The Big Holiday Harvest Broadcast

December 4, 2011

Welcome to the WCPT Holiday Harvest Broadcast!

The WCPT Holiday Harvest Food Drive is up and running, and I hope that means you’re planning to stop by one of our drop off locations throughout the Chicago area and contribute healthy, local and sustainable goods (that’s our suggestion, though we’ll take anything that a food pantry normally accepts) for distribution to people in need. The drive runs through December 11 and we’ve teamed with the great people at Faith in Place to make it happen.

Mike Sanders, host of Our Town, and I teamed up for a three hour WCPT Holiday Harvest extravaganza on Sunday, December 4. You can listen to the podcast from that broadcast HERE. We were broadcasting indoors and out and this was the guest list:

Here’s the full list of places where you can leave your contributions:

  • WCPT AM & FM, 6012 S. Pulaski Road, Chicago, IL 60629
    Donations are accepted:
    Monday-Friday 9:00am-5:00pm, Saturday-Sunday 8:00am-2:00pm
    Ring the bell during the week to drop off food
    Donations will go to one of the participating Holiday Harvest food programs.
  • First Evangelical Free Church , 5255 N Ashland Ave Chicago, IL 60640
    Donations accepted:
    Tuesdays & Thursdays 9:00am to 4:30 pm
    Wednesdays from 6:30 to 8:00 pm, Sundays 9:30 am to 4:00 pm
    Site of Faith in Place Winter Farmers Market on December 11. You can purchase local, sustainable goods, turn around and drop them right in the WCPT bin!
    Donations will go to Breakthrough Urban Ministries
  • Healthy Horizons Inc, 7034 Indianapolis Blvd # 1, Hammond, IN 46324-2244
    Donations accepted:
    Monday-Friday 9:00am-8:00pm
    Saturday 9:00am-6:00pm
    Sunday 12:00pm-5:00pm
    (Purchase some of their healthy grocery items, turn around and put them in the WCPT bin!)
  • Little Mountain-Hope Ministries, 5716 South Ashland Avenue, Chicago, IL 60636-1723
    Donations currently accepted Tuesday evenings and all day Sunday. More times to come. Donations will go to the Little Mountain food program.
  • Travelers Rest Spiritual Church, 7030 S Racine Ave, Chicago , IL 60636
    Donations currently accepted Tuesday evenings and all day Sunday. More times to come.
  • Amor De Dios United Methodist Church, 2356 South Sawyer Avenue, Chicago, IL 60623
    Donations currently accepted Thursday afternoons and all day Sunday. More times to come.
    Donations will go to the Amor de Dios food program.
  • Euclid Avenue United Methodist, 405 South Euclid Avenue, Oak Park, IL 60302
    Site of Faith in Place Winter Farmers Market on March 24, 2012
    Donations go to the Oak Park/River Forest Food Pantry
  • North Shore Unitarian Church, 2100 Half Day Rd Deerfield, IL 60015
    Donations accepted:
    Monday-Friday 10:00am – 2:00pm
    Sundays 9:00am-1:00pm
    December 4th Special Hours: 8:30am-3:00pm
    Site of Faith in Place Winter Farmers Market on December 4! You can purchase local, sustainable goods, turn around and drop them right in the WCPT bin!
    Donations go to their local food pantries.

If you’re wondering what a “healthy, local and sustainable” food drive is, check out the Holiday Harvest page on this website, where we have tried to show how very possible it is to donate healthy protein-rich foods, preserved and canned goods, healthy grains and dried fruits and more. We’re also promoting local purchases. For more information about that, go to Local First Chicago and read about their city-wide Buy Local campaign for the 2011 Holiday Season called “Unwrap Chicago: Eat, Drink & Buy Local.”

My thanks also to Barbara Melera at the historic D. Landreth Seed Company for donating about one hundred packets, featuring cilantro, chervil, basil and chives seeds, which we are forwarding to the various churches and food networks.

“Green on McLean” community garden takes home an award

I have repeatedly told the story on my show of the “miracle” of the community garden at the end of my block in the Logan Square Neighborhood. A group of us got together in the spring to create the garden on land owned by a local realtor. We knew that because the land is privately owned, we could be kicked off at any time.

Actually, that’s a challenge that many urban community gardens face. But we took it on because we knew that the neighborhood needed change. The litter-strewn lot needed a face lift. The gangbangers on the corner needed to go. And the people of the neighborhood needed to meet each other in a way that they hadn’t in decades.

Thus, Green on McLean was created and, if you’ve heard the story before, you know that we accomplished most of the goals stated above. We grew some pretty decent vegetables, taught the neighborhood kids how to plant seeds, seedlings and potted plants, taught them how to water and care for those plants, and even battled aphids and cucumber beetles. We put up a blog, had pot luck dinners in the garden and watched as the garden grew and became a sacred place in the neighborhood (no gangbangers allowed–and they respected that rule…most of the time).

We even entered the Mayor’s 2011 Landscape Awards competition. We know that ours is far from the most impressive community garden in the city, but we were proud of what we had accomplished. And, on Saturday, December 3, five of the garden stalwarts–Olga, Carrie, Daeshawn, Moncerratt and I–picked up our 3rd Place Award for Community Landscapes in Region 1. Some of the photos are on this site. It’s pretty neat.

By the way,continuing a tradition I have followed for about a decade, I will have the 2011 Chicago Gardener of the Year, Enrique Gonzalez of Hoxie Prairie Garden, on the show next Sunday.

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