A green space for urban gardeners

Spreading the word about urban agriculture, sustainability

I’ve been bad. Slow to blog and busy… So busy, in fact, that I’ve just barely been able to keep up with all the watering.

(You know you’ve been swamped when the postman has to call you to come down to clean out your mailbox! Such was the case with me a week or so back.)

But, I plan on using what remains of the Chicago garden season to make up for lost time.

Deliciously, my days of harvesting have arrived and as you can see here I’ve got lemon cucumber (just tasted it for the very first time!), Thai eggplant, and jalapenos — in addition to the small-fruit tomatoes you saw on the last post. Nothing beats fresh produce straight from the garden to the kitchen.

Which brings me to something I’ve been planning to blog about for some time now. In June I was contacted by Andrea from an organization called Community Action Duluth, out of Duluth, Minn. She wondered if I would give the group permission to use a photo from my blog on a brochure for one of its programs — Seeds of Success.

Seeds of Success is a sustainable urban agriculture program in which blighted city spaces are converted to organic “farms” where low-income youth bring in the harvest and later bring home shares of their crops.

According to the completed brochure — which, yes, does have a photo of last year’s wild cherry tomatoes on the cover — with community support the organization hopes to succeed in its mission to “improve the access people with low incomes have to fresh, locally produced food.”

Is this a great idea or what? And it could be put into practice in countless cities with too many vacant lots and too few summer jobs for kids.

Let’s hope it spreads to other communities.


  UrbanTravelGirl wrote @

LOVE this idea!! And how cool that Seeds for Success will include one of your very own blog photos in the brochure!

  mimi wrote @

That is a great idea! I love seeing vegetable gardens growing in really urban areas!

  Wendy wrote @

it sounds like a wonderful idea and great that you can be a part of it!

  Carol Nissen wrote @

Hi Avis,
Loved your story about the hornworm on the balcony…. Critters do exist in the city! Here in Jersey City, one night sitting on my little garden bench, I was accosted by 1) a possum 2) a racoon. Both sauntered by and gave me a “what the hell you lookin’ at look” and moved on through my little garden….Not as scary, though, as the big skunk a while later on whose approach I promply beat it back into the house!

  MrBrownThumb @ Chicago Garden wrote @

I’m glad to see so many people growing lemon cucumbers this year. Not only are they fun, they taste great. They had a huge harvest of them at the Cook County Jail’s garden.

Hope falls brings you some time to enjoy the garden.

  Pam’s English Garden wrote @

Dear Avis, Congratulations on your great harvest! And on the catalog picture! You should not feel guilty about being too busy to blog … you weren’t exactly sleeping. Enjoy the end of the Chicago summer … oh, how I miss Chicago now my son no longer lives there! Pam x

  linda wrote @

Sounds like a wonderful program Avis. Congratulations on your photo on the brochure, and on your beautiful veggies. Hope you’ve been having time for savoring them.

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