Planting a Garden at the Chicago Lights Urban Farm
Out of the concrete of a small, fenced-in lot on Chicago and Cleveland Avenues springs an abundance of fruits, vegetables—and hope. Teens and residents from Cabrini-Green grow, harvest, and sell produce to fill a void in one of the city’s many “food deserts.” The lush garden space, sponsored by a church and tended to by kids, contrasts sharply with the bleak landscape formed by rows of identical public housing complexes disowned by the city that built them. Against a backdrop of skyscrapers and half-demolished buildings, a little girl passes out stacks of handmade signs to passersby announcing the arrival of a new farmers market bursting with onions, hot peppers, Swiss chard, collard greens, zucchini, spinach, radish, chives, and mustard greens. She grabs my hand and pulls me inside her world.