Recipe for a Tiny Diner
Below are the people who helped create Tiny Diner.
Tiny Diner and Farm’s Urban Farm Manager and Community Outreach Coordinator, Koby has a master’s from the University of New Mexico in community and regional planning (food and seed systems with an emphasis on natural resources), a permaculture design certificate from the Permaculture Drylands Institute, and a permaculture teacher certificate from the Permaculture Research Institute Cold Climate. She draws on many approaches to share diverse farming and community-building methods. In addition to urban farm management, she founded Seed Sages and teaches about seed saving and crop breeding.
Tiny Diner’s Farm Crew
High-quality, local food production is only possible with an abundance of highly-skilled and passionate farmers. Tiny Diner’s urban farm, located on 40th Street and 42nd Avenue in south Minneapolis, has its own farm crew.
The Farm Crew brings an abundance of knowledge, hard work and laughter to the Tiny Diner table. From experience at farms in Sweden and Colorado to working at the University of Minnesota’s organic farm, they add the flavor and consistency. They install and maintain edible demonstration gardens at the Tiny Diner and the Farm. They include:
Nick Cox: Weekend Assistant
Laura Goetsch: Workshop and TD Education Display Assistant
Martin Gordon: Mushroom Production Assistant
Kara Guerra: Volunteer Assistant
Taya Larae: Tiny Diner at Garden Farm Manager
Emi Sogabe: Farmers’ Market Assistant
Mary Stade: Pop-up Farmstand Assistant
Healthy farmers = healthy food!
Paula Westmoreland from the Permaculture Research Cold Climate collaborated with Kim Bartmann on the design and implementation plans for the Tiny Diner urban farm. The farm will provide food for the restaurant and educational opportunities for neighborhood residents. Water from the solar panels flows into a gutter that spills into a rain chain. From there it flows through a creek bed and then passively waters the vegetable garden. The design also includes a cistern that will capture water from the rooftop, a berm and swale system that takes water from a gutter and distributes it throughout the mini-orchard, and a rain garden.
Our goal is to grow a variety of foods on small scale at the farm and on the rooftop. The following crops will be harvested:
- Fruits: pears, apples, cherries, plums, raspberries, rhubarb, strawberries, serviceberry, currants
- Nuts: pine nuts and hazelnuts
- Vegetables: greens, spinach, tomatoes, peppers, herbs, peas, carrots, beets, garlic etc.
- Edible flowers, herbs, and wild edibles.
The Tiny Diner began its adventure as an energy innovator in 2013 when Sundial Solar installed the largest single PV array to ever be lifted in one piece as a roof for the outdoor patio. The custom-fabricated photovoltaic array:
- Consists of 84 tenKsolar panels and reflectors
- Is raised 13 feet off the ground on four steel posts above the patio
- Measures almost 60′ x 60′
- Holds 16 kilowatts of photovoltaic panels
- Weights nearly 30,000 pounds!
The Thicket is created by CHEERIUP. From Kelly English, CHEERIUP’s principal: “CHEERIUP was born from a desire to provide our spunky, city-mouse daughter a natural and enchanting outdoor play space. I imagined a wholesome place she could call her own, an inspiring place she and her friends could lose themselves for hours in imaginative play, a safe place she could escape to for nurturing solitude, and a timelessly lovely place our entire family could live alongside for years to come—versus the onslaught of rainbow-colored plastic or digital simulacrums that overwhelm new families. All this, combined with my own art, design, and education background led to a giant hut made of sticks in our backyard: a Thicket.”
Mademoiselle Miel—also known as Susan Borwn—works with Tiny Diner to raise bees to pollinate gardens and greens within a two-mile radius. After a bee-centric visit to France (rooftop bees have been kept at the Paris Opera House for over 25 years), Susan began tending rooftop beehives for a number of places in Minneapolis and St. Paul, including Union Depot and W Minneapolis – The Foshay. Mademoiselle Miel creates distinctive honey bon-bons that feature the exquisite honey the hives produce.
Urban beekeeping offers a wide variety of foraging sources to help make stronger bees. Honeybees, unlike yellow jackets and hornets, are not aggressive and only sting when provoked or when the colony is in peril. Keep the bees in your neighborhood healthy by avoiding pesticides and planting organic, bee-friendly flowers, vegetables and plants.
“An abundant future begins with healthy living systems.” This is a core belief of Paula Westmoreland and Ecological Gardens, a local permaculture design company that is collaborating with Tiny Diner on the installation of their urban farm. Since 2000 Ecological Gardens has been creating food and habitat in urban backyards and farms, rural homesteads, and rooftops. Now they’re working with Tiny Diner to build a new model of what a neighborhood restaurant can be: a place for quality local food and a space for the community to learn about ways to create a more sustainable life.