Green And Growing Urban Gardening Fair & Plant Sales in Chicago

The gardening season around Chicago gets underway this month and in May. There are a number of seedling and plant sales starting on April 24th and continuing through May where you can purchase perennials, herbs, annuals and vegetables for your garden.

There's also the 18th Annual Green & Growing Urban Gardening Fair at the Garfield Park Conservatory on Chicago's West Side on April 24, 2010. Here is a copy of the press release with information about what you can expect as an attendee of the Green & Growing Urban Gardening Fair.

Kick off the growing season, and celebrate Earth Day, with the 18th Annual Green & Growing Fair at the Garfield Park Conservatory. The fair, sponsored by GreenNet, Chicago's Urban Greening Network, plunges into spring by hosting a variety of vendors, workshops, demonstrations, and family activities to get your rusty green thumb up and running.

On the schedule for the day:

·Gather Resources for Starting Community Gardens & Green Spaces @ GreenNet Member’s Information/ Exhibition Tables, Which include but are not limited to-
- Openlands Project
- GreenCorp Chicago, part of the Department of Environment
- NeighborSpace
- The Chicago Park District
- The Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance
- The Chicago Botanic Garden
- Friends of the Parks
- Archi-Treasures
- American Community Garden Association
- University of Illinois Extension Program and Master Gardeners

·Purchase heirloom seeds, unique seedlings, and other inspirational garden materials to jumpstart the growing season

·Participate in Family Take Home Planting Activities
-Rot Pot Seed Starting Activities (with One Seed Chicago’s One Seed Candidates)
-Grow a Pizza Garden
-& More!

·Attend our Native Landscape Workshops
Lecture Presentations take place in the Community Room (Each session is 5 $, and requires no pre-registration. Come early to purchase your tickets. Registration begins @ 9 am. All proceeds from workshops go to supporting GreenNet.)

Knock on Native Wood
10 am – 10:45 am
Presented by Kelsay Shaw of Possibility Place Nursery
Native woody plants add structure, promote wildlife, and thrive in local conditions. They fit into many landscapes, including your home, school or community garden. Mr. Shaw is a botanist and sales consultant at Possibility Place Nursery and has worked in the industry for the past 17 years.

Jens Jensen and Prairie on Chicago’s West Side
11 am - Noon
Presented by historian Barbara Geiger, IIT, CBG, SAIC
It took Jens Jensen, a Danish immigrant, to teach Chicagoans the value of their natural prairie plants and landscape when he began designing here in the 1890s. Much of his early experimenting happened here in the parks on Chicago’s west side. Today, we appreciate even more the subtle beauty and usefulness of our natural ecosystems and topography because of Jensen’s influence. Professor Geiger shares the story of Jensen and his work, and that of his colleague Henry Cowles, “the father of modern ecology.”

Landscape historian Barbara Geiger is adjunct professor in the College of Architecture at IIT, and also teaches at the Chicago Botanic Garden, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and other local institutions. Her research has focused on O.C. Simonds and other early exponents of naturalistic design and native plants in Chicago, and their continuing influence on our area.

·Visit Outdoor Drop-In Learning Stations on the Bluestone Terrace from 11 am to 3 pm

Basics of Composting, facilitated by U of I Extension Master Composters
Learn about the basics of composting, from backyard bins to indoor worm composting.

Rot Pot Seed Starting, facilitated by GPCA Volunteers
Plant One Seed Chicago Candidates (Bee Balm, Purple Coneflower, & Nodding Wild Onion!) in a newspaper rot pot, then make a recycled garden marker for your future garden

Tool Sharpening with Chicago Botanic Garden Green Youth Farm
Watch and learn how to sharpen your own tools. Bring your own tools, and get them sharpened for a small fee.

Bean Teepees & Tomato Cages made with Sticks & Bamboo Facilitated by North Park Village Nature’s Sean Shaffer Chicago Park District’s famous “stick guy” shows lashing techniques and more.

Native Plants for your Yard with Chicago Botanic Garden’s Chrissy Jacobsen
Consult with the CBG’s expert resident natural area restorer and native plant specialist. Visit with Chrissy Jacobsen, Aquatic and Native Plant Specialist Chrissy Jacobsen is the Aquatic Plant Specialist at the Chicago Botanic Garden. Her job is to monitor and maintain three miles of restored shorelines, which mainly consists of planting natives and removing invasive species in and out of the water. Chrissy chooses to plant native species because they are very resilient to floods and periods of drought. Purple Coneflower, Prairie Dropseed, and Great St. Johnswort are just a few of the native plants that can be found along the shoreline. These, along with many others, are perfect for your front or backyard!

Soil Information Station with U of I Extension Expert, Ellen Phillips
Come get the dirt on your garden soil, and learn the steps for finding out more about what you’re walking on in your back yard.

The Buzz on Beehives & Honey Tasting Presented by the Garfield Park Conservatory’s Volunteer Beekeepers
Sample the flavors of honeybees from around the world, and make sure to taste a bit that was made by the Conservatory’s very own bees.

Body-Smart Gardening, presented by CBG’s Gene Rothert in the Monet Garden
Learn to avoid the aches and pains of crouching and kneeling to garden, by exploring tools and techniques that are kind to the gardening body.

·The Winner of ONE SEED CHICAGO’s Seed of the Year is Announced @ noon!

-Each year, the One Seed Chicago folks select a group of seed contenders for Chicagoland growers to vote on.
2010’s candidates are:
Bee Balm
Purple Coneflower
Nodding Wild Onion
To meet the candidates and cast your vote, go to the OSC website: Voting ends April 1st and the winner will be announced and free seed packs distributed at the Green and Growing Fair. Then complete the season by showing what you’ve grown at the Garfield Park Conservatory’s Annual County Fair, September 18, 2010, in our annual Harvest Showcase.

·Share food & live music with friends in our Green CafĂ© Musicians Lined Up:
-Calypso Music by The Bottle & Stone Battalion
-Americana Music from The Lost Cartographers
-Performers from the Lawndale/ Ravinia Community Music Conservatory & Suzuki Orff School of Music
·Participate in a Silent Auction of Urban Gardening Treasures
·Shop our used gardening book sale

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