Events like Farm Supper and Family Day are set against an unparalleled scenic backdrop. Photo courtesy of Tangletown Gardens
“At Tangletown Gardens we want to inspire and educate,” says Scott Endres, who owns the urban garden center with his business partner Dean Engelmann.
From the moment that you step inside Tangletown Gardens—or even just visit their website—this mission is obvious. And this mission is what makes them one of the premiere garden centers in the Twin Cities. Whether you utilize their CSA program, take a class, or just shop the garden center, you are sure to leave feeling equipped for whatever project Tangletown Gardens has inspired you to take on.
Located in the Tangletown neighborhood of Minneapolis, Tangletown Gardens is something of an oasis. Originally a Pure Oil Station built back in 1939, this little building did a one-eighty when Scott Endres and Dean Engelmann rebuilt it as an urban garden center in 2003.
Endres and Engelmann both grew up on family farms. The two met at the University of Minnesota where they were studying horticulture. Their childhood exposure to farming combined with their later education has informed their passion for and knowledge of plants and animals. It was only natural that the two “became fast friends, and [eventually] developed the idea of Tangletown Gardens.”
Today, Tangletown Gardens exists as a trend-forward garden center. “We pride ourselves in revolutionary thinking that is out of the mainstream,” Endres says. Take a walk through the garden center and ask questions of the staff—you are sure to find a fun project, an inspiring activity kit, a beautiful plant, or a unique container or accent. There is something for every plant-based project you can conceive of.
The team at Tangletown Gardens is bursting with ideas that you can apply to your own space. Integrate pollinator plants throughout your garden to help build local bee populations while beautifying your yard. Plant a boulevard garden “to bridge the gap between the public and private areas of your landscape.” And, of course, you can never go wrong with a vegetable garden. Not only does a vegetable garden allow you to connect with the food you eat and the land you live on, it can also help you connect with the people you know. According to Endres “paying forward the extra fruits of your labor with friends and neighbors” is the most rewarding part of a vegetable garden.
Tangletown Gardens has another mission: to “preserv[e] the land for future generations…[through] regenerative agriculture and sustainable farming.” This mission is seen most clearly on the 140-acre farm that powers the garden center. Located in Plato, Minnesota, this farm pursues its goals of regenerative, sustainable practices by prioritizing biological agriculture and ecological restoration.
“Big words,” Endres laughs, “but simply put, our growing approach produces beautiful, strong, and healthy plants without any harmful chemicals and their unintended environmental consequences.
Recently, Tangletown created a new program through which customers can “buy Farm products all year by shopping the online Farm Direct Store for everything we produce.” This program is relatively new—it began in April of last year—but has been incredibly popular. Pickups are available every Thursday afternoon.
If the regularity or seasonal nature of CSA is more your style, Tangletown Gardens does an 18-week summer CSA program. There are three share sizes and ten pickup locations throughout the cities, making Tangletown’s CSA program both customizable and convenient. “Customers get classic favorites and heirloom varieties that are so fresh, they’re bursting with flavor.”
A Place to Learn and Connect
“Education and community involvement is paramount to us. We want to be a fixture in our community,” Endres says. Although things have been a little bit different in the last year due to COVID precautions, Tangletown Gardens loves providing its community with educational opportunities and community-building gatherings. Tangletown Gardens hosts special annual events like Farm Supper and Friends & Family Day.
These events give guests a deeper understanding of the farm behind Tangletown Gardens—and there is always a farm-fresh meal provided.
“We have design workshops for all seasons including succulent workshops, seasonal wreath building, and seasonal container design,” says Endres, “We also offer numerous houseplant experiences where you can learn more about horticulture and plant care.” For now, Tangletown has relegated its classes to educational and design videos on their Instagram but are hopeful that they will be able to start hosting in-person classes and events again this year.
If you are ready to learn something new, get inspired with a new project, or stock up on Minnesota farmed produce, head on over to Tangletown Gardens—you will be glad that you did.