Win an Inspiration Edible Garden

Application Instructions

  • Applications will be accepted until November 1, 2018. A raised bed installed in July or August can still grow a fall crop and also be ready to go in early spring.

  • This is the first of a three-part application process: (1) general information about the property and property owner, (2) a more detailed questionnaire, (3) a face-to-face interview.

  • Open the PDF in Acrobat Reader.

  • Type your answers directly into the PDF form. If you can’t handle this step, contact us and we will have a Deep Roots volunteer help you.

  • If you have questions or technical issues contact David Murphy our Deep Roots director. He will gladly help you fill out the application at a phone or in-person meeting. Contact him at (773) 502-5600 and

  • When done save the PDF file.

  • Enter your Healthy Lawn, Healthy Family pledges on our website here.

  • Email completed PDF file to David Murphy at

  • Call David at (773) 502-5600 to say the form has been emailed.

Funding for 10 free edible gardens in Oak Park and River Forest was received from Entrepreneur Leaders in Philanthropy Fund, a giving group of the Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation.

Healthy Lawn, Healthy Family pledge

Traditional lawn care is toxic and wasteful with huge environmental costs. These practices negatively affect the quality of life in our communities by degrading local waterways, polluting the air, contaminating our soils, harming pets and wildlife, contributing to climate change, and threatening human health. See details here.

All applicants must sign the “Healthy Lawn, Healthy Family” pledge to eliminate toxic chemicals on their lawn and garden. Take the online pledge here.

How to qualify for a free inspiration garden

  • Applicant’s property must be in either Oak Park or River Forest.

  • For our program to be successful the showcase gardens have to make an impact on the community at large. The raised bed must be highly visible from street.

  • Edible plants need the right amount of sun to grow to their full potential. Full sun (8 hours a day) is best. Some green leafy vegetables require less sun. See how to measure hours of sunlight here.

  • The applicant must be committed to learning the basics of edible garden success. We will have free workshops, a gardening coach and other learning resources.

  • The applicant must display the “Deep Roots Project Showcase Garden” sign near the bed.

  • The applicant must be available for media attention like interviews, photos and demonstrating the success of their garden.

  • Applicant promises to totally enjoy gardening, eating the healthy food from their garden, getting as much exercise as possible and have\ing tons of gardening fun.

Increase your chance of winning a free garden

  • Learn about the dangers of chemical lawn/garden care and pesticides. See more information about natural and organic lawn/garden care here.

  • Use this knowledge to ask many people to take the Healthy Lawn, Healthy Family pledge in support of your garden application. Add the names and contact info for your supporters to your application form. If you can’t complete this step on your own, please contact us, and we will have a volunteer help you.

  • Display a “Keep On the Grass” yard sign to inspire other residents to take the pledge. We will drop off a free sign after you and your supporters take the pledge online. But we appreciate a donation of $10 to cover the cost of the sign.

  • Grow your network of family, friends and neighbors who help with your garden. The Deep Roots team will provide the knowledge, planning, some labor and 2 years of coaching and supplies.

  • Commit to replanting and maintaining your garden after Deep Roots ends its support after 2 years. Hopefully, your garden supporters and partners will stay involved for many years.

  • Find a reliable person to water your garden once a week while you are out of town.

  • OPTIONAL: Install an automatic irrigation system and/or a rain barrel to water your raised bed. Deep Roots can give you advice if you want to do the work yourself. Instructions will be on our website. Or, we can install it for you if you pay us for labor and materials.