One of the best things happening in Chicago and other big cities is the spread of community gardens. Not only do these urban oases provide fresh food and contribute oxygen, but they are natural community builders as well. The planning, planting, weeding, and harvesting are some of the shared activities they provide for neighbors.
This afternoon I biked past this garden (photo right) in East Pilsen, one of dozens in the neighborhood where I work in Chicago. La Huerta Roots and Rays garden is one that I watched grow from day 1 since it is almost across the street from my office. In almost every case, volunteers grew the garden out of an empty lot, an eyesore, sometimes an industrial waste land. The result is a place where people of all ages and backgrounds can come together and learn and grow and share.