85% of all produce will be going to the FISH Food Pantry, with the remainder going into the bellies of our volunteers.  There's no way of knowing how much food we will provide for families this year, but we're hoping to inspire others to do the same thing for our community next year.
 

I love the idea of local food.  I love the idea of feeding people who are in need.  I love being in the soil and working with plants.  I love that now, here in Carpentersville, we are able to start combining these elements together to not only promote local food production and the Cville Community Gardens, but to also help feed local families in need.  This is the Unity Gardens Donation Project.
 

Project Roots

Back in 2009 I discovered  Permaculture, an advanced organic gardening philosophy and design science that has implications for a better world.  For the first time in years I saw a glimmer of hope.  I felt our society was moving mindlessly toward whatever corporate agendas got sold to us the best.  Permaculture showed me there were people out there rejecting the corporate narrative of "me, me, me!" They talk about ethical principles (Earth Care, People Care, Fair Share) and talk about how the problems contain the solutions.  

 

 Permaculture produces lush and diverse vegetation, not neat little rows of crops.

Permaculture produces lush and diverse vegetation, not neat little rows of crops.

To do Permaculture gardening well requires a long-term investment.  But for the small-space gardener, there is  much to learn from such as no-till garden beds, raised beds, and focusing on the soil.  "Sun on soil, forever toil" is the phrase I like to use.  When your soil is protected from the harsh sun, it remains moist and fertile and that's when the real garden helpers thrive.  There's a whole microbial world happening in healthy soil that is what nature intended for our plants.  Chemical fertilizers and old school gardening practices kills or minimizes this "soil food web."

 

C'Ville Gardens

Last year I learned that Carpentersville has a Community Garden, and planned to get a plot for my family.  Then I had the idea of multiple plots devoted to growing food for local families, and immediately I thought of the FISH Food Pantry here in Carpentersville.  So we reached out to them and they are able to take whatever produce we give them!  That was a relief, because we weren't sure how to get the food to the families.

I love the idea of using gardens as a way to teach children about the environment so we reached out to the Dundee Township Boys & Girls Club, and they loved the idea of bringing kids out each week to help tend the beds and learn where food comes from.  With their Nutritional Awareness program, they are already learning about garden vegetables  in the kitchen, so now they'll get to see where it all comes from.  
 

Where We're At

We've had forward steps and some setbacks so far but it looks like we're just about to launch the gardens with a planting day to be announced very soon.

85% of all produce will be going to the FISH Food Pantry, with the remainder going into the bellies of our volunteers.  There's no way of knowing how much food we will provide for families this year, but we're hoping to inspire others to do the same thing for our community next year. 

I envision Carpentersville having a regular Community Garden area (for families with no space to grow fresh food), and also another area of similar size devoted to donation gardens only.  

I envision every town having projects like this going every year, bringing communities together and sharing good feelings, and good food, amongst the citizens.  

I envision the compassion of our people growing along with every seed, so that it's no longer a need to feed hungry people- it is a way of life.

 

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