Round Lake Area Garden Club, Seed Library & Food Forest
- Food Access
- Nutrition / Food / Gardening Education
The mission of the Round Lake Area Garden Club is to create learning opportunities, develop a safe space where the community can harvest freely, increase access to plants and seeds, provide education to help people grow their own food, and expand knowledge of what is edible in the community.
The Garden Club oversees various projects to fulfill the above objectives. We hold a yearly seed swap and house a year-long seed library filled with open-pollinated seed and we encourage our community to help add to our catalog. For our seed swap, we have traditionally partnered with the Extension Master Gardeners and with the Preservation Foundation of the Lake County Forest Preserves to increase education opportunities at the event.
The Garden Club also manages and oversees a Food Forest at the Round Lake Area Library. We partner with local institutions such as the boy scouts, a local senior center, and local pageant participants to create projects that promote access and awareness of the Food Forest. Additionally, we continue to design and evolve the Food Forest based on permaculture principles. We have approximately 16 fruit and nut trees, several raspberry bushes, a strawberry and rhubarb patch, horseradish and about a dozen perennial herbs that the community can freely harvest—plus areas where we add annuals such as tomatoes, lettuce, and squash.
We participate in the planning and development of the Round Lake Area Farmers’ Market, which had its inaugural year in 2017. The Garden Club was a key component, providing potted herbs, succulents, perennials, ground covers and interesting vegetables for sale while also providing education and resources to the community for growing their own produce.