Sowing A Few Seeds

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By Deb Quantock McCarey

Contributing reporter/Nature blogger

by Deb Quantock McCarey

Last weekend Kevin and I saw six documentaries in three days in Oak Park and various venues in Chicago during the fourth annual One Earth Film Festival, 2015.

So did a multitude of other green folks.  

By foot, by train, and yes, our car, we traversed from here to Chicago and back again.  Three times.

Fortunately, the last environmental film on our list, Lost Rivers, included (at least for us) tasting a few brews at a new 2015 film venue, Haymarket Pub and Brew.  Out of the two 12 ouncers I took in, I preferred the Goose Island Sofie Farmhouse Ale, probably because of the French farmhouse saison ale's moniker, with me being a gardener at a hyper-green event and all.

That Indy film left me thirsty to pitch in at Friends of the Chicago River's next cleanup, or to get you to do that, or at least to help out at Seven Generations Ahead's next micro-brew and food event in Oak Park.

The first documentary we saw, Ground Operations: From Battlefield to Farmfield, was staged at Columbia College and in conjunction with the Film Fest's Green carpet Gala.  It inspired me to learn more about what life is like for a veteran post tour, and the local effort in Grayslake, IL, Growing Healthy People. There is also a national coalition on board whose aim is to agrarian train, then put to work unemployed vets in rural communities as farmers.

How cool is that?

I thought that the soldiers' stories were compelling, and the film ended with hope for a brighter future for us, thanks to the men and women of the military who have already given this country so much.

Our day's double feature came on Saturday in Oak Park when we settled into a packed house in an historic and architecturally coalitionsignificant room at Pleasant Home.  There, we fell into my favorite film, Edible City -- Grow the RevolutionIt told the stories of a diverse group of urbanites who were attempting to fix the broken food system in the San Francisco Bay area. through the practice of community gardening -- with lots of public education about where food comes from and why it is nutritionally better when it is home grown, for good measure.

The go-to-right-now call to action came from Seamus Ford of Root Riot.

Sneaky me, what an apt way to dig in to the topic I planned to cultivate all along:  which seed to grow when, how and where now, since some of us can see soil through all that telltale snow.

For me, this year, I will be experimenting with a combo of successive, vertical and square foot gardening, as opposed to row gardening.

Soon I hope to be a bit happier by simply pushing my hands into the soil, as I direct sow those hardy and semi-hardy cool weather snow peas, carrots, leeks, and spinach in my new square foot garden.

Those seeds won't be planted just yet.

But, these seeds of change have been sown -- the call-to-action ideas -, and that will do for now, as the need to pitch in and save our planet will always be perennial.


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Laurie Casey from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: March 10th, 2015 4:41 PM

Nice wrap-up Deb! Ground Operations was particularly moving. Remember to vote for your favorite film at so it can get the "Audience Choice" award. The winning film will be presented by the city of Chicago on Earth Day.

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