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Urban Gardening course aims to reduce food deserts

Urban Gardening course aims to reduce food deserts

Food deserts by definition, are geographic areas where access to affordable, healthy food options are limited or non-existent due to a lack of grocery stores within a reasonable traveling distance. In order to track food deserts in Illinois, primarily areas that lack fresh fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods,  a new state law was passed to identify these areas. Unfortunately this issue affects communities of color in Chicago, primarily people living on the south and west sides of the city respectively impacting food choices and contributing to the rise of diabetes, high blood pressure , and obesity.

In light of this situation, food education is essential for people to live healthier lives and for Wright College Humboldt Park, tackling this problem starts with their Urban Agro-Ecology class. The class, taught by Professor Koch Unni — a certified horticulturalist by the National Horticulture Board hopes to inspire everyday people living in the city to fall in love with farming, just as he did as youth growing up on a farm in his native India. The class will teach introduction to ecology of agriculture in urban settings and address current local food production challenges. Other curriculum involves how to improve conditions of urban soil, learning about seed to plant production and using safer herbicides and pesticides. The Humboldt Park campus currently has a plot of land that will soon be converted into a community garden.

Registration for the Urban Agro-Ecology class is open now through February 9th. Those interested can visit the Humboldt Park campus located at 1645 N. California avenue to meet with an academic advisor to sign up for the class or call 773-481-8300 for more information.

You can view the flyer for the course here: Urban Agro Ecology Course.