The mission of The GardenWorks Project is to reduce food insecurity in Chicago’s west suburbs by providing families in need of food assistance with home vegetable gardens and educational resources. To accomplish this, we provide our client families (all clients of our local food pantries) with home vegetable gardens and educational resources. We give our clients everything they need to become successful home gardeners including tangibles like gardening supplies, and intangibles like coaching and opportunities to attend gardening classes. Thanks to our generous donors and corporate sponsors, the 40 DuPage families who sign on to become new gardeners will receive:
A 4’x8’ raised-bed garden frame. These are hand built with cedar for longevity by GardenWorks Project volunteers.
Soil and compost. This year, we were fortunate to receive a large donation of mushroom compost from Midwest Trading Horticultural Supplies, Inc.
Vegetable seedlings. Our seedlings are provided by Sweet Home Organics, grown locally in Villa Park. Our clients choose the plants they wish to grow. (You can order seedlings for your own garden while benefiting The GardenWorks Project here.)
Vegetable seeds. Many of our seeds are GMO free and organic and were donated byWhole Foods Market Wheaton and Renee’s Garden Seeds.
- Gardening tools. Our clients receive a harvest basket filled with a trowel, hand cultivator, kneeling pad, and gardening gloves.
Printed resources. This year, each family with a vegetable gardening booklet that teaches them how to care for their garden. We aim to create lifelong gardeners, so if a family has small kids, we usually give them a kids gardening book too.
Garden coaching. Each client is matched with a volunteer garden coach who is available by phone, email, or in person to answer questions and offer advice throughout the growing season.
Ongoing support. Our clients receive plants, seeds, and fresh compost for two years following their initial garden build so that they can build on the skills they have learned the year before.
- Educational classes. The GardenWorks Project offers educational classes on organic gardening three times a year, covering topics such as seed starting, organic growing methods, composting, season extension, and preparing and preserving homegrown produce. Volunteers, donors, and other supporters are invited to attend these classes as well.
We are a completely volunteer-led organization, so if you’d like to volunteer, there is a place for you! No gardening experience is necessary to build a garden for a family in need. We greatly appreciate the time and expertise that our volunteers have dedicated to the success of our organization. Join us!
For more information on volunteering, click here.
To view a list of our generous 2015 supporters, click here. Thank you to all who make this important work possible!