Community Garden-Chicago, IL

By Hank Pin and Taaremon Matauea
October 14, 2011

Hank Pin

Taaremon Matauea

At first glance, the Columban community garden seems nothing more than a backyard project. It is a small plot of land, tended by 7 people, which can only support some cabbages, carrots, and tomatoes. However, underneath its modest appearance, the garden is meant to be a message.

“This is to encourage the diocese not to depend on the market,” said Taaremon Matauea, a Columban seminarian, “it is also a symbol of solidarity with the farmers, and reminds people where our food comes from…considering people often waste a lot of food.”
The weather now is too cold to grow anything in the garden. Even during Spring, it is unlikely that the garden will be a self-sufficient food source. Yet it is a daily tribute to the agricultural lifestyle: when the community would come together to work on the fields, to achieve self-sufficiency. In a world that is increasingly dominated by large, profitable agricultural chains, perhaps it is time to be reminded that agriculture is much, much more than just a way to make a profit.