Land for urban farms
Lease a vacant City-owned lot for your market garden/urban farm through the Minneapolis Garden Lease Program.
Zoning and development standards
In March of 2012 the Minneapolis City Council amended the zoning code to allow for expanded urban agriculture in the City. Urban agricultural land uses were expanded in all zoning districts. The change in the zoning code originated from a broader vision and a specific recommendation for policy changes to support access to land for growing food and to support local food-related activities that was put forward in the first phase of the Homegrown Minneapolis initiative.
Zoning for Urban Agriculture has information about zoning and development standards for market gardens and urban farms.
Farmstands are allowed accessory to a community garden, market garden or urban farm, subject to the following:
- The farmstand shall only sell products of the farm or garden occupied and cultivated by the same producer within the City of Minneapolis.
- The farmstand shall not exceed a duration of 75 days in one calendar year.
- Sales shall be limited to between 7:00 a.m. and sunset.
- Farmstands must be removed from the premises or stored inside a structure when not in operation.
- Only one farmstand is permitted per zoning lot.
- One sign may be displayed during the growing season but must be removed from the premises or stored inside a structure at other times of the year. The growing season is considered to be the months of April through October.
- Farmstands shall not be located in the I3 zoning district.
Water for urban farms
Gardens and farms can renew or apply for a garden hydrant permit by calling 612-673-2865. Check payments for permit fees must be mailed to 250 South 4th Street, Room 206, Minneapolis, MN 55415 instead of dropped off in person. Hookups will begin after a check is received and a permit is approved.
On-farm food safety resources
The University of Minnesota provides workshops and consulting related to on-farm food safety and GAPS, as well as an assembly guide for an affordable hand-washing station. Hand-washing is one of the important food safety strategies for every farm and garden. Read more at their website.
Urban farming financing
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture has a variety of microloan programs.
- NCR-SARE’s Farmer Rancher Grant Program provides competitive grants program for farmers and ranchers who want to explore sustainable solutions to problems through on-farm research, demonstration, and education projects.
- The Farmers' Legal Action Group (FLAG) published the Farmers' Guide to the Farm Service Agency Microloan Program in 2014 to help farmers understand the new category of Operating Loans (called Microloans) now being offered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency.
- Urban Gardens and Soil Contaminants - A Gardener's Guide to Healthy Soil
- Lead in the Home Garden and Urban Soil Environment
- The Land Stewardship Project offers programs: Farm Beginnings is a farmer-led, community based training and support program aimed at getting more farmers on the land farming sustainably.
- Interested in organic farming? The U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Organic Program works to ensure the integrity of USDA organic products in the U.S. and throughout the world.
- The Natural Resources Conservation Service's Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative is a voluntary program that provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers.
- Want to sell your food at a farmers market in Minneapolis? Learn more about becoming a vendor.