Chicago Botanic Garden

Education

2013 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: Blanca T. Aviles

Blanca T. Aviles

 

Why were you interested in Windy City Harvest?

I was seeking [ways] to learn the very best practices to grow produce in an urban setting. As I knew they offered that, I was very interested in studying with them.

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

I will be assisting people in my neighborhood and beyond, empowering them with the knowledge I've gained through this program so they can have access to growing nutrient-dense produce through local food-production systems, thus promoting healthy families, and thus, healthy communities.

Where are you working for your internship and why?

Plants are our allies in so many ways. I have previously volunteered in horticultural therapy at the Schwab rehabilitation rooftop gardens — really enjoyed my experience there. And, at the AVI/VRIC internship I will be gaining more experience in horticultural therapy as well as aquaponics, IPM, and they have beds of lavender and roses.

 

PHOTO: Adrienne Detanico

Adrienne Detanico

 

Why were you interested in Windy City Harvest?

I wanted to learn all I could about growing food in the urban environment because it is the next frontier in the human experience.

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

Long term, I hope to open an urban retreat for all of Chicago's citizens to experience the treasure of growing food, nurturing the soil, and reconnecting with our inner urban naturalist.

Where are you working for your internship and why?

I am working at the Rodeo Farm this summer, with three weeks of data gathering for Neighborspace. I am looking forward to expanding my production experience at Rodeo [Farm], while connecting with community gardens all over the city with Neighborspace.

 

PHOTO: Anthony Dye

Anthony Dye

 

Why were you interested in Windy City Harvest?

I'm interested in Windy City Harvest because I'm into staying fit and I want to learn how to eat healthy, to go along with my process.

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

I plan to own my own inner-city farm and also start a network station that promotes eating healthy and staying fit, to live longer than anyone can imagine.

Where are you working for your internship and why?

I'm working FarmedHere for my internship because I want to learn more about aquaponics, just in case one day in the future I might want to expand my farm and try a different technique for growing produce.

 

PHOTO: Deniko D. Fox Sr.

Deniko D. Fox Sr.

 

Why were you interested in Windy City Harvest?

My interest in Windy City Harvest is because of the organic principles used to grow food and promotion of healthy eating.

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

Get into some sort of field where I can promote healthy eating, nutrition and fitness surrounded by vegetables grown locally and prepared fresh for the community.

Where are you working for your internship and why?

I will be the assistant grower at AVI. I will get the chance to work with aquaponics, greenhouse, hoophouse, raised beds, and to lead tours. And, [I'll be] working with a diverse group of people.

 

PHOTO: Erana Jackson

Gwenne Godwin

 

Why were you interested in Windy City Harvest?

Windy City Harvest is a unique job-training program in which individuals that are interested in the field of urban sustainable agriculture can receive classroom instruction and an intense hands-on experience. Over the years, I had come to know the instructors and graduates as I took the Saturday workshop classes. WCH was the next logical step for me to take to intensify my commitment to urban sustainable agriculture and to prepare me for the vast employment and entrepreneurial opportunities in this wonderful field.

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

Although I'm not quite sure what shape the things I aspire to will take, I am certain about the goal specifics [including the following]:

  • To educate people in the practices of organic sustainable vegetable production
  • To grow a wide variety of organic produce that allows the farm of origin to be sustainable and thereby sustaining its farming family and supporting neighboring communities by providing a high-quality product, jobs, and education
  • To gather communities together as a community of urban farmers which will in turn change their eco-gastronomic perception, make them sustainable, and [make] the ties among them stronger
  • To mentor the organic vegetable farms of the future
  • To travel the world to observe the sustainable growing practices of other countries in order to share those practices and to come together as a worldwide farming community via the creation of a farmer-exchange program

Where are you working for your internship and why?

Windy City Harvest, Arturo Velasquez Institute — Assistant Market Coordinator

  • To obtain working knowledge of marketing practices in the field of organic sustainable vegetable production.
  • To obtain a more in-depth knowledge in the area of organic sustainable vegetable growing practices in greenhouses, hydroponics/aquaponics, and open-air settings.
  • To share my knowledge of organic, sustainable vegetable growing practices with those who seek to grow their own food.

     

PHOTO: Marisa Munoz

Sophie M. Krause

 

Why were you interested in Windy City Harvest?

I wanted to further cultivate my knowledge and experience with environmental literacy, agriculture, and food justice in an urban setting. I was interested in obtaining a sustainable urban horticulture certificate so that I could better work in cities with urban communities and food production.

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

My dream is to design productive garden spaces and museum exhibits that are educational and community oriented. These will be place based, organic, and influenced by permaculture designs. They will provide food, increase awareness, and educate people in an effort to make communities more environmentally literate.

Where are you working for your internship and why?

I am working as the assistant grower and market manager of the [Regenstein] Fruit & Vegetable Garden at the Chicago Botanic Garden, so that I may gain experience working with a botanic garden, the public, and both edible and ornamental cultivars.

 

PHOTO: Anna Maria Lčon

Anna Maria Lčon

 

Why were you interested in Windy City Harvest?

I saw the curriculum and saw that they were backed by Chicago Botanic Garden, and that's when I knew the WCH program was what I was looking for.

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

I want to meld my background in permaculture and the WCH education and apply it to urban agriculture design and production practices. My goal is to have a permaculture institute of Chicago located in North Lawndale.

Where are you working for your internship and why?

I am working at VRIC and [am] superexcited about it because it combines horticulture therapy, greenhouse management and propagation, integrated aquaculture, farmers' markets, and products in raised beds — everything I wanted to learn and experience!

 

PHOTO: Audra Lewicki

Audra Lewicki

 

Why were you interested in Windy City Harvest?

I wanted a formal urban farmer-training program where I could learn best practices and meet other farmers from across the city.

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

Feed people healthy food!

Where are you working for your internship and why?

Legends Farm Incubator Site — I want to gain experience in turning a vacant lot into a productive, beautiful urban farm.

 

PHOTO: Rosario Maldonado

Rosario Maldonado

 

Why were you interested in Windy City Harvest?

My interest in Windy City Harvest stemmed from wanting to learn to be self-sustainable in the city. It doesn't get more local than growing your own, pesticide-free food.

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

I would love to start an urban farm and raise awareness on our food chain and living sustainably. I look forward to making a living working with nature.

Where are you working for your internship and why?

My internship is at the North Lawndale Green Youth Farm. I get to work with high school students [as they] become knowledgeable in urban farming — how inspiring! I'm pretty excited to put my new skills to use and to learn so much more.

 

PHOTO: Pamela Morris

Pamela Morris

 

Why were you interested in Windy City Harvest?

I wish to explore strategies and partner with Chicago enterprises to bring local, sustainable whole foods to my community. Windy City Harvest is an extraordinary program that offers me knowledge in urban agriculture, in addition to the practical application [opportunities] I seek in this exciting career. I hold a degree in communications from UIC.

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

I will teach children about the health as well as wealth benefits of consuming and growing whole foods. While at the same time, creating new job opportunities in the community.

Where are you working for your internship and why?

My internship is at Washington Park. I want to make a difference in the lives of young people. I will use my platform as an educator and community player to grow the interest in urban horticulture.

 

PHOTO: Fernando Orozco

Fernando Orozco

 

Why were you interested in Windy City Harvest?

I was drawn to the fact that Windy City Harvest is a unique program that offers many opportunities to network, gain employment, and work hands-on in the field — that's what I love.

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

I hope to continue to encourage others to eat healthy and gain employment in the sustainable-agriculture field.

Where are you working for your internship and why?

For my internship, I will be working with Katie Wiegman at the Big Delicious Planet farm and also at the Bayless Garden. Working at these farm sites, I hope to gain experience, work hard, and have fun.

 

PHOTO: Jessica Romanowski

Jessica Romanowski

 

Why were you interested in Windy City Harvest?

I wanted to get a foundational education in urban agriculture (in the city I grew up in and love) while earning a certificate I'd be proud to put on my resume and could help me open doors to my future plans.

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

I plan on using my WCH education to gain employment on a working production farm for the "real farm" experience I'll need before starting my own sustainable agriculture business in the city. I hope to stay connected to, collaborate with, support, and utilize the incredible network of people, businesses, and organizations WCH has placed on my path. In 5 years, thanks to WCH, I'll be a successful entrepreneur, city farmer, and advocate of sustainable urban agriculture.

Where are you working for your internship and why?

I have been lucky enough to be placed at City Farm this summer for my internship. It was one of my top picks because without electricity it is, in my mind, one of the most challenging farm sites we had to choose from. Challenging myself will better prepare me for what comes next. City Farm also has a home at my neighborhood farmers' market in Logan Square. So, I get to grow produce for, and sell produce to, my friends, neighbors, and community. I'm stoked!

 

PHOTO: Myrna-Karena Vazquez

Myrna-Karena Vazquez

 

Why were you interested in Windy City Harvest?

I wanted to learn how to grow food organically because I'm concerned about what is happening in the world today. I want to be a part of the solution. And, I wanted to play in the dirt and get into the elements of this beautiful earth.

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

First and foremost, I would like to teach others, especially children, what I've learned. They will need this information. I also would like to turn my home into a workshop for urban farming/gardening.

Where are you working for your internship and why?

Wow. I can't believe I'm so lucky to be interning at the Chicago Botanic Garden — at their Greenhouses, the [Regenstein] Fruit & Vegetable Garden, their markets, festivals, programming [including] the Heirloom Tomato Weekend — that cinched it for me! But I'm interested in pruning, trellising, vertical planting, container planting, and rooftop growing.

 

PHOTO: Qhasia Tenique Washington

Qhasia Tenique Washington

 

Why were you interested in Windy City Harvest?

Harvesting, processing, and growing plants is very addictive to me. I just want to further my knowledge, and do something that helps the community to get healthy foods for cheap.

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

I hope one day to start my own business of farming for the youth, ages 13 – 18.

Where are you working for your internship and why?

I will be doing my internship at Jr. Green Youth Farm. I chose that so I could have students follow my footsteps by going from Jr. GYF to GYF in high school, then on to Windy City Harvest at AVI.

 

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