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Urban Earth Co-op
Sarah Rich, 11 Nov 06
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At our Minneapolis book tour event, we had a chance to meet the growing team of Worldchanging Twin Cities bloggers. I spent a little time talking to Andi McDaniel about what's worldchanging in Minneapolis, and the first thing she mentioned was the well-established and still thriving co-op system. A number of worker-owned food co-ops have been around for decades in the Twin Cities and continue have successful businesses and function as community hubs. Now a new kind of co-op is sprouting: a garden co-op.

Urban Earth Co-op is a member-owned flower and garden store with a one-time $150 buy-in fee. Currently they have 84 member-owners, and a goal of 400 by next year. At the local blog, Andi tells us:

In addition to carrying on the existing cut flower business, the 4,000 square foot store (with greenhouse) plans to offer native, standard, and heirloom vegetable, herb, flower, and prairie seeds and seedlings, hydroponically grown vegetables and herbs, a small farmers’ market, a Community Supported Agriculture drop-off point, a garden tool rental service, and community programming on everyday issues related to urban green living. In the fall and winter months, the store will also offer pumpkins, spruce tips, and Christmas trees.

With food stores being the most prevalent type of co-op around these days, it's nice to see the model being used to offer a different kind of service to the community. Having spent years shopping at the Rainbow Grocery Cooperative in San Francisco, and borrowing tools at the Oakland Tool Lending Library, I'm already on board with the value of these kinds of places to the surrounding neighbors. And a particularly cool added bonus from Urban Earth is flower delivery...I wonder if they deliver by bike or biofuel.

Thanks for the tip, Andi!

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