News Archives » Lavista Learning Garden
Friends of the Oblates Preserves Receives Award @ Illinois State Fair August 25th, 2021
Illinois State Fair at a Glance:
- The Illinois State Fair is an annual 11-day festival celebrating agriculture, farmers and related industries
- First celebrated in 1853 in Chicago, IL, the fair is now in its 158th year.
- The fair has moved to Springfield, IL and is held nearly every year with few exceptions (it was canceled in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic)
- Average attendance is around half a million, climbing to nearly 1 million in 2012 and 2013 and dropping back down to about 500,000 in 2019.
- Corn-dogs-on-sticks, a popular edible treat at U.S. fairs is said to have originated at the Illinois State Fair
Introducing the Lavista Learning Garden June 17th, 2020
Since its inception in 2001, La Vista Ecological Learning Center has taught that how we eat determines, to a great extent, how we care for creation. That is why we were aligned with the Community Supported Garden at La Vista for 15 years. Since that project ended in 2019, we have established La Vista Learning Garden under the umbrella of the Oblate Ecological Initiative.
The Learning Garden will be a model and gathering place for novices and area participants to learn and practice:
- sustainable gardening skills like creating a garden plan organic soil preparation and fertilization crop rotation choosing vegetables and their planting times methods for harvesting vegetables growing fruit trees native flower propagation a variety of composting methods
- raising and caring for chickens
- backyard beekeeping
- cooking and nutrition
- hand-carving kitchen utensils
- DIY recycled garden decorations
Vernon DePauw is our head gardener and teacher. He is a nationally known wood carver as well as a backyard gardener, poultryman, and beekeeper. Vernon has been a presenter at the Learning Center for several years. Vernon is faithfully supported by his wife Kathy who is also a volunteer.
Sister Maxine collaborates with Vernon to plan, organize, advertise and execute programs.
Volunteers – A small group of volunteers contribute their skills.
This project has been made possible with the support, encouragement and help of Seamus Finn, OMI, and OMI Novitiate Leadership: Pat McGee, Frank Kuczera and Humphrey Milimo.