Erika Allen of Chicago’s West Garfield Park describes food security as “having consistent year-round access to safe, local, affordable and culturally appropriate food that is grown, raised, produced, and moved about in manners that are responsible to the environment while reflecting a consumption of natural resources that is equitable with a view to our offspring seven generations from now.”
[This image was made possible with generous funding from the Post Carbon Institute.]
Erika Allen’s Garden
West Garfield Park
19 August 2010
Ayo² prefers to be outside, barefoot. Though only two he already knows where his food comes from. When he’s older he’ll be an asset to any community because he’ll know how to grow is own food (that’s food security)
When Erika¹ moved onto this street five years ago she set out to create a safe, nurturing habitat, and to show her neighbors what could be done to transform and bring into balance even the most challenged communities.
I ASK ERIKA WHAT SHE GROWS IN HER URBAN CHICAGO GARDEN AND SHE SAYS: heirloom tomatoes, lemon cucumber, suyo long cucumber, Italian eggplant, ping tung eggplant, blanco eggplant, okra, ground cherry, endive, cosmic purple carrots, nantes carrots, leeks, redbor kale, dwarf curled kale, Russian kale, dandelion greens (red rib), scarlet runner beans, fever few, chamomile, thyme, sage, table grapes, sunflowers and lots of basil (and that’s just her summer crop).
Erika Allen is Chicago Projects Manager for Growing Power, a nationally acclaimed non-profit organization and land trust providing equal access to healthy, high-quality, safe, and affordable food, especially in disadvantaged communities. She helps food producers of limited resources strengthen their farm businesses and work in partnerships to create healthy and diverse food options in inner city and rural communities.
Erika and her father, Growing Power founder Will Allen, have recently received significant attention for their work, including a feature article in The New York Times Magazine. Erika is co-chair of the Chicago Food Policy Advisory Council, and was appointed by Governor Pat Quinn in 2008 to the Illinois Local and Organic Food and Farm Task Force. In 2007 she was honored by Family Focus for her work in community food systems, and in 2006 she received the Good Eating Award from the Chicago Tribune. Erika has a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MA in art therapy from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Post Carbon Institutef.org/” target=”_blank”>AKSSF