(CBS) — As the soil warms up, the hopeful are emerging from winter burrows and digging up gardens provided in ever-increasing numbers by their communities, reports WBBM’s John Cody.
West of Chicago along the Eisenhower, Forest Park has 51 plots ready to go, all spoken for, with hints that the idea is taking hold long-term.
“We have mostly young people, young couples at our community garden and they are just interested in growing their own food because organic food is kind of expensive,” said Gina Thompson, president of Forest Park’s community garden.
The Forest Park’s community garden at Harlem and 290 started with 12 plots. It is now up to 51 and is expanding up the hillside for space-hungry pumpkins and squash. She says volunteers garden ten percent of the area which has already provided hundreds of pounds of fresh vegetables to the local food pantry.
Trish Burns, the manager of Geneva’s Peck Farm Park, says she now has at 124 plots and thinking of expanding because there’s list of 30 waiting for space for their green dreams.
“Peppers, lettuce, then of course there is always pumpkins, squash. Corn does okay, although you need a lot of water for corn so you need to be really diligent about watering,” said Burns.
Burns says she phones those whose plots are getting weedy, and says all but five last year tended their gardens through the entire season. Hundreds of pounds of extra vegetables from the Peck Farm Park garden are donated to the Northern Illinois Food Bank.