Projects, Workshops, Retreats and Classes

Please Help Us! Volunteer for In the Gardens

In the Gardens garden needs your help with spring tasks–pruning the grapes, planting seed, setting up the watering system, and composting and tidying the beds.

  • Sunday, May 6: 12 Noon-4 PM
  • Sunday, May 13: 12 Noon-3 PM

Can you help? Sign up at or call or email us.

Would you like to volunteer, but can’t come at these times? Please or call or email us and we will arrange a suitable date/time.

In the Gardens Sukkot Fall Harvest Celebration and Fundraiser!

Our Sukkot Fall Celebration is over—and was a huge success!—but our fundraiser is still on! If you would like to participate, we offer two options for your online donations.

Our Volunteers are our heart and soul!

Each year, In the Gardens plants fruits, vegetables, herbs, natives, and pollinators in an organic permaculture landscape. Our goals are to help feed the hungry, nourish community, support wildlife, educate about growing food and facilitate garden design—particularly in impoverished areas in Chicagoland and beyond.

Our Supporters make our work possible.

The festival of Sukkot is a time when we give thanks for the bounty of our season and acknowledge how the earth supports us. The fundraiser’s goal is to help us complete our winter garden as well as fund winter and early spring programming in garden design and mindfulness practice in schools, communities, and organizations.

A major goal of this celebration was to thank our many volunteers, supporters, and donors. We have had 30 volunteers helping us this season!

Questions? Comments?

Would you like to help at a different day or time? Please let us know!

The In the Gardens homesite is in Melrose Park, a near west suburb of Chicago.

We can work together to mitigate hunger across barriers of race, ethnicity, faith and economics, bringing people together in kindness and warmth.

Organic Edible Gardens

Planting edible community gardensDesign a garden on your street or in your neighborhood, in your own backyard, at your office, school or congregation. Whether your space is small or large, on concrete, raised beds or directly in the earth, we can build a garden to suit your space and your goals.

Recent Projects:

  • Oak Park Temple Garden
  • Coastal Roots Farm Groundbreaking Ceremony
  • TEAM Englewood/Urban Prep High Tunnel Grant
  • In the Gardens Site

Mindfulness Practice

Mindfulness practices, including meditation, song and chant, movement, silent time, readings, reflection and community time, is offered in a number of ways:


Day-long retreats

(Next date – TBA)
These retreats run from 12:00-6:00 PM and expand the practice of the mini-retreat. They also include teachings and time for personal reflection.
A catered, vegan lunch will be provided.
Registration: $85     Couples: $150


Mindfulness Practice Series: Meditation


Dates to be announced
Start the new season with an opportunity to focus on yourself and your goals for the fall. Bring new light, energy and balance into your life with guided meditation, readings and reflection.
Registration $54.00

Mindfulness Practice Series: Chanting
Dates to be announced
Rabbi Jonathan Slater says, “Singing seems to cover just about all aspects of a spiritual life,” helping us to connect more directly to our life force. Discover its power to open you to depth and joy. For both beginners and advanced chanters and singers.
Registration $54.00

Nine Week Meditation Course
Offered for your school for educators and staff, or in your place of business. Mindfulness practice benefits educators and business professionals in their own lives thereby enhancing those of the people with whom they engage.

One-On-One Mindfulness Training
Work with a guide who will take you through the basics and help you set a practice that will meet your unique needs. Contact Rabbi Damsky at or 708-629-5556.

Family Mindfulness Training
Improve your family’s balance and connection by learning mindfulness practice together as a family. For more information, contact Rabbi Damsky at or 708-629-5556.

Recent Mindfulness Events:

Return Again Mindfulness RetreatReturn Again Retreat: The goal of this nurturing retreat was to wake ourselves up as our attention turns to the changes that come with autumn. Co-led with Margot Anderson, MSW and Registered Yoga Teacher, it included any practices that help us return to ourselves, including meditation, sound and song, silence, chanting, gentle yoga, and body movement.

Composting Our Sins: A New Approach to Tashlish

Mindfulness Practice

The Mindful Gardens Project ℠

Bring organic edible garden design to your school, business, congregation or community, evolving out of a foundation of mindfulness practice. Each meeting will begin with the learning and experience of mindfulness practices. Using this as a foundation, we will work together to design and implement your own unique garden project, growing food as we enhance our relationships with ourselves and one another.


Planting edible community gardensBring In the Gardens programming on edible garden design, mindfulness practice and spirit to your school, business or congregation. Topics include:

  • Mindfulness Meditation
  • Chanting
  • Movement Practice
  • Incorporating Mindfulness Practice into your Business or Community
  • Mindfulness and Spirituality
  • Gardens and Spirituality
  • Earth Stewardship
  • Healthy Eating
  • GMO Foods, the Butterflies and the Bees
  • Bal Tashchit – You Shall Not Waste
  • Tza’ar Ba’alei Chayim – Why Kindness to Animals Matters
  • Pikuach Nefesh – Organics and Saving a Life

Study, action and practice in garden design, sustainability, organics and/or mindfulness for a day or weekend, for your business or congregation.

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