Deb Quantock McCarey is a freelance writer who has worked with Wednesday Journal Inc. since 1995, writing features and special sections for all its publications. An avid urban gardener and growing naturalist, she is also a local "green" advocate and community volunteer. As a WJ gardening blogger, Deb is also the host of Deb's Big Backyard, which runs on oakpark.com and airs on Oak Park public cable, Channel 6. In partnership with her spouse, Kevin J. McCarey, she is also a writer/producer for Lyman Street Productions and Print at www.lymanstreetproductions.com, a small business in Oak Park that produces and provides web content.
If you build an arts district on Harrison Street in southeast Oak Park, will people come?
In 1998, that was the field of dreams when painter, muralist and sculptor, Tia Etu, became the first working artist in a live/work gallery space, Whatever Comes to Mind, at 11 Harrison St. in Oak Park.
I first met urban gardener and beekeeper Katy Murphy during the Sugar Beet Co-op's Edible Garden Tour, 2014. That day, her "urban farm" in southeast Oak Park was the second stop on a day designed to fill up my head with all sorts of new gardening ideas and approaches.