1st Annual Garden-to-Plate Food Conference with topics such as Food Safety, Horticultural Best Practices, Nutrition, Legal Restrictions and improving your yield to impact your community.

2019 Garden-To-Plate Food Conference

Saturday, March 2, 2019 8:30 a.m.- 3:00 p.m.

Minnesota Landscape Arboretum | Chaska, MN

$70 Arboretum Members & Conference Affiliates
$80 General Registration 
Fee includes Arboretum admission, light breakfast with coffee, and lunch

       schoolyard garden conference, garden-to-plate food conference

     Schoolyard Garden Conference
          Friday, March 1st 
     Garden-To-Plate Food Conference
          Saturday, March 2nd
$110 Arboretum Members & Conference Affiliates
$130 General Registration  
Fee includes Arboretum admission, lunches and coffee breaks

Browse agenda & information using blue buttons at the right 


From schools and religious organizations to senior living centers and food shelves, many Minnesotans are growing food for their communities. While incredibly beneficial, these food gardens take significant work! 

With sparse staff time and limited resources, how do you ensure maximum production of safe food for your efforts? This conference will bring together the latest research and best practices to ensure Minnesota community food growers bring a bounty of safe produce to their communities.

What to Expect

In the company of fellow growers, you will learn about a wide variety of topics from seed to table and leave with the information and inspiration for a great growing season. Expert presentations and case studies that showcase

  • how to plant, manage, harvest and prepare food
  • what it takes to overcome barriers and achieve local buy-in and acceptance

Sessions include

  • Food Safety
  • Nutrition
  • Horticultural Best Practices
  • Improving your yield
  • Harvest Safety
  • Legal Restrictions
  • Community Engagement

Schedule at a Glance   
Garden-To-Plate Food Conference Agenda

Who Should Attend

  • Teachers and educators
  • School food service professionals
  • Dietitians
  • Cottage food producers and processors
  • Grocery and farm co-op members
  • Agriculture based social enterprises
  • Native and tribal gardens
  • Community farm participants
  • School administrators
  • Students
  • Master Gardeners
  • Concerned citizens
  • Non-profit organizations
  • State, regional and local agency staff 

Plenary Session 

School as a Positive Element of Change in our Food System
Bertrand Weber, Director, Culinary & Wellness Services, Minneapolis Public Schools

Learn more about the inspiring Rethinking Minneapolis School Lunch initiative in this inspiring keynote, including the following:

  • Bertrand's story from hospitality management to Minneapolis Public Schools nutrition services director

  • The importance and power of partnerships

  • How we can reconnect our youth with where there food comes from and engage them in a sustainable healthy food system

  • Inspiration and advice for working toward positive change in your own local food system

Breakout Sessions

  • Garden to PROP: How Community Gardens are Providing Food for a Local Food Shelf      
    Slide Set 1
           Slide Set 2
    Mary Margaret Brown

    PROP Food Shelf serves 1,100 households in Eden Prairie and Chanhassen. That's 3,500 individuals, half who are children, that rely upon this neighborhood food shelf. Fresh produce is one of the most expensive items to buy and very important in personal health and wellness. For food shelf clients on a limited budget, the cost can be prohibitive so they go without. In this session:

    • Hear how gardeners are changing fresh produce access for those who rely upon PROP.

    • Learn more about the eight community gardens in Eden Prairie and Chanhassen that provide produce directly to this food shelf for neighbors in need.

    • Hear from PROP staff and local community garden leaders.

    • Participate in a discussion and hands-on activity to think about how to create this partnership in your community.

  • Day to Day Reality of Farm to Table in Schools
    Kate Seybold, Minneapolis Public Schools Farm to School Coordinator

    It sounds exciting and wonderful to bring farm to table to your school district, but what does it actually look like on the ground level? In this session, you will:
    • Hear more about Kate's role as farm to table coordinator at Minneapolis Public Schools.

    • Learn some of the differences a farm to table food program has to conventional school food programs, including flexibility around seasonal availability and bumper crops.

    • Understand the relationships and communication that occurs between Kate, the farmers, the school food staff and more.

    • Take away advice and ideas to apply to your own school district's efforts to become farm to table!

  • Finding New Ways to Add Value in the Food System
    Tim Wilson

    As a farmer and community food advocate from Illinois, Tim has 15 years' of community food system experience. In this session, you will:
    • Hear case studies from Tim's work with school gardens, job training, food hubs, youth farms, and for profit urban farms.

    • Learn how to create value statements for your own food garden project.

    • Share and hear local stories of triumphs and strategy in production for community food systems.

  • Managing Garden Pests: Insects, Disease and Weeds
    Natalie Hoidal

    This hands-on workshop will provide an overview of insect, weed, and disease management in diversified fruit and vegetable production systems:

    • An introduction to integrated pest management (IPM) as a framework for managing pests in a way that is safe, responsible, and effective long-term.

    • A systems-focused approach to pest management that integrates cultural and mechanical control, as well as biological and chemical control when more intensive management strategies are needed.

    • You will leave this workshop with tools and skills for identifying pests, assessing damage, and selecting the appropriate management tactics for your situation.

  • Growing Connections with your Community
    Lisa Hinz, University of Minnesota

    You're growing delicious, healthy food and want to share it but, wait, how do you make connections with those who can use it? Or maybe you've discovered there's more to getting garden to plate than you thought. Let's get together and talk about what's working, what's not, and learn some tips and tools for making community connections that you can start using right away.

  • Garden to Table in a SNAP
    Deb Dilley and Jodi Nordlund, University of Minnesota SNAP-Ed Educators


                   Deb Dilley           Jodi Nordlund
  • Safe Harvesting: Using Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) 
    Anne Sawyer, University of Minnesota Extension

    Food safety in the garden in important...and achievable! In this presentation, Anne will discuss the 'why' and 'how' of food safety in the garden. She'll provide an introduction to Good Agricultural Practices, or GAPs, which are practical, science-based steps that gardens facilitators can take to reduce risks of foodborne illnesses in fresh produce. While this presentation will not be an official GAPs training, it will provide a great introduction to the topic of food safety in the garden and empower facilitators and volunteers to move towards best practices for risk reduction, regardless of their starting point.



Pair the Garden-to-Plate Food Conference with

Schoolyard Gardens Conference

Schoolyard Gardens Conference 

Garden-to-Plate Conference Details

Agenda  /  Register               

Speaker Bios                         

Area Accommodations          

Endorsing Organizations       
& Exhibitors     


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Questions About Registration?

Call 612-301-1210
Email: ArbEdu@umn.edu

Cancellation Policy: Registration cancellations must be made two weeks prior to class date in order to receive refund. A $5 processing fee will apply.

A certificate of completion for continuing education contact hours will be available to participants upon completion of the day.