All posts by martha503

Eat to Live 2014

Chives and Penstemon

After a long, cold winter, we are ready for a productive season with some exciting news:

  1. Black Oaks Center for Sustainable Renewable Living is a new partner. Joining the partnerships of Angelic Organics Learning Center and Real Men Charities, Inc. We are proud of this cooperative and collaborative model, and are grateful and fortunate to have added such a great partner to our collective work. Please visit to learn more about our new partner.
  2. With Black Oaks joining, E2L adds the Healthy Food Hub (HFH) to our activities. Black Oaks has run the HFH for over 5 years, and we’re excited to bring their model to Englewood at the Harvard Academy of Excellence every 2nd Saturday starting June 27. Also, sign up for the membership at 
  3. The City of Chicago’s Department of Planning and Development will be starting on the Eat to Live Farm Incubator site this fall. We look forward to this development! Check back for updates.

Our first Open Garden Day in 2014 is April 26 with Comcast Cares, helping us prep the Garden for the new season.

Join in and learn more about the Eat to Live project. Also, please spread the word to our Englewood neighbors about the city’s large lot program! Eat to Live advocates for residents to be the main beneficiaries in the changes taking place in Englewood.

Here’s to a great season of growth!

The Eat to Live Family

Community Harvest DInner Recap

As the summer season came to a close, Eat2Live celebrated the new fall season with food, music and great dialogue at the  1st annual Community Harvest Dinner. With over 50 participants, and help from the University of Chicago’s community service center the dinner was a great success. We pitched a table and set the tables in the front yard of the now closed Yale Elementary School. 

Many community residents were able to find out more about this Englewood gem; what is growing and how they can help grow and stewart in the Eat2Live space. We were glad to see our partner organizations attend and support the effort as well.

Resident Association of Englewood, Imagine Englewood If, Growing Home, Harvard Elementary School and Teamwork Englewood all showed support.  The issue of food access and health is an ongoing issue that residents and groups are continuing to address through these kinds of free public events. 

We were treated to food prepared by Real Men Charities and our superstar volunteer Ms. Vernice King. Food was provided by Goodness Greens and our Eat2Live garden. Yummy Yams, 10cent veggie pasta, Vernice’s cantina bowl, along with Marvelous Natural Ginger Lemon-Aide, Fresh Kale, Mushrooms and fresh ripen avocados were given away to participants.    

SoulFoodJunkies was screened followed with a brief dialogue after the film. 

The best take-aways were the connections made or reaffirmed about the work that is going on in Englewood and how and engage citizenry must continue to lead the process of reclaiming and transforming spaces in the Englewood community. 

Our efforts will be focused on continuing to build connections and collaborative efforts that are beneficial to those who call Englewood home. With many seeing Englewood as a place that will be an epicenter of the people growing and 

Our last event of the season will take place October 26, 2013 2-4pm at the Eat2Live space. Free pumpkins will be given away along with carvings demonstrations. 

Help spread the word and attend our last event of the season. 


Check on our site for further updates during the late fall and winter seasons.

See pictures from our harvest dinner below: 


participants. ImageImage


Give Me Water- or a cold July day

Back in March, expecting a hot and dry summer, we named our July event “Give Me Water: Hydrating in the Heat.” Instead, after one short hot spell, we’ve had surprisingly cool days and even brisk evenings. Who knew we’d want our parkas in late July?

On Saturday, shivering in the cool afternoon breeze, the gathered group enjoyed Anton’s fresh fruit shaved ice and fruit waters. People chose from lightly-sweetened concentrates of blueberry, mango, lime, or blueberry-pomegranate thinned with coconut water, squeezed over shaved ice.  Sweeteners included blue agave, simple syrup (1:1 sugar and water), and Truvia (from Stevia, a plant you can grow at home).  They tasted refreshing water with floating pieces of fresh fruit and herbs — watermelon/mint, and strawberry/kiwi.  Ms Vernice’s delicious garden-fresh cuisine rounded out the offerings: kale greens, black beans with red and yellow peppers, baked sweet potatoes, and zucchini corn muffins.
 (See recipes at * up by August 1

Everyone warmed up riding Working Bikes’ bike-generator, and hula hooping.
Even if we’re not sweating as much as we would at 100 degrees, our bodies need water to cool and lubricate, and for optimal internal functions. Try to drink HALF your body’s weight in ounces of fresh water per day. For example: if you’re 130 pounds, drink ~65 ounces or 8 cups = 1/2 gallon.

Checking the Roots

Even if humans aren’t feeling the heat, we’ve seen very little rain, and the soil is drying out down in the root zone. When the sky doesn’t provide, the Eat to Live Garden is currently hand-watered, which is laborious and limited.
Plants need water to keep growing green leaves (sun-energy harvesters and plant-sugar producers) and to make seeds and fruits.  Remembers, if it contains the seed, it’s a FRUIT!  Seeds are power-packed with proteins, starch, and fats to start new plants, and the fruits surrounding seeds are rich in sugars and vitamins.  All of these essential processes and nutritious products require WATER.
When watering plants in the garden, deliver water to the full root zone to ensure that the plant gets the most benefit! Watering too shallowly discourages the roots from growing down to moister soil. Watering below the roots where the plant can’t reach just wastes water. Watering soil around the plant encourages other seeds in the soil to sprout and grow — a benefit of dry weather is that it restrains weeds.
1) Rooted, hydrated sunflower.  Happy face to the sunshine!
2) Uprooted sunflower — uprooted and it dried out before it was found.  Sad and disheartening.  But we can take the opportunity to observe its roots and think about how it grows. Its roots are mostly close to the surface (no tap root) and don’t grow broadly away from the plant.  Tap rooted plants have an advantage in dry weather — their deepest roots are remain in contact longer with deeper, moist soil.

E2L Pickles

The Montessori School of Englewood is sending students from their summer program to the Eat to Live Garden on Tuesdays.  We’re reviewing the Growth Cycle and meeting plants and critters in the Garden.
This week we made ziplock pickles using cucumbers, apple cider vinegar, garlic salt, black pepper, and (for the intrepid) cayenne pepper.  The group saw flowering dill weed in the Garden two weeks ago, and put the matured dill seeds in their pickle bags.  April poses with her pickles.
Dill, cilantro, parsley, carrots, and celery are all members of the same plant family and make similar lacy flowers that look like small umbrellas — hence their historic family name, Umbelliferae.  See the lovely wild carrot flower — Queen Anne’s lace.