Volunteers voice benefits of Talking Farm

Mike Isaacs
misaacs@pioneerlocal.com | @SKReview_Mike
July 29 10:24 a.m.

SKOKIE — About 2,000 volunteer hours have been logged each of the first two years at the urban Talking Farm at 3701 Howard St. in Skokie.

More than 25 large groups from places like Northwestern University and Oakton Community College have spent time there. Corporate groups from retailers such as Starbucks have been there as have individual residents and others.

The Skokie Park District’s Tot Learning Center preschool children, next door neighbors to the farm, have learned at an early age there. A boy scout made benches for the farm.

From its inception, the Talking Farm was built around the idea of community and volunteer work.

Just last week, members of the Ridgeville Park District’s Garden2Table program in Evanston toured the farm, getting their hands dirty by working in the soil.

“This is such an amazing space because it’s such a big urban space that’s been converted into a garden,” said Emily Lake who teaches the program. “I’m really excited that this exists and that we can have this experience and not have to travel far to do that.”

Lake said that she believes in urban farms as a resource for the community.

“People are very disconnected from where their food comes from,” she said. “We all eat every day so it’s something that connects everyone.”

Anna Luce of Evanston agreed, saying it’s become common knowledge that people have become divorced from where their food comes from.

“They’re able to bring that back to a wide variety of people in Evanston and Skokie,” she said. “I’m excited.”

Olga Ricketts-Peart of Evanston says the farm can be used to inspire people who are not consuming healthy meals.

“This could be very helpful,” she said. “Say for instance there are many people who don’t know about vegetables. They are more for fast food, which is really not good for them health-wise, and this is perfect.”

Evanston Park Board Commissioner Dan Coyne has been a big believer in urban farming and sees the Talking Farm as a welcome addition to the Skokie and Evanston communities.

“We can actually grow things cheaper, more healthy and distribute that to our local restaurants,” Coyne said. “If we can link up kids and other community members on how to grow this, perhaps we can even teach people to grow gardens in their own backyards.”

Coyne believes Skokie and Evanston leaders are thinking about the future in developing the Talking Farm for the long run.

“This is a fantastic investment,” he said. “As you know, with our tax dollars, we have choices in what we invest in. Some choose war. Some choose other industry, But to do this kind of life-giving, organic food investment, it will help for generations to come.”

Tags:

0 Comments

Do you have the scariest house on the block? Or the cutest kid in costume? Share your Halloween photos with us! Click here to submit them.


Modal