SLP Seeds in St. Louis Park, a grassroots organization founded in 2012, believes that reconnecting people to the earth through their food will lead to better sustainable practices, as well as help to eliminate hunger, says founder Julie Rappaport.
“We believe hunger has a root foundation in poverty and we work to address that alongside better health through safe, affordable and available nutritious food. We believe that food is the number one culprit, victim and solution to climate change, and we use food growing strategies that help clean the soil and water, lower carbon emissions and feed people safe food,” says Rappaport.
“We offer education to all ages in growing, cooking and composting, as well as seed saving, harvest extension and [reducing food- waste.] We have internships and apprenticeships in both food growing and food advocacy, providing job training for this ever-expanding industry,” says Rappaport.
Rappaport says SLP Seeds also works with schools. “We’ve pushed for new kitchens in the entire school district that allow for from-scratch cooking and more fresh foods and have introduced them to the farm-to-school funding opportunities to support those endeavors,” she explains.
SLP Seeds also has food bank teaching gardens at seven locations in St. Louis Park, as well homeowners who allow the organization to glean from their gardens, says Rappaport.
The future of SLP Seeds includes a year-round public greenhouse and educational urban farm with certifications in both food growing and green technology that supports growing safe food while reducing carbon emissions and “giving back more than we use,” says Rappaport.
“We will use permaculture ethics, strategies and techniques to clean the soil and water, feed the people and share the surplus through job training and opportunities for living wage jobs,” she says. “Volunteers are needed and welcome, whether to support an event, garden or raise a barn.”