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LH 111: Community Gardens with LaManda Joy

How to build a community around gardening

On this podcast, I talk a lot about growing food in small-medium sized spaces.

But what about when you have NO space at all?

What do you do then?

Well if you live in a city or suburb, one option is to join a community garden. There are so many benefits!  

Oh Sure, you get a space to grow food.

But that’s just the beginning!

You also gain knowledge, friendships, fun activities and a sense of community that just can’t be found anywhere else.

In today’s podcast, I bring on LaManda Joy who is doing some incredible things with community gardens in the Chicago area.

Not only will you learn how community gardening works, but I think you will be very inspired by her story. She’s is pretty incredible person.


You’ll learn:

  • How an old Victory Garden photo started a modern movement
  • How LaManda grows new gardeners and generates community
  • What is the “Grow To Give” project
  • What should you look for in a community garden
  • Why community gardens are a great place to learn
  • How to find a garden in your area
  • The importance of not being perfect

LaManda Joy:

LaManda Joy wants to inspire everyone she meets to grow their own food… seriously. Everyone. She. Meets.

And that’s a good thing! Because she has sparked the gardening gene in more people than you can count.

She is an author, national speaker, award-winning Illinois Extension Master Gardener and considered the “Best Urban Farmer in Chicago.” Inspired by the massive WW2 Victory Garden movement she founded the Peterson Garden Project in 2010.

She has collaborated on Fearless Food Gardening in Chicagoland: A Month-by-month Guide for Beginners (2013) andStart a Community Food Garden: The Essential Handbook (2015).

LaManda has served on the board of the American Community Gardening Association, spoken at the Library of Congress, national conferences, garden shows, festivals, libraries and appeared on PBS and other media outlets and was featured in the documentary Food Patriots… Her rallying cry “We can grow it!” recognizes the influence of the past while invigorating the American can-do spirit to create a positive future.


Resources & Links Mentioned:

The Peterson Garden Project

The Yarden – LaManda’s Blog

The American Community Gardening Association

New Victory Gardens – Growing a Greener World TV #420 featuring LaManda


Click here for the full transcript for Episode #111

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About the Author:

Theresa Loe is the founder of Living Homegrown® and the Canning Academy®. For 9 years, Theresa was the Co-Executive Producer & Canning Expert on the national PBS gardening series, Growing A Greener World®. Theresa homesteads on just 1/10th of an acre in Los Angeles with her husband, two sons and several disorderly but totally adorable chickens. Learn more about Living Homegrown here and about the Canning Academy here.