Hipster Supported Ag...

I think of our programs with teens this way—Hipster Supported Agriculture. It’s a play on the concept of Community Supported Agriculture (that’s what all “CSA” stands for—those programs where you get your weekly tomatoes, carrots and inexplicable 12 pounds of celeriac). But it’s also a way to...

Communicate Everythi...

At Peterson Garden Project, we have a “five tricks” approach to volunteers: Communicate, Share, Listen, Assign, and Reward. The most important thing we do for volunteers is to communicate with them. The more pertinent information we share, the better every volunteer’s experience will be....

Cooking Like Your Gr...

When I first started gardening, Nin, my Chinese mother-in-law, brought me seeds. Winter melon. Long, sweet cucumbers, snow peas, black beans. And something she calls “han toi.” Years later I have figured out that han toi is probably something like quinoa. But she planted it for the dark red...

Tomato Talk With Joh...

Dr. John Taylor is well-known to the PGP communities at Global Gardens and Hello!Howard (and almost 20 gardens and urban farms throughout Chicago), where he ran a research project in 2014 to study tomato cultivars in urban growing conditions. John is interested in more than the best tomato to...

De-Mystifying Seed C...

Although seed catalogs started arriving weeks ago, it’s been hard to think about garden planning until this week (when the snow finally started to melt!), reminding us that spring is just around the corner. For some enthusiastic gardeners, the seed catalog is a giant wish list, with...

Your Grandma Made Du...

My grandma made dumplings. Everyone’s grandma made dumplings. Based on my grandma’s dumplings (Chinese), I think I would have to speculate that the Chinese invented the concept, because there are dozens of Chinese dumplings—boiled, deep-fried, pan-fried, baked, and steamed, with sweet,...

Is it time to start ...

Generally we suggest our new gardeners buy transplants the first year and wait until they have a season (or two) under their belts before they tackle seed starting. But if you’re ready, here’s some real-time info that will help you. The most important thing to consider is timing....

Cooking the Books

How many cookbooks do you have? And more to the point, how many cookbooks do you use? If you’re like us, you’ve got dozens, but you consistently go back to just two or three of them. (probably the same couple of recipes every time as well). Maybe it’s that bread recipe with your mother’s...

Part 2: Seed Startin...

If you’ve ever seen a volunteer tomato, dill or squash seedling pop up unexpectedly in your garden plot, you may think that starting seeds is as easy as dropping them in the soil and waiting. And it is – given the right temperature, moisture, soil, and passage of time. But getting...

Part 1: Seed Startin...

Start with clean plant pots, clean hands and a sterile seed starting mix. Most bagged mixes are already sterile. Starting seeds indoors in topsoil or compost can sometimes lead to fungal diseases in the seedlings, or too many nutrients that overwhelm the young plants. Moisten your seed...

Advice for New Garde...

As part of her fieldwork among PGP gardeners, Sarah R. Taylor, our research partner from Northwestern University, asked participants with at least 1-2 years’ experience to offer advice to new gardeners just starting out. Here are the top 5 responses, summed up in easy-to-digest bites: 1. Have...

VOW’s 2014

We like to celebrate our volunteers, as they are the very core of what makes our project successful. As a small thank you, each Volunteer of the Week (VOW) of 2014 had a chance to select three packets of seeds (Renee’s Dinner Garden or Seed Savers Exchange) from Matty K’s Hardware – our local...

Grow2Give

At this time of year, we often think of what we are thankful for, and give to others in need. With many food pantries and soup kitchens relying on donations or cheaply purchased leftover or unwanted food, fresh fruits and vegetables are a rare sight among staples like canned beans, rice and...

Indoor Herb Care ...

After the past few frosty weeks, fresh herbs on the windowsill are a welcome sight in the home of a gardener with an itchy green thumb. Whether you’ve transplanted them from your garden or are eyeing some at the grocery store, we have a few tips for you to keep them in the best shape...

Autumn Aphid Invasio...

While many different kinds of aphids can appear on different types of plants during most times of the year, cabbage aphids tend to appear on plants in the Brassica family (kale, broccoli, collard greens, cabbage, and brussels sprouts) in early fall.  At this time, temperatures start to drop...

Cid Stanford: Volunt...

We like to celebrate our volunteers, as they are the very core of what makes our project successful. As a small thank you, each VOW will be able to pick out 3 packets of seeds (Renee’s Dinner Garden or Seed Savers Exchange) from Matty K’s Hardware – our local hardware store- on the house!...

Basil at Summer̵...

With the cold weather in Chicagoland and parts of the midwest this weekend, it’s a good time to harvest, protect, or bring cold-sensitive plants like basil indoors. Basil’s tender leaves turn brown when exposed to low temperatures, which usually happens below 50 degrees. To...

Tomato POW(d)ER!

Tomato Preservation: Easy Homemade Tomato Powder Running out of ways to preserve your tomatoes? Canning and freezing are good options, but can take up space in your cabinet or freezer that you may not have this late in the season. Another easy way to bottle the fresh garden flavor...

Tomato Time!

Summer’s sweet, long-awaited treasure, tomatoes are by far the most popular crop among American gardeners. There are hundreds of varieties of tomatoes, each one more unique than the next, with some heirloom varieties spanning almost every color of the rainbow. Certain varieties are adapted...

Husky Edibles –...

Tomatillos and ground cherries both belong to the nightshade family, and although they taste very different, they look very similar. Both fruits grow like paper lanterns, enclosed in an inedible husk. Tomatillos are medium sized, while ground cherries produce a cherry-sized fruit and closely...

About Eggplant

Eggplant is a heat-loving crop native to India, and comes in many shapes, sizes, and colors. Some 18th-century European varieties were yellow or white and resembled goose or hen’s eggs, hence the name “eggplant”. Eggplant is widely used in cooking, most notably as an important...

The “Long Arm&...

As gardeners, we all take a degree of pleasure and pride in our plots and their produce.  We are attuned to the forces of nature at work in our bits of urban habitat.  We talk about our gardens and what we see; we bend the ear of our friends, our family, and random folk.  Our enthusiasm for...

The Edible Treasures...

  Guest post by Maribeth Brewer  …from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved. ― Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species   Opening in the spring of 2012, the Edible Treasures Garden at The Field Museum of Natural History...