Greening the community, one edible garden at a time

Deep Roots Project aims to change the way people eat

Tuesday, July 24th, 2018 11:58 AM

Original post: http://www.oakpark.com/News/Articles/7-24-2018/Greening-the-community,-one-edible-garden-at-a-time/

By Lacey Sikora
Contributing Reporter

In March, the Deep Roots Project was awarded a Big Idea Grant of $17,000 by the Entrepreneur Leaders in Philanthropy Fund, a giving group of the Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation. 

The award will fund Deep Roots' Lawns to Garden initiative, and as part of that initiative, Deep Roots is holding a contest that runs through Nov. 1 to give away 10 edible gardens, along with two years of maintenance, free workshops and a gardening coach.

Community supports Deep Roots Project at Trailside Ribbon-Cutting Event

Community comes together at ribbon-cutting program to provide Inspiration for more than just food!

When the Deep Roots Project cut the ribbon on their first Inspiration Edible Garden Bed awarded to the Trailside museum on Sunday 7/29/18, the program was more than just about growing food, it was about connecting communities and working together to make a culture shift.

With lovely weather and a reason to celebrate, over 50 people gathered in the beautiful Nature and Play area at Trailside Museum to hear about local opportunities, eat delicious fruits and vegetables, sing and celebrate the sustainable idea of growing edible plants on your front lawn instead of grass!

How to Create a Head-Turning Yard... Even if You're Always Busy

How to Create a Head-Turning Yard... Even if You're Always Busy

Have you ever driven by a home with an incredible looking lawn and thought, “Who has the time to make their yard look like that?” We all know what it’s like to dream of the perfect lawn, to make plans for giving it the attention it needs, and to have life happen and change those plans. The good news is that there are practical solutions that can help you create a head-turning yard this summer, and you can do them even with a busy schedule.

Don’t Over-Mow

An overgrown lawn is a quick way to make your property appear abandoned, so it’s important to keep it in shape. But you also want to avoid over-mowing it. It’s better to plan your mowing around how your grass is growing rather than worry about sticking to a strict schedule. In other words, the length of the grass matters more than how often you mow. Depending on your geographical location and how much rain you’re getting, this can change by the week. Sometimes you may need to mow weekly and sometimes it may be every two weeks.

When you over-mow, it keeps your grass from properly growing and reaching its lush, green potential. A good indicator that your grass isn’t growing is if it pales or turns yellow. If you see that, you should let it grow a little before you cut it again. Also, it’s common lawn advice to never cut more than one-third off the length of your blades. Even if it’s severely overgrown, it’s better to first cut one-third off your grass and to gradually make it lower.

Bayer Has Just Purchased Monsanto

Bayer Has Just Purchased Monsanto

Bayer has just purchased Monsanto for 62.5 billion dollars, cementing one of the most unholy business marriages of all time. The two companies are equally yoked with a history of evil and self-serving business practices are concerned, and it’s important for the public to know what this massive business merger means.

The Bride

Monsanto is the company that is responsible for creating and marketing products like genetically modified BT corn (corn plants with built-in pesticide genes spliced into their DNA) and “Round-up ready” GMOs—plants that are engineered to resist the herbicide Roundup so that fields can be saturated with chemicals that kill weeds, but not the modified crops. Rather than increase crop yields as promised, GMOs have increased the use of herbicides and caused an alarming outbreak of herbicide-resistant “superweeds”.

Eco-Friendly Ways to Make Your Yard Look Fabulous

Eco-Friendly Ways to Make Your Yard Look Fabulous

They say the grass is greener on the other side, but we’re not sure which side they are starting from. It doesn’t matter where you live, there are ways you can “go green” in the yard, and many of them have nothing to do with the color of your grass. Keep reading for five water-saving, eco-friendly, and easy lawn and garden changes you can make this summer.

Get Rid of the Grass

Grass needs water -- and lots of it. It’s everywhere, and when it gets too dry, it makes your landscape look like a barren plain. You can buck the tradition of having regular grass by swapping your fescue for fragrant ground coverings such as creeping thyme or Roman chamomile. Moss is another option for shaded areas. If you’re handy with a shovel, you can also level out a section of your lawn to create a hardscape design with pavers, rocks, statues, and potted plants. Reader’s Digest also suggests laying down some mulch and creating a play area for the kids.

How to Maximize Your Gardening for Better Overall Health and Wellness

How to Maximize Your Gardening for Better Overall Health and Wellness

We all know gardening can be good for us when it comes to the beautiful flowers or delicious vegetables that are produced. But gardening is also good for the mind, body, and soul. It’s a great form of exercise and has mental health benefits galore. In fact, many addiction rehabilitation centers feature gardens, since having a hobby, exercising, and spending time outdoors are all beneficial to recovery, and gardening naturally blends all three.

Maybe you think gardening would be a great source of physical and mental exercise for you, but you've never been sure how to get started. Or maybe you’re not in a position to have your own garden yet. Chances are that there are local resources that would be more than happy to help.

Volunteering at a local botanical garden is one way to get your hands dirty and become familiar with gardening in general. For anyone who lacks experience, this is the perfect opportunity to learn more about gardening and help your community, both of which equate to a boost in your mental well-being.

Of course, having a garden of your own is another way to boost your health. Getting outside and working in your own backyard is a great way to get a workout, improve your mental health, and make sure you and your family have delicious, healthy food to consume for most of the year (or the whole year if you brush up on preservation techniques!). While any efforts you make in the garden are worthwhile, there are some ways to maximize your gardening strategies for better overall health and wellness.

DOZENS of Food Crops Treated with Pre-Harvest Roundup (it’s not just wheat!)

DOZENS of Food Crops Treated with Pre-Harvest Roundup (it’s not just wheat!)

Originally posted by The Healthy Home Economist

Pre-harvest application of herbicides as a (toxic) drying agent on wheat is an established practice on many conventional farms. The method was first suggested as early as 1980, becoming routine in North America over the past 15 years or so. Use is also widespread in the UK.

Applying herbicides like Roundup 7-10 days before harvest is viewed as especially helpful for wheat that ripens unevenly, a common occurrence. It is also considered a helpful tool to initiate an earlier harvest when weather conditions threaten plant viability. Other benefits are earlier ripening for earlier replanting and reducing the green material in the field. This puts less strain on farm machinery during harvest.

Farmers euphemistically call the practice “desiccation”. When used during wheat harvest, it can result in slightly greater yield by triggering plants to release more seeds.

The result? Most non-organic wheat in North America is now contaminated with glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup and similar herbicides.

WHO: Glyphosate a Probable Carcinogen

A March 2015 report by the World Health Organization identified glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen. Several EU countries have banned it as a result with more in the works. However, in North America, glyphosate use shockingly continues to remain a popular farming tool.

And, as it turns out, use of Roundup as a drying agent on wheat prior to harvest is just the tip of the iceberg. Dozens of other food crops are subjected to glyphosate dousing prior to harvest as well.