Duluth’s Biggest Community Garden

Artist’s rendering of the garden.

This summer, we’re planning on building a permaculture garden in our back parking lot. The center of the project is a 140-foot long, 12-foot wide, 6-foot high berm, filled with logs and covered with dirt and plants. This “hugelkultur” system (we like German around here) is self-sustaining because as the logs slowly decay, the soil tills and waters itself. Plus, it will help the community by absorbing much of the runoff water that now flows into Miller Creek. Farm manager Francois Medion says that right now, 900,000 gallons a year flow from our roof and parking lot into the creek, carrying silt, salt, plastic, and trash with it. But the garden will change all that.

“It will act as a rain garden,” Francois says. “Besides providing fruits and vegetables, beauty and shade and food for pollinators.”

The garden will also beautify the neighborhood. Francois wants to plant unusual trees including apricot, honeyberry, and Siberian kiwi. These hardy plants can withstand northern climates and provide a neat diversion for our guests.

“It’s going to be an education piece,” Francois says. “People are going to see things there that they would not see anywhere else.”

Because people still need to park in our parking lot, we need to get the garden built all at once. And while we thought about asking Francois just to do it, the last time he built a 140-foot long, 12-foot wide, 6-foot high berm by himself in a day his arms got pretty tired. So, we plan on having a workshop later in summer (July or August) where we’ll bring in a few permaculture experts, enjoy some delicious Duluth Grill food, and build this thing together. Price and date are yet to be determined, but please email duluthgrill@gmail.com with subject line “Garden” and we will add you to the mailing list for the workshop.

Also, we’re going to be putting on a Kickstarter project to raise money for the garden. Look for that early May.

Thanks for supporting our community—spring gardens are coming soon!

How it works.