The GardenWorks Project announces Chicagoland's first book club dedicated to food systems, food security, and the environment
Are you interested in learning more about The GardenWorks Project? Do you have a background in non-profit management, marketing, operations management, and/or community development/engagement? The GardenWorks Project is pleased to offer a part-time academic year internship for the fall 2019 through spring 2020.Read more
The GardenWorks Project is excited to have Amanda Bryant take on a new role as Programs and Operations Manager this summer. Previously a volunteer, garden lead, coach, and board member, we are thrilled to have Amanda take on this role and further enhance the programs and services offered to clients in western Chicagoland.Read more
Hot Pepper Challenge Makes a Fiery Return in Summer 2019
The GardenWorks Project is fighting hunger with fire for the third year in a row! We are excited to kick off this year's Hot Pepper Challenge, a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign started to raise awareness about the organization's mission to fight hunger through gardening. What better way to show your commitment than to display your HOT harvest eats on camera?Read more
Community Gardens Fight Hunger with The GardenWorks Project
West Chicago, IL, April 23, 2019: The GardenWorks Project has awarded three area organizations with resources to start community gardens to grow food for food insecure individuals and families. Horizon Elementary School (District U-46, Hanover Park), Whittier Elementary School (District 58, Downers Grove), and Compass Church (Bolingbrook) received an in-kind grant of supplies to establish a community garden for the purposes of improving food security within the region.
“Now in its third year, our Community Garden Support Program is increasing the number of community gardens in western Chicagoland so more residents have access to locally grown, healthy food,” said Jeannie Iseman, The GardenWorks Project’s Executive Director. “We believe everyone deserves fresh produce, and we are committed to equipping others to increase the availability of healthy food for those facing food insecurity.”
Submitted by Paula Garcia:
This year (being only this group's 2nd year) started with great news when we found out we were awarded garden boxes from Gardenworks Project. We came into this already existing garden with no knowledge of the quality of soil and what type of vegetables had been grown (due to no information being left regarding the past of the garden). After one year of working we found that the soil needed much enriching and that root plants did not grow well as the soil was too hard.Read more
I first discovered square foot gardening a little over 10 years ago. We had moved into a new house with a larger yard and up until that point, I had been planting my vegetable gardens the same way my parents had planted theirs. Rows straight, wide walkways and plants definitely not touching, as if they were afraid the vegetables would start whining like their kids did when crammed into the back seat of the car. I had also been disappointed in my past garden yields. For all the work I was putting in, I’d get a few vegetables and more weeds than I could keep up with. I decided there had to be a better way, so I started reading whatever I could find on gardening. In that search, I came across an article on Square Foot Gardening and its author Mel Bartholomew. I purchased the book and started reading.Read more
I started volunteering with GardenWorks in 2015 after a friend suggested the organization knowing I was looking for more volunteer opportunities I could do with my young kids. The first year we volunteered we did a garden refresh. My kids were two and four and loved planting and watering the garden for the client. They love to volunteer each season and are professional garden builders now. After a couple seasons of doing builds, I took on more volunteering by becoming a lead and the following year started doing some behind the scenes data entry.Read more
Our Community Gardens are a part of our Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative in the Greenbrook Tanglewood Community in Hanover Park. Neighborhood Revitalization (NR) is the practice of working with residents and communities to take a holistic approach to community reinvestment. Through this process our team has worked with residents to gain feedback on which aspects of their community needed improvement. Once we had the core areas identified, we worked with residents to see how we could achieve those improvements. The Community Gardening program was developed out of the need that residents wanted a community space to come together to achieve something for others, and not just themselves, as well as a way to enhance the greenspaces in their community. Due to the generosity of The GardenWorks Project, we have been able to create three community garden spaces throughout the Greenbrook Tanglewood Community over the past two years.
The first garden is located behind the Tanglewood Clubhouse, a central location in the neighborhood. This garden was planted with a Youth group, and is maintained and watered by children in the Hanover Park Community Resource Coalition Summer Camp. Through this camp, the children are taught the importance of having a garden, as well as how to make healthy snacks based on what they can pick from the garden. This garden is flourishing, and we cannot wait to start harvesting the vegetables that we have grown.Read more
I first joined The Gardenworks Project, hoping to learn about gardening in the Midwest, after moving here from across the country. My hope came true, tenfold!
For our first garden, we planted in large pots. I never knew that you could grow plants such as lettuce and kale in pots. We yielded more than enough for our family! I attended informative workshops held at The GardenWorks Project Resource Center in West Chicago. It was there that I learned about the Food Growers Network and the benefits of becoming a member. One of which is being able to pick out twenty seed packets from a huge variety of donated seeds.Read more