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“Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.” —Song 2:13

The largest zucchini squash grown on the Southside

Community gardening in Chicago

By Gwen Beatty

We never thought we would see this awesome, delicious squash grown on the Southside of Chicago (not a chance) especially in a recaptured dump site. But, today healthy organic and non-toxic, food is growing in the food desert of Fuller Park Community. The Winning Circle has grown 8 to 10 lb. squash and other vegetables in our garden. We are proud of our hard work.   Our produce from the compost bins are a hit.  We made compost tea and fertilized the fruit and vegetable growing and have shocked ourselves and the community.  What a harvest and more to come as we are getting the hang of it.  Many of our families came out to eat right out of the garden with us as two community chefs showed us how to get healthy and cook nutritious food.   Look out corner stores we plan to change our community.  

An awesome workshop was done on the dangers or children eating flaming hot snacks that have become popular in poorer communities. Member Misrak Earth put a serious warning in the ear of parents about the problems with this snack.  Instead we are teaching the kids how to enjoy kale chips a (delicious healthy snack) and having fun growing and making them.  It will be interesting to follow in the months to come.  But she says she will stay diligent to keep educating.

Such accomplishments deserved educating many on how our vegetables came out so great, and talks about a cook book are being discussed.  After much trial and error we are on our way. The weeds grew faster than some of the crop.  We finally got it together and under control with the rainy season hitting Chicago so hard and the heat index of 110 made some days a real challenge.  But, today we can say KUDOS!!   The team has worked hard and we are reaping the benefits of our efforts.  We sold the squash even to some of the SDOP visitors who we were honored to host at our cooking demonstration right from the garden.  August 27 was a fabulous day. We took pictures of the day and all the festivities surrounding the Winning Circle Farmers Market Fruit and Vegetable Day that fed our local community. Our members sold produce and vendor goods.  Thank you SDOP and Presbyterian churches for coming out and supporting us on this wonderful day.

The One Great Hour of Sharing ministries are:

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance | Presbyterian Hunger Program | Self-Development of People


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