Ahh, spring has finally arrived! And what better way to celebrate this season than by getting outside and gardening. In honor or Earth Month, many special activities have been planned, including several garden and farm workdays and tours, arranged through the Sustainability Studies Program and Prof. Vicki Gerberich’s SUST 230 Food course.
Even though these opportunities are geared towards food sustainability, they also play an important role in so much more, including community development, urban sustainability and social and environmental justice. Plus, gardening and getting outside can be a great stress reliever, especially as we approach the end of the semester!
If you would like to have an opportunity to learn more about the urban and community supported agriculture endeavors happening in and around Chicago, and get your hands a little (or a lot) dirty, than join Professor Gerberich and other SUST 230 students at one of the following planned farm tours or workdays. There is a small fee associated with most of the events. (Register here!)
Washington Park Youth Farm with Windy City Harvest – Friday, April 19 (9:30am-12pm) or Friday, April 26 (9:30am-12pm). Washington Park Youth Farm is located at 555 E. 51st Street on Park District property adjacent to Walter H. Dyett High School in Chicago. Built in 2009, the farm currently has 73 raised beds, a 42-foot hoop house, two beehives, a small fruit orchard, native and perennial plantings, and community space for youth programming. Each season, 25 neighborhood high school students are hired to work on the farm from May through October. Students grow and harvest produce, learn about food systems and healthy eating, and cultivate job and life skills in a safe, supportive, and structured environment. The Washington Park Youth Farm is open to the public on farm stand market days. The on-site farm stand is open on Wednesdays, July through October, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Angelic Organics CSA Farm – Saturday, April 20. This will be an all day event, as the farm is located at 1547 Rockton Road, Caledonia, Illinois. Transportation to the farm — located about 75 minutes west of Schaumburg at 1547 Rockton Rd., Caledonia — will be either on your own or coordinated individually for carpooling. This is a really excellent opportunity to get an up-close and personal look at the workings of a local, family-owned, community-supported farm fostering a vibrant local food economy.
Growing Home Farm Tour – Friday, April 26 at 1pm. The farm is located at 5814 S. Wood Street, Chicago, IL. Growing Home has been using urban agriculture as a catalyst for change for over a decade in Englewood, an underserved community on Chicago’s south side. Growing Home uses a combination of outdoor growing space and unheated hoop houses to extend their growing season, enabling harvests from March through December. The tour will last about an hour, but there may be an opportunity for an optional volunteer work opportunity to extend the timeframe by another hour.
Logistical details will be shared in coming announcements/posts and emailed to all those who sign up to join. Here’s how to participate:
- Register for any of the above events at this link — https://forms.gle/zA1vFgREufahUFJs7
- Complete this RU Travel Waiver form (pdf) and return via email to Prof. Gerberich (firstname.lastname@example.org)