INTERVIEW// Milan Anderson!

Milan Anderson

Milan Anderson, via #supportstudentgardens

Let’s Build Garden City!‘s huge citywide workshop series
How to Make A Million While Selling Your Crops in the Hood is the gift that keeps giving! Here’s our Q&A with Bridgeport-based educator & activist Milan Anderson! Stay tuned for more gem-filled interviews with farmers in your area! See you next Spring ^_^


Who are you?

Milan Anderson, [I] apprenticed at Living Roots farm in 2016, worked for Urban Canopy as market manager and farm hand, obtained a Master of Urban Farmer Training with University of Illinois Extension summer of 2018, hosted weekly garden workshops for kids at El Paseo Community Garden summer of 2019 and have been an avid forager in Chicago the past year, making medicines out of what most people consider weeds 🙂

What’s some advice you have for students starting out as a professional in the agriculture industry?

You might need to volunteer and intern first go get your feet wet and later use that experience to apply for paid positions. It might take a season or two of volunteering low key for a garden, but it could pay off in the long run. For instance, I was a volunteer gardener at El Paseo and when I found out they wanted a kids garden program, since I was already a contributing member, the garden directors were happy to fund the kids workshops I created. You never know where your involvement might lead so just put yourself out there! 

What are some local resources you think students should know about? Chicago Community Gardening Association (they offer tons of resources and plants) AUA listserv, Chicago Environmental Network.

Do you have any words of encouragement for someone just looking for a fun service learning project to do?

Try and be present, really in the moment and think through the different tasks you are doing (what could make it more effective, or make it easier on others) so you can make the most of the experience.

What’s the secret to students treating each other right?

Be kind to yourself, and apply that kindness to people around you. 

Anything else you want to talk about?

Learn about permaculture (aka permanent agriculture or growing food forests), it is awesome to use this to your benefit and the ecosystem’s benefit. A lot of organic farms already use some of these practices to sustainably grow, but could add more. With climate change, it is even more important to learn about these practices that stem from indigenous people’s ways of growing in harmony with nature. 


Can we share your social media?

Yes! ecocentric_gurl is my insta.



RSVP & donate to support new student gardens in 2020! 🌻

ANNOUNCEMENT// How to Make A Million…


Supported by a generous award from the Chicago Food Policy Action Council

how to make a million while selling your crops in the hood


12/20 Ashburn
12/21 Pullman
12/23 Logan Square
12/24 Downtown
12/26 Pilsen 
12/27 Austin

We’re bringing folks together to give students insight and valuable connections heading into the next growing season. Let’s Build Garden City! (5)



Support student gardens this Food Fun(d)ing Friday!


We’re Let’s Build Garden City a CPS service learning partner program based on the Southside. Our mission supports student gardens and promotes young people across the city growing their own food, herbs, plants, and more.

We’ll be raising money with the Chicago Food Policy Action Council for a financial literacy-themed workshop series titled “How To Make A Million While Selling Your Crops In The Hood.” And for Halloween we’re throwing a Haunted garden party at The Cooperation Operation for students in Pullman!

Want to support student gardens in your neighborhood? We have a resource library hosted at our site with articles & tips for students; as well as an outreach toolkit for community members. Come through to the event though! We need you 

ANNOUNCEMENT// Traveling Garden Parties Are Here! (1)


We’re having a traveling parties to support student gardens! Bring your favorite environmentally-friendly poems, songs, stand-up routines, books, vegetables, whatever you want!

Between performances our host + will say hi to folks and sign-up community members to support, donate, and volunteer for students gardening to graduate! 🙂

10/11 Schedule

Ashburn – 1pm – 79th Western Terminal
Pullman – 3pm – 115th Metra Station
Logan Square – 6pm – Comfort Station
Pilsen – 8pm – Ashland Pink Line

This event is sponsored by Let’s Build Garden City, a CPS service learning partner program based on the Southside. Our mission supports student gardens and promotes young people across the city growing their own food, herbs, plants, and more in new spaces.

🌻 #supportstudentgardens 🌻




Click here to find out everything you need to know ahead of the 2019-2020 school year! See you this weekend supporting student gardens at Pledge Day in Pullman/Roseland & Beverly/Morgan Park. Please RSVP for the Garden City Back-to-School Parade on the 31st if you haven’t yet, too. 🙂




#lbgc2019 🍆

ANNOUNCEMENT// #lbgc2019🌻


Let’s Build Garden City! 2019 aka #lbgc2019🌻 the summer PARTY with treasure hunts, free festivals, cool classes, and more! 🐝


Upcoming Events

Pledge Day: Friday Fundraiser 9/13

Pledge Day: Friday Fundraiser 9/20

Pledge Day: Friday Fundraiser 9/27

Pledge Day: Friday Fundraiser 10/4

Pledge Day: Friday Fundraiser 10/11

Pledge Day: Friday Fundraiser 10/18

Pledge Day: Friday Fundraiser 10/25

Pop Church (Sundays, Message for Address)

Classes – Citywide

Student Parties 9/27-9/29 – Citywide (TBA)

Student Markets 10/4-10/6 – Citywide (TBA)

Garden Parties 10/25-10/27 – Citywide (TBA)


RSVP & TAKE THE PLEDGE to support students today! 🍆

ADD an event to #lbgc2019 🌹



– About Pledge Day: Friday Fundraisers… Come out on Pledge Day to let folks know about the NEW service learning programs empowering students to do long-term service projects in your neighborhood. We’ll be all over the city petitioning, flyering, and supporting the next era of students gardening!

BONUS: Raise $500 and we’ll throw a Student Party in your neighborhood! [Pledge Day 2019 help page]

– About the Garden City Parade… Folks gather at gardens all over the city then make their way downtown beautifying, revitalizing, and activating land. We meet at noon @ Millennium Park and have a big utopia party!

– About Student Parties… Workshops to treat each other right, followed by student talent showcases and networking!

– About Student Markets… Students take over the farmer’s market for the day! Selling food, herb, etc. they’ve grown and doing presentations.

– About Garden Parties… Parties thrown by gardens to support student gardens! Coincides with the Fall Harvest.

– About Pop Church… Powered by #mtvx, the utopian pop culture network for students. Worship. Workshop. Pop.


Support CPS Students: Come to the Garden Party! 5/24

garden party!.gif

4904 S. Lake Park Avenue
Chicago, IL 60615
Hyde Park neighborhood
Sat, May 24, 2019, 2pm–5pm🌹

After class, meet and chat with our party-cipants about gardening to graduate!🌻

This event will have a colorful presentation featuring local educators and guest features from The Cooperation OperationF12 Network, and more. In addition to celebrating we’re giving students nutritional education, institutional connections, and the tools to maintain strong relationships!

Welcome to the kickoff of #lbgc2019 the summer festival for students. #lbgc2019 aka Let’s Build Garden City! 2019 is the ONLY festival with treasure hunts, free classes, cool parties (and more!) that’s ALSO a service learning platform teaching young people how to transform vacant space in their neighborhoods into community gardens. Plus Sign, a former Chicago Public Schools student, launched Let’s Build Garden City! in spring 2018.