We're Darien's first community container garden!  

We started this project in the springto raise awareness about the troubling food gaps in our community and the many families, 43% at that time, struggling to access food, especially garden fresh foods on a regular basis.  We felt that if we could get the community thinking about food differently and get involved in actually growing the food, that we'd stand a better chance of assisting more families and having a greater impact.

FOOD INSECURITY IN DARIEN

Food Insecurity is not knowing where your next meal will come from - due to a number of factors -- low wages, inadequate access, etc.

We're preparing our Garden Patches for SEASON 3

Since the spring of 2015 we've gone about starting garden patches in our community to raise awareness about families in our community struggling to access food, especially garden fresh foods.  We've invited families to grow with us.  We've provided all of the materials necessary, as well as the instruction, to get families growing some of their own garden fresh vegetables.  We've grown and distributed over one ton of garden shares with our select families as well as local food pantries. We're working to establish more garden patches around our community so we can work to assist even more families and introduce our neighbors to the power of growing one's own food. If you would like to get involved please consider clicking on the Volunteer Here Tab in the upper left menu and leave your contact info. We're working to see that hunger has no place here in Darien.

Since the spring of 2015 we've gone about starting garden patches in our community to raise awareness about families in our community struggling to access food, especially garden fresh foods.  We've invited families to grow with us.  We've provided all of the materials necessary, as well as the instruction, to get families growing some of their own garden fresh vegetables.  We've grown and distributed over one ton of garden shares with our select families as well as local food pantries.

We're working to establish more garden patches around our community so we can work to assist even more families and introduce our neighbors to the power of growing one's own food.

If you would like to get involved please consider clicking on the Volunteer Here Tab in the upper left menu and leave your contact info.

We're working to see that hunger has no place here in Darien.

Season Two Updates

Growing Milestone Reached

As of October, we've shared over ONE TON (2,012 pounds to be exact) of garden fresh vegetables, herbs and fruits with our select families!

Proudly proclaiming our garden success on our new JUMBO Chalkboard courtesy of Uncle Jim.

Proudly proclaiming our garden success on our new JUMBO Chalkboard courtesy of Uncle Jim.

 

 

Our latest and most exciting development is that we're currently in the midst of establishing our OPEN ACCESS model for our Sunny Patch Project!

 

We're starting small with our new Pantry Patch model.  We've installed six of our Sunny Patch growing containers on the grounds (SW Lawn) of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish. 

We're starting small with our new Pantry Patch model.  We've installed six of our Sunny Patch growing containers on the grounds (SW Lawn) of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish. 

As of June 11, we've completed the installation of our first Pantry Patch on the grounds of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in Darien.

We know from our first growing season that we need to find ways to make this experience as accessible as possible for the families that we're working to assist.  The best way to do this will be to install our garden patches/spaces in areas where families are able to access their garden space on their own terms - not only when we're able to open our gates and provide volunteer coverage.

 


We're popping up in Downers Grove!

We want to thank RBK American Grill for supporting our Sunny Patch Project this summer!

We've recently installed two special pop-up patches on their outdoor patio.  They've offered to help us promote our project this summer as we work to continue the community conversation about our neighbors who struggle to access food.

RBK will be plating some of the special herbs and vegetables that will be growing there throughout the season.

Patch to Plate initiative is underway - 

 

To learn more about our exciting collaboration with the library this summer simply click on the Indian Prairie tab in menu to your left.


Registration is closed for Season Two - we're on course to significantly increase the families we're assisting this season and will be working to help them all plant their new Sunny Patches in the coming weeks!


Some Background on our project-Season One

Our Sunny Patch Community Container Garden is located on the grounds of Safety Village of Darien (7400 Cass Ave., Darien)  Without the Hagens (Cindie and Dave) agreeing to act as the inaugural location for this project, there probably wouldn't be any Sunny Patch Project - thank you so very much Cindie and Dave for letting us explore how we might best assist our neighbors!

The operative word here is container garden - these are not raised beds or in ground garden plots.  The soil we used in our Patches was donated by Hinsdale Nursery in Willowbrook!  Special thanks to Marlena and the crew there at Hinsdale Nursery!  We received some additional soil to complete our Patches from the City of Darien. Tameling's also stepped up to further support our project with some additional mushroom compost, this on top of their initial generous support of over six yards of mulch to prepare our grounds - thank you Dave!

In our first season we planted over 68 containers or Patches as we like to refer to them.  We also utilized some of the open spaces and experimented with planting some of our winter hardy crops in those spaces.  All of the vegetables and fruits grown on the grounds are accessible by the registered families throughout the growing season.

The aerated containers or Patches as were calling them are Made in the U.S.A. by High Caliper Growing System in Oklahoma City, OK.  

A Special Shout Out and Thank You are in order Here!

High Caliper Growing System donated 24 aerated container systems to help jump start our pilot project and we can't thank them enough!  To learn more about these amazing growing containers, visit:  http://bigbagbed.com


For Season Two, High Caliper continues to support our project!

We recently received another 18 of our Patches (growing containers) from our friends at High Caliper.  They're excited about how we're working to expand to open spaces and provide access to more families in the community.

Thank you High Caliper Growing System, especially Karen Murphy!

A very special thanks to our donors!

Please support these businesses and organizations - when we say we couldn't do this project without them, we mean it!


There are a few families/friends that we have to mention here because without them, our Sunny Patch Project could never succeed-they donated either their time and/or made a financial donation to support our work in recent months-

  • The Owano Family - Gary (Greenhouse Construction Team), Susan and Maria and of course - Mary Beth Owano my partner in this work and our Director of Community Outreach-this would not have succeeded without her!
  • Cindie and Dave Hagen - again, as mentioned above - without access to their beautiful Safety Village grounds, none of this would have been possible.
  • The Wollney Family - Cindy, Frank, Emily, Jess and Doug
  • TAG Home Repair - Tom Grunwald (Greenhouse construction team)
  • The Buckels Family - one of our most committed volunteer sources for our inaugural season
  • The Spencer Family - acted as a primary source of garden yields for our season planting a dedicated garden patch at Naperville Park District to share with our Sunny Patch families
  • Dick Flesher/Schools Count Corp - ongoing supporter of our work, first in Haiti and now here in Darien
  • Sam Wasala - our Public Health intern who found any free time over the summer to visit and share research and grant ideas, etc.  We are so excited to have her on board with us!

There were a number of other volunteers and neighbors who stepped forward to assist throughout the season and we hope you know who you are and we look forward to reconnecting for Season Two!

We received support and funding toward the end of our growing season from a Darien family, the Sadowski Family.   They committed to raising memorial funds in their mother Marie's memory for our Sunny Patch Project.  They were especially interested in helping fund the addition of a greenhouse so we could extend our growing season here at the Patch. Above is the tribute we prepared for the greenhouse blessing by Father Gavin Quinn of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

We received support and funding toward the end of our growing season from a Darien family, the Sadowski Family.  

They committed to raising memorial funds in their mother Marie's memory for our Sunny Patch Project.  They were especially interested in helping fund the addition of a greenhouse so we could extend our growing season here at the Patch. Above is the tribute we prepared for the greenhouse blessing by Father Gavin Quinn of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

Grow2Go -

Buy a Patch/container from us and you're good to grow!

We will be one of the only area distributors for some of these Smart Pot/Big Bag Bed containers this summer - we are using these as part of our fundraising for our Sunny Patch Project!  

So, if you rather have a Sunny Patch at home(Grow2Go), you can stop by the Patch and stock up or simply follow the links here and order your Patch/container and pick-up at the Sunny Patch!  

*If you choose to buy one of these Grow2Go containers, if we have space at our pilot patch and you'd prefer to get in on the community vibe - this will be an option - again, space permitting.  You provide all soil and plants with this option.  Okay, if we have extra veggie plants we'll share!

One more way to get involved without ever leaving home!

Please consider being a Home Patch Member!  

SO MANY SIGNING UP !!!  This is one of the most popular ways residents are choosing to get involved in our project!

We'd love to appeal to any of you who already garden and ask that you consider sharing any leftover garden yields you may have with our Sunny Patch Project. 

If you'd be willing to register your home garden patch with our project, we'll just need a few details from you and the pinky promise that you'll consider sharing some of your yield when those tomatoes and cucumbers are swinging from the vines!  We'll have harvest drop locations later in the season and will make those dates/times available to anyone who registers a Home Patch with our project!  

You can visit our menu bar and click on the new Home Patch Sign-up Tab and share your contact information there or contact us as shown below:

If you have any questions about our Sunny Patch Project or care to register your Home Patch - email:  goodworxinc@gmail.com or call 630-272-0915.