Mhonpaj’s Garden

May & Mhonpaj

About

Mhonpaj’s Garden is a 9-acre certified organic vegetable farm owned by May Lee and her daughter Mhonpaj. With farmland in Stillwater and Hugo, May and her family grow a variety of certified organic vegetables and herbs.

In 1980, May, her husband Chue, their children, and May’s mother immigrated to the United States from Laos as refugees. They found work farming conventionally, but when May’s mother was diagnosed with cancer after working with pesticides in the U.S., May knew she needed to start farming organically.

May’s daughter Mhonpaj was connected with Minnesota Food Association (MFA, now Big River Farms) and learned about their New Immigrant Agriculture Program (now our Farmer Education Program). In 2010, the Lee’s “graduated” from the education program and went on to become the first Hmong-owned certified organic farm in Minnesota!

What We Sell

  • Hmong Herbs
  • Organic Veggies

Where We Sell

We Value Nutritious Food
Working with our community partners, The Food Group buys, gleans, grows, and processes fresh produce.

Food Bank
or Food Shelf?
The Food Group is a food bank that supplies other hunger relief agencies with fresh produce, frozen meat, grocery staples, and other household necessities. Food shelves distribute free food to individuals and families in their local communities.

The Food Group believes in food equity. They believe in culturally specific foods. They believe in meeting people where they are at. And most of all, they believe in dignity.

The Food Group volunteer and donor

Learn from Last Year's Event
The 16th annual Emerging Farmers Conference was held virtually in January 2021. Check out the executive summary.

At Big River Farms, we believe everyone who wants to start a sustainable farm should have access to education, land, infrastructure, markets, resources, and connections to meet their goals.

Help raise awareness of hunger in our communities!

Media Inquiries
Contact Sophia or call 763-450-3860.

Cash Grants Are Welcome, Too
Contact Emily Eddy White about making a corporate or foundation gift to The Food Group or call 763-450-3868.

Did You Know?
Over 20% of Black households and 19% of Latinx households report food insecurity, compared to 10% of white households.

Are You a Fare For All Fan?
Share about your Fare For All stop! The more people who shop, the better the prices for everyone.

Equity and Nutrition
Learn more about The Food Group's mission and read our Equity Values Statement and Healthy Foods Policy.

Would your organization like to join our list of groups donating $5,000 or more? Email Laura Mirafuentes or call 763-450-4209.

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The Food Group

We’re a nonprofit working at the intersection of equity and access to fresh, sustainable foods. From farming to distribution, we provide fresh food across MN and WI.

The Food Group is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. EIN 41-1246504 Contributions are tax-deductible to the full amount provided by the law.

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The Food Group Office & Warehouse

Big River Farms