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Evolving stories About Growing Food in a Big City

Trees are budding, but green movement in full bloom

Cassandra West

As the first buds of spring start appearing on trees here in Chicago, we're seeing just how vibrant the local agriculture scene is. It is blooming in so many directions and so many places. This year, we think, is going to be a watershed one. The growing green movement we're trying to chronicle and fully support is exciting and hopeful and positive, and it shows how people working together and cooperating across social and economic borders can bring about meaningful change. Earlier this week, we met Jamal Ali, author of "Black and Green: Black Insights for the Green Movement," and we hope to have an interview with him here soon. In the nutshell, though, his book "is a call to action for the black community to join the green movement." It offers insights, ideas, and strategies that demonstrate how African Americans can benefit from the movement and fuel the go-green effort.

We've also heard talk of a possible Annual Green Conference here in Chicago. Will get back to you with more on that later. At the "Greening the Southside" discussion put on earlier this week by Cafe Society, we heard some powerful arguments for creating neighborhood-based energy co-ops that are designed to keep energy profits in the neighborhood. That certainly sounds interesting and worth pursuing.

Martha Boyd, Program Director, Angelic Organics Learning Center in Woodlawn, shared with us a resource-rich web site, Good Food for All, which offers "local food and agriculture resources for the Greater Chicago Foodshed." We like that term, foodshed. One useful tidbit from the site that caught our eyes was a listing of neighborhood and community gardens operated by the organization, NeighborSpace, which "helps community groups protect and secure their community garden or park."

We have lots of exciting news and coverage ahead. Stay tuned. Meanwhile, we hope you enjoy the lovely weather we're having. Wishing you all a wonderful Easter weekend and a very Good Friday.