For people who are passionate about being part of the solution to our national crisis in food safety, quality and security, Global Gardens offers a showcase of workable responses, along with homegrown tomatoes and community spirit.
HOW YOU CAN MAKE GLOBAL GARDENS STRONGER
Your pledge will allow us to install a seed saving garden and bee hives (because every garden needs bees!).
Seed Saving Garden
A 40'x20’ garden will help preserve food cultivars in danger of going extinct. Seeds with names like Radiator Charlie’s Mortgage Lifter (a tomato), Good Mother Stallard (a bean) and Beaver Dam pepper. All seeds will be provided by the world famous Seed Savers Exchange, and will include seeds from the private collection that are not available commercially. Seeds will be preserved and shared with other seed savers in the Chicago area. The project will include an army of volunteers to care for and learn about the plants (you could be one of them), educational classes, and events to teach people (including you) about food heritage and seed saving.
Beekeeping is a traditional skill for the Bhutanese farmers at Global Gardens, but will be new for those from Burma. Both groups are eager to learn how to raise bees in the United States so they can provide honey for their families and earn needed income by selling honey and beeswax products.Bees will also make Global Gardens more productive by pollinating our vegetable crops.Global Gardens farmers learn about farm and small business management so they will be able to operate their own enterprises – perhaps including a few new apiaries for Chicago.With your support, we will purchase bees, two hive boxes, equipment, and a fence for our bee yard, and learn from an expert beekeeper.We look forward to supplying you and our neighbors with honey.
WHO SHOULD SUPPORT THIS PROJECT:
Do you celebrate Chicago’s cultural diversity? Then join Global Gardens in welcoming newly arrived refugees so that they can participate and enrich our community heritage.
Do you grow food with us already? You’re at the center of a movement—make a pledge!
Do you or does someone you know follow us online? People like you are making a difference—make a pledge!
Are you a gardener? You’re helping to spread the word about the importance of local food, pollinators and seed diversity—make a pledge!
Do you eat?
What are we saying? Everybody eats! Make a pledge to preserve seeds, save bees and ensure a world of safe, delicious, locally grown food.
WHAT IS GLOBAL GARDENS?
Global Gardens is a former abandoned lot transformed into a multi-use urban agriculture site. The one and a quarter acre site along the Chicago River includes a community allotment garden serving nearly 200 families; “Grow2Give”—a community effort to grow food for donation; and the Global Gardens Refugee Training Farm where refugee farmers grow organic vegetables for their families and for sale. CLESE and Peterson Garden Project manage the farm and garden, and North River Commission is the community organization partner, working to connect resources to the garden.
Global Gardens Refugee Training Farm (GGRTF) was launched in 2012 with funds from the USDHHS Refugee Agricultural Partnership Program. By matching the agricultural expertise of refugees from rural backgrounds with training about urban farming in a temperate climate, GGRTF builds on the strengths of refugee families and enables them to create their own income and food security here in the United States. In 2012, forty-two families from Bhutan and Burma grew over 3,000 pounds of produce for local vendors, and another 5,000 pounds, including a few exotic (to us) varieties, for their own tables. In 2013, more refugee families from additional cultural backgrounds will be joining Global Gardens.
How The Peterson Garden Project Pop-Up Victory Gardens began
Pop-up Victory Gardens are temporary food
gardens on unused urban land, installed to teach people how to grow food in an
In 2010, food activist LaManda Joy discovered that an empty lot on Peterson Avenue in her Chicago working class neighborhood had been an original World War II Victory Garden. She determined to recreate a modern Victory Garden on the site and the Peterson Garden Project was born. Recreating the original Victory Garden model, she expanded on that movement and applied it to current day urban gardening needs.
Global Gardens is the flagship site in PGP's network of urban allotment food gardens. The Peterson Garden Project won the Governor’s Sustainability Award for this program in 2012. The Peterson Garden Project is a not-for-profit organization, and we're looking to inspire everyone we meet to build their communities by growing food together. Most people today don't know how to grow food, but it's a challenge we've met before. During WWII Chicagoans started 1,500 community gardens, known as Victory Gardens. And more than 250,000 people started home gardens, too. They did it all in four short years, and 90% of the people had never gardened before.
Global Gardens Refugee Training Farm and the Peterson Garden Project are for people who love the taste of a homegrown tomato, are curious about growing food themselves, and would like to make urban food production the norm, not the exception.
Example of Garden Gnome incentive
Example of Heirloom Seed Packet incentive
Risks and challenges
American-style beekeeping will be a new adventure for everyone at Global Gardens. Although there are many variables that may effect the bees, including swarming and bad weather, we have experts in urban beekeeping advising us from the beginning. We will have good training and support from experts in caring for urban bees at the Chicago Honey Co-op and from a volunteer who raises bees for the Chicago Park District and in his backyard.
Working together across different cultures and languages is always a challenge, but with the help of interpreters, creative staff, and the farmers’ ongoing efforts at learning English, we have built a farm and grown a lot of food and look forward to helping each other succeed in our beekeeping efforts.
The Peterson Garden Project volunteer team has installed 7 large community gardens since 2010, with another 4 planned for 2013. Our educational exhibits have included all-heirloom gardens and demonstration plantings like Square Foot Gardening, Three Sisters (a traditional Native American method) and native pollinator habitats. Challenges to a successful seed saving garden are weather, pollination, and disease. A challenge for our garden overall is the capacity to provide enough organic, heirloom seeds to our gardeners. Certified Master Gardeners and experienced volunteers will care for the garden and treat disease using proven natural methods and the bees from the refugee farm hives will provide pollination. Our experienced team is ready to meet the challenge of increasing our acreage of educational exhibits and gardening capacity by installing the Seed Saver Garden in 2013.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (45 days)