The DuPage Unitarian Universalist Church exists as a beacon of liberal religious thought and practice. Amid the challenges and changes of a chaotic world, we aspire to proclaim and embody the possibilities of meaning in human life, of freedom in human thought, and of peace and justice in human community.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

It's so Easy Being Green

Peppers, Peppers! Get your Delicious Peppers here!

To eat, and what to eat: that is question
Whether 'tis nobler in the cart to suffer
The cost and charges of outrageous prices,
Or to take savings with a bunch of imports,
And by purchasing, eat them? To buy: to save;
Non local; and by saving to say we add
Our dependence and the thousand natural shocks
Cheap food is heir to, 'tis a consumption
Devoutly to be shunned. To buy, to chew;
To eat: perchance digest: ay, there's the rub;
Ye Gods! I'm an apple.
For in that cart of foods what fruit may come
When we have shuffled out this grocery store,
Must give us pause: there’s the respect
That makes calamity of such low prices;
For who could bear the costs from wages over time,
The oppressor’s wrong, the proud one’s taunting,
The pangs of despised poultry, the pig’s dismay,
The insolence of aisles and the insults
That the coupons make of thoughtful shoppers
When he himself might his ethics face
And bear his heart with burdens hear
The grunt and sweat under a weary life,
The undiscover’d country from whose bourn
The ill paid worker labours, puzzles the mind
And makes us rather eat the cheap ills we have
Than find the organics that we know not of
Thus Conscience could still make cowards of us all

Just what am I on about now? Food! Glorious Food! No, I will not do a Dickens parody (although I am tempted). I'm here to tell A Tale of Two Greenies. Okay, a tale of one Greenie, a really excellent, organic, sustainable and educational greenie,  namely the Green Earth Institute

We are very fortunate in North America, our dilemma isn't obtaining food, our dilemma is choosing food. 

And, there’s the rub.

Delicious Organic Tomatoes
So how do we choose? Do we get the 99 cents/pound tomatoes that have been grown thousands of miles away, sprayed with chemicals, harvested by poorly paid workers and transported in trucks, *big breath* OR do we put in the extra dollars to get locally grown, organic tomatoes? And, yes, that is a bias you're detecting, you've been warned, read on at your own risk.

An Appealing Eggplant

If you're still reading - excellent choice! - I'm going to assume you are leaning more to the organic, and locally grown food options, so I'm going to tell you about Naperville's own Green Earth Institute. 

Located at 10S404 Knock Knolls Road in Naperville, on The Conservation Foundation's McDonald Farm, the Green Earth Institute is in its 11th year of organic vegetable farming and educational programming for children and adults. It is a non-profit educational organization established in 2002 to promote environmental sustainability and nutritional health. The centrepiece of the organization is the organic vegetable farm that also serves as an outdoor classroom.

So, what can the Green Earth Institute do for you and your family? Let me 'splain... no, is too much, let me sum up....

It can:
  • Supply your family with seasonal, organic, locally grown vegetables and herbs through community-supported agriculture, or CSA. In this program, participants purchase a share of the harvest and then pick up a box of freshly harvested vegetables weekly or biweekly at the farm in Naperville, or in Batavia, Lombard, Western Springs, or Winfield.
  • Educate your children through nature discovery programs at the farm each summer. Elementary age children explore the farm and learn how to garden during week long summer camp sessions of Nature Rangers
  • Educate your whole family with fun and educational adventures on Saturday mornings and Friday overnights. 
  • Host school and Scout groups from the suburbs and the inner-city, providing tours of the farm and showing kids where food comes from and how it is grown - yes carrots do come from underground! 

but wait! there's more!

Green Earth Fair 
  Sunday, May 5th

Be Green in '13!! The annual Earth Day Celebration and Education Event is on the first Sunday in May, and can draw some 2,000 people! There are Speakers, Exhibits, Children's activities, Food, Music, Tours of the Farm, Culinary demonstrations, Plant sales and MORE!! Fun for the Entire Family!


WHAT are these Fresh, Locally Grown, Certified Organic Vegetables and Herbs?
Beets, Bok Choi, Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Celeriac, Chinese Cabbage, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Fennel, Garlic, Garlic Scapes, Hot Peppers, Kale, Kohlrabi, Leeks, Lettuce, Onions, Parsnips, Peas, Potatoes, Radicchio, Radishes, Rutabaga, Scallions, Spinach, Sweet Peppers, Swiss Chard, Summer squash, Tomatoes, Turnips, Watermelons (wait! that's a fruit!), Winter squash, Zucchini, and herbs, Basil, Cilantro, Parsley, Sage and Thyme!
I am a Handsome Cabbage

Need Recipes?  Click here!

HOW many for dinner?
One share is generally good for 2 veggie enthusiasts, or a family of 2 adults and 2 children. You can also purchase 1/2 a share, or split  a full share with a friend.

HOW much each week?
One share is about 3/4 bushel each week, which is about the same as 1 1/2 regular paper grocery bags. Typically there are about 10 different crops each week that change with the harvest.

HOT peppers!
HOW long is the harvest season?
The Main Season runs from June 18th - November 1st, about 20 weeks
Spring Shares run for 4 weeks from May 21st-June 1st 
Late Fall Shares run for 4 weeks from November 5th-27th.

Sign me up! Click here!

WHERE can I get more information?
Artsy Garlic
Green Earth Institute
10S404 Knoch Knolls Road
Naperville, IL 60565

Email: CSA@GreenEarthInstitute.org  Website: www.GreenEarthInstitute.org
Blog: Green Earth Education
Facebook: Green Earth Institute 
Twitter: Green Earth Institute

Lettuce show you how!
Want to Help??

Shareholders and others are invited to visit the farm and help with farm work, such as planting, weeding, and harvesting. Bet you never thought you could do THAT in Naperville. Get connected with nature!! Sign up on our website.


  1. Is there a list of farms (at least, for Chicagoland) with similar programs? I have been looking for something similar closer to Hyde Park.

  2. I got in touch with Steve Tiwald, who runs the Green Earth Institute and have some information.

    2013 CSA Guide posted by The Local Beet-Chicago at http://www.thelocalbeet.com/2013/04/01/introducing-the-2013-csa-guide-whats-new-whats-old-in-community-supported-agriculture/


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