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 with Angelic Organics, Neighbor Space, and DePaul University to find out how much food we harvest. There are trainings for the study participants on Tuesday June 18 at 7pm and Saturday June 22 at 10:30 a.m. While these sessions are geared towards participants, anyone can come to learn about harvesting. This session will not be on the events page, so if you’re interested just show up and let the leaders know whether you are a participant in the study (Vedgewater gardeners only) or a “fellow traveler” (open to any gardeners).

Monthly Garden Clean-up days

We’ve begun a series of garden clean-up days (a clean garden is a happy garden!). Each garden will have a two-hour session once a month (Saturdays at 10:00 a.m.). Land on Lincoln is up this weekend- we still need more volunteers, so please sign up below! Here are the dates:

GLOBAL: July 6, Aug 3, Sept 7
MONTROSE GREEN: July 13, Aug 10, Sept 14
LAND ON LINCOLN: June 22, July 20, Aug 17, Sept 21
VEDGEWATER: June 29, July 27, Aug 24, Sept 28
ASHLANDIA/SWEDISH: Aug 31st, and any additional as needed
Click here for details and to sign up. All are welcome, so please invite your friends! AND – as a special treat for community minded souls – Chipotle is partnering with us to offer a surprise for those who participate. You’ll have to come for a work day to find out what it is!

Group Garden Tour

New to Peterson Garden Project? Want to learn more about our history and our mission of teaching people how to grow their own food? Bring your questions and your enthusiasm to our monthly tours at Global Garden! These tours are perfect for school and community groups, or for individuals who just want to know more about our programs. Please register here so that we know how many people to expect.

Basics of Vermicomposting class

Want to learn how to make a worm bin and compost at home? Master Gardener Paul De Neui is back to teach another vermicomposting class (that’s worms y’all!). Wednesday, 6/19 and Saturday 6/22- space is limited but we still have space available so sign up early to make sure you get a spot! This is a demo/lecture class. Click here for class details, and to register.

What’s happening in the garden?

Come find out at our next monthly class, taking place July 6 at Global. NOTE: Time change- these classes have been moved to 2:00pm. These classes are designed to help new gardeners understand what to expect month-by-month in their gardens. Each session covers new ground and is advised for all new gardeners.

New Farm Market!

We’re thrilled to announce a new weekly farm market hosted by our partners from CLESE at Global Gardens Refugee Training Farm! Every Saturday from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m., swing by the garden for fresh, organic produce and savor the flavors of summer at their peak. Entrance on the Sacramento side (in back, by the farm!)

Music in the Garden

Northcenter Neighborhood Association is hosting an evening of “Music In The Garden,” featuring Give Back on Wednesday, June 19, from 6:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. at Montrose Green. All are welcome, invite your friends and family! Please bring your own chair, as you will be sitting in the aisle among the garden plots and ground is gravel and metal (not suitable for blanket seating or picnicking). There is no rain or alternative date for this group.

A Note on Aphids

We’ve heard reports from other community garden leaders around the city that the aphids are abundant this year. We’ve seen quite a few at some of our gardens. We are planning on releasing Ladybugs at Montrose Green, where the problem seems to be the worst right now, to test out how successful they are in treating the problem. Ladybugs are natural predators of aphids, but nobody can control Mother Nature so we all need to do our part to keep the aphids in check.
This link explains what aphids are and how to treat them organically: http://www.avtreefarm.com/insects/aphids.htm. Currently, the aphids we’re seeing most are the black ones with wings. Hand pick aphids, and their eggs (look on the bottom of leaves) if there’s only a few. Or treat your plot with the organic solutions mentioned in the link and let us know if you encounter any issues.

NOTE: less than five aphids is not an infestation, just FYI. Don’t panic if you see a few of them. Just squish them. Aphids aren’t poisonous, won’t bite you or hurt in any way but they will suck the life out of new plant growth if there are too many of them (see photos on the link to understand what an infestation really looks like.) Aphids can be controlled. Be vigilant and don’t let a few aphids put a damper on your gardening.

Gardening Tip

Check out this blog on Friday for a post on Veggie Stress.

Operation Vegucation

Curious what to do with those much anticipated crops you’re starting to harvest? Not sure when to pick it, 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 advice on how to get it from your plot to your tummy!

To see our latest lesson – ARUGULA! – Click HERE. Please share your own recipes and tips about arugula in the comment section of the blog post so we can learn from each other. And be sure to stay tuned for next week’s post as we explore Peas!

Musicians Needed

Our monthly “Music & Master Gardener” concert series will be starting soon! If your band is interested in playing for the events, please send an email to les@petersongarden.org for more information.

Calling all Photographers!

We need your help documenting the summer in your gardens! If you can help us by posting to Pinterest, let us know and we’ll invite you to the page (send a note to info@petersongarden.org). Here’s the link if you want to check it out so far…http://pinterest.com/theyarden/peterson-garden-project/