Homegrown Chicago Accepting Applications

The HomeGrown Chicago community food garden network, sponsored by Openlands, is a training program that focuses on fostering neighborhood groups to assess, plan for, and build long-term stewardship for community-managed green spaces.

The objectives of the program are to promote increased growing and consumption of healthy and affordable local food, establish productive uses for vacant lots, build personal connections among neighbors, and reinforce a citywide network of local gardeners for the exchange of ideas and experiences.

HomeGrown Chicago provides participants a series of four workshops (see schedule below) annually that focus on:

  • Finding and securing land,
  • Establishing a sustainable organizational structure,
  • Designing a garden and growing food organically, and
  • Building garden structures.

The program also provides customized workshops for garden groups; offers a program manual; donates lumber, soil, seeds, and other materials; and encourages participants to share advice and seeds at the beginning of each growing season.

  • Workshop 1-  March 24, 2012 – 9:30  a.m.-12:30 p.m.   Meet successful allotment gardeners and learn the history of this movement.  Learn how to find, test and secure land for your garden.
  • Workshop 2- March 31, 2012 – 9:30  a.m.-12:30 p.m.   Learn how to establish a healthy organization as the first step to ensure that the garden is run effectively, cooperatively and sustainably.
  • Workshop 3-  April  7, 2012 – 9:30  a.m.-12:30 p.m.   Designing the garden, and growing vegetables organically.
  • Workshop 4- April 14, 2012 – 9:30  a.m.-12:30 p.m.  Hands-on demonstrations of building & installing garden structures such as raised beds & trellises in a garden.

Workshop participants will receive a manual, garden materials,  technical assistance and membership in the HomeGrown Chicago Food Garden Network.

Registration: HomeGrown is for groups, not individuals. A minimum of 4 people from each garden is suggested. Tuition for the program is $150.00 for four members and four classes. Registration is limited and starts January 13, 2012 , ends March 10, 2012. For an application contact Julie Samuels (312.863.6256) or click here.


Shedd’s Sustainable Seafood Cooking Class for Kids, February 9th, 7:30PM

Explore Sustainable Seafood

Shedd’s Sustainable Seafood Cooking Class for Kids

Thursday, February 9th

7:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Dirk’s Fish and Gourmet Shop

2070 N Clybourn

For more information, contact bhavlik@sheddaquarium.org.

Did you know your seafood choices can have a big impact on the health of our waters? Everyone can make a differe

C3 Partner, Faith in Place, will sponsor Winter Farmers Markets Throughout Chicagoland

Faith in Place sponsors indoor Winter Farmers Markets throughout the Chicagoland area. These markets provided small, local farm producers with additional venues to extend their income beyond the growing season. Hosted by many different congregations and also open to the public, these markets offer consumers an opportunity to purchase cheese, meat and poultry, soap, syrup, honey, wool, raw fibers, vinegars, dried fruits, milled flours, sauces and salsas, preserves, cider, and fresh produce as available.

For the farmers, there is no fee to participate, but they donate 10% of what they take in at the market (after a threshold amount) via Faith In Place to an Illinois Farmer Crisis Fund modeled after Wisconsin’s Harvest of Hope Fund which, for almost 20 years, has been giving monetary gifts of up to $1,000 to farmers in crisis due to illness or unexpected expenses.

When and Where?

Their markets run from November through March

Sunday November 6, 12:00pm-3:00pm
Faith Lutheran Church
3801 Madison Ave. Brookfield, IL 60513

Saturday, January 28, 10:00am-2:00pm
St. Luke’s Lutheran Church
205 N. Prospect Ave. Park Ridge, IL 60068

Sunday, November 13, 12:00pm-3:00pm
Unitarian Universalist Church of Elgin
39W830 Highland Ave. Elgin, IL 60124

Sunday, February 12, Time TBA
Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation
303 Dodge Avenue Evanston, IL 60202

Saturday, December 4, 10:00am-2:00pm
North Shore Unitarian Church
2100 Half Day Rd. Deerfield, IL 60015

Saturday, February 18, 9:00am-1:00pm
Glenview New Church
74 Park Dr. Glenview, IL 60025

Sunday, December 11, 11:30-3:00pm
First Evangelical Free Church
5255 N. Ashland Ave. Chicago IL 60640

Sunday, February 19, 10:00am-1:00pm
St. John’s Episcopal Church
3857 N. Kostner Ave. Chicago, IL 60641

Saturday, December 17, 10:00am-2:00pm
Church of St. Benedicts
909 Lily Cache Ln. Bolingbrook, IL 60440

Saturday, February 25, 10:00am-2:00pm
Bethany Evangelical Lutheran Church
9147 S. Jeffery Blvd. Chicago, IL 60617

Saturday, January 14, TBA
Unity Temple UU
875 W. Lake St. Oak Park, IL 60301

Sunday, March 4, 8:30am-1:00pm
St. Giles Parish
1025 Columbian Ave. Oak Park, IL 60302

Saturday, January 21, 9:00am-1:00pm
Lake Street Church
607 Lake St. Evanston, IL 60201

Sunday, March 11, TBA
The Center 12700
Southwest Hwy. Palos Park, IL 60464

Sunday, January 22, 10:00am-2:00pm
Countryside UU
1025 N. Smith St. Palatine, IL 60067

Saturday, March 24, 9:00am-1:00pm
Euclide Avenue United Methodist Church
405 Euclid Ave. Oak Park, IL 60302

The Field Museum presents a FREE lecture 10.21.10

Photo credit: Windy City Harvest Kenneth Street Farm

Lecture Tonight:Food from Your Backyard: Sustainable Farming in Illinois

Lindsay Record, Illinois Stewardship Program
LaDonna Redmond, Institute for Community Resource Development
Angela Mason, Director, Community Gardening and Green Youth Farm, Chicago Botanic Garden

Laurel Ross, Urban Conservation Director, ECCo, The Field Museum

Join local and regional leaders as they discuss government policy and education initiatives that can contribute to sustainable food systems in Illinois. Leaders in the field will discuss steps that can be taken to support and build a sustainable food system and explore its impact on climate change in the region.

This event is FREE
Registration is strongly encouraged

C3 Leader Christine Ferriter Composting Workshop in Pilsen

Composting Workshop!

Sunday, August 8 2010 at 2pm

Roots and Rays Community Garden

1513-1519 W Cullerton

Composting your kitchen scraps and yard trimmings is an easy, low maintenance way to reduce your household waste by up to 30%. Join C3 (Chicago Conservation Corps) Trainee and Roots and Rays Gardener Christine Ferriter to learn how to turn your grass clippings, young weeds, veggie scraps, fruit peels, coffee grounds, and egg shells into free nutrient-rich, chemical-free compost for your garden and houseplants.

This workshop will include demonstrations on various types of composting from outdoor aerobic and anaerobic methods to indoor vermicomposting. There are many different types of composters on the market today, each with their own benefits; discover which method is right for you and your family or learn how to build your own backyard compost bin out of found materials.

Don’t have a backyard? Don’t worry! Vermicomposting is a safe and clean indoor method for recycling everyday kitchen scraps into a rich, dark, earth-smelling soil conditioner using red-wriggler worms. Setting up a worm bin in your kitchen is a great way to begin composting in an urban setting and can keep up to 200lbs a year of nutrient rich food waste out of landfills. This workshop will take you through the steps of how to set up and maintain your very own worm bin!

Please join us for an afternoon of family activities, healthy snacks & raffle prizes! Raffle prizes include (1) Earth Machine Outdoor Composter, (1) Rain Barrel, and (6) Ready-to-go Worm Bins. Informational brochures and $30 City of Chicago rebate forms for purchased outdoor composters or rain barrels will also be available.

Registration is not required but space and materials are limited, please RSVP to rootsandrays@gmail.com

Earth Wine and Fire: Earth Day benefit party Fri April 23

Earth, Wine and Fire is a charity event intended to benefit the environment. It will occur on Friday April 23, 2010, the day after Earth Day, from 5-11PM (a movie screening of No Impact Man starts at 5:00; the party kicks off at 7:00). We expect it to be a fun party hosted by a small group of community folks who banded together to create an enlightened evening with a purpose. We intend to educate, incite action and enjoy. Buy your tickets in advance for a discount. $25 now; $35 on the day of the event. Includes: Entry, 3 tickets that can be used for drinks or the raffle, appetizers, music, entertainment and full access to all Nature Museum exhibits! Additional beverages available for purchase. Children 12 and under are free. Join the party! Buy your tickets at www.EarthWineAndFire.com!

“Greening the Holidays” Guide

The holidays come but once a year, but it’s not just their memories that can last a lifetime. Unfortunately, the season of generosity and merriment can leave a lasting impact on the environment too. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, Americans discard 25% more trash than they do during the rest of the year. This totals 2 billion extra pounds of garbage each week.

In addition to the increase in waste, our holiday traditions also lead to an increase in energy use and greenhouse gas emissions as we travel and entertain more.

Fortunately, there are many things we can do to retain the spirit of the season while being conscious about the environment. Find simple eco-friendly tips throughout this online guide to incorporate into your holiday routine. Follow these and you’ll help ensure a bright and memorable holiday season for generations to come.

Happy Holidays!

DOE News and Opportunities, May 2008

Department of Environment News and Opportunities – May 2008
- May 10: Smart Home Green + Wired
– May 10: Green Your Closets and Drawers
– May 15: Daley Plaza Farmers Market
– May 17: Clean and Green
– May 17-18: Green Festival
– May 17-18: Great Chicago Places and Spaces Tour

Smart Home Green + Wired
– Saturday, May 10, 10 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
– Museum of Science and Industry, 57th St. and Lake Shore Drive

Check out the Museum of Science and Industry’s 3-story modular sustainable home, learn about the Chicago Green Home Remodeling Series and pick up a free compact fluorescent light bulb, while supplies last. For more information on the Smart Home Green + Wired, visit www.msichicago.org.

Green Your Closet and Drawers
– Saturday, May 10, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
– Donations accepted at: Chicago Center for Green Technology, 445 N. Sacramento Blvd.; North Park Village Nature Center, 5801 N. Pulaski Rd.; St. Ailbe’s Church, 93rd and Stony Island.

Bring in your used clothes and eyeglasses to be reused by the Lion’s Club and the Salvation Army and receive a green gift, available while supplies last.

Daley Plaza Farmer’s Market
– Thursday, May 15, 7 a.m. – 3 p.m.
– Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington St.

Fill your produce bags with fresh fruits and vegetables at the first Daley Plaza Farmers Market of the season. For more information, visit www.chicagofarmersmarkets.us

Green Festival
– Saturday, May 17 – Sunday, May 18
– Navy Pier

Come celebrate what’s working in our communities, hear from environmental speakers and check out vendors for the latest in the green movement. Visit the Chicago Department of Environment exhibit to learn how you can reduce your environmental footprint. For more information, visit www.greenfestivals.org.

Great Chicago Places and Spaces Tour

– Saturday, May 17 – Sunday, May 18
– Locations throughout Chicago

Come explore Chicago’s rich heritage in architecture and design during the 10th Annual Great Chicago Places and Spaces celebration. This is a weekend dedicated to architecture and design that offers more than 200 free tours of Chicago and it’s neighborhoods given by prominent architecture, design specialists and community leaders. Most walking tours are outside, please dress accordingly. For more information, visit www.greatchicagoplaces.us.

Mayor Daley’s Clean and Green

– Saturday, May 17
– Locations throughout Chicago

Community groups throughout Chicago can make an immediate difference in their neighborhood by volunteering for Mayor Daley’s Spring Clean & Green Day. For the past 20 years, Chicagoans like yourself have teamed up with community groups and the City of Chicago to help beautify your communities by cleaning up and recycling accumulated litter and trash. The City provides materials. For more information or to register, call 3-1-1.

Open House at Pivot, Feb 27

Education and fashion unite to promote a smarter, greener future for Chicago

What: Pivot, Chicago’s first eco-boutique, hosts an open house event to benefit the Academy for Global Citizenship, a new Chicago Public Contract School on the Southwest Side. Opening for Kindergarten and First Grade students in August 2008, the school aims to be a national model for sustainable education by empowering all children to become active world citizens. It will be the only Chicago Public School with a core mission to incorporate environmental and international mindedness into all aspects of their innovative curriculum design.

Five of the school’s sustainability and wellness initiatives will be highlighted at the Pivot event, including an organic garden, solar energy installation, yoga, nutrition education, healthy breakfast and lunch. Guests will have an opportunity to learn more about sustainability and how to support the school’s initiatives. 15% of the evening’s sales will also be donated to the school.

When: Wednesday, February 27, 6 pm to 9 pm
RSVP: pivot@pivotboutique.com or 312.243.4754

Where: Pivot, 1101 West Fulton Market (corner of Fulton Market & Aberdeen)

A Smarter Season, November 27, 2007

Dear C3 Community,

I was a Spring 07 C3 trainee and am happy to announce that I have planned my project and would love for you to join me! This September I opened Pivot – Chicago’s first boutique devoted to eco-fashion. It’s been wonderful introducing people to fabrics such as organic cotton, bamboo, soy and others. I hope that reaching people through fashion/lifestyle choices can lead them to think about other steps they can take in their daily lives to live a more sustainable life.
I will be hosting a holiday event at Pivot and I will be featuring “stations” throughout the boutique that give guests tips on how to make their holiday season more eco-smart. From where and how to recycle Christmas trees and recycling old phones & gadgets when new ones are received, to gift wrapping using recycled materials. Event details are below. Thanks so much and I hope you are all doing well!

Jessa Brinkmeyer

Pivot celebrates its first holiday season and we hope you join us!

What: A Holiday Party
When: Tuesday, November 27, 6 to 9 pm
Where: Pivot, 1101 West Fulton Market

Enjoy 15% off all purchases, reusable gift bags, desserts, prizes and drinks. Pick up tips to make your holiday season eco-smart: from unique gift wrapping ideas and LED lights to greener gift ideas … start your season out right with Pivot!

More on Food Safety

Emily Rothenberg posted this in an earlier comment thread about taking action on food safety:

Worked on a campaign called BioETHICS2006 last year, all about food policy around GMO’s and genetically-engineered meats and dairy. It’s so scary that they’ve done that – what a step backwards, gosh. Feel free to visit www.genewise.org if you are interested in more info. about how to take action against GE food. There is also a national org. “The Campaign” — the Campaign to Label Genetically Engineered Food — which offers template petitions, etc.

Not in Your Food?

C3 Leader Elizabeth Wyman says:

Whether you eat meat or not, here’s a little something you may want to read this from the Consumers Union (Consumer Reports).

In late December, the FDA decided that milk and meat from cloned animals and their offspring are safe to eat. This means that within a few months, FDA could tell the livestock industry go ahead and start selling cloned meat to your local grocery, without any label to let you choose whether you want to buy it.

I’ve just signed a petition urging FDA to keep the moratorium on meat and milk from cloned animals and their offspring in food and to require labeling of such products if FDA does allow them on the market. Sign the petition now by clicking here: NotInMyFood.org

Convenient Truths: A Green Video Contest

Channel your inner eco-critic. Seventh Generation, Inc. and TreeHugger.com asked citizens to share their solutions to climate change. Help out our expert judges by watching and rating the submissions.

I submitted two videos to the Convenient Truths: a green video contest.

My first film asks “What can regular people do about global warming? This film takes a look at how average Americans perceive the climate crisis while giving practical, everyday tips toward reducing our Carbon dioxide footprint.”

My second film takes a look at how one business has combined style with sustainability to create solar paneled bags. Its a great way to integrate renewable energy into daily life!

Here are the links…

What Can Regular People Do About Global Warming?

Carrying Power: Solar Energy On The Go


Urban Permaculture: Food Production Feb 7th

Urban Permaculture Applications: Food Production Plus

Wednesday, February 7th, 7-9 pm
Learn how to apply permaculture to urban living.
Even if you have limited indoor growing space, producing more of what you eat, may be increasingly valuable. Learn about home or apartment-scale growing systems for producing your own food and fertilizer, indoors or out. Featuring Bill Shores, a professional organic grower specializing in small-scale intensive food production. Includes a demonstration of indoor salad greens production.

At North Park Village Nature Center, 5801 N. Pulaski; Chicago.
Turn left at the 1st T intersection.
312.744.5472 raelearth (at no-spam) yahoo.com

Sprouting: The Winter Garden

Home tip from Living Gently Quarterly:

When the price of head lettuce climbs to $2.50 or more per head and the frigid arctic winds are rattling the windows, you can still enjoy freshly grown produce. And, you don’t even have to leave your home. It doesn’t require long-range transportation from warmer or tropical climes nor energy-intensive greenhouses. What is this wonder? One that has been around for thousands of years: sprouting — the growing of edible plants from seed.


Climate Town Hall Mtg, Jan 20, 10a, Whitney Young HS

From http://www.cnt.org/calendar:

Take part in this engaging town-hall style meeting about real solutions to curbing global warming, participate in Q & A with panelists, and connect with dozens of grassroots organizations.The event features Sadhu Johnston, Commissioner for the Chicago Department of Environment, with Rev. Calvin S. Morris Ph.D., Exec. Director of Community Renewal Society moderating, and panelists Rev. Clare Butterfield, Director of Faith-in-Place, CNT’s Steve Perkins, Sr. Vice-President, and Lori Morrison Contreras, Vice-President of Little Village Environmental Justice Organization.

edited to add more info from http://climatechicago.org/:

Learn how we can work together to:

  1. Create new jobs.
  2. Get cars and trucks off the street.
  3. Move to clean, affordable renewable energy.
  4. Reduce utility costs with conservation and efficiency.
  5. Buy locally grown food or grow our own.
  6. Reduce costly waste disposal.