Friday, September 23, 2016

Discovering A Local Community Garden

We have a garden in our suburban yard, but I am, at best, a lazy gardener. My raspberries do well, despite my neglect. I have hit or miss vegetables in several raised beds every year. (Usually planted late.)

I have always been fascinated by the community garden idea. My first exposure was in Kiel, Germany. Where many, including my host family at the time, benefitted from the availability of garden space near apartment housing. Then again later, I enjoyed visiting community gardens in Boston, where there is a community garden located on the same ground as when it was begun, as a victory garden, during World War II. Still thriving, it is located in the Fredrick Law Olmsted Emerald Necklace green space of the Fenway in Boston. You can learn about that historic community garden from their website Fenway Victory Gardens.  More recently, during my day to day travels of driving my teen-aged children around, I've been stumbling upon local community gardens in my current Chicagoland stomping grounds.

My 17 year old son has a new job. Sometimes (usually), teenager jobs require the commitment of a parent or other adult. Since he doesn't have a car yet, or for that matter, a driver's licence. His job requires a driver. I'm typically that driver. I don't mind, he has taken on a new responsibility, is learning a lot and I have been experiencing the opportunity to travel a new path because of it. As a result, I have been making a few new local discoveries. The Old Schoolhouse Community Garden being one of them. Located just steps away from the parking lot of my son's work place, the well manicured garden called to me and my camera.

Included are some of my photos of the Old Schoolhouse Community Garden in Westchester, IL.

Their welcome sign is a little bit contradictory. I stayed on marked paths and was careful not to disturb anything. Every raised bed had it's own wonderful and delightful beauty. So many wonderful, sweet surprises to photograph.

Located next to an old schoolhouse with property owned by Immanuel Lutheran Church, the garden is a delightfully well maintained community garden of raised beds. Their website is very informative and complete. It includes an application to secure the use of a raised bed, as well as all of the guidelines for participation. Somewhere, there is a great organizer behind the scenes!

Beautiful, healthy and productive melon plants. Someone is going to enjoy the fresh taste of that one!

A bit of creativity is added to the mix with these colorful little beaded plant identification markers.

The garden is complete with hospitality for the butterflies.

Gardening related classes are offered at the old schoolhouse itself. Unfortunately, I missed the recent canning class. Hopefully, I'll be able to benefit from some of their other upcoming classes.
They do have a few more events listed for this fall.

For further general information about the Old Schoolhouse Community Garden in Westchester, IL, their website is at:

Community garden or home garden, this little tool collection plus folding stool is useful. Click on the image to head over to amazon to view and/or purchase. This is an affiliate link. Thanks for visiting!