Mayo Clinic Center for Health Equity and Community Engagement Research
Hosted by the Village and Mayo Clinic, this collaboration brings local health professionals into our largest community garden space to both provide education and learn from our community. These discussions promote conversations to help our community identify health problems and learn about local resources. In addition, the health professionals are able to hear specific concerns coming from cultural groups.
Past featured topics and video links:
June - Topic: Nutrition and Cancer Prevention | Guest Speaker: Dr. Shafii Mohamed (Mayo Clinic Community Internal Medicine)
July - Topic: Depression and Mood Disorders | Guest Speakers: Drs Nicolas Nunez and Manuel Gardea Resendez (Mayo Clinic Psychiatry) and Josh Jensen (Zumbro Valley Health Services)
August - Topic: Addiction and Substance Abuse | Guest Speakers: Kendra Henry and Greg Jerdon (Zumbro Valley Health Services)
University of Minnesota - Rochester
Community Collaboration Course
UMR students are required to take a community collaboration course as a part of their education. While a few faculty have already served the Village by contributing as founding members and writing our founding grant, they have continued to build a strong partnership by creating a learning model which brings students into the community garden spaces year round. UMR students build and tend their own garden, as well as provide volunteer services toward building community spaces, maintaining pathways, and assisting with Summer of Service youth projects.
This Co-Lab cohort also provides an abundance of fresh produce to their campus food pantry. The campus makes an effort to promote these foods, as well as sharing special ways to prepare the food and help all students improve their diet. UMR focuses on educating a diverse student body, and the connection with the Village and our farmers embodies the representation of many global cultures and their agricultural traditions.
Rochester Community Education - Summer of Service
Summer of Service is a service based summer program for youth entering grades 5-12. During the 2021 and 2022 seasons, we collaborated with over over 800 local youth who visited our community farming spaces. Through support from UMR students and faculty, as well as the Master Gardeners of Olmsted County, the Village and these youth collaborated on a variety of projects:
Fencing and learning about pest management
Building bee boxes and learning about pollinators
Constructing and painting raised beds for farmer use
Planting pollinator beds and mulching community areas
Building handwashing stations
Supporting farmer elder's needs
The participants were surveyed and stated that they enjoyed seeing foods from around the world and learning about different ways that they are consumed. They also witnessed different agricultural practices and shared their own histories with growing food. Learning about pollinators, pests, and cultivation was of great interest to many students. We look forward to our 2023 collaboration.
Master Gardeners of Olmsted County - UMN Extension
Several MGOC members have made significant contributions to the Village, by providing connection to continuing education, recruiting Village members to become Master Gardeners, supporting the building a management of composting systems, and collaborating with youth programming. They have been an inclusice and welcome addition to our efforts, additionally providing educational signage in 6 different languages throughout our spaces.
Our 2021 and 2022 education series focused on weed management, regenerative agricultural practices, occultation, water-wise strategies, and maintaining compost. They provided significant support to the Alternative Learning Center (ALC) Garden and the Green Thumb Initiative, which provided product to the ALC high school youth for cooking courses.
In 2023, the MGOC will support our Summer of Service programming's increased hours and presence through creation and cultivation of pollinator beds and other farm assets.
Find out more here: https://extension.umn.edu/local/olmsted