Growing food in a city can create stronger communities, open doors for new businesses, provide educational opportunities, and bring healthy food into neighborhoods. Use the resources below to find information about growing food in Saint Paul. Contact mary.henke-haney@ci.stpaul.mn.us with questions.

Starting a Community Garden

Interested in starting a new community garden or farm on public property? Check out the information below.

Soil Testing

Urban soil is often polluted with lead and other contaminants that can be absorbed into plants. Soil testing is required for community gardens on City-owned lots. The University of Minnesota also offers soil testing for a small fee (contact 612-625-3101). For more information, see Gardening Matter's page on soil testing and compost and read this urban soil information from the Minnesota Department of Health.

Water Access

Water access is a priority for gardeners but is not always easily available at each site. The City is willing to work with groups to find the best source of water. 

Fertilizer and Pesticide Use

Organic methods for growing plants on City-owned property is preferred. If there is a need for chemical pesticides, the applicator must be licensed (contact Tony Singerhouse at 651-632-2453). Click here for a list of organic soil amendments that are allowed without an applicator's license.

FAQs

Am I allowed to sell produce?
See the Zoning and Permits page for details.

Which animals am I allowed to keep in the city?
See the Safety and Inspections page for details.

Are hoop houses permitted?
Hoop houses are considered accessory buildings and are regulated under section 63.501 of the City code.

Can I harvest food in City parks?
Parks has a No Harvest Policy except in designated community gardens or orchards. To see the Parks Community Garden and Orchards Policy, click here.

Last Edited: February 11, 2021