It started with a simple idea.
LaManda Joy was standing in her local, Chicago neighborhood butcher shop a few years ago, when she noticed a vintage photo on the wall. It was a Victory Garden from WWII that had once stood right in her neighborhood. It was the standard nostalgic photo with straight rows of vegetables and had been taken during the gardens peak production in 1943.
Peterson Ave. WWII Victory Garden 1943
A few days later, as LaManda was driving down that same street, her eyes drifted over to a large abandoned, unused lot and…it clicked! THAT was part of the same lot as the photo on the butcher shop wall!
It was an Aha-Moment for LaManda as she pondered,
“What if, we revitalize that vacant lot into a modern, neighborhood Victory Garden – a community garden where people can reconnect with their food source?”
You might be thinking…Who has thoughts like that?
Well, luckily for us – LaManda does!
I’ll go ahead and tell you the happy ending. She set to work and within just a few short months (and a lot of passionate work) that vacant lot became…
The largest organic edible garden in Chicago!
100′s and 100′s of people volunteer and grow food in the 157 plots each year.
The story of how that happened is a great one. But, the story of what happened after that is even better!
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Curious about heirloom plants? Or maybe you are already on board the heirloom bandwagon and are just interested in something really unique to grow this season? Well, today’s post features a giveaway of heirloom seeds from Baker Creek! (The giveaway is over, but there is still great info below on heirlooms!)
I am not in a position to give advice on how to farm. But one thing I have learned from from my farmer friends and the inspiring farmers I have interviewed for our PBS TV show (Joel Salatin, Farmer D and others) is that there are some great resources out there that people can tap into.
See…Many of us dream of just owning a little piece of land where we can grow on a much larger scale. And others among us, want to farm…really farm…with acreage, CSAs and whole deal. Fun right?
Well yes, farming can sound very romantic and satisfying. But the reality is that Farming is also hard work. And unless you have at least some knowledge to back up your hard work, you probably won’t make it.
It’s a Journey!
But that does not mean you give up. It means you embrace the idea of gaining knowledge. And really, the process of gaining that knowledge can be a sweet ride for ALL of us. It doesn’t matter how large or small our little plot of land is, gaining knowledge is a journey. And it is a smart journey to start if you are even remotely considering going into farming. [click to continue…]
This post is part of the 31 Days of Living Homegrown. Sign up for my newsletter (weekly or monthly) so you don’t miss any of the inspiration and resources I will be sharing for living local, fresh and homegrown!
I think as gardeners we sometimes forget that the general non-gardening public doesn’t always fully understand the importance of bees. I know that I spend so much time with like-minded people (who share my love of bees), that I am always caught off guard when I encounter someone who thinks, “the only good bee is a dead bee“.
But that lack of understanding is very, very real…and scary.
So today’s post is about an inspiring couple who are truly making a difference! And I am including some links at the end on how we can make a difference too.
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