Jens Jensen supported free-play in the great out-of-doors and worked with Jane Addams and others to create the country’s first outdoor festival of play in 1907 during the formation era of the Playground Association of America.
While Jane Addams created soup kitchens at Hull-House to help feed the homeless, Jensen gave 70 children community garden plots to grow vegetables and flowers like Swiss Chard, lettuce, beets, radishes and rose geraniums they harvested on Fridays for their families.
More recently, former First Lady, Michelle Obama, a native Chicagoan who admired Eleanor Roosevelt’s Victory Gardens from WWII, planted a thriving Kitchen Garden on the South Lawn of the White House. She also created the Let’s Move! initiative to address children’s health issues, like obesity, which may be socially rooted in a lost connection with nature and eating a healthy well-balanced diet that includes fresh produce.
For 2-6 players, suggested ages 7+
A dynamic, social experience that brings a playful mood of the country life alive for players.
Harvest Dreams is an original cooperative game experience that includes a hand painted Harvest Meadow muslin play mat with a matching drawstring storage bag and felted foodstuffs game pieces made with organic wool from a flock of locally raised cheviot sheep–every bespoke game set is unique.
Special reference materials for teachers and parents briefly trace the origins of our ‘Founding Gardeners’ passion for farming to Jens Jensen’s experimental kitchen gardens in Chicago’s parks and a revival of Victory Gardens from the WW II era.
*No knowledge of organic farms or gardens is needed to enjoy this unique game adventure.
Follow the rhythms of nature, to engage in our harmonious connection between the sun, moon and stars that tend to our plants while we may be sleeping. Every plant needs pollinators, whether from the breeze of the wind, or the lively activity of the butterflies and the honeybees, though they may encounter some resistance from pests while on their flower power missions and are increasingly becoming endangered. Most importantly, in order for any plant to grow that we may cultivate ourselves, it needs our appreciation and kind attention.
With special thanks to Natasha Lehrer Lewis.
America's early gardening history begins with George Washington (1732-1799), who dedicated more than 40 years of his life to caring for the natural landscape at his inherited home estate of Mount Vernon, located along the Potomac River in Virginia, about 15 miles away from Washington D.C.
Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), the third President of the United States, was also a serious gardener who kept a detailed garden journal from 1766-1824 about his homestead at Monticello, which overlooks the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Virginia Coastal Plains.
In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) signed into law three important acts that established the U.S. Department of Agriculture; the Homestead Act that offered settlers public land to cultivate; and the Land Grant agricultural university system that institutionalized farming knowledge in higher learning.
Harvest Dreams is a playful, farm–to–table cooperative game experience where players harvest heirloom flowers, and organic fruits and vegetables together with the help of the honeybees.
The Fall Harvest celebrates year long efforts from our local gardens and farms that can be canned and enjoyed throughout the winter months as a reminder of summer that magically holds nutrients from the sun, moon, and stars into the New Year.
Harvest Dreams was initially commissioned by Big Rock Organics with support from a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Specialty Crop Grant to promote the use of locally raised fiber and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) initiatives.
The original, limited edition Harvest Dreams cooperative game set features a Harvest Meadow or Harvest Sunset (pictured) nuno felt play mat and felted game pieces made with organic wool from a flock of locally raised cheviot sheep–every bespoke game set is unique.
With special thanks to Natasha Lehrer Lewis.
We have lived our lives by the assumption that what was good for us would be good for the world. We have been wrong. We must change our lives so that it will be possible to live by the contrary assumption, that what is good for the world will be good for us. And that requires that we make the effort to know the world and learn what is good for it.
Under the summer roses
When the flagrant crimson
Lurks in the dusk
Of the wild red leaves,
Love, with little hands,
Comes and touches you
With a thousand memories,
And asks you
Beautiful, unanswerable questions.
Chicago Poems (1916)
90. Under the Harvest Moon