Eco-Conscious Urban Living

Venture Beyond the Gate

Portland Ave there is so much growing behind that iron gate. It may look like a jungle of Minnesota perennial plants, and it is! However, many plants could be used in your kitchen or cut for decoration. In addition, if you venture into the jungle you may come across some good finds for cooking. Here is a small look at what is growing in your garden:

If you are up for an adventure; open the gate, take a walk through the lilies and apple trees, and find some tasty edibles, veggies, and good herbs.

Venturing South:

On your left you will see eggplants, large leaves and purple flowers starting-they should fruit soon! In the same area you will see tomatillo plants growing-they are not quite ready!IMG_4053








On your right, under the apple tree are many perennial plants including purple coneflowers or echinacea.









Further down the pebbly path, you will encounter an overflowing bed. Here you can find some great picks for the kitchen, such as;








































Along with the obvious summer squash which should also fruit soon!

For all the herbs, just take a small scissors and clip the part you need. Do not take up the whole plant as it will keep producing.

On the east side of the bed are brassicas, cabbage and cauliflower still putting energy into producing the usable parts.

You can stop to the west of the bed, to dispose of compost and help the whole process along.

Next to the compost is a small bed of mint and amaranth flowers. The mint you can snip and use, and the flowers you could cut for display.IMG_4015








Exploring further south, you will come across to smaller beds. The eastern bed is full of super greens like Kale and broccoli. To harvest the Kale, Just cut the leaves starting at the bottom, but do not cut the entire stalk.IMG_4049








To the west is a bed of carrots and herbs. Like oregano? It is growing like a weed in this bed, snip some and use it fresh or set it out on parchment paper to dry and use later.IMG_4011








On the west gate there are peas ready to be picked as soon as possible. As well as, beans and cucumbers preparing to produce fruit.IMG_4047








Venturing North

Passing through perennial flowers, dameswort, daylillies, fleabane, you will see eggplant, tomatillos, and peppers to your right. IMG_4004








Venturing further, you will come across a bed with many usable greens and herbs. There are loose leaf lettuces like this amish deer tongue. As well as, swiss chard, endive, rosemary, thyme, and fennel.









To the north of the bed are bushes of sunberries- perfectly good to eat. Beds of onions and some pest addled peppers.









Past the reservoir and large bed of lilies, is an indeterminate bed of tomatoes growing this way and that. Careful where you step, as to not trample the baby tomatoes, but look for reds, yellows, and dark purples. there is a vast variety of tomatoes growing and some are ready now, such as this cherry roma. IMG_3990









Around the spruce and to the east, stop and smell the lilies and look for more tomatoes like these yellow lemon drops.














The garden in home to many wild rose bushes. All have bloomed for the season, but have left behind the fruit or rose hip. Any tea drinkers out there? These vitamin rich rose hips and some mint make a great tea! Check out this recipe!IMG_4006








With this, go explore get out in the garden! Pick veggies, smell the flowers, do some therapeutic weeding or pest killing (if you see any of these buggers, they are eating everything!) Please just explore and see what is in your own yard!

Questions, comments, suggestions-email Garden Manager Courtney at We would greatly appreciate some ideas on to make this space more inviting and usable.

Thank you!


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