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GardenWorks by the Numbers: 2012 Recap

Four gardens built. Eighty bags of soil and compost. Thirty vegetable seedlings planted. Seven adults and seventeen children that will benefit from fresh vegetables this year. A bunch of volunteers and donors. One family changed. 

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One Done, Three to Go!

Wait, one done, three to go? Didn't we say we were installing gardens for five needy families? That was our original goal, but we are having no success reaching one of our garden recipients, and it's too late in the season to add another. I hope we hear from our last family in the next few days!

We've been hard at work planning and installing our gardens. We've completed one for a family in Lombard already, and by the end of the week, another Lombard family and two in Glendale Heights will be on their way to growing their own food. I've really enjoyed meeting these families, who have been so excited and thankful to receive the gardens. I'll have another update after I've had some time to reflect on the project and what it has meant to us as a family, and get my thoughts together on future plants. I also hope to share some pictures of the garden builds once they are all complete. 

Special thanks to a wonderful donation of HUGE tomato and pepper starts from
one of my former horticulture classmates, Donna Hisson. Extra plants will be
donated to the food pantry.
Joe and our little guy building a raised bed.
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May Thanks

Things are rolling along with our project to help five needy families grow their own food. I've met with four families so far, and they are such wonderful people. I am really delighted to have met them and help them grow fresh veggies this summer. The next step is to start building the gardens, which we will begin this week. Thanks to those that are volunteering to help!

Special thanks also to Britny King, who generously donated five copies of Square Foot Gardening to our five families. These instructional books, along with help from a volunteer mentor, will ensure that our families are successful in their first year. Thanks also to Donna Hisson, who is growing tomatoes and peppers from seed for our families, Cathy DiMarchi for tomato cages, and to Home Depot of Carol Stream who donated a gift card that will be used for wood and other supplies. Many thanks to you all!

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Big News!

I received word last week that the Glen Ellyn Food Pantry, who we had been working with to identify families in need to receive gardens, had done just that! They met with four families who are very excited to start growing their own food. Terri, GEFP staff, told me how thankful the four are, one of which said that getting the opportunity to garden for her family is "a dream come true." I was so emotional listening to Terri talk about each of the families, and can't wait to meet with them.


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Founder's Story

Garden handsIt all started on a routine trip to the library with the kids, when I spotted the book Reclaiming Our Food, by Tanya Denckla Cobb, in the new-releases section. I grabbed it and checked it out without reading anything more than the title.

It proved to be a serendipitous find, because it changed my life.

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Donations Rolling In!

We are so thankful to folks who have donated to our project so far, and want to send a special shout out to those who are helping to bring fresh produce to those in need:

We are happy to be working with the Glen Ellyn Food Pantry to identify the individuals and families that we will be building gardens for. 

If you'd like to make a donation or volunteer, please contact me at [email protected].

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Giving Gardens to Those In Need

My husband and I were thinking about 2012 goals for our family, and agreed that volunteering was something we wanted to do more of. My first thought was Habitat for Humanity - I wanted to build veggie gardens for Habitat homes and educate the homeowners on how to support their families by growing their own food. Without knowing for sure if they would be accepting of the idea since their main focus is on shelter, I quickly registered for a new volunteer meeting.

Then, on a trip to the library with the kids, I found the book Reclaiming Our Food, by Tanya Denckla Cobb. I had taken the kids to the "adult section" of the library, which I hardly ever do because they are very, shall we say, boisterous children, and I am worried they will disturb the other patrons. We usually stay in the kid-friendly areas of the library. But this time, I was looking for a landscape graphics book, which I quickly found and headed back to the staircase to the children's area. On the way, we passed a shelf housing new arrivals and Reclaiming Our Food jumped out at me. I grabbed it and checked it out without reading anything more than the title. 

It proved to be a serendipitous find, because I think it has changed my life. 

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