TC Daily Planet “Project Sweetie Pie Teens Get Fresh (food)

The TC Daily Planet features Project Sweetie Pie in a new article!

By Stephanie FoxGlobal Groceries

July 28, 2013
  •  ciara_jones_weed_the_garden_despite_a_gardening_injury_an_hurt_ankle.jpg

    Ciara Jones weeds the garden despite a gardening injury: a hurt ankle.

  • It began in 2010, with sweet potato pies and a new idea. The new idea was to create sustainable agriculture in the heart of the city, letting kids learn to grow vegetables and then (the new part) to show them how to sell what they grew to local businesses.
  • Project Sweetie Pie is the brainchild of community organizer Michael Chaney and Rose McGee, the owner of Deep Roots Gourmet Desserts. Their idea was to train high school students in North Minneapolis to plant, maintain, and harvest food from gardens as a commercial enterprise.

“We started with five gardens in 2011.” said Chaney. “This year we have 20. We’re trying to replicate the whole food system and get young people involved.” The gardens, he said, offer kids an opportunity to learn skills that may lead to future jobs and to give them something to do that might keep them out of trouble. He also hopes that it can help pull North Minneapolis out of poverty.

“We can’t get a big company to come to North Minneapolis,” he said. “But what we can do is get empty lots and turn them into food production. This is getting the community involved in the free market system. There are 1,800 empty lots in North Minneapolis, some because of the tornado.”

But, he insists, some of the empty lots could be used to grow food and to train kids in urban agriculture. “Instead of urban blight, we could have luxurious gardens,” he said.

Want to read the whole article? Click below:


Also Read Project Sweetie Pie launched in North Minneapolis (Margo Ashmore, 2011) and Project Sweetie Pie takes youth from seeds to market (Paris Porter, 2011)

Celebrating Youth Who Made North Mpls Clean and Green

Make your reservation to this Celebration featuring a local dinner by Chef Eric Austin

On Wednesday, August 14th at Oak Park Neighborhood Center located at 1701 Oak Park Ave N. we will be recognizing youth in north Minneapolis who have been working in north Minneapolis to make it cleaner and greener. If you know any youth or have been working with youth in gardens and feel that they should be honored please send their name/names to Devon Nolen/Northside Fresh at jdlovey@



Fourth of July Celebrations

Freedom Food Radio

Saturday June 29th AM950 TalkShow Hosts Karen Olsen-Johnson and Laura Hedland were joined by Michael Chaney, founder of Project Sweetie Pie, Nardal Stroud, Board Chair of NRRC and founder of the Plymouth Green Team, Peg Thomas and Kirk Washington with Project Sweetie Pie to talk about how North Minneapolis is “Going Green” with scattered gardens cultivated by our young leaders.

Listen to the June 29th podcast here:

North High Food Gardens

North High vegetable gardens by PSPPSP Youth Return to North High: STEP-UP students take pride in their high schools as together they weed, cultivate and plant flower and food beds. Students learned the value of having both–honeybees must be attracted to properly polinate the vegetables. Most of the gardens are now planted–and watering and weeding has begun in earnest.

for garden updates


Gardening Matters Visits the Olive Garden

Gardening Matters Staff Visit the Olive Garden at 1420 Oliver N: Gardening Matters runs hubs where community residents get seedlings and supplies. The Local Food Resource Hubs Network supports residents as they grow their own fresh produce, and who support each other through the growing season.  By joining, you’ll also have access to free or low-cost classes, tools, volunteer opportunities and social events.  More information is available at:


8th and Humboldt Gets Water

Water!!!: Permits paid, students watched as water was made available to the garden at 8th and Humboldt. With water comes the ability to keep the plants thriving. This is the garden were Gleaning Gardens and community residents were able to harvest collard and mustard greens.

Students this summer are getting first hand experience about how our Mpls infrastructure can help support our gardens and help North Minneapolis “goin’ green”.


Garden Gleaning, Project Sweetie Pie and Seed Academy work together.

Nan Zosel from Garden Gleaning got one of the first harvests from Project Sweetie Pie:  Stopping by the garden at 8th and Humboldt was a great opportunity as seeds planted by students at Seed Academy, and cultivated during the summer were then harvested and provided to the Garden Gleaning Project where they will be distributed to FoodShelves. Mustard and collard greens will be greatly appreciated by food shelve recipients. Thanks to the Garden Gleaning Project for their partnership.


CDC Visits Project Sweetie Pie

In town for a site visit from the CDC for a successful Asian Media Access project, staff members Apeksha Iyer and colleague visit the Olive Garden: The goal of the CDC’s Community Transformation Grants are to promote healthy equity and the elimination of racial and ethnic health disparities. Project Sweetie Pie demonstrated that by helping youth become urban agricultural leaders, they would be seeding our community for change. The representatives were thrilled with what they saw and invited PSP to submit a grant.


More info as soon as it comes!  Or visit