About 20 West Side Garden Collective members gathered Jan. 28 at the Garfield Park Conservatory, 300 N. Central Park Ave., to explore gardening methods.
According to the group’s Facebook page, the Garden Collective is a “group of gardeners and neighbors in a grassroots effort to grow food, community, networks, and resiliency. Hoping to learn about soil regeneration, food networks, and how the complex systems of our local biome intersect with our region at large.”
Maria Sorrell and her friend, Mary Margaret Bartley, both Austin residents and members of Root-Riot :: Harambee, attended the event. The garden they share with about 30 other families is located at 445 N. Waller Ave. Now in its 14th year, the garden is a tool to bring the neighborhood together.
“We had our first pizza party with our new outdoor pizza oven last week with the families within in the garden. We try and have something every Friday inviting the community,” Sorrell said.
One of the biggest attractions in the Harambee garden is the Harambee goats from Austin’s GlennArt Farm grazing on half of the pasture in the warmer months.
Biologist Prayag Amin was also in attendance at the Conservatory. Amin is part of Sylvan Holt, a nonprofit committed to expanding urban gardening in the Chicago area.
“Our mission is to turn empty plots in the city into little open forests that can provide food, wildlife, and fresh air and turn the contaminated soil into clean soil,” Amin said.