Growing Food Security in Your Community!

The Resiliency Institute is growing food security and community resilience through the establishment of edible forest gardens. We are teaching people how to replace resource intensive lawns with permaculture edible forest gardens to restore ecosystems, grow food for people and animals, and create nourishing community spaces that build resilience.

Growing "Seeds of Change"

Whole Foods Market Edible Forest Garden
The FIRST edible forest garden in Naperville!
A permaculture demonstration for how suburban yards can be transformed into edible forest gardens. Located at The Resiliency Institute on The Conservation Foundation's McDonald Farm.


Ferry Forest Garden
A demonstration for how communities can replace right-of-way lawns with productive permaculture forest gardens, creating a public park to grow food security and regenerate ecosystems



Growing Food Security Garden
Empowering communities to grow food security to reduce reliance on hunger relief organizations.
Donated to The Northern Illinois Food Bank in fall of 2014.


Naperville Park District Fruit Tree Guild
Fruit tree guilds are the building blocks for an edible forest garden and a great way to begin transitioning lawn into a permaculture forest garden. Volunteers planted this guild at the Ron Ory Community Gardens in Naperville during Earth Week 2018. 


Naperville Municipal Center Fruit Tree Guild
The City of Naperville embraces growing food security with a fruit tree guild at the entrance of the municipal center.


Planted during Earth Week 2018 by volunteers, this young guild will be bearing fruit in a couple of years!

Growing "Seeds for Change" Permaculture Project

The Resiliency Institute is excited to expand our Growing Food Security program by working together with Created for More Ministries on an inspiring "Seeds for Change" Permaculture Garden project at the Illinois Youth Detention Center in Warrenville, IL!

Wheaton College student, Isabella Wallmow, approached The Resiliency Institute about her idea for the project after seeing our Ferry Forest Garden as she passed it on her way to and from volunteering with her Juvenile Justice Ministry at the youth prison, which is right down the street from the garden on Ferry Rd. in Warrenville. Isabella, with a passion for social justice and a new student of permaculture where, "the problem is the solution," brilliantly identified how the youth at the facility are commonly viewed as unwanted products in our society which if given proper support and direction can easily become valuable resources. We happily jumped on board and the “Seeds for Change” Illinois Youth Center Permaculture Garden Project was born! Pictured from left to right are Wheaton College student and project driver, Isabella Wallmow, TRI Program Manager, Connie Kollmeyer, and Wheaton College volunteer Cade.

Permaculture Design is about systems thinking, integration, and closing loops, so one of the goals of the garden is to include all the systems of the youth center, from the faculty and administrators, to the counselors, to the guards, volunteers, culinary staff, maintenance, visiting families, and the incarcerated youth themselves, so they can all enjoy time in the garden and experience the mental and physical benefits that come with time spent in the outdoors. We plan to include therapeutic and sensory plants, soothing and uplifting herbs, native plants and plants for pollinators, and of course lots of edible, highly nutritious, nurturing food plants in the garden for all who enjoy use of the space. There is an existing gazebo and cookout area in the space that will stay, and we’d love to create an outdoor classroom space to be used for school classes as well as meditation and mindfulness sessions, nature therapy, yoga and more.

TRI Growing Food Security LogoDONATE HERE

One of our favorite times was when clearing out a muddy area and one of the youth was happily relishing his discovery of worms buried in the debris and causing the rest of the youth to scream and recoil in horror--but only for a short while!  After explaining the significance of worms to our food supply, it only took a few minutes for ALL of those in attendance to begin gleefully "rescuing" the worms from the clearing to the raised garden beds from The Growing Works Project last year which we had all just replanted.

The Permaculture garden project not only offers opportunity for learning life skills, job skills, hobbies, nature connection, community connection, and the increased health, independence and food security that comes with growing our own food, but it also offers the opportunity for all involved to learn some Permaculture principles and be inspired by discovering how we can apply them to all areas of our lives, including successful transitions upon completion of time served. Some of the guiding principles of the project that we can apply to our everyday lives in addition to using in the gardening project are:

*Integrate rather than segregate

*Use small and slow solutions

*Apply self-regulation and accept feedback

*Produce no waste (the problem is the solution)

*Use and value diversity

*Use edges and value the marginal

*Creatively use and respond to change

Learn more about the Seeds for Change Permaculture Garden Project and its many potential benefits that Isabella shares in this video. If you’re as excited as we are to support this beneficial project, please consider making a tax-deductible donation toward the project  HEREand reach out to us or subscribe to our email newsletters for project updates and to watch for future opportunities to support programming in the garden. We are grateful to be part of this work and we appreciate your support for the project, the changes it can inspire in our youth, and the changes they can make in our communities and our future!

2018 by volunteers, this young guild will be bearing fruit in a couple of years!

growing food security edible forest gardens

The Resiliency Institute offers food forest design and installation consultation to non-profit organizations and private businesses with land and public access.  Designing an edible forest garden is unlike any other landscape service and involves goal creation, community building, and a commitment to creating and maintaining an enduring, productive ecosystem. Contact us!

NCTV17 Growing an Edible Garden April 27, 2018

For those of you ready to add a little permaculture into your lives, we recommend planting a fruit tree guild. A fruit tree guild is the building block of an edible forest garden and can be planted in as little as a 12' x 12' space. A fruit tree guild supplies you with local, organic, nutrient dense food right at your doorstep. You'll be building personal resilience as you gain new knowledge and skills, and develop experience growing edible plants, while doing your part to grow food security.