We are exploring the many benefits of growing food at our All Ages/ All Abilities Garden on the grounds of Cheney Mansion in Oak Park. Young adults with disabilities, senior citizens and other volunteers are working together to grow vegetables that are harvested and donated to the Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry. Growing food in a community garden connects us with nature, with each other and our participants enjoy the experience of giving back to our local food pantry. 
This project began in Spring 2015 with the support of: Park District of Oak Park, Concordia University Gerontology Center, West Suburban Special Recreation, Opportunity Knocks, Oak Leyden Developmental Services, Oak Park Public Library, Dig Right In and The Oak Park Conservatory. We are seeking financial sponsors for the 2016 season. Please contact us if you are interested. 

To learn more about the program click here

Oak-Leyden's adult participants planted and harvested an edible garden at the Park District of Oak Park's Cheney Mansion. Hundreds of pounds of food have been harvested and donated to the Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry in 2015.


Each July, we celebrate those in our community who are growing food in backyard gardens to school yards. This self guided tour of over 12 gardens is an opportunity for people to learn more about growing food. Since 2012, this annual tour has attracted almost 1000 people who are eager to learn how to grow food and connect with local gardeners. Mark your calendar for July 30, 2016 when we celebrate our 5th Edible Garden Tour! 


Making mealtimes meaningful

Did you know that the Family Dinner improves literacy more than reading to a young child?
Yes! There are many proven benefits of the the Family Dinner, from obesity to drug use, and our program works with parents, care givers and educators to make the most of their family meals together. Read more about our program here and schedule our Making Mealtimes Meaningful team for your next staff training or community event. 



Sustainable Agriculture Camps & pROGRAMMING

Sugar Beet Schoolhouse collaborates with community partners to create unique programming that introduces sustainable agriculture to students of all kinds. From planning and facilitating engaging (and delicious) field trips to developing season-long youth empowerment programs, we have the vision, network and staff to offer transformational experiences for students of all ages. 


FARM TOURS + Food field trips

Know your farmer! Our Farm Tours and Food Field Trips  are an excellent opportunity for people to connect with the area farmers and producers that feed us and act as stewards of our land. Tours include work projects that are fun for everyone - we love getting dirty! Sustainable agriculture is a thread that weaves through all of our work and Farm Tours and Food Field Trips are the best way to connect people with local, sustainably grown food and our growers.