Tag Archives: Angelic Organics Learning Center

The real dirt on community gardening in Chicago, food waste composting and Farmer John’s KickStarter Campaign

January 27, 2013

Building a community for community gardeners

It has not been a great year for gardeners in the City of Chicago.

It didn’t help that we were blasted by heat and drought last summer…and given how odd the winter and spring were, going into the 2012 growing season, I don’t even want to speculate what will happen this year. However, all one has to do is look at how little moisture we have had in the fall and winter so far this time around to know that things could be dicey come time to plant in the spring.

In addition, some of the things that allowed gardeners to gather together to commiserate about their disappointments and celebrate their accomplishments have disappeared. I’m talking in particular about the Mayor’s Landscape Awards Program, which was last presented in 2011 and which awarded my community garden, Green on McLean, a third place prize that year. So, after 50 years of giving gardeners in the City a sense of pride, the program was quietly dropped by the Rahm Emanuel Administration.

This year, there is another casualty: The Green and Growing Fair. For 20 years, this event was sponsored by GreenNet, Chicago’s Urban Greening Network, and featured a variety of vendors, workshops, demonstrations, and family activities as a way of launching the gardening season in Chicago. Fortunately, the GreenNet website is still an excellent reference for people who want to start or connect with a community garden.

These two gaps in the opportunities for gardeners to expand their knowledge and connections are on top of the dismantling of the Chicago Department of the Environment at the beginning of 2012 and the downsizing of the Greencorps Chicago Program, Greencorps staff and graduates (now under the Chicago Department of Transportation…huh?) were a valuable resource for community gardeners throughout the city until last year. Here’s the way it reads on Greencorps page at the City of Chicago website:

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the community gardeners who have worked tirelessly making their communities greener, healthier and safer.  Over the past 18 years, Greencorps Chicago staff and trainees have worked side-by-side with you, supporting your efforts while admiring your dedication, resilience, humor and cooking.  For 2013, due to reduced funding levels, Greencorps’ ability to support community gardens will be reduced.  With that in mind, we are planning a summit this winter with a variety of greening partners to develop a transition plan for this vital work.  Please check out the GreenNet’s Growing Forward effort at http://greennetchicago.org/growing-forward to stay involved.  Greencorps staff will also continue to work with community gardeners to assist in connecting them to organizations or other gardens in their area where resources may be available

In fact, I just attended the 2013 Greencorps graduation ceremony at Garfield Park Conservatory. It was sad to see that a class that had, in the past, numbered as high as 90 was down to 22 this year.

But gardeners are a resilient lot, and even as some good programs disappear, others rise up to take their places. Openlands, which already has its very successful TreeKeepers Program, is creating an interactive, hands-on class focusing on gardening without chemicals, using designs that depend on nature and not technology, conserving natural resources, and recruiting members who will use and “own” their garden.

It is called, not so surprisingly, GardenKeepers, and the goal is to teach its members how to organize and run a successful, long-lasting, community-managed allotment garden together with friends and neighbors. It doesn’t matter whether you already have an existing garden or you’re at the stage where you’re recruiting people and looking longingly at the empty lot on the end of the block.

GardenKeepers will be presented twice a year but, you should note, It is designed for groups, not individuals. A minimum of 4 people from each garden is suggested. The fee is $300 per garden ($75 per person in a group of 4) for the entire series of 6 classes. However, individuals may be able to attend horticulture-focused classes 3-6 if space allows.

The Spring 2013 course is taking reservations right now for classes that will held at the Garfield Park Conservatory. Here’s the schedule:

  1. February 16 - Getting Started
  2. February 23 – Special Event: Chicago Community Gardeners’ 1st Annual Planning Conference 
  3. March 2 - Creating a Sustainable Organization
  4. March 9 - Eco-Garden Design
  5. March 16 - Growing From the Ground Up
  6. March 23 - Plant Selection for a Healthy Garden
  7. March 30 - Containers, Hardscape, and Installation
  8. May 11 – Graduation Potluck

Now, about item #2, the Chicago Community Gardeners’ 1st Annual Planning Conference, or as my buddy and community garden worker Rob Kartholl (a.k.a. @Copedog on Twitter) likes to call it, The Big Commie Garden Conference. I kind of like that title, which means that powers-that-be will hate it.

Anyway, The Big Commie Garden Conference will be a day-long event at the Chicago Center for Green Technology (CCGT) that attempts to bring together community gardeners all over the city to hobnob and discuss issues like water conservation, fundraising, sustainability of both the land and the people who work it, and more.

Julie Samuels, Community Garden Organizer for Openlands, returns to the show today to talk about GardenKeepers and The Big Commie Garden Conference. Copedog is also on hand to throw in a few comments.

By the way, Julie is the go-to person for registering for GardenKeepers. You can write her at jsamuels@openlands.org if you have questions, or just go to the GardenKeepers page for more information.

What is an “F-scrap” and what do we do with it?

Some statistics from Greenwaste.com to think about on a cold January day:

  • Did you know that we generate 21.5 million tons of food residuals annually? If this food waste were composted instead of being sent to landfills, the resulting reduction in greenhouse gas emissions would be equivalent to taking more than two million cars off the road.
  • The Z-Best Composting Facility in Gilroy, processes 350 tons of food waste and yard clippings everyday into nutrient rich soil amendments to be used for agriculture and landscaping.
  • Almost any business can successfully divert food discards from landfills. Businesses with record-setting food diversion programs are recovering 50% to 100% of their food discards and reducing their overall solid waste by 33% to 85%.

Now, welcome to Illinois, where, until the passage of SB 99 a couple of years ago, we were in the dark ages regarding food waste–often called “F-scrap”–composting. It was very difficult and often prohibitively expensive to obtain a permit to compost food scrap commercially in Illinois because those facilities were considered “Pollution Control Facilities” under Illinois law.

While that bill made it somewhat easier for composting operations to succeed, as witnessed by this effort at Illinois State University and this pilot program in Highland Park, we still have a long way to go, especially where small operations are concerned.

Which is why it’s the upcoming Illinois Food Scrap Composting Seminar “Looking To the Future” in Lombard on Thursday, February 7, 2013 is such a good idea. The day-long seminar on composting of food scraps is open to just about anyone–businesses, schools, landscape services, greenhouses and others. Heck, even I’m going to be there.

It will cover the latest information on Illinois policies and legislation, markets and potential end uses for compost materials. Some of those topics include

  • how to establish and manage food scrap collection and composting programs
  • identifying end users and viable end markets for finished composted material
  • pertinent policy in Illinois regarding F-scrap compost operations
  • reports on results growing plants with compost material and lessons learned by those with established programs.

This event is made possible through a grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DCEO) to the Illinois Recycling Association (IRA) who have worked with  SCARCE (School Composting and Recycling Conservation Education) and the Illinois Green Economy Network (IGEN) to develop and co-sponsor the seminar.

It’s not at all expensive for a day-long event. IRA members and college students get in for $30, while all others pay $40. But wait. There’s more! Cost includes lunch and seminar materials. A great deal.

You can Register online here or learn more at www.illinoisrecycles.org or 708-358-0058

I’m pleased to have SCARCE founder and executive director Kay McKeen back in the studio to talk about this event–and perhaps all of the other great things that SCARCE does, from book, ink jet and gym shoe rescues to cell phone and electronics recycling to providing information on how to properly dispose of medicines.

The Real Dirt on Farmer John’s KickStarter Campaign

If Roger Ebert is tweeting about you to his 800,000 followers, and posting for another 104,000 on Facebook, you know you’re doing something right. Here’s the Twitter message (which I have already retweeted): “We showed his film at Ebertfest. Now Farmer John is kickstarting. Here’s a video about this hero of organic farming. http://t.co/Yo7cczBl”.

If you follow that link, it will take you a KickStarter Campaign called Barns Are For People, Too, featuring the now-legendary Farmer John Peterson. He’s the guy who is behind Angelic Organics in Caledonia, Illinois, a farm that has been in his family for generations. That story was told in the 2005 documentary The Real Dirt on Farmer John, which has received just about every award imaginable, and which I can’t recommend highly enough.

Last week, I received a notice from Tom Spaulding, Executive Director of Angelic Organics Learning Center, which arose out of Farmer John’s efforts and which I have often talked about on my radio show. He informed me of the KickStarter campaign, and I knew immediately that I was going to have to invite him and Farmer John to the show.

You should know, by the way, that I MC’d a fundraiser at the farm last fall, and Farmer John took me on a somewhat bumpy tour of the land in his Jeep. That was an experience in itself. Now I want to return the favor and help the good folks out there continue to teach new generations about the land and how to grow food sustainably.

The KickStarter is all about completing the work of transforming the old dairy barn and corn crib into community spaces, as Farmer John says, “filled with light and vibrant colors and breathtaking views of the Midwestern prairie.” He says he has about half the work done and he needs $150,000 to finish the project. Yeah, that’s a lot of loot, but who told you that running a farm and not-for-profit organization was cheap?

I will be making a contribution. I hope you do, too.

Wild Things 2013 Conference is next Saturday

Just a reminder that the fifth biennial Wild Things 2013 Conference happens next Saturday, February 2 at the UIC. This wonderful event, featuring about 90 different sessions, is organized by Audubon Chicago Region in cooperation with the Habitat Project, the Volunteer Stewardship Network, and Chicago Wilderness through funding from the USDA Forest Service and US Fish & Wildlife Service. It also doesn’t hurt that organizations like the Chicago Park District, The Field Museum, the Forest Preserve District of Cook County and Openlands are involved.

The keynote speakers will be Doug Tallamy, who continues to preach the gospel of biodiversity, and Joel S. Brown, who speaks on how urban species might be evolving. Here are the abstracts of their talks.

While online registration is now closed, I don’t think anybody is going to mind if you walk in the door thirsty for knowledge about our natural areas and their inhabitants. It’s only $40, or $25 if you’re a student. The full schedule is here.

Still fighting to save an Illinois treasure

August 5 , 2012

Starved Rock v. Mississippi Sand: It’s not over ’til it’s over

It seems more than ironic to me that the home page for Starved Rock State Park contains this phrase: “VOTED THE #1 ATTRACTION IN THE STATE OF ILLINOIS – is a world apart from anything else in Illinois! You will know it the minute you enter the park, as you wind your car through the towering trees.”

I wonder how long it will continue to be the number one attraction in Illinois…if Mississippi Sand LLC is allowed to scar the eastern entrance with an open pit mine that will produce silica sand to be used in the fracking process…and don’t even get me started on that. We’re told that it will bring around 39 jobs to the area. Please look at that number–39! Meanwhile, Starved Rock is a destination for more than two million visitors each year.

And if you want to know how dangerous that sand can be, you might want to sneak a peak as this Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for Mississippi Sand LLC sent to me by listener–and lawyer–Steven Penn. He just happens to be part of Penn Rakauski, a firm that handles asbestos-related cases, though he has written to me about the dangers of silicosis, which can be caused by exposure to the very dust that will be kicked up in this mine. As Penn states, ” Company websites are often the best evidence against them.”

The battle to preserve the natural wonders that make Starved Rock unique continues to rage–if not much in the press (when’s the last time you saw a news story?), then certainly between environmental and civic groups and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). The problem is that IDNR has a mandate not only to protect our natural resources, but to facilitate their extraction, too.

As I told IDNR Director Marc Miller at Governor Pat Quinn’s signing of the landfill ban legislation on Chicago’s south side a couple of weeks ago, “You can’t serve two masters.” He didn’t argue with me.

So where does that leave us right now? Basically, wondering whether IDNR, which has stalled, obfuscated and been fairly opaque in this matter (in my opinion), will finally get around to having public hearings. Recently, the Illinois Chapter of the Sierra Club, which has been one of the groups in the center of this fight, sent out a letter outlining the situation. They started with the statement, “The fight to protect Starved Rock State Park from an open pit frac sand mine isn’t over.” But protecting the park won’t be easy. From their letter:

Unfortunately IDNR’s Office of Mines and Minerals approved Mississippi Sand‘s mining permit on June 15th and has sent the company a bond and fee letter. A written response from the company with the correct financial information will finalize the mining permit. There is no regulatory deadline for responding to the letter and we suspect that the company will want to be assured that their air and water permits are good to go before responding.

Before approving a permit DNR is supposed to consider the short and long term impacts ((see 62 Ill. Adm. Code 300.70(a)) but there are no findings documents detailing such work. We are concerned that the Office of Mines and Minerals is simply deferring to the county decision rather than using their regulatory authority to truly evaluate all the impacts. The Sierra Club is also concerned with the DNRs response to the citizen complaint letter that was written in March that had voiced project concerns and requested a public hearing under the Illinois Rivers and Streams Act. DNR gave a one-page response to a detailed 10-page letter and did not respond until July 3, almost 20 days after they had already approved the permit. This untimely response along with their response to comments submitted during the public availability session have been disappointing and show a lack of care for both our beloved state park and the surrounding residents. (Emphasis mine)

At the meeting we also asked for air and water monitoring to establish current conditions on the site. Right now no baseline monitoring is required nor are there permit conditions requiring monthly monitoring once operations begin. The air and water and related construction permits from IEPA are on a slower timeline and we are hopeful that the numerous comments generated will cause the decision makers to think twice before approving the permits.

In the meantime individual calls to the Governor and Lieutenant Governor as well as the director of the Office of Mines and Minerals at IDNR about your concerns related to this mine project will help ensure basic protections are put in place for humans and wildlife.

Governor Pat Quinn: 217-782-0244
Lt. Governor Sheila Simon: 217-558-3085
Michael Woods- Director of OMM at IDNR: 217-782-6791

Fortunately, friends of Starved Rock seem to have found a friend in Thomas Davis, Chief of the Environmental Bureau in the State Attorney General’s office. He has fired off letters to Anne Mankowski, Director, Illinois Nature Preserves Commission; Randy Heinhorn, Acting Director, Illinois Nature Preserves Commission; and Michael Woods, Acting Director for the Office of Mines and Minerals of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

It doesn’t take much reading between the lines to see that he’s not pleased with the way the permitting process has been proceeding. In particular, he seems concerned that due process is being circumvented in regard to the Illinois Natural Areas Preservation Act and the Consultation Procedures for Assessing Impacts of Agency Actions on Endangered and Threatened Species and Natural Areas at Part 1075. He writes to Michael Woods:

Your letter, however, takes an unduly narrow view of your agency’s statutory obligations: “The Department has no authority to consider potential mining in reviewing this application as the expansion of the mine would be speculative due to unknown market conditions and other variables in the future.” I respectfully suggest that there is plenty of legal authority. The scope of mining proposal is certainly not speculative; the company detailed its plans in the proceedings before the county board. Please consider that a public hearing as requested by the Illinois River Coordinating Council and concerned citizens would allow the Office of Mines and Minerals to properly evaluate all proposed mining, its short and long term impacts, and to determine whether a permit may be issued. After all, the Office of Mines and Minerals is not required by the Act to issue a permit. The statutory language (“shall approve”) is directory and not mandatory where the legislature delegates to an agency discretion to be exercised under certain conditions. In other words, Section 5(g) mandates a conservation and reclamation plan prior to issuance of a mining permit and directs approval of such a plan if it complies with the statutory requirements.

I would encourage you to allow a public hearing on the mine proposal; this is admittedly a discretionary matter, but certainly good government. The consultation requirement, however, is mandatory and the Office of Mines and Minerals must comply with the Part 1075 rules.

We’ll see if pressure from the Attorney General’s office can slow down this unhealthy juggernaut. To discuss the issue with me this morning, I welcome Tracy Yang, Clean Water Organizer from the Illinois Chapter of the Sierra Club, and Steven R. Penn of Penn Rakauski.

Three events that will help the planet…and I’m MC at one of them

#1.- Join me out in lovely Caledonia, Illinois for the 5th Annual Peak Harvest Farm Dinner benefit on Saturday, August 11! The event benefits Angelic Organics Learning Center, which helps urban and rural people build local food systems. They reach more than 4,000 people each year through their programs at partner farms and urban growing sites in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin.

The dinner, from 5:00 to 8:00 pm, will be a seasonal 5-course gourmet meal in the beautiful fields of Angelic Organics, 1547 Rockton Road, Caledonia, IL. Dishes will be prepared by some of the region’s most recognized chefs, including:

Marc Bernard of  Big Bowl
Molly Johnson of  Calihan Catering
Christine Cikowski and Joshua Kulp of  Sunday Dinner
Nathan Chappell of  Rushing Waters Fisheries
William Harriman of  Angelic Organics

For folks from Chicago, there will be an exclusive pre-event reception at 2:00 p.m. at  Big Bowl , 60 E. Ohio St., Chicago, and ride a shuttle bus to the farm. Enjoy seasonal appetizers and cocktails, courtesy of Chef Marc Bernard. Purchase your ticket and reserve your seat here.

Sponsors for the event include Whole Foods Market, Urban Partnership Bank
The LeFort Martin Fund of the Chicago Community Trust  All proceeds from this annual fundraiser benefit the educational programs of Angelic Organics Learning Center. For additional information visit http://www.learngrowconnect.org/farmdinner or call Corinne at 773-288-5462

Dinner tickets: $150 Bus tickets (from Chicago): $25.

Corinne Henry, Director of Development and Communications at Angelic Organics Learning Center, joins me on the show this morning to talk about the shindig.

#2 – “An Evening at the Garden” is this Thursday, August 9, from 6-8pm at the Kilbourn Park Organic Greenhouse.

You might remember that they had their wonderful plant sale in May. As a matter of fact, I grabbed some tomatoes, peppers, ground cherries, tomatillos and borage for my community garden Green on McLean at that sale.

Chef Jeff Adamek and Pastry Chef Jennifer Templeton are creating appetizers featuring produce that comes straight out of the Kilbourn Park garden. Here’s some of what they’ll be offering:

Bacon, kale, and tomato on brioche with sweet pepper conserves
Savory flatbreads with:
Tomato, roasted garlic, oregano and pecorino cheese
Roasted peppers, basil pesto, and fresh chevre
Mint Creek lamb, rosemary, feta, and kale
Berry custard filled pate choux with cantaloupe mint salad

But wait, there’s more! There will be live acoustic guitar jazz and a silent auction that includes unique hand crafted items for your garden. The goal is to raise enough money to begin work on the new Nature’s Playground, a natural play space within the garden, and to improve the infrastructure of the greenhouse (which sorely needs it, if I may speak from personal observation).

Tickets are available at Brown Paper Tickets. $40 per person in advance (Kids under 12 are half price) Tickets at the event will be $45/adult; $25/child. Kirsten Akre from Kilbourn Park Organic Greenhouse drops by today to talk about the event.

#3 – Explore a full weekend of alternative energy and sustainable living at the 11th annual Illinois Renewable Energy & Sustainable Lifestyle Fair at the Ogle County Fairgrounds in Oregon, IL.. It’s sponsored, of course, by the Illinois Renewable Energy Association (IREA) and it takes place Saturday, August 11th, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and Sunday, August 12th, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Keynote Presenters will be Paul Fenn (Local Power), Fred Kirschenmann (Redesigning the Human Adventure: Challenges & Opportunities) and John Perlin (History of Solar Homes in the Midwest). There are seminars, workshops and booths that will get you moving toward incorporating renewable energy in your everyday life.

And talk about a bargain! Here are the admission prices:

Adults: $5/1 day or $7/2 days
Youth: $3/1day or $5/2 days
Children: (under 12 in the company of a parent) Free
IREA Members: Free

There you are, kids. Go to one or more of these fun, interesting events and help change the world.

Attack of the Congress and the Tweeters

March 6, 2011

Congress attacks the Clean Air Act…and that’s just for starters

As if it’s not bad enough that 80 years or more of collective bargaining rights in America are suddenly being trampled like so much turf at an outdoor rock concert, the quality of the very air we breathe is also in serious jeopardy. On Thursday, a bill was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives that would permanently block the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gas emissions. Hey, and while we’re at it, why don’t we just legalize soot? All in favor…

It kind of feels like piling on, considering that the measure to fund the government through the
remainder of the fiscal year, known as the Continuing Resolution, is being calledthe
greatest legislative assault on the environment in decades by the League of Conservation Voters, which recently released its National Environmental Scorecard for the Second Session of the 111th Congress. However, given the extraordinary nature of the the proposed budget, the LCV put out an addendum, stating,

The introduced text of H.R. 1, the Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act of 2011, contains numerous so-called “policy riders” that block enforcement of vital environmental and public health laws, which jeopardize the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the wildlife and wild places we hold dear. These include provisions undermining the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the federal “Wild Lands” policy that restores our ability to set aside backcountry lands for Congress to determine whether they merit the ultimate protection of Wilderness.

And that’s just the measure that would keep our country running for another few months. Isn’t politics fun, kids?

Another group that is keeping an eye on how well our elected officials are caring for our air and water is Environment Illinois. Director Max Muller returns to the program this morning to talk about the Illinois delegation scorecard. If you want to know whether or not your representative is interested in protecting you from environmental harm, tune in or catch the podcast.

Growing the good life, one vegetable at a time

[Update: Michele Owens’ appearance on the show prompted a flurry of Tweets from listeners who thought that she gave out bad information after a caller wanted to know how to plant a vegetable garden in an area of his yard that had previously been occupied by his dogs. If you want to hear the entire conversation, log on to my podcast of the show. The conversation with Michele starts about halfway through the file. She also wrote about the incident a few days later on the Garden Rant Blogsite.]

I’m thinking about posting something on Garden Rant. I’ll get to that in a second. You might recall that Garden Rant is a blog site devoted to…um, ranting about all kinds of gardening things. You might also remember that the four protagonists (conspirators?) of Garden Rant were in town last year for the annual Independent Garden Center Show at Navy Pier, where I served them mimosas. I am nothing if not a gracious host.

One of the four, Michele Owens, is back in the city for the Chicago Flower & Gardens Show, mainly because she has come out with a book, Grow the Good Life: Why a Vegetable Garden Will Make You Happy, Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise. Now to my rant:

I hate it when people write the book I wish I had written! And do it with wit and ease and charm. She writes in complete, understandable and often memorable sentences. What’s up with that? Geez, she makes growing vegetables sound like something everybody should do. Who is she kidding? She tells you that cultivating your backyard might actually be good for you on many levels–contributing to the health of your body, your psyche, your wallet and even your taste buds. Tell it to the judge, girlie! And if that isn’t bad enough, this Owens dame is fomenting revolution. A lot of you are going to finish the book, march out the back door, grab a pitchfork and scratch some soil with it. Then you’re going to plant seeds! Outrageous! What’s next? Watering and caring for your seedlings and watching them grown and harvesting them and eating them? Quelle 19th Century! So go ahead. Buy the book. I mean it. Buy the darned thing. Make Michele Owens rich. See if I care. I’m going back to bed.

Good Growing: Who the heck is MOSES?

Actually, I should be asking “What the heck is MOSES.” Because the answer is Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service. Sheri Doyel, Program Director of the Farmer Training Initiative at Angelic Organics Learning Center, is just back from the 22nd Annual Moses Organic Farming Conference in LaCrosse, Wisconsin. It’s largest organic farming conference in the country, and this year set a new a new attendance record, as 3,000 attendees, mostly farmers, showed up. Sheri gives us the scoop on what she–and they–learned.

I’m speaking at the Chicago Flower & Garden Show

As I mentioned earlier, this is the week to get all hot and bothered about spring in Chicago…even though you really won’t be doing anything for at least another month. However, that’s what the Chicago Flower & Garden Show at Navy Pier is all about–whipping gardeners into a frenzy, and then sending them home into the snow to sulk. Hey, it IS Chicago, after all. And it IS still March.

Anyway, I’m speaking there this Wednesday, March 9 at 11:30 a.m. My topic: Trowel, Spade and Google. Don’t be frightened, little ones. It’s just a talk that will help you maximize your Internet use for gardening purposes. I hope you can stop by. Meanwhile, here’s when some of my friends are speaking:

  • Sun, March 6, 12:15 p.m. – Melinda Myers Year Round Garden-tainment
  • Sun, March 6, 2:30 p.m. – Jeff Lowenfels No More Chemicals in the Garden
  • Sun, March 6, 2:45 p.m. – John Eskandari Nativars in the Landscape
  • Mon, March 7, 12:15 p.m. – Rich Eyre Captivating Conifers for the Landscape
  • Mon, March 7, 6:15 p.m. – Rich Eyre Inspirational Gardens
  • Tues, March 8, 6:15 p.m. – Beth Botts Start Here: Basic Steps for the New Gardener
  • Wed, March 9, 2:45 p.m. – Doris Taylor Shade Gardening: Planting Under Mature Trees
  • Wed, March 9, 6:15 p.m. – Nancy Clifton What’s Hot in Pots: Trends for 2011
  • Thur, March 10, 2:30 p.m. – Christy Webber Green Roofs in Chicago: Leading the Way
  • Thur, March 10, 6:15 p.m. – Ken Benson Winners for the Midwest
  • Fri, March 11, 2:45 p.m. – Jim DeHorn Become Your Own Tree Expert
  • Sat, March 12, 12:15 p.m. – Beth Botts Taming the Wild Ones: How to Welcome Native Plants into a Well-Behaved Garden
  • Sat, March 12, 2:30 p.m. – LaManda Joy Chicago Victory Gardens: Yesterday and Tomorrow
  • Sun, March 13, 11:00 a.m. – Ken Benson Designing with Hydrangeas
  • Sun, March 13, 1:30 p.m. – Nancy Clifton A What’s Hot in Pots: Trends for 2011