Chicago Botanic Garden

Education

2012 Windy City Harvest
Student Biographies

Windy City Harvest trains adults in sustainable horticulture and urban agriculture. It is delivered by the Chicago Botanic Garden in partnership with Richard J. Daley College, one of the City Colleges of Chicago.

PHOTO: Safia Rashid

Safia Rashid

 

Why were you interested in Windy City Harvest?

I was interested in learning proper gardening skills. I wanted to learn how to harvest, plant…basically everything we are learning here. I wanted to gain skills and knowledge to be able to garden effectively.

What do you hope to do with your WCH education in the future?

I am interested in starting my own urban farm and thought this was the best place to do it.

Where are you working for your internship and why?

Cook County Boot Camp. I felt it gave me the greatest option to get a well-rounded education because of all the things they have there: hoophouse, raised beds, aquaponics.  I was really impressed by all of that. I think also my social work background drew me toward that, because they said we'd be doing more of horticultural therapy, so I was interested in doing that.

 

PHOTO: Yvonne Lopez

Yvonne Lopez

 

Why were you interested in Windy City Harvest?

I went under Chicago Housing Authority's City College program, they offered it to me. [Also] my mom was doing her garden and she invited me over…it just kind of grew on me.

What do you hope to do with your WCH education in the future?

I want to take everything with me and go into missions. Personally, I just want to grow my own vegetables.  My circle of vegetables was very small [before entering WCH] when it came to argulua, kale, I was like, "What?" On a scale of one to 10 I feel confident that I'm a four. I went from a zero to a four.

Where are you working for your internship and why?

Fruit and Vegetable Island at Chicago Botanic Garden.  I like vegetables to harvest them, but also as decoration. It's something that people wouldn't think of but I definitely want to use that method to decorate.

 

PHOTO: Matt Ryan

Matt Ryan

 

Why were you interested in Windy City Harvest?

To be trained in urban agriculture for education and for the ability to grow food locally, efficiently, in the city.

What do you hope to do with your WCH education in the future?

Either education or work on a production farm or for a non-profit.

Where are you working for your internship and why?

Cook County Boot Camp. They had the most options for growing: hoophouses, aquaponics, and outdoor growing space. Working with inmates is a unique experience.

 

PHOTO: Charlotte Sullivan

Charlotte Sullivan

 

Why were you interested in Windy City Harvest?

I'm interested in sustainable urban agriculture. I think it's important as a city dweller to be a part of this. I think it's a progressive movement, so I thought it would be good to be a part of that and knowing what's going on. I have children, which I think changed my consciousness a little bit, as far as being consistent on making good food choices.

What do you hope to do with your WCH education in the future?

I'm a pretty good cook, actually, so I'm thinking I wouldn't mind doing W.I.C. cooking demonstrations and going to the neighborhoods where they have no idea how to cook some of these vegetables.

Where are you working for your internship and why?

Farmed Here. I'm interested in aquaponics. I like the fact that it's not seasonal. I have the option of working year-round, which is nice.

 

PHOTO: Erana Jackson

Erana Jackson

 

Why were you interested in Windy City Harvest?

I wanted to start a community garden in my neighborhood. Also I took horticulture in high school… my teacher really made it exciting and fun.  I wanted to apply what I already know. I wanted to help my community. I am now the expert at my job [at Alternative Means, an alternative fuel company] in biomass.

What do you hope to do with your WCH education in the future?

I want to do a half hour show on TV devoted to urban agriculture and I want Windy City Harvest to be the main focus. The public is so misinformed about urban agriculture. Another thing I want to do is make alternative fuels.

Where are you working for your internship and why?

Chicago Botanic Garden's Junior Green Youth Farm. I have a natural ability to learn and teach and I want to teach children to learn they can grow their own food and they can have a say in what goes in their bodies. One of my goals is to do cooking demonstrations with them.

 

PHOTO: Marisa Munoz

Marisa Muñoz

 

Why were you interested in Windy City Harvest?

I would shop at the Pilsen Farmers' Market, and Windy City Harvest had such great-looking produce and I really care about my food quality and sourcing locally. It doesn't get much more local than that.

What do you hope to do with your WCH education in the future?

I'm really interested in the social justice aspect of what we're doing.  In the future I see myself getting involved in marking markets more accessible, whether it's accepting LINK cards or I'd like to see more young people shopping at farmers' markets. I'm really excited about that.

Where are you working for your internship and why?

Chicago Botanic Garden's Windy City Harvest farm at Arturo Velasquez Institute. When I used to shop at the market…I really wanted to be on the other side of the market stand so it's come full circle for me. The future of the food supplies seems so uncertain in so many ways. It adds a sense of security or a little bit of certainty to an otherwise uncertain thing. I think it's a really good time to be involved in this kind of work.

 

PHOTO: Gabriela Naveda

Gabriela Naveda

 

Why were you interested in Windy City Harvest?

To help my education in order to be able to help my community.

What do you hope to do with your WCH education in the future?

I intend to finish an undergraduate degree in plant biology as well as continue working in Chicago in regard to urban agriculture and education.

Where are you working for your internship and why?

Fruit and Vegetable Island at Chicago Botanic Garden. It seemed like I would be around a lot of experienced people with specialties…like the IPM and the horticulturalists. I liked that it was already an established organization. It's mostly the people that work there and the public.

 

PHOTO: Brian Devitt

Brian Devitt

 

Why were you interested in Windy City Harvest?

I wanted to learn something new about growing vegetables, harvesting and crop rotation.

What do you hope to do with your WCH education in the future?

To find a nice job and be successful. I would like to be a manager or supervisor of a farm or landscaping company.

Where are you working for your internship and why?

Chicago Botanic Garden's Farm Operations Crew, because I wanted to learn more about how to harvest and crop rotations and hand tools.

 

PHOTO: Nick Walker

Nick Walker

 

Why were you interested in Windy City Harvest?

I wanted to learn more about sustainable urban horticulture in order to maintain my own garden or maintain a production farm.

What do you hope to do with your WCH education in the future?

Obtain a career in sustainable urban horticulture.

Where are you working for your internship and why?

Chicago Botanic Garden's Windy City Harvest farm at Arturo Velasquez Institute and People's Garden. The fact that I would learn to run the whole site [People's Garden] on my own, I will get a lot of experience with running a site on my own. I know the neighborhood is not so beautiful and me maintaining a garden in the neighborhood adds a little more beauty to it. Maybe it can even inspire the guys in the neighborhood to change their ways. Who can say it won't?

 

PHOTO: Aaron Serrano

Aaron Serrano

 

Why were you interested in Windy City Harvest?

To further my knowledge, to meet a lot of new people and cause that always helps your social skills to meet people.

What do you hope to do with your WCH education in the future?

I know what I want to help the community as far as the schools, especially because I've seen schools near my house where they've literally torn down the playground to build a garden, so maybe I can go be a manager for that.

Where are you working for your internship and why?

Chicago Botanic Garden's Windy City Harvest aquaponics at Arturo Velasquez Institute.  I always hear about aquaponic systems, my girl even told me she read in the paper something about aquaponics, so it's something that's expanding and it's different, too.

 

PHOTO: Robert McKinney

Robert McKinney

 

Why were you interested in Windy City Harvest?

I had been at Pacific Garden Mission for a while and they put me in the greenhouse, where they grew mostly tropical plants. Eventually they did hire me. I wanted to fill in some of the gaps as far as vegetable production. I really wanted to supply the Mission with food instead of stuff to look at [tropical plants] that didn't do much for the Mission.

What do you hope to do with your WCH education in the future?

To apply it where I'm working. I would really like to do something on a bigger scale.

Where are you working for your internship and why?

Chicago Botanic Garden's Compost Crew. I had wanted to get a better idea of composting. I didn't have a real good understanding, but now I'm starting to. Also [I wanted to learn] site management. For me, that's where my interest is, in planning something, working on it and seeing it through.

 

PHOTO: Marquita Wheaton

Marquita Wheaton

 

Why were you interested in Windy City Harvest?

To further my education in agriculture. I worked at the Green Youth Farm, so I really wanted to get the beginning information. So I wanted to learn how they do the starts and pest management.

What do you hope to do with your WCH education in the future?

I want to start my own restaurant and I want to have my garden and my fruits and vegetables to be local. I am in 3 years into being a cook.

Where are you working for your internship and why?

Chicago Botanic Garden's Windy City Harvest farm at Arturo Velasquez Institute. To me, this is where the most information is so I picked working at AVI.

 

PHOTO: Ruby Fong

Ruby Fong

 

Why were you interested in Windy City Harvest?

I had an interest in how you start seeding and growing. How come some people can grow a beautiful tomato plant and mine isn't. How some things taste better than others and how come some things are more expensive at the market.

What do you hope to do with your WCH education in the future?

Community grower. Maybe I'll teach little kids—educate them how to eat healthy.

Where are you working for your internship and why?

Mercy Hospital's Rooftop Garden. When I work on it, I find it peaceful. I like working alone, too. It'll be a challenge. It'll be something different, all on my own. I need to figure things out.

 

PHOTO: Megan Baumann

Megan Baumann

 

Why were you interested in Windy City Harvest?

To get more practical education and more in-depth in farming and food production. I did a lot of volunteering [previously] but it was always weeding or bed prep.

What do you hope to do with your WCH education in the future?

I'd like to do production, so either on a small farm or to be a field manager, maybe teach people on an incubator farm.

Where are you working for your internship and why?

City Farm. It's the best option in the city for high production. I can learn as much as possible while still staying in the city. High production in a small space is fascinating.

 

PHOTO: Steve Rodriguez

Steve Rodriguez

 

Why were you interested in Windy City Harvest?

I already had a little experience in landscaping and I wanted to know a little more about plants and take my landscaping knowledge to another level.

What do you hope to do with your WCH education in the future?

I'm trying to get my Associates in Agriculture and hopefully and get into management.

Where are you working for your internship and why?

Chicago Botanic Garden's Farm Operations Crew because it's a new site and it's a big site and I think I'll get a lot of experience and my goal was to be able to manage a site by myself.

 

For additional information contact Angela Mason, director of community gardening,
at , or by calling (847) 835-6970.