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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 »

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by Lydia Krupinski

I realized after my last post that I was fawning over thoughts of Spring, greens, and planting and totally forgot to share where I would be acquiring my seedling bounty! Seed Savers Exchange is a fantastic organization that works with farmers around the world to preserve vanishing heirloom seeds. Visit them here to stock up on seeds for the upcoming season.

Their website is  a valuable resource for growers, large and small, giving insight into an heirloom’s origins, planting techniques, and more. Become a Seed Saver Exchange member and you’ll gain access to an even larger variety of seeds! Not only is the organization helping to preserve bio-diverstity, Seed Savers sells these tiny treasures to the likes of city dwellers like me! Which means that urbanites everywhere can relish in the literal fruits of their labor.

By Lydia Krupinski

clothes

Green Genes is a refreshing eco-alternative to the budding boutiques of Andersonville’s busy shopping district. Situated just south of Foster on Clark Street, this charming shop will be celebrating its one year anniversary this coming week. In honor of their first birthday, Sprout Chicago caught up with co-owner Heather Muenstermann to talk about her little gem. Read the rest of this entry »

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