Created in 2009, the Target North Café Garden came to life through a collaboration with grounds department and Bon Appétit then—Executive Chef and Regional Forager Shaun Holtgreve. Full of passion but lacking the equipment needed to establish a garden from scratch, Shaun selected a site with the help of the grounds crew, who then tilled the plot and got it ready for planting. The garden became quite the family affair, with Shaun’s wife and kids joining him regularly in the garden to plant seedlings, pull weeds, and harvest vegetables.
Now approaching its tenth anniversary, the garden lives on, albeit in a different location outside of one of Target’s office buildings. Occupying a 100-by-60-foot plot, the garden is maintained by a combination of Bon Appétit team members at Target North, with continued help from volunteers in the grounds department to plant, weed, and irrigate the garden during the growing season.
The team focuses on growing a wide variety of crops in order to showcase rare or unusual varieties to Target employees who dine at the café. Their crops include unique varieties of eggplant, beans, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, squash, kale, peppers, herbs, and tomatoes.
The strong partnership and collaboration is paying off; in 2017, the Target North Café Garden harvested close to 3,500 pounds of produce. In 2018, an additional 2-acre section of land was set aside for a pumpkin patch for Target North employees to harvest come October!