Thursday, February 2, 2023


Palestinian advocates praise a new fact sheet on discrimination, Pennsylvania considers extending deadlines for abuse claims, and North Dakota's corporate farming debate affects landowners and tribes.


Vice President Kamala Harris urges Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, the House begins the process to impeach the Homeland Security Secretary, and the Federal Reserve nudges interest rates up.


Is bird flu, inflation or price gouging to blame for astronomical egg prices? Pregnancy can be life-changing or life-ending depending on where you live, and nine tribal schools are transforming their outdoor spaces into community gathering areas.

Edible Forests: A Healthy Alternative to MN Food Deserts


Friday, August 28, 2020   

LUVERNE, Minn. - A nonprofit group is working to create "edible forests" to provide lower-income communities, including in southwestern Minnesota, greater access to healthy foods.

Project Food Forest, based in Sioux Falls, wants to help eliminate "food deserts," areas where there's no grocery store nearby that sells affordable, nutritious products.

While community gardens help fight hunger, Kim Rockman - executive director of Project Food Forest - said they can be hard to maintain in a neighborhood with limited resources. She said food forests require some volunteer work after they've been established, but don't need as much attention because they're made up mostly of self-sustaining perennials.

"There's no one-size-fits-all model for a food forest," she said. "We have done vegetables, we have a few vegetables in the ground now, but definitely, the focus is the perennial plants."

The perennials include fruit trees, berries, herbs, mushrooms - all types of edibles, grown in conditions that mimic nature and offer variety for those who might otherwise lack access.

For now, Rockman said the group's primary work is in Luverne, Minnesota, classified as a food desert by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The community food forest there saw its first plantings in 2018.

Rockman said there's a lot of need on the South Dakota side as well, and her group's reach includes northwestern Iowa, too. She said she also gets requests from other parts of the country, where communities need guidance.

"A big chunk of what we're doing, in addition to the hands-on, hyper-local work," she said, "is how can we bridge gaps?"

Supporters of this movement say they're not trying to replace the work of community gardens or food pantries - and that all these resources complement each other. They also point out that food forests have environmental benefits, by creating tree canopies in urban areas lacking in nature.

get more stories like this via email

Protestors at the University of California-Berkeley demonstrate in support of student groups that passed a bylaw pledging not to invite pro-Zionist speakers. (Palestine Legal)

Social Issues

Groups fighting for Palestinian rights are praising a new fact sheet on religious discrimination from the U.S. Department of Education's Office for …

Social Issues

Lawmakers and immigrants-rights activists in the Commonwealth are hoping to pass the Language Access and Inclusion Act, which would dramatically …


New U.S. Department of Agriculture rules will target fraud and increase oversight of the $64 billion-a-year organic food industry. In Iowa, the …

While mortality rates for pregnant women have decreased globally, they continue to rise in the United States, with Black women three times more likely to die during pregnancy than white women. (Inez/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

By Jennifer Weiss-Wolf for Ms. Magazine.Broadcast version by Eric Galatas for Colorado News Connection reporting for the Ms. Magazine-Public News …

Health and Wellness

With Black History Month underway, Wisconsin researchers and support groups are highlighting the disparities in cases of Alzheimer's disease…


Oregon is pursuing an aggressive climate plan to switch to renewable energy sources, but it faces one often overlooked issue: enough high-voltage …

Social Issues

Advocates and stakeholders have solutions for the Virginia Employment Commission to get through its backlog of unemployment appeal cases. According …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021