“Eat your vegetables!” 

I remember this phrase being said years ago in many households all over the country. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner foods have changed through the years, but we all need nourishment of some type on a daily basis. Yet the thought of having and making good use of fresh vegetables and fruit is not what many desire to eat. It helps though, when fruits and veggies are grown and harvested nearby. Farm-fresh produce is low-calorie and nutrient-dense. Health professionals have found that growing food crops in and near your neighborhood contributes to a healthier community overall, because this engages residents in work and recreation that improves public and individual well being. They bring people together, help heal a community, and fosters a sense of purpose for people who simply want to contribute to society and their neighborhoods. Plus, when you take advantage of neighborhood gardens and farms you save money, which can free up funds you have to buy other foodstuffs or meet other household needs.  

Urban Growers Collective aims to make all this a reality for as many Chicagoans as possible. With seven farms across the South Side, including a two-acre bee sanctuary at Altgeld Gardens, plus a teaching farm smack downtown in Grant Park, the nonprofit organization is planting the seeds of healthy eating all over town. They also run a farmstand in nearby South Chicago, and the Fresh Moves Mobile Market, a bus that has been converted into a mobile farmers’ market. Their goal is to bring food justice and just plain good food to Black and brown communities that don’t otherwise have access to affordable fresh fruits and vegetables—and aim to raise awareness through apprenticeships, farm tours, and workshops. This community needs to eat healthier daily. But if you still don’t want to eat your vegetables, why not go check out one of Urban Growers Collective’s farms and see all the hard work others are putting forth to make this happen for you and your neighbors.

Multiple locations. urbangrowerscollective.org

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