In the dining room of Fiona Quick's south Minneapolis home, signs of the comings spring are starting to emerge.
In plastic grow boxes, trays of onions, pansies, peppers and other plants rise toward florescent lights - a blanket of color that Minnesotans have been starved for.
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Even with snow on frozen ground, gardens like Quick's have been growing for months.
"End of January beginning of February was when I started planting the onion seeds," she said. Quick is a board member of Gardening Matters, a Twin Cities-based non-profit that advocates for community gardening and arranges seed and seedling exchanges.
She has been gardening all her life, a skill she learned from her mother, and is a fan of low-till gardening that avoids spading or digging.
For Quick, the key to gardening is to give the soil a gentle tickle at most, all a part of nurturing the biology below the surface.
"There's a lot of culture in your soil, and the more you till the more you lose the culture of your soil," she said. "I worked hard to develop what's there."