You can grow your own food. And we can help!

Monticello Perma Cultural Garden

The Monticello Perma Cultural Garden is a grassroots community gardening effort in the West Humboldt community of Chicago. This project was initiated last year when we came in contact with the owner of 2 vacant lots, who was hoping to see something beautiful done with the space and not accumulate any more tickets from the city. With no funds and only neighbors, friends, collective elbow grease & experience, we went around the surrounding blocks going door to door, inviting neighbors to a planning potluck. At the mtg, youth & elders alike worked together to come up with a design for the garden. The plan includes community allotment beds for neighbors and youth from both the head start and secondary school across the street, production beds for mini farm stand and CSA and fruit trees, perennials, and herbs for healing and sharing with all. We've begun the installation process through a combination of free woodchips, donated compost, seeds, & seedlings, permaculture best practices, and volunteer work. We were able to compete the welcome perennial beds and an allotment plot just before the snows and plan to complete the 2nd phase of our design in early Spring. With the "if you build it they will come" portion finished, we hope to generate even more excitement and all-important buy-in from more neighbors who have yet to see the long-term value of the garden. In our next phase, we are excited to have commitment from the youth across the street and elders who are physically unable to take part in construction. With the know-how, strategic design and local stakeholders, this self-sustaining garden will be an integral healing and gathering space for the community. And we hope to prove a viable model for others lacking funds, but rife with space, time, energy, knowledge and passion.

Where it's at:

741 N. Monticello
Chicago, IL 60651
United States

Garden type:

healing garden

Garden size (in square feet):


Garden beneficiaries:

children and food insecure people

Number of people reached:


What this project needs:

fruit bushes
fruit trees
compost bin
outdoor oven

Project leaders:

Seneca Kern
Maggie Catania

About us:

KGI is a nonprofit community of over 30,000 people who are growing some of our own food and helping others to do the same.  

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Contact us:

Kitchen Gardeners International
3 Powderhorn Drive,
Scarborough, ME, 04074, USA
(207) 956-0606