Sustainable St. Paul Award goes to Growing West Side!

On April 20th, Growing West Side received a Sustainable Saint Paul Award

Sustainable St Paul award, Growing West Side

Rebecca Noecker, Molly Phipps, Steve Bivans, Mayor Chris Coleman

from the Mayor and the City Council, for our work on Local, Healthy Food & Community!

Along with 12 other amazing groups and individuals working on all facets of sustainability, from energy, to clean water, to beautification, to waste, to food and gardening, Growing West Side was proud to be in attendance for this exciting ceremony.

Sustainable St Paul award growing west side

Rebecca Noecker, Barb Rose, Molly Phipps, Steve Bivans

Receiving the award for GWS, were Molly Phipps and Steve Bivans. Julie Nelson arrived just in time to see them accept the award, and Barb Rose–rushing from another meeting–arrived in time for the end of the ceremony and to pose with our city council person, Rebecca Noecker.


We are proud of the recognition for the work Sustainable St. Paul award Growing West Sideof so many volunteers, and want to thank you all, including our steering committee members, Maureen Hark and Sarah Foster, who were not able to attend.

One of the highlights of the ceremony was Steve Bivans’ short acceptance speech, in which he laid down a challenge to all in the room, including the City Council and Mayor Coleman, “to make St. Paul the model for sustainability, not just in Minnesota, not just in the U.S., but for the entire PLANET!

If you’d like to see the entire ceremony, it’s below! If you just want to see the GWS part, and Steve’s short speech, skip to about the 19:30 minute mark in the video.

This is a goal that our city CAN reach, with the help of organizations like the ones in attendance at the ceremony, and with the assistance of our neighbors.

Steve would personally like to challenge the West Side neighborhood, to lead the way for the rest of the city! Let’s DO THIS!

Want to know how to help?

Volunteer with Growing West Side, today! Click HERE for more information!

Planting Snow Peas and Succession Planting

By Neith Little

What is Succession Planting?

Planting one crop after another in the same season can help you grow more food and more variety in a small space.

The trick is to pick different species that fit together within the growing season. For example, snow peas are cool-season crops: they grow well in the early spring or in the fall, but grow poorly in the heat of summer. Pole beans are a warm season crop: they need the heat of summer to grow best. So you could plant snow peas in the early spring before your beans, or in the fall beans.

You may also hear the phrase “succession planting” used when a gardener plants small amounts of the same species several times throughout the growing season. For example, if you planted a whole garden bed full of lettuce all at once, all the lettuce would mature at the same time and you might have more than you could eat before it “bolts” and starts to flower. But if you planted a small patch of lettuce every week or two, then later each patch would mature in “succession” every couple of weeks, and you would have lettuce at its tastiest available in your garden for a longer window of time.

Snow peas…..and Beans on the Boulevard

snow peas

Snow Peas

If you want to try succession planting, this year’s bean buddy is a good place to start. Snow peas are easy to grow and like cool weather. They grow well when the air temperature is between 40 and 75 degrees F. The seedlings can even survive a light frost. If you want to grow them in the spring, before a summer crop, it’s important to get them started early,  because most varieties take about 60 days to produce pods, and the plants will stop growing and producing flowers when the temperature gets into 80s in June, which is when you will want to plant your pole beans anyway.

You can also plant them in the fall, when the temperatures start to cool down and after your pole beans are past their peak production. Snow peas can be harvested at many stages. When the plants are still young, the shoots can be harvested and eaten as greens, usually stir-fried or steamed. The pods can be harvested and eaten when the peas inside are small. Or you can wait until the peas are more mature, and harvest them for shelling peas.

When harvesting at any of these stages it is important to keep what you pick cool, so that it will not wilt before you eat it. Harvesting first thing in the morning can help prevent wilting. if you harvest after the sun has hit the plants, run what you’ve harvested under cold water to cool them down before you store them in the refrigerator. For more information, see the U of M Extension website about snow peas.

West Side Farmers Market Survey!

Do You Love the West Side Farmers Market?


If you could take just a few minutes to let us know what you love about the West Side Farmers Market, that would be soooo awesome! Please click on this link and take our short survey and help us plan for the AMAZING 2016 season! Thank you!


Endangered Bird Talk!

Growing West Side is happy to invite you out on Monday, January 25th, to hear a great talk on Endangered Birds in MN, by our own amazing, nature photographer (and neighbor), Monica Bryand! Information below! Join all your neighbors at Cherokee Park United Church to learn how we can help protect our native birds.

bird talkindex

Growing West Side Seed Library Opens!

Come Join Us to help Celebrate the 2015 Opening of the

Saturday, February 7th from 12-3 pm
1 East George Street

The Growing West Side Seed Library is starting its second year of providing free seeds and education to the neighborhood.  Bring your friends and family.  We will have activities for kids, information on Community Garden Plots, Youth Farm and up coming Growing West Side Events.

Wonderful Worms! 12:30 to 2:30 pmgwskidsworms10974198_10152993553423077_762026600719982598_o

Kids, roll up your sleeves and learn about composting worms as you help us separate and move our composting worms to a new composting box.

Starting Seeds Indoors Workshop 1 pm

Get ready for planting your vegetable garden this spring by joining us for a workshop on Starting Seeds Indoors. Learn which seeds need to be started early inside and which are planted directly in the garden and learn how to start and care for seeds as they grow. Then go up stairs to the Seed Library and “check out” some seeds for you to start at home.

Winter Sowing Workshop 2 pm

Learn an easy method of starting seeds outdoors in late winter usgwsSeedsprout104ing recycled containers. Perfect for starting Pollinator friendly flowering natives.

KIDS! Get down and dirty learning about composting worms and help us separate and move them to a new composting box!

Brought to you by Growing West Side and The Riverview Library.