Tag Archives: Logan Square Kitchen

Saving Starved Rock and Losing Logan Square Kitchen

May 20, 2012

Starved Rock update: IEPA hearing next week – you can weigh in

I received a newsletter the other day from Tess Wendel at the Illinois Chapter of the Sierra Club concerning the ongoing process to site an open pit sand mine next to the eastern entrance of Starved Rock State Park. It read in part:

The fight to protect Starved Rock State Park from Mississippi Sand’s frac sand mine isn’t over! Our push for transparency and public involvement in the permitting process has paid off.

The Illinois EPA is holding a public availability session to answer questions about the permits Mississippi Sand has applied for and collect comments related to the air and water permits under their jurisdiction.

Representatives from DNR and the Historic Preservation Agency and Mississippi Sand will also be available to answer questions.

Mississippi Sand has applied for its mining permit from the Department of Natural Resources and related air and water permits from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency but none have been granted due to the numerous concerns voiced by Sierra Club and our partners.

The Sierra Club has coordinated with locals in the area to write a detailed citizen complaint letter to the IDNR about our concerns for the project and to request a public hearing under the Illinois Rivers and Streams Act. We also requested a hearing for the air permit and asked that Mississippi Sand be required to obtain an individual permit for wastewater discharge from the mine, which will offer more opportunity for additional environmental protections. Recently we have been working with the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency and local tribes to require Mississippi Sand to do a phase one archeological survey because a 1987 University of Illinois study found relics from as far back as 10,000 years old on the site.

There is a link to a page on the Sierra Club site where you can write to IEPA to voice your concerns. There is also a page of talking points about this issue.

Tess Wendell is on the show this morning to talk more about the meeting next Wednesday, May 23 at at Illinois Valley Community College, 815 N Orlando Smith Road, Oglesby, IL 61348 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.

She tells me that this should not be considered a traditional public hearing because it is more informal than that. She likens it to an open house, where each agency will have representatives to answer questions about the permits and how the mine will affect their organization and constituents. She’s also counting on the IEPA to report pertinent comments and information to other agencies, including the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

She considers the session an opportunity to ask tough questions about how the natural areas near the site as well as the health of residents and visitors to the area will be protected. Ultimately, IEPA has to decide if the project is likely to cause enough detriment to deny permits.

What I can’t figure out is why the IDNR hasn’t played a larger role in this decision…at least not to this point. After all, it is the IDNR that issues the mining permit and, according to Illinois Sierra Club, must “consider the short and long term impact of the proposed mining on vegetation, wildlife, fish, land use, land values, local tax base, the economy of the region and the State, employment opportunities, air pollution, water pollution, soil contamination, noise pollution and drainage.”

Wendel argues that IDNR should have its own public hearing and comment period. And it’s strange that IDNR did not particpate in the LaSalle County hearings on the proposed mine, even though they are an adjacent landowner. Says Illinois Sierra Club:

The Department did not represent the citizens of the state to protect OUR lands. IDNR needs to establish a mechanism by which it can both serve its role as the permitting agency for activities such as mining and oil and gas drilling while also standing up as the protector of our state’s lands.

I received this message just the other day from Vicki Tracy, a concerned citizen who lives in Ottawa:

Since the initial flurry of activity when Mississippi Sand first made their intentions known, it seems that there has been the feeling that…..well, that Mississippi Sand has gotten their way. What people need to know is that it is not a done deal, this is not some forgotten piece of land, abandoned to those who see no other value in it except the dollars that they can put in their pockets at the expense of our native people’s ancestral history, or the water and air quality of future generations. Do we really think people want to come to Starved Rock to breath the freshly disbursed silica dust?  This land sits at the feet of our crowned jewel!

This whole thing reminds me of the story of “The Goose that Laid the Golden Egg”. Are we really that eager to tear open this beautiful land, rich in great natural diversity and of archeological importance. The only gold in this goose is for Mississippi Sand, and the people of LaSalle County will be left with the carcass.

This should not be a rush to rip open the land only to find later that we should have thought about it more carefully, studied it more thoroughly and planed out what kind of legacy we really want to leave future generations. I understand there needs to be a balance. There comes a point however when the scale may tip  in the wrong direction and we have thrown away what can not be replaced.

If you want to get involved, write to Tess Wendel at Tess.Wendel@sierraclub.org. All comments to the IEPA should be submitted by May 31st to Brad Frost, Illinois EPA, 1021 N. Grand Ave. E., P.O. Box 19506, Springfield, IL 62794.

Chicago bureaucracy wins; Logan Square Kitchen will close

I can’t believe that it’s been more than two years since I first reported on the difficulties that shared use kitchens were facing in the City of Chicago. It started when Department of Health inspectors destroyed thousands of dollars of fruit purees owned by pastry chef Flora Lazar and stored at Kitchen Chicago.

It wasn’t a health issue, it was a licensing issue. And while the food destruction was not repeated over the next couple of years, the harassment of shared use kitchens by various city agencies, specifically the Dept of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP), continued. Why? That’s the $64,000 question. To some degree, it was because shared use kitchens represented something bold and new–and bureaucracies abhor pretty much anything bold and new.

In January of 2011, I met Zina Murray, owner and operator of Logan Square Kitchen, in my own neighborhood. In fact, I spent some time in court with Murray last August, when she fought and successfully beat an attempt by the Chicago Department of Health to fine her $500 for a violation that she considered “groundless.” This was after LSK was inspected 19 times in 2 years (the law requires 2 inspections per year, FYI).

But Murray continued to fight, coming up with a 5 step program to reform the Chicago Department of Health. This was on the heels of a city ordinance that was passed in May of 2011 and which was suppose to make it easier for shared use kitchens to exist.

And then, wonder of wonders, Mayor Rahm Emanuel himself showed up at Logan Square Kitchen on April 17 to announce a new ordinance that would streamline business licensing, making it faster and easier for businesses to operate in Chicago.

Less than a month later, Zina Murray announced that Logan Square Kitchen would close forever on June 28.

What the hell happened? From her own post about her decision, Murray writes:

It’s a sad time when our government kills the very things that can heal our City.  Logan Square Kitchen was designed to heal the local economy, environment and food system all at once.  It was an innovative, bold idea that never had its chance.  The Dept of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) began hammering nails in its coffin before we even opened our doors in 2009 and hasn’t stopped.  Unfortunately, we see no end to regulatory burdens, which will continue to block our ability to grow a healthy business.

Over and over we heard, “you did everything right.” See the Alderman before building purchase. All City Depts approve us through Green Building Permit Program. Go to BACP in advance of applying for license, completely disclosing the business model.   Spend 3 months talking about what licenses we needed. Apply as directed.  Told we ‘misrepresented’ our business. Told we can’t have license caused we’ve failed our “furniture inspection.” Correct that, and get licenses contingent on conditions we can’t meet.  Then the Zoning folks try to shut us down. 20 health inspections.  18 months wrapped in red tape.  Enduring intimidation and harassment, the resources we set aside to ramp up the business were instead used to pay lawyers and our mortgage while we were denied the right to operate.

When our licensing difficulties ceased, they were just beginning for our clients. Before the “helpful” Shared Kitchen Ordinance that took effect Sept 1, 2011, we got clients licensed in a week or two.  Of course, we had to be inspected by Health each time. Now, we’re the inspections have stopped, but it takes 1-3 months and multiple trips to City Hall.  Unfortunately, Mayor Emmanuel’s new ‘streamlining’ of business license ordinance that passed last week does not offer any streamlining for shared kitchens.

It should come as no surprise that we must close.  LSK is collateral damage from choices that City employees make each day—people that have lost the ability to connect their actions with the consequences they cause.  In all the many, many meetings I’ve had in City Hall in the past three years, there’s a question no one ever asks.  “Is it good for our City?”

That prompted a response from the city, specifically the BACP:

“We are sorry to hear that an innovative, neighborhood business such as Logan Square Kitchen is closing. From Day 1, BACP worked with Logan Square kitchen to properly license their facility – just as other businesses with the same activities require – and even helped them with their state liquor license. BACP has not had any issues with LSK or issued any citations since assisting them through the permitting process. The City wants to help businesses while also ensuring that they are safe, sanitary, and operating legally. This is why we now have an emerging business permit to help new business models get up and running while we determine how to license and regulate.”

And that led to this from Murray:

As many times as I’ve heard these statements of deep denial, I’m blown away every time. I imagine that BACP Commissioner Rosemary Krimbel approved this statement for release. And you can see her standing behind the Mayor in the video of the press conference at our place (she’s the blond in the black jacket.) So how does she reconcile this statement with the statements the Mayor made, as she nods away? About 9 minutes in to the video, the Mayor describes how the proliferation of licenses and burdensome process has “small businesses focused on City Hall and not on their customer. And that is wrong.” As I said yesterday, we are BACP’s collateral damage. Yet here we are, staring at BACP’s statement that my experience is required and BACP conduct was normal.

The Mayor said he believes that “small businesses are the lifeblood of economic activity and job creation” in Chicago. Unfortunately, too many of us leave too much blood on the 8th floor of City Hall.

Here’s the real problem that the BACP statement illustrates. The same people and culture are still in place. Many BACP bureaucrats said NO to LSK to relieve themselves of the responsibility of YES. And plenty more watched silently while we twisted in the wind. We are all responsible for our conduct. And our conduct defines our character. We must hold our public servants accountable for their actions– otherwise we give tacit approval to their behavior, and on it goes.

In the green world, we would describe BACP’s behavior as unsustainable– it is destroying the resources upon which it depends. It’s a pretty short walk from vital business activity to the salaries, benefits and pensions of our public servants. BACP, your choices have consequences, and the LSK closure is the tip of the iceberg. I hope you can begin to connect the dots, cause we don’t get out of this mess unless we work together.

Last but not least, Murray thinks that Mayor Rahm Emanuel is unfairly being blamed for the demise of her facility. In her post, Our Mayor’s getting a bum rap, she explains that he was a victim of bad timing.

Well, Ms. Murray is entitled to her opinion and I’m entitled to mine. Just as I hold former Mayor Richard M. Daley accountable for not getting recycling done in Chicago, I can hold Mayor Rahm Emanuel accountable for not reigning in unreasonable bureaucrats. That’s part of the job, you know. If you want to take credit for the City’s accomplishments, you have to take some of the heat for its failures. Logan Square Kitchen should never have been allowed to go under.

Saving a shared kitchen, an heirloom seed company and a spectacular lakeshore ecosystem

September 4 , 2011

Logan Square Kitchen update

Last week I talked about the hoops of fire that Zina Murray, who is literally chief cook and bottle washer at the Logan Square Kitchen has been jumping through to keep her facility operating in the City of Chicago. After months of having her shared kitchen space harassed by the Chicago Department of Public Health, Murray decided that she had had enough and started a petition to make the Department of Public Health more responsible to innovative businesses like hers, which gives food entrepreneurs access to a commercial kitchen on an hourly basis.

I’ve decided to add a link to her petition on my home page. The icon keeps you up to date on the number of people who have signed the online document. (At this writing, more than 550 concerned individuals had signed the petition in little over a week.)

You might think that spending endless hours fighting CDPH and finally resorting to calling out the city in a public petition would be all that a small entrepreneur would have to endure.

But you would be wrong.

The Department of Public Health is not the only agency that has been making Murray’s life one massive Excedrin headache. Last week, I wrote about how City Council had recently passed a new Shared Kitchens Ordinance. It went into effect on September 1, and its goal was to streamline the licensing process for kitchens like LSK. Did I mention that there are now only TWO shared kitchens in Chicago? It’s not exactly the easiest way to make a living. So, in essence, the new ordinance was passed to regulate exactly TWO businesses in the city.

Enter the Chicago Department of Business Affairs, which is yet another agency that has the power to stop a budding business dead in its tracks. And if you read Murray’s latest LSK blog, you might be convinced that that’s exactly what they have in mind. She reveals a litany of unreasonable demands from Business Affairs, which include

1. The business license will take the form of a picture ID badge, so owner and license must always be in Kitchen during production. If restaurants had to do this, the owner would have to be in kitchen for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day or be closed. Sick? Funeral? Your business has to shut down, even if you have employees with sanitation certification.

2. Want to grow and have employees? They have to get their own license, $330 per pop. No other food businesses are required to license chefs individually.

3. License must travel with you to remote locations. Let’s imagine the chefs at Lollapallooza posting their business licenses out at the concert. How about every caterer that has a gig at the Chicago Cultural Center or Public Library?

And that’s just the beginning. She finishes by saying

Today is Logan Square Kitchen’s second birthday. A year ago, there were three shared kitchen in Chicago. Today, there are two. You can bet no one else is rushing to open one. If I knew then what I know now, I would have never opened LSK.

What the City is doing to this woman is unconscionable. You might want to drop Mayor Rahm Emanuel a note on the Chicago Mayor’s Office Facebook page to let him know that you know B.S. when you see it.

Do you love heirlooms? Save Landreth Seed Company!

There has been an explosion of activity on Facebook and Twitter in the last few days over the news that the oldest seed house in America, Landreth Seed Company, is in deep financial trouble and might go under. I’ll let company owner Barbara Melera tell the story:

My husband, Peter, and I have been working to restore this historic American company for the past 8 years.

… We set about to restore this Company because it is the most historically important American small business in existence. It is the only American company, still operating daily, that existed when this country became a nation. Its founders were honorable men who helped establish and guide the agricultural and horticultural industries of this country in the 1700s, the 1800s and the 1900s. Landreth exemplifies American business and the ethics and integrity that built this nation.

On Wednesday, August 31, 2011, the Company’s accounts were frozen by a garnishment order initiated by a Baltimore law firm. If this garnishment order is not satisfied within the next 30 days, Landreth will cease to exist and a part of America’s history will be lost forever. I need to sell 1 million 2012 catalogs to satisfy this garnishment and the cascade of other indebtedness which this order has now initiated.

If you want to help save this piece of America, if you love gardening and heirloom seeds, if you care about righting the injustices of a legal system badly in need of repair, then please help Landreth. Please purchase a Landreth catalog, and if you can afford it, purchase several for your friends. Please send this link to everyone you know, www.landrethseeds.com. One million catalogs is a big number, but with the internet it is achievable. Please help us to save Landreth.

Mr. Brown Thumb also has an informative post which reveals that not only is Landreth one of the few woman-owned seed companies in America, it also has an African-American Hertiage seed line.

This already has echoes of what happened just a few short weeks ago when Sid’s Greenhouses were forced to close their doors. In that case, it was the banksters who pulled the trigger. In this case, it seems to be the lawyers. Yup, two of everybody’s favorite groups–banks and lawyers.

So what can you do? Obviously, BUY A CATALOG RIGHT NOW!. The social media are all over this, with Facebook sites Landreth Seed Co, Save Landreth Seed Company, Save Landreth Seed Company, Order their 2012 Catalog!, and probably more. If you’re on Twitter, use the hashtag #savelandreth.

It’s a measure of how well loved this company is that even their competitors are urging people to buy catalogs to save the company.

Openlands Lakeshore Preserve prepares for its grand opening

It was eight short months ago that I was trudging through snow drifts on the shore of Lake Michigan just 25 miles north of Chicago. It was an opportunity to see how Openlands was reviving, restoring and recreating a preciously rare fresh water lake ravine ecosystem.

Many people in northeast Illinois have always known this area along Lake Michigan as Ft. Sheridan. Geologically speaking, it lies on part of the Highland Park moraine, which formed as the final glacier retreated from northern Illinois about 10,000 years ago. And it’s part of the Lake Border Moraines Bluff Coast, a hilly area that extends from the town of North Chicago at the north end to Winnetka at the south. At that point that the land flattens out again and remains relatively even through Wilmette, Evanston, and on into Chicago.

From 1888 to 1993, Ft. Sheridan was a U.S. Army military base. When the base was closed under the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Act of 1989, the land was dispersed among the U.S. Army, the U.S. Navy, the newly-created town of Ft. Sheridan and the Lake County Forest Preserve District. Later, in 2004, a federal law authorized the transfer of the bluffs, ravines, and shoreline at Fort Sheridan to a non-profit land conservation organization for the purpose of providing permanent protection. In 2006 Openlands acquired the land and, nn 2007 two major grants—$4 million from the Grand Victoria Foundation and $2 million from the Hamill Family Foundation— jump-started the first phase of site improvements at the Preserve, which focused on extensive ecosystem restoration efforts in Bartlett Ravine.

That winding stretch of land has been renamed the Openlands Lakeshore Preserve, and the tour I took in February was Bartlett Ravine, with guides Robert Megquier, Director of Land Preservation, and Aimee Collins, Openlands Lakeshore Preserve Site Manager.

A few days ago, I returned, and you can see the video slide show of the tour on the home page. Aimee again led the way, but because this was a mere week before the grand opening celebration, we ran into Robert Megquier on site. As you can see in the slide show, workers were feverishly putting the finishing touches on the preserve, in anticipation of officially opening the gates on Saturday, September 10, 2011 at 11:00 a.m.

The Grand Opening of the Openlands Lakeshore Preserve will feature children’s art activities and scavenger hunt, birds of prey demonstration, stunt kite demonstration (with intermittent breaks, please bring your own kite(s) for flying), tours of the preserve (plants, art, and general), and even tours in Spanish Spanish). Click on this link to get directions. The event is free and open to the public.

What you’ll see are 77 acres of varied terrain, including three lush ravines, towering bluffs (some rising 70 feet above the beach) with overlooks affording sweeping lake vistas, and an innovative interpretive plan that helps visitors understand and connect with this truly unique environment.

As in February Openlands President and CEO Jerry Adelmann will stop by the show today to talk about this magnificent accomplishment. To date, Openlands has raised $10.3 million of the $12 million required to complete the project from corporations, foundations, and individuals. If you would like to contribute to the Campaign for the Openlands Lakeshore Preserve, please contact Openlands Director of Development Jennifer Mullman via e-mail or by phone at 312-863-6261.

If you have a little more cash to contribute to the project, you might want to consider attending La Grande Preserve: A Benefit for the Openlands Lakeshore Preserve, a week from today at the preserve. It starts at the ungodly hour of 5:00 a.m., but you’ll get a special tour of the trails, overlooks and ravines and enjoy a delicious picnic by Froggy’s catering. Proceeds from the event will support ongoing ecological restoration and public education programs at the Preserve.

Sustainable Food Fundamentals:
Another visit from organic trailblazer Kinnikinnick Farm

I haven’t talked to David Cleverdon of Kinnikinnick Farm in Caledonia, Illinois, since last March when he told me stories about what it was like to be an organic farmer in Illinois in the “old days”–1994. He said when he would offer his vegetables at the Rockford Farmers market, people would see his sign, say something like ” He’s that organic guy,” and continue walking by.

Well, I won’t say that he’s in the mainstream now, but he’s a lot closer than he was 17 years ago. But farming is farming, whether you’re doing it organically or not, and one of the big challenges is weather. In fact, when I caught up with David yesterday to confirm his spot on today’s show, he told me that dealing with weather issues over the past few years has caused him to change the way he runs his operation.

I tried to ask him more about that but he said he was dealing with a group of children who were milking a goat. I feel his pain. When we talk today, I guess I’ll ask him about that, too.

By the way, Kinnikinnick Farm is an established, cerified, organic farm that sells produce directly to Chicago chefs and farmers market customers. The farm grows a wide variety of greens, heirloom tomatoes, root crops, and seasonal vegetables starting with asparagus and snap peas in the Spring and ending with butternut squash and sun-chokes in the Fall.

They sell their produce every Wednesday in Chicago at the Green City Market in Lincoln Park and every Saturday at the Evanston Farmers Market, corner of University Place & Oak Ave.

Taking on the City, the Media and Winter

August 28, 2011

Sustainable Food Fundamentals:
Logan Square Kitchen is officially FED UP, takes on Chicago Department of Public Health

I spent part of Thursday afternoon in court. It wasn’t about me, though. I was supporting Zina Murray, who has been a guest on my radio program and who runs the Logan Square Kitchen. It is self-described as a ” private event space that supports a commercial kitchen available to small food businesses. Known as a ‘shared kitchen,’ LSK gives food entrepreneurs access to a commercial kitchen on an hourly basis–long before they could afford [to create a space of their own].  As a greenhouse for little businesses, we give culinary talent a place to develop.”

When they’re not being harassed by the Chicago Department of Public Health, that is.

That might sound like an over-the-top statement. Until you understand that LSK has been inspected 19 times in 2 yearsThe law requires two per year. The latest inspection resulted in a violation notice and a $500 fine. Murray, in the documentation she brought to court, calls the violation “groundless,” and “retaliation for questionting a decision made by Chicago Health Department Supervisor Arleen Lopez.”

If you want to see how your hard-earned tax dollars are spent by Chicago’s Department of Public Health, Murray details the events of the August 2 inspection and subsequent fine–with photos–here. Read it and judge for yourself. She notes that with 30-something health inspectors and some 20,000 restaurants in Chicago, taxpayers are not getting much bang for our buck when the same spotlessly-clean shared kitchen space is inspected 11 times in 9 months.

So I found myself in court because I wanted to see for myself how justice works in the Windy City. Here’s part of the post that Zina wrote following her appearance:

LSK appearance in Administrative Hearings yesterday resulted in a finding of ‘not liable’–  so no fine.  Note the court does not find you ‘innocent’.  There is no right or wrong in administrative hearings, only liable or not liable.  It acts like a court, but when I requested the Judge order CDPH to issue a new, clean inspection report, her response was, “I can’t do that.” Whaaaa?  A court with no remedy?

So the ‘court’ in Administrative Hearings can fine me, find me at fault, or dismiss charges or find me not liable.  But NO remedies are available to me in the Dept. of Administrative Hearings.  I still have an inspection report posted with three groundless violations on it, and every client in a farmer’s market or outdoor festival must submit.  So there’s a meeting/phone call/email every time to explain that, ‘yes I have violations, but they have been corrected.  Yes, I am still open.’  Yada, yada. CPDH, the gift that keeps on giving.

It’s insane, really. LSK hosted the Chicago Recycling Coalition‘s fundraiser last week, and because I’m CRC President, I got to see the LSK space up close and personal. Let me put it this way. I don’t know how many people would literally be willing to eat off the floor there. But I would. It’s that clean. Oh, by the way, did I mention that Zina Murray donated use of the space to CRC because she thought it was a good cause?

So why the fuss over an obviously well-loved and well-managed small business in Logan Square? To get a sense of that, you might want to take a look at an article in the Chicago Reader last October called Bread & Circuses: Will the city’s licensing laws catch up with new food business models in time to save Zina Murray’s Logan Square Kitchen? The advantages of LSK and other shared-use kitchens is also their chief problem. They allow small-food entrepreneurs to take advantage of the fully equipped and licensed spaces on an hourly basis. This is a benefit to caterers, bakers, confectioners, and others who either can’t afford their own kitchen or simply don’t need a full-time workspace.

The City of Chicago had a hard time wrapping its head around the licensing protocol. The small businesses needed licenses to operate, but when they applied for their papers, they were told that there was already a license for that space–namely Logan Square Kitchen. As for LSK, it got inspected every time a new client came into the building. It’s possible that this issue will be resolved when the new Shared Kitchens Ordinance goes into effect next month. Or maybe CDPH will find other, more creative ways to make Murray’s life miserable.

Meanwhile, in its own words, Logan Square Kitchen is FED UP. Murray started a petition to change the culture at the Department of Public Health. She offers five ways to make CDPH more efficient and accountable:

1. Our Local Food Community should be represented on the Chicago Board of Health—currently consisting of doctors and lawyers. Public health will benefit greatly from the perspective of those working to heal our local food system.

2. Food Safety Division of Chicago Dept. of Public Health needs fresh, qualified leadership—a person with a strong moral compass and food business background to serve a changing and vital sector of our economy. Get suggestions from successful food businesses and restaurants.

3. Provide an independent ombudsman to hear complaints and order corrective action.

4. Fire non-performing employees, no matter who they know or how long their tenure. Empower the right people in the right jobs to make changes as they see fit.

5. Engage us, the citizens of Chicago; we’re ready to participate in our government and work with City workers to make our City the envy of major cities worldwide. Let’s go!

Her goal is to get 23,000 signatures–one for each food business in Chicago. I’ve already signed. You go, girl!

Hurricane Irene: Meteorologist Rick DiMaio is on the job

As my radio show begins this morning, Hurrican Irene is pummeling New York City and much of the northeast coast. Such is the lot of meteorologists that the most important work they do is to help mitigate the misery of people in the path of destructive acts of nature.

I’m giving Rick as much time as I can to discuss the damage already wrought by this once-in-a-century event, and to inform us of what’s to come. If you are fascinated by weather as he an I are, you can follow the path of Irene at this website: http://www.stormpulse.com/atlantic.

Is it Fall already? I must have missed the memo

It must be–or at least pretty darned close–because I just received this years final Plant Health Care Report from the Morton Arboretum. This report, along with the Home, Yard & Garden Newsletter from University of Illinois Extension, are two of my favorite ways to keep abreast of what is going on in the plant world during the growing season.

I want to call your attention in particular to the article “An Ounce of Prevention in the Autumn” by Stephanie Adams. She gives some excellent advice about how some minor cleanup of your garden in the coming couple of months can save you needless heartache next spring and summer. You can find the story by clicking here and scrolling down the report.