For Oak Park resident and new business owner Daniel Price, growing your own food at home is about more than just digging in the dirt and, perhaps, saving a little money.
His new business, Kalikale – which combines the words Kali, for the Hindu goddess of destruction and rebirth, and the leafy, edible greenery your mother always tried to get you to eat as a kid – is really about “reimagining our culture and our relationship to the land and the soil and our food.”
Drawing from the symbol of Kali from Hindu theology is a call to arms, he said calling the use of Kali a respectful appropriation of Hindu culture.
Price, who is a teacher and gardening consultant, said he first became interested in teaching about home gardening while traveling abroad and realizing how common it is in other parts of the world to grow your own food at home.
That’s when he began working as a consultant and educator to help people establish their own edible gardens. He said his work is an effort to “connect the dots that having a little patch of dirt and soil and seeds empowers people.”
“A friend and gardener once said that if you have a garden, you have a future,” he said.
When you plant a garden “you’re thinking about something outside yourself – you’re thinking about the future,” he said.
The new business is just getting started and is expected to expand in the coming months to include installation of chicken coops and beehives, Price said.
For now, the focus is on planting gardens in pre-established garden beds or installing raised garden beds.
The raised garden beds come equipped with a drip irrigation system that allows gardeners to simply flip a spigot to water the plants.
Installation runs from $185 to $797, depending on whether the job entails installation of raised beds and their size.
Price said people in the Chicago climate can grow food about eight months out of the year with his system – cold crops in the fall and spring include veggies like cabbages, broccoli, carrots, beets and cauliflower, while summer edibles include peppers, tomatoes, beans, eggplant, and more.
Kalikale installs and plants the beds; all customers have to do is maintain them.
Price is continuing with his workshops and consulting – the next one is set for Saturday, April 13 from 10 to 11 a.m. at Sugarbeet Schoolhouse, 349 Ashland Ave., River Forest.
Families can attend the workshop for $10.
“We’re going to do some planting and talk about soil and what you need to know to start growing food in March and April,” he said.
More information about Kalikale is available online at www.kalikale.com