by John Owens At Ascension Catholic Church in Oak Park the highlight of 2011 was the launching of the community vegetable garden. After a year and a half of planning, our raised beds were constructed as the Eagle Scout project of parishioner Robert Corbeil. Starting a little later in June, crops were soon thriving in compost from Growing Power. Our committee combined our locally grown harvest with contributions from the gardens of parishioners to provide fresh vegetables to the food pantry of our sharing parish, St. Martin des Porres, on Chicago’s west side.
In November the group co-sponsored with the Shawnash Institute an enlightening program on the practice of aquaculture which is taking hold in several Chicago communities. Professor Emanuel Pratt of Chicago State described the practice and the efforts he is leading that address issues of nutrition and sustainability.
Amid the cold and snow of January Ascension’s Community Garden group will be meeting to address membership, expanding our beds, education, advocacy and emerging local issues.