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Tagged : tom-philpott

A garden oasis erupts from Chicago’s Cabrini-Green asphalt

July 20th, 2009

Photo: Chicago Lights

By Lynette Holloway
Green Right Now

Collard greens, kale, tomatoes, swiss chard and okra spring from a swath of asphalt amid a bustling sidewalk on Chicago’s North Side. The incongruous site is the Cabrini-Green Chicago Avenue Community Garden, a vegetable and flower garden that was home to basketball and tennis courts more than six years ago.

Enclosed by a chain-link fence, gardeners plant on compost beds shaped like crude graves. It is part of a community garden project conducted by Growing Power, a national non-profit organization, dedicated to helping urban families gain access to healthy food systems. Growing Power, headquartered in Milwaukee, also provides training and oversight for volunteers who participate in the project.

Erika Allen, a mother who uses her art therapy major in her work, is project manager of the Chicago urban garden. She also appears in the critically acclaimed documentary Food Fight, which is about the importance of sustainably produced or locally grown food. She also is the daughter of Will Allen, founder and chief executive officer of Growing Power, who last year was awarded a MacArthur Genius Award for his work in the delivery of healthy food systems in urban areas.

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Mother’s Day, pig CAFOS, swine flu

May 11th, 2009

By Barbara Kessler
Green Right Now

Our Mother’s Day feast was a deliberately local meal. Now that Texas farms are rolling out produce, we were able to pick up some spring green beans and Hot House tomatoes at the farmer’s market, along with some locally made pasta.

Our youngest noted that our meal was doubly green — green spinach pasta and local veggies. Oy, they get so smart in public school, no? (Yes, that’s a joke.) At least her green awareness is growing.

But about that local food. This brings me back, sort of, to a topic I wanted to revisit: CAFOs. Buying locally supports smaller farmers, and reduces the “food miles” borne by the meal, and thereby cuts greenhouse gas emissions. Which is all good.

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