Cold-tolerant seeds are in the ground at Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Park’s “Donation Garden,” where volunteers can now take free monthly classes from master gardeners and sign up for watering shifts. Produce in two of the three garden beds goes to The Aliveness Project, which has a food shelf and serves community meals several days each week.
Aliveness Dietician Arissa Anderson called the garden a “fun experiment.”
“It’s a bit of a pilot year for us,” she said.
At the first April class, participants planted radishes, carrots, kale, beets and Swiss chard seeds.
“They’re so into it,” said Master Gardener Susan Trent. “As a gardener, that’s exactly what you want.”
In the free classes, attendees learn when to plant which vegetables, how to space seeds, how to discern weeds and when to harvest.
“We hope to take them from the very beginning to the end of the cycle,” Trent said.
She hopes to do more planting at the next class on May 18.
“Depending on the weather, we’ll start planting tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers,” she said, making the comment on a cold, rainy day in late April. “If this continues, we won’t be planting anything until June.”
Aliveness provides volunteers for the garden as well, who walk from the center at 38th & Nicollet to the park and tend the plots.
“It empowers people living with HIV/AIDS to lead healthier lives,” said Anderson. “It just seems like a no-brainer to get involved.”
The project is a partnership between The Aliveness Project, the Kingfield Neighborhood Association, Hennepin County Master Gardeners and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board.
Classes take place the third Wednesday of each month from 6:30-8 p.m. The garden is located at the northwest corner of the park, a few feet from the Nicollet Avenue sidewalk.
“The general community is welcome to participate,” Anderson said.
Summer highlights at MLK Park
16th Annual Ice Cream Social: Thursday, July 14, 6:30-8p.m.
Our Beloved Community Celebration: Face painting, crafts, rides, games, ice cream and food trucks. “Beloved Community” is a phrase that Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King used to describe a global vision of peace and equality. Saturday, Aug. 20, 1-4 p.m.
Move in the park: Inside Out: Wednesday, Aug. 17 at sundown
Urban Farming: Fridays at 10 a.m., June 24-Aug. 19 Free, ages 6-14
Archery in the park: Tuesday and Thursday, July 26-Aug. 4; Monday and Wednesday, July 25-Aug. 3, Ages 8-14 $10
Neighborhood softball: Thursdays at 6 p.m., June 2-Aug. 25, Age 18+ Free