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Farmers spring into action to help northeast Minneapolis farmer after devastating fire

Farmers rally after fire devastates northeast Minneapolis urban farmer's residence
Farmers rally after fire devastates northeast Minneapolis urban farmer's residence 02:11

MINNEAPOLIS — A fire wiped out thousands of plants, putting one urban farmer on the verge of losing it all. 

Without a greenhouse, Elyssa Eull grew plants through the winter in her northeast Minneapolis basement. Just when she thought she was done for, some fellow farmers sprung into action.

In the shadow of a giant rabbit in northeast Minneapolis, you'll find Elyssa Eull tending to the California Street Farm.

The organic produce there goes to local families, restaurants and farmers' markets to nourish her community.

"I love food so much, so for me food is this great connector," she said.

But earlier this month, it was Eull who needed help when a fire at her duplex wiped out months of work. It almost leveled the operation. 

"It was completely overwhelming I would say in that moment," Eull said.

But then her friend asked other farmers to step up. She made a list of what Eull needed to keep going, and the produce poured in.

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WCCO

"From Hager City, Wisconsin to Litchfield. We've got shishito peppers, sweet pepper, eggplants," Eull said. "All of this was donated by farmers from across the state."

Some are friends like Chris Barth, who donated plants and greenhouse space.

"It's been kinda groundswell from all the farmers who have been there, done that," Barth said. "It's a testament to the community she's also fostered around the farm she has."

Some of them, she's never met.

"I just feel overwhelmed with gratitude and joy for my community," Eull said. "There's no way this farm would be able to continue to run without that support."

Now she's heading into the season stronger than ever.

"I think it's going to work. We're going to make it happen," Eull said. "Feeling like you have a community of farmers building you up and supporting you is just the best feeling in the world."

You can buy produce from California Street Farm right at the farm stand on Monday nights from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. from June to mid-October. It is also available every Saturday morning at the Northeast Minneapolis Farmer's Market. 

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