Each month, our Food Education Fellows learn about how they can apply a Food Education Standard to the lessons in their classrooms, and this month, we honed in on FES 3: Food and the environment are interconnected. As part of our professional development session in December, we are grateful to have collaborated with one of our community partners, Lucía León of Herban Produce.
Established in 2013, Herban Produce (silent ‘h’ – ‘urban’) is a year-round farm located in Chicago’s Garfield Park that grows delicious, high-grade produce for restaurants, grocers, and direct-to-consumer Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). Below the soil, they are a for-profit farm that puts local employment and education at the forefront of their practices. They are firmly rooted in community, education, and sustainability and are committed to bettering our world through environmental stewardship.
Lucía shared about how Herban’s diversified and resilient approach creates a thriving ecosystem that extends the growing season through the use of greenhouse hydroponic growing, outdoor raised beds (and the cover crops that follow the vegetables), A-frames, orchard trees and bushes, and last, but certainly not least, a prairie of perennials native to our region and key to attracting pollinators and building soil health. Additionally, Herban Produce is working with The Roof Crop to provide Pantry Boxes (that accompany a food education lesson) for 31 students in a Fellow’s classroom with items from small scale Chicago-based packaged food brands. Definitely check out their work and snag some of their incredible produce or pantry box items at their website: https://www.herbanproduce.com/