Dreaming big
and finding the tools
to make it happen, delivered through the experience of creating and selling amazing salads.

Every year eager-to-learn teens join Roots for the Home Team ready to expand their dreams, learn new ways of thinking, and build paths to success. Through growing food, making and selling salads, unifying through teamwork, and learning about how innovators think, they step into new futures tailor-made by the skills honed through ROOTS.

And, it all comes with the added benefit of a paying job.

With their dedication, creativity, and passion — teens clear paths to a new future.

How ROOTS Works

From seed to salad bowl to greater success as adults.

Roots for the Home Team is the next step for youth already participating in community gardens. Using the produce they have grown, teens create gourmet salads with local chefs, gain work experience selling those salads at Target Field, and take university-level courses to discover their strengths to help them become who they want to be as adults.

We partner with community gardens to find teens hungry for the next level in life.

It starts with local produce grown by our participants. Youth
quickly discover a curiosity for what their future can bring.

Celebrity Chef Coaches and ROOTS participants invent 8 new salad recipes in one day.

Roots participants come ready with their salad recipe ideas. Working hand-in-hand with their chef coaches they learn, practice, taste, and ultimately present their NEW ROOTS salad creations and recipes for the coming year.

The "Finding Your Roots" curriculum is a 3-year program designed to create a deep and lasting impact on every participant.

Designed by researchers from the University of Minnesota, "Finding Your Roots" curriculum centers on the personal and professional growth of each ROOTS participant.

Real-world work experience that pays.

Through on-the-job, paid work opportunities, teens develop job skills, teamwork, and build social skills that impress future employers. ROOTS youth staff run the Salad-Up! cart weekend Minnesota Twins games at Target Field and select Minnesota United FC at Allianz Field.


Graduates of ROOTS are invited to help guide the program's future.

Seasoned participants are invited to step into a variety of leadership roles, including co-teaching workshops alongside the University team and contributing to our vision, strategy and governance.

Joining Roots

Sparking curiosity with new ROOTS participants.

If you believe in a bright future, but wonder what the next steps out of the garden might be, ROOTS could be your next step. Participants in our program receive real world, paid working opportunities, plus a learning arm to dig deep into how successful individuals think. We’ll spark your curiosity, nourish your creativity, and give you  tools to drive dreams into reality, through interesting work, unique activities and access to fascinating people who have built their own paths.

Appetite For Change

Appetite for Change uses food as a tool to build health, wealth and change in North Minneapolis.

Urban Roots

Urban Roots is a Saint Paul organization whose mission is to cultivate and empower youth through nature, healthy food, and community.

Pillsbury United

Pillsbury United Communities co-creates enduring change toward a just society. Built with and for the people they serve.

Green Garden Bakery

Green Garden Bakery is an award winning youth-run business selling vegetable based desserts to the Minneapolis community.

Salad Creation Day

Recipe Day is everything fun about food.

Recipe Day is like the best in TV’s cooking competitions, up close and in real life. Local celebrity chefs mentor teams as the youths’ concepts are brought to life. The youth steer the process, pushing the chef’s creativity and knowledge to make cool new mixes. The recipes are made onsite, the youth name their salads, present the story behind their dish, then everyone tastes everything. What’s so impressive is how eclectic, unique, colorful and flavorful each dish is: these are no sissy salads.

FYR Curriculum

"Finding Your Roots" curriculum delivers the tools to build greater success as adults.

ROOTS curriculum focuses on asking all the good questions to lead curious minds on important paths. Questions like, what do you want to struggle for? Are the choices I make living the values I want? These questions open up new, never before seen or considered possibilities.

Finding Your Roots 1.0

The first year focuses on learning one's personal leadership style, other leadership styles and how all are needed for strong communities. Aspirations are explored and networks are built.

Finding Your Roots 2.0

Leadership styles are connected to individual strengths and forged together to explore passion and purpose. These ingredients start forming a map toward personal aspirations.

Finding Your Roots 3.0

Youth are invited to take leadership and mentoring roles in the program. They can become cart captains, workshop trainers, Youth Advisory Council members and/or spearhead projects that support ROOTS' drive to innovate.

Youth workshops designed and delivered by University of Minnesota faculty.

ROOTS curriculum is co-created by ROOTS youth and researchers from the University of Minnesota’s School of Social Work, Department of Youth Studies. It centers on the personal and professional growth of every participant, guiding them as they move closer to their hopes and dreams.

Who you are emerges from what you do.

Energy comes through exploration and a relentless pursuit of better understanding of self. Gaining insights into who you are, comes from doing -- not sitting, staring at perceived road blocks, or marinating in doubt.

A great life must be lived. ROOTS invites youth to ask key questions to understand and envision the specifics of that good life. Then, ROOTS helps participants discover the tools that create a path to pursuing it.

"Before Roots, I wasn’t sure I had passion. Now I know I do, and I get to do it."

— Roots Participant

Real-world Work Experience

Work that takes you where you actually want to go.

In addition to learning the Big Ideas, Roots for the Home Team includes on-the-job, paid opportunities to practice and hone these skills. In addition to creating, building, making, and selling salads, you will learn how to work as a part of a team with people coming from all kinds of different experiences. You will also learn how to advocate for yourself to build upon your and your team’s successes. These are all valuable skills and real-world experiences that will impress future employers.

Selling Salads at Target Field

See you at the ballpark!

Every year ROOTS youth collaborate with local celebrity chefs. In addition to the thrill of creating salad recipes, participants learn how to make and sell their dishes, while also operating the SaladUP cart at Target Field. This real-life experience and access to new mentors, coupled with a university-led curriculum, help ROOTS teens envision new dreams and forge new pathways for their futures.

"How you look is what allows you to see. Roots is teaching me how to look."

— Roots Participant

New! Youth Advisory Council

Youth promoted to leadership and trained by University faculty.

Youth voices are the compass of ROOTS program. As our young people grow, so too does ROOTS. Seasoned participants are invited to step into a variety of leadership roles, including serving as Cart Captains at the SaladUP stand, co-teaching the Finding Your Roots workshops alongside the University team and contributing to our vision, strategy and governance by way of a newly formed Youth Advisory Council.

They give guidance, advice and recommendations to decisions that are made, which directly affects the youth experience. They serve in a consultative and decision-making role alongside the ROOTS board.

Get Involved with Roots

Step up to the plate and become a ROOTS Youth, Supporter or Mentor.

Become a Roots Food Partner or Program Sponsor

Are you an Urban Farm or food supplier? Are you a retail business interested in selling ROOTS salads? Would you like to serve Roots salads at your next event?

Let's Talk

Volunteer as a Youth Mentor or Chef Coach

Would you join one of our workshops to discuss your professional career experience and pathway? Are you a chef who would share your talent by guiding ROOTS youth as they create their salad recipes?



Simply put, money makes many experiences more attainable. Roots for the Home Team does everything in its power to clear pathways to success for our youth. Will you join our team to make these bright futures all the easier to reach?

Donate Now

Become a ROOTS Youth

All Roots for the Home Team participants connect with our organization through Minneapolis and St. Paul urban farms. Are you a teen interested in joining Roots for the Home Team? Check out our youth Garden Program partners.

Community Garden Partners