Blooming Sunshine is a food forest in Columbia Heights, MN. In this beautiful place, the community works together to grow food, learns gardening skills and gathers to enjoy the produce that grows. Not only is the food forest plentiful, but the fluid patterns and angular designs showcase agriculture as art.
What is a Food Forest?
A food forest is a landscape of various edible plants that naturally work together like a forest. It is a free, public resource for anyone to harvest or plant as much food as they like.
Blooming Sunshine Food Forest
39th Avenue at California Street NE
Columbia Heights, MN 55421
Yes, it’s free.
All of the food that grows in the food forest can be picked by anyone in the public at any time. However, some foods are best harvested at certain times of the year, so it’s best to look at the pictures on the signs to see what a ripe fruit or vegetable looks like.
In 2019, HeightsNEXT was interested in starting a food forest, and searched for a possible location. The City of Columbia Heights kindly provided an unused baseball field in Łomianki Park and tilled the overgrown diamond. A chain link backstop still remains. Dozens of volunteer gardeners spent the first year preparing the soil with compostable barriers, mulch, and other natural nutrients. Volunteers also planted a separate pollinator garden on the western boundary.
Blooming Sunshine grew its first edible plants in 2020, including vegetables and fruits. Over the summer, a park bench was built by volunteer craftsman David Szurek, and installed by the city staff later that autumn among a ring of young fruit trees in the food forest. Additional benches are planned as resources allow.
Although still in its infancy, the food forest becomes more diverse and intricate each year, thanks to the generosity of volunteer gardeners from all walks of life.
Everyone is welcome to garden in the food forest! Be sure to bring your own:
Every Tuesday at 5:30pm, June through September.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact the garden organizer, Kat Audette-Luebke.