Stacie Gorecki

We praise the big milestones our gardens go through, and the individuals who helps make them happen! This series of posts is to give shout outs to the unsung heroes that make those milestones happen. JFK said, “One person can make a difference, and everyone should try.” And these people not only try, they do – remarkably and repeatedly – make a difference in ways big and small. Through October 15, we are celebrating the individuals who make your garden a success and make Peterson Garden Project work. Each week, we’ll tell the story of one of our amazing volunteers. And, as a small thank you, they will be able to pick out a pair of wonderful Wells-Lamont gloves from Matty K’s – our local hardware store. This week we would like to recognize Stacie Gorecki. Stacie is a block captain at Vedgewater and has been an active volunteer at many events. This past week she pulled together a volunteer crew through her place of business to help build the Seed Saving Garden! Stacie, stop in to Matty K’s for a well-deserved pair of free gloves for being so...

About Peas

Curious what to do with those lovely crops you just harvested? Not sure which parts you can eat, how to store it, or how to cook it? Each week we will highlight a seasonal fruit or veggie, and give you advice on how to get it from your plot to your tummy! This week’s lesson: Peas! Far from those frozen mushy things your mom used to hide in your mashed potatoes, fresh peas from the garden can be one of the tastiest things you’ve ever put in your mouth. These frost-hardy, cool-season crops are often among the first crop to harvest in the spring, and luckily with the abnormally cool temperatures we’ve been having so far, we are still enjoying them this late in the season! If you ever plant too many pea seeds and need to thin out the seedlings, save them and throw them in a salad- these are what are called Pea shoots, or pea tendrils, and can add the fresh flavor of peas when chopped up (leaves, flowers, and all) and added to any dish. There are two main types of peas- those that can be eaten pod and all (sugar snap peas and snow peas), and those which must be taken out of the inedible pod before eating (shelling peas- most commonly called “English” or “Garden” peas). What is the difference? Snow Peas (also called Chinese Pea Pods) have thin edible pods through which you can usually see the shadow of the pea seeds inside. The peas inside the pod are much smaller than sugar snap, or garden peas, and therefore the pod is flatter too. Snow peas are commonly used in stir-fries. Sugar Snap Peas are kind of like a mix between garden peas and snow peas. The edible...

Melissa Anderson

We praise the big milestones our gardens go through, and the individuals who helps make them happen! This series of posts is to give shout outs to the unsung heroes that make those milestones happen. JFK said, “One person can make a difference, and everyone should try.” And these people not only try, they do – remarkably and repeatedly – make a difference in ways big and small. Through October 15, we are celebrating the individuals who make your garden a success and make Peterson Garden Project work. Each week, we’ll tell the story of one of our amazing volunteers. And, as a small thank you, they will be able to pick out a pair of wonderful Wells-Lamont gloves from Matty K’s – our local hardware store. This week we would like to recognize Melissa Anderson! Melissa is a mega-volunteer at the Edible Treasures garden at The Field Museum, and has become a leader in planning the selection and placement of the large assortment of garden plants and seeds. Melissa, stop in to Matty K’s for a well-deserved pair of free gloves for being so...

Time Flies When You’re Having Fun...

Spring is officially winding down, and it’s hard to believe how quickly time flies. But as they say, time accelerates when you’re having fun, and it’s certainly a thrill being in the gardens in spring, preparing them to open for the season and watching them flourish. As per usual, spring was a fickle time this year in Chicago, and we can already feel the steady uptick in temps indicating summer. Cheers to a great season, and we’ll see you on the other side of the solstice (that’s this Friday, June 21)! Volunteer of the Week With gardening season comes volunteer season! Peterson Garden Project would not be what it is without all of our wonderful, devoted volunteers, so each week we will be highlighting a volunteer who has really gone above and beyond to lend their talents, time, and energy to helping us. Each “Volunteer of the Week” will receive a free pair of Wells Lamont gardening gloves from Matty K’s Hardware (4874 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, IL 60625). This week we would like to recognize Melissa Anderson! Melissa is a mega-volunteer at the Edible Treasures garden at The Field Museum, and has become a leader in planning the selection and placement of the large assortment of garden plants and seeds. Melissa, stop in to Matty K’s for a well-deserved pair of free gloves for being so awesome! PGP Gardens/Gardener News/Announcements Upcoming Classes & Events We’ve got some great stuff coming up soon! Here’s what is happening in the next few weeks: Sign up to build the Seed Saving Garden! Come help fill, build and plant the Seed Saving Garden that Kickstarter brought us! Saturday, June 22 from 1:30 to 4:30. Sign up by clicking here! (Stealth class-shhh!) Vedgewater is participating in a study...

About Arugula

Curious what to do with those lovely crops you just harvested? Not sure which parts you can eat, how to store it, or how to cook it? Each week we will highlight a seasonal fruit or veggie, and give you advice on how to get it from your plot to your tummy! This week’s lesson: Arugula! Arugula is a peppery-tasting spring salad green. It is popular among edible gardeners because it is ready to harvest from seed in just a few weeks (probably why it is also known as “rocket green” in some parts of the world). Arugula can be harvested in the spring and fall, and tastes best in cool weather. When the weather gets hotter it will taste spicier, and go to seed very quickly. How do you know when it is ready to harvest?  If you prefer baby greens, you can harvest the leaves when they are young. Otherwise, wait until the leaves are slightly bigger (like what you see at the store). To harvest arugula, simply cut the green off at the stem, about an inch or so from the base. Only cut the leaves that are ready to harvest, the plant will continue to produce more leaves and you’ll get multiple harvests out of a single plant. How do you store them? Wrap arugula in a damp paper towel and store in a loose plastic bag. Wash them when you are ready to eat them. *TIP* — save the plastic produce bags you get at the grocery store, these are great bags to store greens in. Allowing the greens to have some air circulation will prevent them from getting soggy. If the greens look wilty after a few days, shock them in some ice water for a few minutes to...

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