Many of the Unity Gardens’ staff, leaders, volunteers, and Master Gardeners spent the weekend at the KAMII Social Justice Conference in Chicago.What a great way to reflect on our mission and count our blessings through the eyes of others! From planning a garden for a homeless shelter to use to help their neighborhood have access to healthy food,to listening to the many classes on urban farming, the entire conference was one delight after another.It was both educational and reinforcing.We learned so much from others, but also saw how much we had to offer! Academic discussions on what it meant to give and to receive, discussions on empowerment, social inequity, and dignity all helped reinforce the Unity Gardens model.By day 2, when I was scheduled to speak about our framework and journey, I was eager to share!Seeing Unity Gardens through the eyes of others helped me appreciate how far our community has come and what wonderful opportunities for “growth” we still have. The Unity Gardens story enthralled those who heard the story.I could visibly see hope grow in the eyes of those listening. In a full room, the questions started flying:How do we make sure there is enough food, what about funding, and more.Each group of questions led to more discussion as people there, just like in our community struggled with the concepts of free food and social inequity.People who did not believe they could have an urban garden without fences took pause and inquired further.Social justice leaders from across the country asked if we had grown throughout the United States, and others asked for our information so they could learn more. One of the most common threads of inquiry, second to the overall framework was about funding.How did Unity Gardens survive fiscally?This line of questioning is why I am sharing. Unity Gardens survives because this community, our community, believes we are sprouting something special.We are growing a new way of living together and caring for one another. While pursuing a grant, I was asked, “How does Unity Gardens hope to move beyond grant dependence?”I replied that I could only wish to write so well as to be mostly grant supported!Unity Gardens major source of revenue and in kind donations come from hundreds and thousands of people giving what they can. Every donation to Unity Gardens; $25.00, the purchase of a T-shirt, or the donation of a garden tool, weeding, even attending a fund raiser, EVERY donation, is what keeps us growing. I am so grateful for those who come and help us garden, the volunteers who help teach our classes, the interns who take on projects or even the other non-profits who share their expertise.Every single person in our community makes the difference! Through the eyes of Chicago I was able to see what a truly remarkable project we have grown. Our community may have more community gardens than any other in the nation.We do this by growing each other. Please reflect on what you value and take the time to offer part of yourself to make our world better. I would be honored if you choose to give back through Unity Gardens.
Donations may be mailed to PO Box 10022 South Bend, IN 46680
This is week 2 of Unity Gardens classes its our 3rd year of Free Gardening classes. We started 3 years ago with just 9 classes. This year we will teach all sorts of subjects. We teach what we can, and what we don't know we bring in experts. We start off with a series of classes, and then wrap up the winter series with our growing summit. in March. What can you expect ? Fun classes packed with information, plus lots of discussion with other gardeners. Oh and we put on the coffee so you can enjoy a cup of joe while learning how to garden. Come to one class or come to all "its free" You can look up at our full list on this site. We will also do our best to highlight other classes in the area.
So whats coming this week. " Garden Planning " Thursday Jan 17th 6pm at the Potawatomi Conservatories 2105 Mishwaka Ave " Garden Planning " Saturday Jan 19th 10am at the Unity Gardens Office 702 Chapin Street
" Jr Master Gardeners" Saturday Jan 19th Noon at the Unity Gardens office 702 Chapin Street Jr Master Gardeners is a series of classes geared toward kids 3rd to 6th grade , but all ages are welcome. We have some fun activities with some learning thrown in. We talk about Plants, Bees, vegetables, and more.
"Beekeeping " Saturday Jan 19th Noon at the Unity Gardens office 702 Chapin Street Are you thinking about keeping Chickens ? The City of South Bend is about to vote on a bill that would allow chickens in the city. This class is a basic class on Urban Chickens. Learn how easy it is to have your own Chickens.
Hi my name is Mitch I am the Unity Garden Manager. I am a Purdue Master Gardener, and teach many of the gardening classes. I also manage the LaSalle Square Garden, and maintain the website, blog and newletter For older stories check out ourold blog .