. During the summer of 2009, many gardeners volunteered their time to plant over 80 donated flowers. Multigenerational and multicultural families dug, planted, watered and spread mulch together! What a rich, rewarding, and bonding event. Bridging groups of people through the common theme of gardening strengthens community relations. Come and sit in the center of the butterfly garden and watch the gathering take place.
Giving with our heart to those in need is one of IOCCG goals. Since we highly regard
nutritious foods and promote access to those without means, donating to a local food shelf aligns with organizational values. 360 Community Food Shelf of Burnsville and the Lewis House Women’s Shelter in Eagan are recipients of fresh produce harvested at IOCCG.
Not only does IOCCG want to impact our local community but we want to impact the world as our name indicates, International Outreach Church Community Garden. Siliguri Mercy Ministries of India, an extension of Youth With A Mission (YWAM), helps the poorest of the poor by meeting practical physical needs and gives the message of love and hope in Christ. In April of 2010, final approval occurred regarding a purchased plot of land in Siliguri which will provide a place for widows to live and plant gardens. We provide financial gifts for purchase of seeds, window boxes, gardening tools and supplies. Agricultural development and training is another way we support this ministry. Growing food is a vital necessity for the widows in India; we are humbled to be part of the cause.