volunteer opportunities, events, other, (many events/day = dark outline)
We welcome volunteers to join us as we sort seed packets into labeled bins at our new Suburban Agriculture Resource Center. We have had hundreds of seeds donated this winter and need to get them sorted in anticipation of our upcoming season. Hope you can join us! Please RSVP on this page. Save
We want to help relieve the financial barriers to starting community gardens. In February, 2017, we opened applications for support groups who wish to start or expand their community garden in DuPage County. To be eligible, a portion of what is grown in the garden must be donated to a DuPage area food pantry. In 2018, after a successful pilot year, we will be continuing our Community Gardening Program, and will be choosing another 5 new organizations to establish or expand a community garden in their chosen area. For more information please email email@example.com.
Award-Winning Organic Gardener Vicki Nowicki will be presenting at The GardenWorks Project Resource Center in West Chicago on Wednesday, February 7th at 7:15pm. She has been working with homeowners in the Chicago area for almost 40 years from her home and garden. She is a teacher, a writer, a community leader and she owns a business “with an ecological conscience” that focuses on planting and harvesting vegetables for the clients at home. She currently also runs an heirloom seed saving resource library in Downers Grove.Also, we will be holding a friendly seed exchange with fellow gardeners that have been saved from individual gardens. We will be holding this at 7pm, shortly before the presentation by Ms. Nowicki. The event will be a casual setting and no rules about how seeds should be packaged. We will also have the opportunity to sign up for the Food Growers Network at this time. $5 suggested donation to support our mission. You can also join our Food Growers Network for $20 and enjoy free events all year.
Start your garden organically at our Organic Vegetable Seedling Sale! ORDER NOW! We will also have plants available onsite at the seedling sale while supplies last. The GardenWorks Project Organic Seedling SaleMay 19, 20189am-3pm (while supplies last)The GardenWorks Project Resource Center, 103 W. Washington St. parking lot (or inside in case of rain) Seedling price: $1.50 each for Food Growers Network Members, $3 for nonmembers. Our organic seedling sale, held in conjunction with Blooming Fest in downtown West Chicago, raises much-needed funds so that The GardenWorks Project can continue to provide families in need with home vegetable gardens, and promote home and community food growing throughout DuPage County. Our seedlings are organically grown in DeKalb, IL. Blooming Fest has much for you to enjoy - perennial plant sales, garden art vendors, educational events, food, and more. In addition to The GardenWorks Project’s vegetable seedling sale, we will also be giving away used tools to anyone who wishes to start a garden at home but doesn’t have the resources to purchase new tools. Pre-order your seedlings now to ensure you get your top picks. Your order must be picked up between 9 and 3 on May 19 - NO EXCEPTIONS. If you purchase your seedlings online and do not pick up on the day of the sale, the plants will be donated to a family in need via our Home Gardening Program. We just don’t have the facilities to store plants at our Resource Center. We appreciate your understanding. Want to volunteer at our plant sale or information booth at Blooming Fest? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know! We will provide you with a free tshirt to wear the day of the Fest.
Gardening with raised beds can allow for bigger harvests and less work. GardenWorks Project founder and board member Tina Koral will teach you the benefits of raised-bed gardening, what supplies are needed, and how to design your garden on any budget. The presentation is heavy on photos of many different styles of raised bed gardens to inspire you to design your own before the growing season starts. We'll make it easy for you! Consider purchasing a 4' x 8' cedar raised beds kits to take home and assemble after the class. Proceeds from the sales of our raised bed kits support our Home Gardening Program, which provides families who rely on food pantries with everything they need to grow food at home. The class will be held at Gallery 200, on the corner of Washington and Main St. in West Chicago. Doors will open at 6:30 to allow time for you to browse our extensive seed collection. Make a donation of $20, and you'll receive 20 seed packets, a reusable tote bag, 20% off raised bed kits, and 50% off at our organic seedling sale on May 19. You may pre-order your bed here for pick up at the class. Members of our GardenWorks Project Food Growers Network save 20% on raised beds. Sign up for membership here. RSVP today and bring a friend!
This year, The GardenWorks Project and our team of volunteers will build over 90 home vegetable gardens for families in need of food assistance in the DuPage County area, and we need your help! This weekend we will be in Aurora, Carol Stream, Darien, and Naperville. If you'd like to volunteer, please plan to attend our Spring Kickoff Volunteer Meeting, to be held April 18th at 7pm in Wheaton.
The GardenWorks Project will hold an Organic Vegetable Seedling Sale and Used Tool Giveaway in conjunction with Blooming Fest in downtown West Chicago with sales benefiting low-income families participating in our Home Gardening Program. Blooming Fest is a celebration of Spring, with many vendors selling plants and gardening supplies, delicious food, and entertainment. For those who wish to garden at home but cannot afford tools, we will have a large assortment of free tools including shovels, hoes, and rakes. See you there!
The GardenWorks Project supports all gardeners in their efforts to grow food at home. For those who wish to garden at home but cannot afford tools, we will have a large assortment of free tools including shovels, hoes, and rakes, while supplies last. This event is held in conjunction with Blooming Fest in downtown West Chicago. Blooming Fest is a celebration of Spring, with many vendors selling plants and gardening supplies, delicious food, and entertainment.
This summer will be HOT! The GardenWorks Project launches our 2nd Annual Hot Pepper Challenge at Blooming Fest from 9am - 3pm on May 19 in West Chicago. The Hot Pepper Challenge will run through September 30, 2018 and brings attention to food insecurity in DuPage. “Not having enough food to feed your families is a problem for many DuPage families, and it’s uncomfortable,” said Amy Hebert, who volunteers on our board of directors. “With the Hot Pepper Challenge, we can feel a fraction of the discomfort that these families feel in an effort to raise awareness and fundraise so that GardenWorks can continue to provide hungry families with the supplies needed to grow food at home.” GardenWorks will have a booth in the vendor area where participants can take a bite of a variety of hot peppers and learn more about our organization. Also at Blooming Fest, shoppers will enjoy the selection of vegetable, annual, and perennial plants, garden accessories, yard art, jewelry, clothing, beauty products and more. Food, live entertainment, local art, and children’s activities make it an event not to be missed. If you want to join the 2nd Annual GardenWorks Project Hot Pepper Challenge, just video yourself eating a hot pepper, share it on social media using the hashtag #gardenworkshpc, and challenge friends to participate or donate to The GardenWorks Project at: www.gardenworksproject.org/give
The class is free, but please RSVP. This event is held in conjuntion with Blooming Fest in downtown West Chicago. Blooming Fest is a celebration of Spring, with many vendors selling plants and gardening supplies, delicious food, and entertainment. The GardenWorks Project is also holding an Organic Vegetable Seedling Sale and Used Tool Giveaway. For those who wish to garden at home but cannot afford tools, we will have a large assortment of free tools including shovels, hoes, and rakes. See you at Blooming Fest!
In celebration of Black History Month, we invite you to join The GardenWorks Food Readers Book Club's to discuss Good Food Revolution by Will Allen. The son of a sharecropper, Will Allen had no intention of ever becoming a farmer himself. But he cashed in his retirement fund for a two-acre plot just outside Milwaukee's largest public housing project. The area was a food desert with only convenience stores and fast-food restaurants to serve the needs of locals. An eco-classic, The Good Food Revolution is the story of Will's personal journey, the lives he has touched, and a grassroots movement that is changing the way our nation eats. In addition, we'll be reading through excerpts of Farming While Black by Leah Penniman and discussing the importance of diverse voices in the field of agriculture to improve food security for all.RSVP
Learn the unique technique of raised bed gardening, the model used for The GardenWorks Project home gardening clients. In this online workshop, learn to maximize results in your edible garden through good design, plant selection, and smart techniques. This workshop will teach the following: how to install and prepare a raised bed garden; tips and techniques on building a food garden at home; companion planting, square foot gardening, and succession planting. Whether you are a first time gardener wanting to learn some raised bed gardening tips or a seasoned gardener looking to give back to the community, join us for a presentation and discussion!RSVP
Imagine growing an edible garden so bountiful that it overflows with produce. In this online workshop, learn to maximize results in your edible garden through good design, plant selection, and smart techniques. This workshop will teach the following: how to install and prepare a raised bed garden; tips and techniques on building a food garden at home; companion planting, square foot gardening, and succession planting; how to grow a donation garden in your own home; how to harvest and prepare produce for donation to your local food pantry. With these tips for productivity, you can grow enough not only for yourself, but for your neighbors and those in need. Learn how you can use your overflowing harvest to make a difference in your community to assist hungry families within the region. Grow a good garden, and use your garden for good!
In celebration of Earth Day, we invite you to join The GardenWorks Food Readers Book Club's to discuss The Fate of Food by Amanda Little. A winner of the 2019 Nautilus Book Award, The Fate of Food takes us on a tour of the future. The journey is scary, exciting, and, ultimately, encouraging.Climate models show that global crop production will decline every decade for the rest of this century due to drought, heat, and flooding. Water supplies are in jeopardy. Meanwhile, the world’s population is expected to grow another 30 percent by midcentury. So how, really, will we feed nine billion people sustainably in the coming decades?The race to reinvent the global food system is on, and the challenge is twofold: We must solve the existing problems of industrial agriculture while also preparing for the pressures ahead. Through her interviews and adventures with farmers, scientists, activists, and engineers, Little tells the fascinating story of human innovation and explores new and old approaches to food production while charting the growth of a movement that could redefine sustainable food on a grand scale. She meets small permaculture farmers and “Big Food” executives, botanists studying ancient superfoods and Kenyan farmers growing the country's first GMO corn. She travels to places that might seem irrelevant to the future of food yet surprisingly play a critical role—a California sewage plant, a U.S. Army research lab, even the inside of a monsoon cloud above Mumbai. Throughout her journey, Little finds and shares a deeper understanding of the threats of climate change and encounters a sense of awe and optimism about the lessons of our past and the scope of human ingenuity.RSVP
Even though Blooming Fest has been cancelled, The GardenWorks Project will be holding its Vegetable Seedling Sale as a presale this year. Visit our shop to purchase ahead of time - supplies are limited, and pickup will be at the West Chicago Resource Center between 9AM and 1PM. Due to COVID-19, we will be doing a drive-up pickup this year. Please arrive between 9AM and 1PM and someone will be there to place your items in the car - thank you for supporting our mission!RSVP
The GardenWorks Project is proud to have worked with 19 community gardens over the last 4 years. This workshop will present the basic fundamentals needed on how to start a community garden, topics related to the community gardening movement nationally, as well as examples and tours of gardens within the region that are growing for good!RSVP
This summer, we invite you to join The GardenWorks Food Readers Book Club's LIVE event this year! We will gather to discuss Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman, a highly acclaimed youth fiction book that uses thirteen speakers to bring to life a community garden's founding and first year. The book's short length, diverse cast, and suitability for adults as well as children have led it to be used in countless one-book reads in schools and in cities across the country. Awarded ALA Best Book for Young Adults, School Library Journal Best Book, Publishers Weekly Best Book, IRA/CBC Children's Choice, and NCTE Notable Children's Book in the Language Arts, Newbery-winning author Paul Fleischman. A Vietnamese girl plants six lima beans in a Cleveland vacant lot. Looking down on the immigrant-filled neighborhood, a Romanian woman watches suspiciously. A school janitor gets involved, then a Guatemalan family. Then muscle-bound Curtis, trying to win back Lateesha. Pregnant Maricela. Amir from India. A sense of community sprouts and spreads. Seedfolks has been drawn upon to teach tolerance, read in ESL classes, promoted by urban gardeners, and performed in schools and on stages from South Africa to Broadway.RSVP
Fall is a great time to get your garden going... AGAIN! The GardenWorks Project will be holding its Vegetable Seedling Sale as a presale this year. Visit our shop to purchase ahead of time - supplies are limited, and pickup will be at the West Chicago Resource Center between 9AM and 1PM. Due to COVID-19, we will be doing a drive-up pickup this year. Please arrive between 9AM and 1PM and someone will be there to place your items in the car - thank you for supporting our mission!RSVP
In celebration of Indigenous People's Day, we invite you to join The GardenWorks Food Readers Book Club's to discuss Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teaching of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer. Drawing on her life as an indigenous scientist, and as a woman, Kimmerer shows how other living beings―asters and goldenrod, strawberries and squash, salamanders, algae, and sweetgrass―offer us gifts and lessons, even if we've forgotten how to hear their voices. In reflections that range from the creation of Turtle Island to the forces that threaten its flourishing today, she circles toward a central argument: that the awakening of ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgment and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the rest of the living world. For only when we can hear the languages of other beings will we be capable of understanding the generosity of the earth, and learn to give our own gifts in return.RSVP
Taught from indigenous traditions as well as native ecology management techniques, The GardenWorks Project is proud to host a workshop about Native Gardening. In this online workshop, learn to maximize results in your garden through intentional native design, plant selection, and restorative techniques.RSVP