The “eat local” movement continues to gain momentum, especially since COVID-19. At The GardenWorks Project, we believe that everyone deserves fresh produce.
Our mission to increase the supply of locally grown produce starts at the household level, but also advocates for local agriculture in the Chicago area.
It’s alarming that hunger continues to be an issue in a country that produces more food than what we eat. Even more concerning is the issue of food security and food access, and COVID-19 is an example of how food supplies can be cut short in times of crisis. As a result, the topics of locally-produced food and food systems are popping up more in popular culture.
While there is a great deal of research on this topic, here are a few reasons to source local produce and food:
- Eating local is good for the environment. Producing and distributing locally-grown produce with a region or metro area reduces environmental impacts and provides opportunities for land to be cultivated in ways that are productive, sustainable and regenerative.
- Eating local can be the more nutritious option. With a conscientious farm that is well trained in food safety and sustainable/organic methods, food will be fresher, more varieties will be available, and seasonally relevant.
- Eating locally grown produce is supporting the local movement. The small food grower network faces many challenges, and today’s farmer grows for the love of the work. Support these farmers and their passions and create a demand for quality product that will encourage greater supply.
- Eating seasonally is fun! Community Supported Agriculture shares, known as CSAs are available throughout Western Chicagoland. These “farm shares” support the work being done by farmers to produce quality and diverse products. Often a weekly share, products are provided based on the season’s harvest, and while the struggle is real (what is kohlrabi, anyways?), the challenge is rewarding.
A large component of GardenWorks’ mission is to educate the region about the value of growing food, and also stewarding the earth with sustainable and organic practices.
You can join us this month through our immersive, hybrid, Harvest against Hunger: Nourishing our Community campaign, which will build greater awareness of hunger in our region, raise funds to continue our work, and promote local producers and seasonal eating.
First, our free video mini-series profiles three different farms within the region that are improving food access. The Nourishing Our Community series offers a unique, intimate look into the lives of local farmers and the work they do to improve the lives within the community while stewarding the land with organic, sustainable, and regenerative practices.
Excited by what you’re watching? Geeking out like we are?
To support these farm partners and raise much-needed funds for our programs, you can purchase a Farm Share Box that includes products from our farm partners, like greens, winter squash, honey and more. The proceeds from the Farm Share Box directly support GardenWorks’ mission to educate, empower and support food growers in their pursuits of food security for themselves and their community.
Your purchase also gets you into our Meet & Greet Q&A on Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020 at 4 p.m., a live, virtual opportunity to connect with our partners while enjoying their produce in recipes curated by College of DuPage.
What are you waiting for? Reserve your box today and explore your seasonal taste buds with us!