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Domtar at Glendale Heights Build

Thank you to our corporate sponsor Domtar for helping us build, de-weed and refresh gardens in Glendale Heights today.

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So Many Seedlings!

The majority of our seedlings have arrived! Sorting for this weekends client builds began this morning! 

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My Volunteer Experience

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.

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Another Season at Gardenworks

Marching into Spring

I don't know about you, but for me, when the calendar turns to March I feel Spring is right around the corner, no matter what it looks like outside! It makes it even more real when you start seeing the beginnings of buds on trees, tiny green shoots in some flower beds, and even some weeds starting to grow in sunny areas.

During the winter months, I've heard of some ambitious people who look through seed catalogs to figure out what varieties they'll plant next season or others who have even started their own seedling propagations inside using trays, heat lamps and pads. I've never quite had the space indoors to do any of that (or the time and energy!) I'm more like a good ol' perennial that goes dormant in the winter, saving all my resources for the long cold days ahead. But, in March I start to wake-up and start dreaming of what I'd like this growing season to look like in my garden.

 

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What Brings You Back to the Garden

Maybe it’s the slow melt of those dirty snow banks that have guarded the edges of the road for the last two months. Or perhaps it’s the smell of old leaves and earthworms, preparing and restoring the soil underneath for another year of growth. It might be the seed catalogs that have been piling up this winter, teasing you for another great summer harvest. Or maybe it’s a memory that continues to draw you back to another season of challenging days of watering and weeding. We all have different reasons. What brings you back to the garden?

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2017 Gratitude Report Released

Dear friends and supporters-

We recently released our 2017 Annual Gratitude Report. Check it out to learn more about what we were able to accomplish last year with all your help. Please consider donating today so we can exceed our goals this year! 

Our annual volunteer Kick-off Meeting will be held on April 18th. RSVP today if we can count on your support this year. 

 

Do you have a passion for planning events? We are looking for help planning an exciting fundraising gala in October 2018. Interested in helping, sign up today

 

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Community Gardens Applications Open (+ more)

Community Gardening Program

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! 

Community garden organizers may apply to receive 5 raised-bed garden frames, seeds, seedlings, and support from The GardenWorks Project. Dig in and apply today!

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January News

Dear friends and supporters,

Happy New Year! We have been busy preparing for the 2018 season and cannot wait to get started and look forward to seeing everyone this year. 

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December News

Dear friends and supporters,

"Bless you for this program, it has been a heart desire [to garden] for years but could not afford it. I grew a wonderful garden and I got my neighbors to garden as well." - 2017 client

We at The GardenWorks Project want to thank our supporters for being a part of our mission.  Your commitment to our organization is what drives us forward.  We could not do it without you.  We started in 5 gardens in 2012.  We completed 87 home gardens this year.  We have much to be proud of.  

The fight against food insecurity does not stop here.  We have much to do, and your tax-deductible gift will support our 2018 programs.  Please give generously, and if you cannot give monetarily, please visit our website and consider giving your time in 2018 with our many volunteer opportunities.

May your tables be full and surrounded with joy and laughter this holiday season!

With much gratitude,

Jeannie Iseman

Executive Director

 

Our Founder and Board Member shared a powerful memory on the blog this month. IMG_7635_small.jpg

“She said the garden is like a bright light and adds a nice memory to this difficult day,” Julie’s brother said. The kids pointed out to their grandmother what each seedling was and she nodded and smiled. Read the full post here. 

 

 

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Memorable Build

The GardenWorks Project has installed over 200 raised bed vegetable gardens for families in DuPage County who rely on food pantries for their basic nutritional needs. I’ve participated in about 100 of them, more or less, and I’ll admit the details get a little fuzzy when I try to remember a particular garden build. But there are some I’ll never forget, and this is one of them. It was a build from our second season in the spring of 2013. 

 

As the volunteers gathered in the street in front of the Winfield Home, I could tell something was happening. When I’d visited the home a few weeks prior to meet with the client (let’s call her Julie) and determine a good spot for the garden, there weren’t this many cars in the driveway. Were they having a party and forgot about the garden build? I quickly double-checked my email communications with Julie to ensure the date and time were correct, and sure enough, we were there at the agreed-upon time. 

 

“Well, this is going to be awkward!” I thought as I asked the volunteers to wait at the end of the driveway while I went to the front door. 

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Together We Can Make a Difference

Dear Friends-       

On November 28, The GardenWorks Project is proud to participate in Giving Tuesday. This global day of giving invites individuals to celebrate the holiday season by giving back and creating change in their communities. Together, we can make a difference for DuPage area families who struggle to afford healthy meals.
 

Our 2018 goal will be to build 90 new home gardens and 5 community gardens for families facing food insecurity. Last year alone, we built 87 gardens and as a result, 332 individuals received access to a GardenWorks garden! With your support, we can reach or exceed those numbers this year!
 

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Mark your calendars for Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday, a national day of giving, will be November 28th this year! 

While the garden season may be over, our board has been hard at work prepping for next year. In 2017 we built 87 gardens and look forward to matching or exceeding that number for next year. And we couldn't do it without your help! Thank you for all the time and financial support you gave in 2017 and we look forward to working with you again in 2018.
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