Students turn vacant lot into urban garden, offer free produce to neighbors

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CHICAGO — A group of students from the Montessori School of Englewood have turned a vacant lot into something pretty spectacular.

“I never had a garden. So when I heard we could come outside and plant things, that just made me happy,” student Elantra House said.

Through a grant from ‘The Trotter Project’ and master gardeners from University of Illinois, that empty lot is now an urban farm overflowing with colorful flowers and fresh vegetables.

For many of the kids, it was the first time they tried a vegetable straight from the soil.

“I couldn’t believe how different and good it tasted!” House said.

It was the students’ idea to put their leftover harvest in a big wooden box, free for anyone in the neighborhood who passed by.

“I like the feeling of doing something for my community. It just makes me feel good,” student Jabhari Johnson said.

Lakiesha Dunn from the Trotter Project was surprised to see the transformation over the summer.

“It’s incredible to know that after just a few months they have had so much growth and so much beauty in the garden. It’s everything I had hoped it would be,” Dunn said.


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