Welcome to Revolutionary Earth! We are a nonprofit organization dedicated to ecosystem restoration in the Rochester area.
Toward one, interconnected, restorative, urban ecosystem.
To improve the food sources for all living things, from micro-organisms in the soil, to plants, to pollinators and people, in the urban ecosystem of Rochester, Minnesota.
Transforming our food sources means a revolution from the soil up, a reorientation of how we conceive of the land. Rochester is much like any other midwestern town, with a landscape dominated by concrete, asphalt, and carefully managed lawn. We have covered up our greatest asset, the soil that could generously feed every creature in our ecosystem if we only liberated it. Feeding the soil means saying goodbye to the American lawn. The green carpets of rye grass we grow in our backyards are an outdated, early modern affectation that have become too costly to maintain. Lawns are a drain on the soil, a wasteland for pollinators, and a missed opportunity to grow fresh produce for people. We are committed not only to uncovering our lawns but to reinvigorating and regenerating the soil beneath it through no-till farming, crop rotation, cover cropping, and our compost exchange, the Compost Commonwealth. We never, ever use synthetic pesticides, herbicides, or chemical fertilizers, and we utilize heirloom varieties of vegetables, herbs, and fruit.
When a new steward comes forward with the offer to use her backyard, we begin the process of converting his or her lawn into a combination of native plants, flowers for pollinators, and a variety of vegetable crops. This former food desert is now a vibrant part of Revolutionary Earth Farm. We are committed to no-till practices, since tilling fractures the soil, confounding the soil structure and contributing to erosion and runoff. We also rotate our crops and include cover cropping in our gardens to build better soil systems. We plan to apply the compost we create in our Compost Commonwealth to our Farm, completing the urban food cycle and preventing valuable organic material from ever seeing the landfill.
When we look at a lawn, we see a lush green carpet, a fun place to play and relax. Bees and butterflies see a desert, devoid of any of the sources of food they need to survive. It's no secret that large-scale farming has crowded out much of the native habitat that pollinators need to survive and thrive, but with 30-40 million acres of lawn space in America, we have to come to our senses: we are starving our pollinators, and it's up to us to restore food sources for them in our urban spaces. We currently grow flowering vegetable plants and flowering plants on our Farm, which contributes to a better ecosystem for these important creatures. We plan in the next year to establish Revolutionary Earth Habitat, a dedicated effort to build more public pollinator gardens in Rochester and to expand the size and scope of the pollinator habitat we provide on our Farm. If you are interested in helping us save more pollinators, be sure to contact us!
The heart of our organization is Revolutionary Earth Farm, since it is on our farm that we grow the food that keeps a small but growing group of low-income families supplied with fresh vegetables throughout our growing season. Our motto is "the best for the poorest first." The best food is hyper-local, harvested within 24 hours, hand-picked and carefully inspected, delivered right to the door of people who need it. The poorest are those who lack even the means to participate freely in the food-shelf system: the disabled, those who lack transportation, the elderly, and the sick. And we supply our households first: we never take leftover food or offer our food to others for sale before our people. Our Farm is planted entirely from donated seeds, plants, and soil, tended by a 100% volunteer labor union, and distributed weekly for free. We call it "compassion-supported agriculture," our own version of a CSA. Visit our Food Page for more information about how we do it and how you can help!