Foraging

The purpose of this guide is to provide information for our ongoing Permaculture Site on the north end of the garden, towards Cullerton. The permaculture site, as the rest of El Paseo Community Garden, is a community managed space maintained by volunteers. Please remember to take proper care and follow the foraging rules. Enjoy your self-guided tour!

The El Paseo Permaculture Site is still an ongoing project. Follow us for volunteer opportunities next year.

Permaculture is a design system that stands for “permanent agriculture.” It is based off of observations of nature and of various indigenous, hunter-gatherer, and farming communities’ relationships with nature throughout the world. The term was coined by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren in 1978. 

Permaculture is based on three ethics: Earth Care, People Care, and Fair Share. We hope that the El Paseo Permaculture Site brings you closer to plant communities of the Midwest and contributes to the “permanent agriculture” of Chicago.

Forager’s Rule of Thumb:

As a community forager, you are a steward of this land. In this site you will be able to find and connect with many native, edible, medicinal, pollinator, and utilitarian plants. As a community we gently remind you to take less than ⅓ of a particular harvest so that collectively we can promote an ecologically sound environment. We are a large insect, animal, bird, and human community.  Please be mindful that we all coexist and limit your harvest of one particular plant so that we may all benefit (including the plant!). This community permaculture site was designed to educate so that you can be equipped with additional information to plant these species in your own backyard/space and more easily identify and engage with them throughout the city.  We hope you learn and enjoy the El Paseo Permaculture Site! 

Visit our Plant Library to learn about our plants and their uses. Compiled by Nina Lawrin of Loveren Collections, Everyday Forage, and the Chicago Permaculture Teaching Institute.