LETS GO Chicago members have been lovingly growing thousands (yes thousands!) of fruit and vegetable seedlings in our Rogers Park greenhouse at Westwood Manor Nursing Home and we are so excited to share them with you! Come to our seedling sales this weekend and next weekend!
Hello Everybody! My name is Kendra Keyes and I’ve been working with Summer of Solutions since the summer of 2013. I was a volunteer and could come and go to the program with flexible hours fit to meet my needs. It was the perfect summer learning opportunity! I worked on the Yard Sharing team, and got to build these relationships with my team members as well as with a big beautiful garden and all its inhabitants. We got to know the community through our CSA garden and field trips to the farmers market or local bike shop or even the beach. Before I knew it, I felt I was with these people and in this community more than I was with my own. Everything we talked about was interesting and every project we did was enlightening and extremely relevant.
We are looking for people who are interested in things like energy efficiency, community-based energy, green industry, and local food production, to join our team this summer and have a similar experience!
The deadline to apply is April 11th. Apply now at http://bit.ly/applychicago.
I have been working with the team throughout the winter while I have been away at college. This summer I plan to be a program leader and work with the yard sharing network. I can not wait to see what 2014 has in store for Let’s Go Chicago!
So seriously, the garden has been the most exciting working group ever ALWAYS. But this week especially, things have gone NUTS. Before my eyes an epic opera of life and death, of vegetable and gardener, of difficulty and triumph has slowly unfolded.
By Molly Costello
With the arrival of November and all its triumphant color, calm, and hints of frost, so comes the end of our second season as Yard Sharers. We celebrated the closing of another beautiful growing season with a bonfire, soup, and hot chocolate at our friend and land lender Bob’s house. This year we were able to expand our Rogers Park Yard Sharing Network from 1 to 6 back yards and expand our gardener population from one learning program (us) to around 25 new growers.
But as things wind down in our gardens, our work on the network picks up inside! To date, we have spent most of our yard share work time outside building and maintaining the network’s material infrastructure. In line with our vision of making this network flourish and grow, however, we understand our need to develop more of the organizational elements of the network. Therefore, Nell and I have been busy working on financial goals and re-writing land-use-agreements in hope to have a sound model to share with new Summer of Solutions programs come January. Continue reading
Hey everyone, Im Jason from the Rogers Park area. I am a member of LETS GO Chicago and i’m here to explain to everyone about what we did this wonderful summer. At first, I thought it Summer of Solutions going to be extremely boring ,since all we did was discuss problems about the world around us. I thought myself, “This was not what I signed up for”, but after our training week was completed, we were ready to get some work done. As a team we all started constructing raised beds on the first day. At first, i felt nervous since i didn’t talk to no one, let alone build with them. But since these were all good-hearted people, everyone got along in an instant. Even with the humid air and harsh sun, nothing could’ve stopped us, because we were committed!
From there on we’ve contacted our neighbors from around the area to see if they were willing to lend us a part of their yard for us to construct more raised beds. Then came along Bob, a friendly neighbor who lives on Ashland. he was kind enough to lend us 2 plots for gardening and a great spot for a fire pit for gatherings. We’ve called local neighbors who are associated with the church to offer them for a gardening space at different gardens around the area. gardeners have grown eggplants, tomatoes, radishes, and arugula. As you can see below we have posted a sign that says “Rogers Park Yard Sharing Network”. We have posted these signs in all 5 yards that we have worked in to let the people know we mean business! (Here are the before and after pics)
We also had a program for kids that was called “Childrens Garden” in which kids from around the neighborhood would come to learn about gardening and have fun projects to do that involved face painting, tea making, transplanting, etc. Kids were also able to have their own raised beds to grow their own crops. We taught them about the soil and how to properly space their seeds so they can grow comfortably. As you see here we have 2 brothers from Childrens Garden planting their seed sand watering them, as well as Greg (who is a member of Summer of Solutions) helping them out.
With the end of the summer coming into view, our seedlings are long gone and the harvest is nearly here. The garden is full of life, and this week we’ll be completing this summer’s planned gardens. We’re currently tearing up the grass on a front lawn on the 6700 block of Ashland, so if anybody has seen the construction, yep, that’s us.
Biodiversity is crucial to a healthy garden, and we’re happy to see all manner of bugs and beetles all over the place, fighting it out to make sure nobody gets to sit around and eat the produce. We haven’t yet figured out how to keep yellow finches off of the rainbow chard, and we certainly didn’t expect to find this:
At least three baby bunnies have been sighted in our ‘home base’ Bosworth backyard garden, and they’re almost too cute to consider them a pest.
We’re also learning how to put new things together outside of the garden, and in the last couple of weeks we’ve built sub-irrigated planters, swales, cold frames, A-frame levels, worm compost set-ups, and reclaimed lumber raised beds. We’ve learned how to save seeds, mulch with weeds, and dumpster dive both food and materials. Maybe the most spectacular, though, was last week’s paper-making workshop:
This week we’re learning about bee keeping, so stick around for the inside scoop!
Please join us on Saturday, May 12, for three vegetarian courses featuring produce from our garden prepared by personal chef Amanda Schmies and served by LETS GO Chicago staff. And after you fall in love with the Sweet Atilla carrot cake, we’ll give you a gift certificate to use when you go by there yourself.
A variety of donated goods and services from Rogers Park businesses will be up for bid in a silent auction. Goodies from The Coffee Shop, The Mustard Seed, Flatts and Sharpe, Clark Devon Hardware, and many other local supporters will be available, and other surprises are guaranteed.
We’ll be opening the auction at 7 and serving the first course at 7:30. Seating is limited and tickets are $30 per person ($100 for four); RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.