The preSERVE garden is a partnership between Slow Food Chicago, the North Lawndale Greening Committee, the Chicago Honey Co-Op, and NeighborSpace. It was created in 2010 out of a desire to get more deeply involved in community gardening at a neighborhood level. North Lawndale was a natural fit because of our strong relationship with the Honey Co-Op and the Greening Committee, and past partnership on events like the Sweet Summer Solstice Potluck and Chicago TomatoFest.
Since its creation, the preSERVE garden has continued to expand. We raised funds to build a custom wooden fence to signify the garden’s permanence and add to its beauty. We were awarded a $1,500 grant from Nature Hills Nursery for fruit trees and bushes. We’ve built a compost bin and will shortly be building a tool shed. With the help of over 70 volunteers and supporters, we expanded our crops to include not only five varieties of sweet potatoes, black eyed peas, and crowder peas, but also six types of salad greens and a variety of heirloom tomatoes. Our partners NeighborSpace and Green Corps installed a wooden kiosk at the garden with signs, photos, and space for sign-up sheets, so that neighborhood volunteers can get more involved with workdays.
In 2013, we harvested more than 430 pounds from the preSERVE Garden, including 31 different crops! Not bad for a city lot. Many of the varieties grown in the preSERVE Garden are from Slow Food’s Ark of Taste, an international catalog of endangered and rare foods.
We need your help! We would not be able to keep the garden healthy and thriving without the help of our volunteers! Come get your hands dirty as we prepare the garden beds, learn how to plant seeds and seedlings, and join in the fun of harvesting sweet potatoes. We need volunteer leaders and people to help with potlucks and other fun events throughout the year. For more information, contact Slow Food preSERVE , find us on VolunteerSpot, or fill out our Get Involved page.
2014 preSERVE Garden Workdays
Workdays are monthly from March through November, usually on the 3rd Saturday of the month. Our currently scheduled dates are below, but are subject to change based on weather conditions – check out our events page for the latest dates. Space is limited, so be sure to register through one of the links above. We look forward to seeing you soon!
- April 19
- May 31
- June 28
- July 19
- August 16
- September 20
- October 18
- November 1