10 Days to Victory: Day 3 = CURIOSITY by LaManda Joy

How do you teach an entire city how to grow their own food? That was the question I asked myself after I’d seen this photo at our local butcher, Muller Meats. The lady who took the photo lived in the same building as the butcher shop. She lived in the neighborhood her entire life. When she died, knowing Rubin and Irv (the butchers) liked old photos, her family sold it to them. And it has hung on their wall ever since.

Once day while I was waiting for an order I noticed it and got really curious. The guys told me about the lady who took it, how it took them awhile to realize it was taken from their building and the view was west of their shop just down the street.

I couldn’t get the photo out of my mind. Not only that there had been a big Victory Garden right there in my neighborhood but also that the war drove people to use gardening as a means of collective salvation during dark times. After pondering the situation for awhile it dawned on me that one of the lots in the picture was an empty lot owned by a local non profit. The wheels started turning… I’d begun studying just how Chicago mobilized to teach hundreds of thousands of people to grow food… maybe we could follow those same steps and start a garden right there on the original site? It was just an empty lot after all…

By June of that year we’d created what was, at the time, the largest edible, organic garden in Chicago. We had a waiting list a mile long. We’d followed the same steps the original WW2 Victory Gardeners had followed and it worked. Clearly we were onto something. What we discovered surprised us – not only did people want to learn to grow their own food but they wanted to do it with their neighbors. Seems there’s no expiration date on Victory.

Three years later, we’ve gone from one garden to seven and 400 gardeners to 2,400. Most of whom we’ve taught how to grow their own food. We could probably put in ten more gardens in 2013 the demand and interest is so great.

Your vote will help us do just that – by securing $10k from Chase Community Giving we can build more gardens where  people can learn to grow food together.

VOTE HERE: http://j.mp/ChaseGivingPGP and please tell your friends. A quick vote can make history repeat itself!