Greetings from Hull-House! Franziska here. I am an intern at the museum, through a UIC-sponsored program called the Chicago Civic Leadership Certificate Program. My task at the museum is to create a seed library, which will soon be open to the public through Hull-House. What exactly is a seed library? It’s much like a regular library, but instead of books, you can check out seeds, which you can grow, and then return. Our mission is to promote food security—a major problem our city is facing. Currently, there are three major food deserts in Chicago, meaning that many people do not have access to fresh produce and good, healthy food. Jane Addams fought many of these issues in her day, and they are still, unfortunately, plaguing our city. We want to address these problems with an interactive project to get people involved in the conversation of sustainability, food access, and urban agriculture.
Right now, we are getting ready to interview Michael Thompson of The Chicago Honey Co-op. Christian (my partner intern and co-creator of the project) and I are crafting questions to help our future gardeners learn about urban farming and sustainable agriculture from a true expert on the subject. We will create a short film and fill you in on everything you need to know about urban agriculture—from container gardening to composting to water conservation. Michael is the director of the Co-op that manages hundreds of bees and produces delicious honey and vegetables at their North Lawndale bee farm. They are a vital part of their community, as they also offer job training and classes to amateur bee-keepers. The Co-op has been an excellent source of support and donations of seeds to the Seed Library. Michael is truly invested and passionate about sustainable agriculture!
Stay tuned for more updates on the Seed Library!