Category Archives: Events

November 30 Committee Meeting Agenda

Proposed Ventura Village Agenda for November 30, 2023 Committee Meetings

(5:30 p.m.  Second floor conference room at ICCM Life Center and on Zoom)

1) Review of Problem Solving Chart and request for approval of the implementation plan along with $2,000 to begin implementation.

2) December 4, 2023 Public Hearing of the Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center’s proposal and request for a variance for a height increase from three to four stories and site plan review.

3) Update on the 2040 Plan status – discuss optional responses

4) Update on encampments

5) Update on Website Manual – Daniel

6) Update on Peacekeepers contract –

Problem Solving Strategies Meetings

Help develop strategies to solve problems facing our neighborhood. 

At September 28th’s Ventura Village committee meetings, it was decided to hold more frequent working meetings to develop strategies to address problems facing the neighborhood.

We are meeting the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays at 1:30 pm in the 2nd floor conference room at the ICCM Life Center.  Many people already have this time in their schedules because it was the scheduled time for Council Member Osman’s community office hours. ICCM has said that we could take over this time slot since Osman will not be having community office hours until December.

We hope to add additional evening meeting times for those who cannot attend daytime meetings.

In any event, it is not necessary to be present to participate and contribute ideas. Please submit your ideas via email to

Attached is a working draft that hopefully will help structure our discussions.

The meetings focus on developing strategies to solve problems and the initial focus is on problems dealing with crime.

Flowers on Franklin

On May 20th, 12 volunteers from Ventura Village planted and watered the 60+ flower pots on Franklin Avenue.  All summer long they are colorful and growing along with the residents of Ventura Village.

Hope Community Gardens

Though the recent late-winter snowfalls in the Twin Cities might suggest otherwise, spring is right around the corner, which means garden season is almost here! At Hope Community Inc., the Food, Land, and Community (FLC) team has been busy preparing for the upcoming season and dreaming about various programming, events, and activities to host this season. The mission of the FLC program is to bring community members together to grow and cook nutritious food, learn about local food systems, celebrate culture and traditions related to food and land, and take action on opportunities for systems change.

New FLC program organizers Jeremey Paulson and Caroline Hall are eager to build community power through the garden spaces this season. Hailing from North Minneapolis, Jeremey brings years of experience in youth work and wellness spaces, and he recently co-founded Wellness on the Block (WOB), a grassroots organization tailored to BIPOC individuals and their inclusion within wellness practices. WOB provides accessible, safe, and welcoming spaces for BIPOC to heal and network with other wellness professionals via donation-based classes and expos. He also teaches regular dance classes at the Northside Artspace Lofts.

Jeremey Paulson, new FLC farm program organizer

Caroline grew up in Indiana and moved to Minnesota for college, where she studied environmental studies and music. She has worked on several farms, including Unity Gardens in her hometown of South Bend, IN, where she first learned about the intersection of community health, environmental justice, and growing food. Caroline is passionate about building community power and advancing food justice through communal gardening and she’s excited to grow alongside Phillips community members this season. She recently got her beekeeping certificate and hopes to start her own hive soon!

Caroline and neighbor Santiago in the Rose Garden last summer.

Last week, the FLC team hosted our first event of the year, a garden interest meeting intended to gather community members interested in being involved in programming this year. We shared a delicious meal and heard from community members about crops they want to grow, skills they want to share, and events they’d like to take part in. We are currently planning to grow in our three garden spaces near Hope Community (611 E. Franklin Ave.), including an individual plot-based garden. If you’re interested in getting involved in the gardens or having your own plot, please contact

On a snowy Tuesday night, the Food, Land, and Community team at Hope Community led community members in a garden planning meeting.

Article and pictures provided by: By the FLC team at Hope Community

Need Help Getting Your Seeds Started?    

 Our recent lingering winters have made many of us anxious to start digging in our gardens in the spring.  Fortunately, supplies to start seeds indoors are more available now as are books and instructions to help us.

     Our website already has several options.  NACDI, Mashkiikii Gitigan, and Mpls. Edible Boulevards are offering classes that you can find on our website.  We want to share with you some helpful instructions from our previous Ventura Village Pages in the Alley Newspaper.  They were written by 2 Waite House gardeners who worked in our neighborhood.  Michele Manske wrote hers in 2020 and Melissa Trent in 2021.  Hope you find them useful.

Michele Manske, 2020

     This year it hasn’t been the weather that’s been keeping us inside; it’s a global pandemic. With all of the emotions that are present, let us stay present. What I am seeing is the strength behind the movement of people faced with a challenge; and It brings me hope that collectively we can organize, mobilize, and find solutions. 

     As an urban farmer, I work to change old systems that no longer serve us. I am driven to change the narrative of injustice towards our environment and our neighbors. That is why I’m going to teach you how to start your own garden, with items found around your house to be grown by your window or in your backyard; because there is great power in growing your own food. If you have internet access, you can find my seed starting video on Pillsbury United Communities Facebook page:, or by searching “Michele starting seeds at home” on youtube. 

For those of you who don’t have access, read on! 

  1. Gather potting soil. This can be ordered online, or found at any local hardware store. Some stores are doing curbside pickup so you don’t have to go inside. Call ahead to order. 
  2. Gather old toilet paper rolls, paper towel rolls, or egg cartons. If using paper rolls: crease the roll so it resembles a square instead of a circle. Cut to desired length, for example: cut in half if using a toilet paper roll. Cut slits at the four corners to half way, so you will be able to fold the bottom of the roll like a box. You should have an open ended box, or seedling pot! 
  3. Pre-moisten your soil. You want to mix the water in until you are able to form a ball of soil without water dripping from it. 
  4. Fill your seedling pots. Be careful not to pack the soil in too tightly, as the seeds need room for their roots to grow. 
  5. Place by the warmest, sunniest window in your home. Watch the seeds daily, and water when the soil is starting to look, or feel a bit dry, but be careful not to let them dry out completely. Continue caring for your seedlings in this way until the second week of May. If you have a space outside to plant, continue on. If you are planning to keep plants indoors, it is time to replant them in a larger container. 
  6. Start bringing your seeds outside for a few hours at a time. This is called, hardening off, and allows your seedlings to get used to what will be their new outside home. After 5 days of bringing them outside and back inside at night, they are ready to plant outside! A good rule of thumb is to plant your seedlings outside after May 15th. We rarely get another frost after this date, so your plants will be safe from a frozen demise. When planting outside, dig a hole to the depth of your plant’s roots and twice as big. Fill with water, place the plant in a hole and gently push the soil back into the hole. 

For more gardening tips or advice feel free to reach out to your local urban farmer at Happy planting! 

Melissa Trent, 2021

     Spring has officially arrived and one thing we know for sure, is that we’ve made it through the winter. For folks interested in starting their own garden seeds indoors, now is the time! Growing food is an act of resilience and can be an exciting way to spend time outdoors this year, plus, we have plenty of gardening neighbors to learn from and chat with this season.

     I find the easiest plants to grow are tomatoes, peppers, and herbs. If you have a sunny window, seeds or plants, good soil, a few large pots, or a small garden space, you can grow your own food (just add water)!

If you’re looking to start your own seedlings this season, here’s an easy-to-follow guide:

  1. Source seeds (for free), collect a few small trays, old egg cartons, or plastic lettuce containers with lid, seed starting soil, and a spray bottle
  2. Choose a South facing, sunny window to set trays on
  3. Moisten soil in a bowl or bucket before filling pots, the soil should be moist, but not so wet that you can squeeze water out of it
  4. Fill your trays, pots, or cartons with soil, and loosely pat
  5. Read seed packet, follow instructions on the back of the packet, and plant seeds at proper depth. (this doesn’t need to be exact, but fairly close to the recommended depth)
  6. Place seeds in soil, using your finger to gently press into the soil
  7. Lightly cover seeds with soil and water
  8. Label planting containers with the plant varieties that you chose
  9. Place seeds in a sunny window
  10. Check plants daily to ensure that they have adequate moisture and make sure to mist them if the soil feels dry. It’s critical to make sure the soil doesn’t dry out, as the seeds require moisture to germinate. 
  11. After 4 weeks, or one set of true leaves have emerged, place one plant per pot, into larger pots, and move into a porch, or place outside for a few hours, gradually moving outdoors. 
  12.  After the last spring frost (usually after Mother’s Day), plant outside in a sunny area.