ABOUT US

WHAT IS LOVE BLOOMS HERE?

Love Blooms Here is a social enterprise and wholesale perennial nursery that seeks to engage the West side of Chicago, concentrated in North Lawndale, in urban permaculture. The challenges unique to urban communities such as vacant lots and food deserts present a distinct opportunity for socioeconomic development and community engagement. Love Blooms utilizes the principles of permaculture to create community centered spaces on Chicago’s West side, providing experiential education, engaged youth, an expanded local economy and new career opportunities.

OUR MISSION

To empower the West side of Chicago by using permaculture as a platform to promote dialogue about food access, neighborhood development, and environmental justice, while simultaneously reducing socioeconomic disparity.

OUR VISION

Love Blooms aspires to foster positive community activity through sustainable land use.

Our Story

In 2017, Annamaria Leon started Homan Grown L3C with her business partner, Jeff Levrant, after receiving the Neighborhood Opportunity Fund (NOF) to open up a wholesale perennial plant nursery.

In 2018, Pastor Reshorna had a vision for a vacant lot that belonged to the Historic Stone Temple Missionary Baptist Church, where her husband, Bishop Derrick Fitzpatrick and she, as the Executive Pastor, have their ministry in North Lawndale.  She had a vision of turning the unsightly vacant lot, primarily being used as a parking lot into a beautiful garden where the community could come and congregate.  She was introduced by Faith in Place’s Green Team to people in the gardening community that could help her realize her vision. 

As fate would have it, Annamaria lives down the street from Stone Temple and started attending the community-lead design for the  Stone Temple garden. She also started sharing her expertise in Permaculture Design and from everyone’s collaboration, the Stone Temple Heritage Peace Garden was created.  

From there Pastor Reshorna and Annamaria realized they shared a love of gardening, and transforming communities through beauty.  They’ve been unstoppable ever since. 

MEET OUR FOUNDERS

ANNAMARIA LEON

Annamaria Leon lives on the West side of Chicago in North Lawndale and is Co-Owner of Homan Grown, L3C, a social enterprise focused on propagating urban durable perennials, and on creating regenerative edible and ornamental landscapes. A certified Permaculture Designer and Teacher, she is Co-Founder of the Permaculture Chicago Teaching Institute. Annamaria focuses her community organizing efforts through projects that reflect her love of greening and beautification.   She also serves as Vice President on the Board of Sustainable Sharing with Guatemala (SSG) whose mission is to share cross-cultural community models which promote efforts around issues of social justice, the environment, education, agriculture, and health.

PASTOR RESHORNA FITZPATRICK

Pastor Reshorna M. Fitzpatrick is  Co-Owner of Homan Grown L3C and is also the Executive Pastor at the Historic Stone Temple Missionary Baptist Church in North Lawndale. She and her husband, Bishop Derrick M. Fitzpatrick were named Time Magazine 2020 Heroes for their community outreach project, Soup for the Soul, during the Covid Pandemic.  Pastor Fitzpatrick retired from  the Chicago Public Schools as a Hearing Officer in 2017. She continues to provide life-coaching and family mediation and mental-wellness counseling. Pastor Reshorna sits on the Board of Faith in Place for their Green Team. Faith in Place (FIP) empowers Illinois people of all faiths to be leaders in caring for the Earth, providing resources to educate, connect, and advocate for healthier communities through five program areas – Energy & Climate, Sustainable Food & Land Use, Water Preservation, Advocacy, and Youth Leadership & Empowerment