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Our History

Thank you for your interest and support in Southside Education and Economic Development Systems, Inc. (“SEEDS”). SEEDS, a not for profit charitable organization whose mission is education, training and sustainable community development, has three primary goals: education and training for youth in economically disadvantaged areas, supporting the community in becoming more sustainable, and increasing community knowledge and interest in green and sustainable living. SEEDS is a GreenCorp certified garden and also a Chicago Public School vendor.

In 2010, our first year, we focused on two urban school garden projects in the Roseland community:

  • We partnered with Fenger Academy High School (the Fenger Green House project) enabling students to work in the greenhouse and garden during the summer;

  • Partnering with Dunne Math Science & Technology elementary school, we planted our first urban mini farm on approximately ½ acres at the school.

  • We turned a field that our young workers and students hand-tilled and worked into an urban farm with greens (collard, mustard, kale), green beans, eggplant, pumpkins, squash, basil, and corn (yes! corn in a city garden!).

    In 2011 and 2012, we built on our success, increasing the yield, and partnering with Chicago State University, and IIT, to bring college students into our farm to work and to mentor our youth. We also worked with City of Chicago, GreenCorp, to install an outdoor classroom and to harvest and market our vegetables celebrating a fruitful Harvest Festival in October, harvest our seeds for next year’s gardens.

    This year, we are proud to partner with Seven Generations Ahead, which is working with Dunne teachers to deliver a special 10 week nutrition class for 3rd and 4th graders. These students will be able to benefit from the access to a successful natural farm to extend their learning.

    Turning to the fall 2013, SEEDS anticipates starting an afterschool entrepreneurial program, to interest students in the marketing side of urban agriculture and to work more closely with our partner, Growing Power, in developing opportunities for young Chicago farmers. For more information, feel free to call Paula Roderick, Executive Director, at 312-342-0575, Darryl Gibson, co-founder, Board President and Project Leader at 773-443-6925, for a detailed list of our garden needs, how to make a financial contribution, or for additional information, including when our mini-farm is open for visitors.

    Warmly,
    On behalf of our SEEDS Team

    Paula and Darryl