Who we are:
We are a group called the Heritage Harvesters and we are part of a community of folks passionate about urban agriculture and sustainable practices. We want to help our community eat locally, limit the use of chemicals, and live healthier, more socially connected lives. It gives us a good excuse to play in the dirt, and that--is definitely healthy & fun! We are artists, accountants, teachers, business people & more. We live in Skokie, Evanston, Lincolnwood, Morton Grove, Wilmette, and northern Chicago neighborhoods like Rogers Park & Edgewater.
We want to build an Ethnic Heritage Garden. The raised beds will be built on the Howard Street Farm in Skokie, IL. Our communities are wonderfully diverse (94 languages are spoken by the kids who attend Skokie & Evanston area schools). Our Ethnic Heritage Garden celebrates this diversity by bringing together local cultural groups to grow the specific veggies and herbs that are part of their, their parents', or their grandparents' heritage.
Groups from the Assyrian, Ethiopian, Filipino, Greek, Haitian, Indian, Jamaican, Mexican, Muslim, and Trinidadian communities are all part of the project and more are still joining us, too!
The community we build is not just about food. It's about bringing together all sorts of people--recent immigrants & long-standing residents, folks from all walks of life and every religious and cultural background. We hope to share a good story or two as we get out in nature. We want to spread the word about everything from preserving our own okra to growing potatoes-in-a-box to making our own soil.
Our focus is on learning. We want to introduce ourselves and many others to new plants and also learn ways to prepare and preserve them. We’ll create amazing bilingual signs and handouts about the plants and the produce. Well-labeled beds will allow visitors to walk about on self-guided tours and learn along with us.
We'll be publicizing unique recipes throughout our season and this fall we'll have a Harvest Potluck that showcases the dishes created from the foods we've grown.
What we need:
- Building materials (lumber, screws, bricks, and cement blocks)
- Fencing (to keep the critters out)
- Soil & amendments
- Plants & seeds
- Garden equipment & tools
- a Shed
- Materials for hoop houses
- Wood chips and stone for ADA-accessible pathways
- Materials for making signs, handouts, and recipes
- Field kitchen equipment
The Skokie Park District * Thomas Ahleman & Doug Snider at Studio Talo, Evanston * Shawn Decker, Evanston * Arcus Construction, Wilmette * Charles Lerman, Sr. Project Mgr at Facilities Operations at Northwestern University * Steven Berecz & Mark Hamilton * Dale Stempel, Skokie * Matt Ryan, Evanston * Kristin Alexander, Evanston * David Lau, Northbrook * Ken Kastman at Earth-Whys, Evanston * Eric Masi, Chicago (photos) * Tot Learning Center, Skokie * Nels J. Johnson Tree Experts, Evanston
Join us today!
- (30 days)