Food Forest

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.

Location

Blooming Sunshine Food Forest

Łomianki Park
39th Avenue at California Street NE Columbia Heights, MN 55421

Łomianki Park in the City of Columbia Heights, MN
Hands of a black person holding freshly picked garden vegetables.

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.

Gardeners celebrate completed soil preparation for a food forest.
Gardeners finish the food forest soil preparation and path layouts in 2019.
A black man holds vegetables freshly picked from a food forest garden.
Some of first vegetables harvested in 2020.

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.

A Blooming Sunshine Garden sign prohibiting dog poop reads "We're growing food here."
Gardeners weed the food forest
Diverse volunteers and kids work in a garden.

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:

  • Gloves
  • Hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Water

When

Every Tuesday at 5:30pm, June through September.

Volunteer gardeners at the food forest

Join Us!

If you have any questions, feel free to contact the garden organizer, Kat Audette-Luebke.