Home occupation gardening classes are approved in Coon Rapids

A Coon Rapids woman, who has converted most of her yard into a food-growing area, now plans to offer gardening classes at her home.

The Coon Rapids Planning Commission has granted Marcia Baudino, 1656 127th Ave. N.W., a conditional use permit to conduct gardening classes as a home occupation.

Under her proposal, Baudino will hold the classes in one of the rooms in her house, then take the participants on a tour of the garden plots.

Hours of operation will be by appointment only Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and sometimes on a Saturday morning.

No more than three people will take the class at one time and there will be no outside employees, according to Planner Scott Harlicker.

The only conditions of commission approval were no more than 30 hours of classes per week limited to the hours proposed by Baudino and all vehicles associated with the home occupation must be parked on the driveway.

“Over the past seven years I have converted almost my entire yard to a food producing paradise,” Baudino wrote in a letter to the commission.

“The backyard has permanent beds for annual vegetables as well as strawberry and raspberry beds..

“The front yard is a permaculture (permanent agriculture) plan that integrates perennial food plants, prairie flowers and grasses, plants that are insectaries, pollinators and green manures.”

Baudino has 115 fruit bushes in her yard, among them arctic kiwi, 65 blueberry bushes, black and white currant bushes, lingonberries, honeyberries, prinsipia, quince, aronia and wintergreen, according to Baudino.

“With the produce I grow in my yard along with some I purchase from the local farmers market, I fill four freezers each season with meals,” Baudino wrote.

“With this system, my family is eating locally-grown, mostly organic food that is picked and cooked within a few days, all year long.”

Baudino was one of the guest speaker at the April 14 Coon Rapids Green Expo.

Peter Bodley is at [email protected]