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Neighborhood Farming

Great news!  The Duluth Public Library has restocked its seed library with seeds from local gardeners after Gov. Mark Dayton signed a bill exempting the program from state agriculture laws.  Full story on MPR's site.

Launched last spring, the program lent bean, tomato, pepper and other seeds to gardeners and asked them to return some of the seeds they harvested in the fall.

Duluth Community Gardens,

There are 17 community gardens located throughout the city of Duluth.  Individuals, families and groups can lease a plot for a reasonable fee ($15-75).  The program offers information, encouragement, support, and tool lending library.

Hillside Public Orchard's mission is to make available healthy fruits and vegetables to the central and east hillside community members and residents of Duluth in a centrally located, easy to access site. The Hillside Public Orchard is a community garden created by volunteers. The orchard is open to the public. 

Broadway Community Gardens in Superior also offers garden plots for people wanting to grow vegetables and flowers. 

Our climate poses some challenges for vegetable gardeners.  Recommendations for our climate from the U of MN Extension Service here.

Joel Rosen's planting guide for the Duluth area (on the Duluth Community Gardens site).

Cold frames and hoop houses can extend the growing season for urban farmers in Northern MN.  

Much information helpful to northern vegetable gardeners here.

If you want to go beyond a garden plot or raised beds in your back yard, the Lake Superior Sustainable Farming Association has a program to help aspiring farmers get started.


If you are looking to amend your soil for gardening, Western Lake Superior Sanitary District (WLSSD) sells high quality compost.  The WLSSD site also has guidance for home composting. See this page for Duluth's WLSSD food waste drop sites.

Hugelkultur  is a form of composting that involves covering logs and brush with mounds of soil.  The decaying wood acts as a sponge, retaining moisture, and warming the soil. See this article for a brief discussion of Hugelkultur, Its also helpful when you have clay soil, or very little top soil, as is the case in much of our fair city.  There are several back (and front) yard Hugels in Duluth.

A local class on Huglekulture at Spirit Mountain Farm, where they are doing all sorts of wild permaculture..

More on home composting here.

WLSSD composting program reduces the waste that goes into landfills.  Link to drop sites above.

Harvesting Leftovers: Turning Food Waste into Compost at WLSSD from W. Lake Superior Sanitary Dist. on Vimeo.

UMD also has an on-campus composting program.

Seed Exchange

Seed Exchange: Duluth Public Seed Lending Library (view Duluth City Council session on motion to support Seed Exchange). Governor Dayton has singed a bill that exempts this program from some agricultural regulations and the Seed Library is back!

City Chickens

Duluth City Chickens

If you have a chicken, and you want to help you chicken cross the road safely, you might try a chicken harness when you take your chicken for a walk.  Who knew?

In most parts of Duluth, you will need a fence, unless your intention is to provide tasty snacks for the deer.