As the weather finally starts to warm, I’m starting to think about the coming days with my kids at the parks, zoos, and pools. But to many farmers and urban gardeners in and around Chicago the change in seasons is their green light to get things growing! We are so fortunate to live in a city like Chicago where there are myriad farms and gardens whose growers take the idea of sustainable, local and (many times) organic food production to heart. We live in a city where we can get such a wide variety of edibles that are locally sourced, you might be more of a localvore than you know! This coming weekend, there are two great opportunities to learn about these food movements in two very different ways.
The local and sustainable food movement may seem new to many of us, but in fact many of the principle concepts were born from the WWII era’s Victory Gardens, right here in Chicago. Rations and decreased resources were spun into a positive food movement that built morale and instilled pride, as communities drew together to feed their families. You can learn more this weekend at “Chicago Victory Gardens, Today and Tomorrow”, the fascinating upcoming lecture/performance by blogger and avid gardener LaManda Joy. LaManda and her cast present a multi-media performance that will educate and inspire, drawing parallels between “the Victory Gardeners of the 40’s and the booming garden movement of today”.
Another not-to-miss event this month is the 5th annual FamilyFarmed EXPO Food Festival. This is the place to be to find info and resources on how you can eat local, support sustainable farms, and find the CSAs and stores that are the right fit for you. There is surely something for everyone at FamilyFarmed this year with a Kid’s Corner, a packed workshop and lecture schedule and a cooking demo lineup featuring celeb chefs such as Rick Bayless, Gale Gand and Paul Kahan. There are also over 140 exhibitors offering a wide selection of local eats, great gifts and important information on year-long healthy and local eating!
If after attending these events, you’re inspired to get your own hands dirty or make your life a bit more sustainable, sign up for a workshop this March and April, run by the Angelic Organics Learning Center. Angelic Organics is a CSA farm located in Caledonia (just East of Rockford, IL) and their Learning Center is serious about educating we “city folk”. The Learning Center has a Chicago location and there you will learn basic concepts on how to start or improve upon your own urban garden, or even how to raise happy, organic egg-producing chickens in your own backyard. You just can’t get much more local than that!
WHEN & WHERE:
“Chicago Victory Gardens, Tomorrow and Today” with LaManda Joy
Sunday, March 28th – 2 p.m.
4740 N. Western Ave., Chicago
Tickets are $7 and for sale at www.theyarden.com.
Proceeds will be donated to Hyperlocavore–a yardsharing community.
Angelic Organics Learning Center workshops
(space is limited, so sign up fast for these events!)
Basic Backyard Chicken Care
March 20th – 10am–1pm
Logan Square – St. Augustine College West Town Satellite
3255 West Armitage (one block west of kedzie), Chicago
Workshop Fee is $45
City Growing: Healthy Soil, Compost, and Early Planting
April 17th – 10am-2pm
Angelic Organics Learning Center – Chicago Office
First Presbyterian Church – 6400 S Kimbark Ave., Chicago
Workshop Fee is $10