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Interview and photos by Lydia Krupinski

As our food becomes frequently outsourced to other regions and countries, groups are taking a stand and resurrecting a time-honored tradition: the victory garden. While some movements set to re-invent the wheel, others look back to previous generations for inspiration and to empower their communities. One such group literally broke ground on the far North side of Chicago a few weeks ago. The Peterson Garden Project sets to connect Chicago residents with the earth, their food, and each other. Located just west of Western on Peterson Avenue, this incredible space is changing the way residents are looking at food, community, and empty lots.

By renting a plot, experienced and novice gardeners can share in the satisfaction of growing their own food, which in turn cuts down on both their ecological and economic footprints. For only $45 a season, growers receive a 24 square foot plot, access to the gardening forums, and unlimited advice from their fellow gardeners. For those unable to tend their own land, the Project’s volunteers can nurture a crop for a reasonable donation. The only requirements: Visit your plot 2-3 times a week, commit to using organic gardening methods, and pay your dues. It’s that simple!

Sprout Chicago had the honor and privilege to visit the newly tilled space and speak with the garden’s founder, LaManda Joy, about the Project and more. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by Lydia Krupinski

If you’re anything like me you’re itching for rays of sun, sprouting plants, and the premise of warmer weather. As I sit in my cozy Northside apartment I can’t help but forage through websites and magazines that celebrate the just-around-the-bend glow of the vernal equinox.¬†As can be told by my latest posts, I am developing quite a fondness for all things spring, urban and food-related. So when Jessa Brinkmeyer of Pivot sent me a link to the upcoming Family Farmed Food Expo I gasped with delight.

Filled with celebrity chefs, locavores, authors, activists, farmers, and other conscious consumers, the Expo will be showcasing the very best of our areas agriculture. Attend workshops discussing everything from growing container gardens to raising chickens while visiting with other Chicagoland foodies and businesses.

What: Family Farmed Food Expo Local Food Festival

When: Saturday, March 13th, 2010 10am-6pm

Where: UIC Forum University of Chicago

Cost: $15 Prepaid $20 At Door

To learn more about the Expo and see a list of speakers visit their website here.

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