About Swiss Chard

Swiss Chard is a nutrient-rich leafy green that belongs to the same family as beets and spinach, and has a similar flavor profile with a bitter, acid-sweet taste. There are several varieties of swiss chard: red, green, silver (white), pink and gold. “Rainbow Chard” is actually a...

2019 Plant Sale

“When you can’t change the direction of the wind – adjust your sails.” – H. Jackson Brown The weather is not our friend this spring. First, we got snowed out for our Cool Crop fundraising plant sale on April 27. Now our farmers tell us that the tomatoes, peppers and eggplants need more sunny...

What’s Happeni...

May in Chicagoland can be taxing on the edible garden. As spring transitions to summer, we experience light frosts, 80+degree days, hailstorms, winds topping 30mph, and rain for days followed by no rain for more than a week. If you think you’re having trouble adjusting your thermostat...

Chives!

Do you have chives in your garden? It’s harvest time! Chives are a member of the onion (allium) family and grow perennially (they come back year-to-year). Often chives are one of the first signs of spring as they can tolerate cold weather and, if you planted them last year,...

Grow, Grewbie, Grow:...

This first of our two plant sales is this weekend. After a long, cold winter we’re excited to select our plants and get out into our gardens this year. We’ve been doing this for a few years now. But what if you’re new to gardening? You’re what we call a grewbie –...

Spring Garden Prep

Whether you’re growing in a raised bed or in the soil, the surface of your garden might look like this is in the spring: Left uncovered throughout the winter, soil can take on a grayish appearance and pebbles may graze the surface. Weeds will start to pop up and the soil level may be a...

2019 Plant Sale Volu...

It’s time for our annual Plant Sale! We are being hosted by City Grange this year, a new independent garden center, and we need your help. Ready to check out our awesome plant list for this year and make your own list of things to pick up when you volunteer? Go to our blog post  to see the...

What’s in my g...

Before you start clearing out your plot this spring, make sure you aren’t removing plants you may actually want to keep. After a long winter, herbs like sage and thyme might look dead, but as perennials they should start springing back to life within a few weeks. Here’s a quick...

Hello Garlic!

Did you plant garlic in your plot last fall and forget? Or did you inherit a plot with some robust “green things” already sprouting up? Don’t pull it! That’s garlic! And it will be ready to harvest later in the summer.         Garlic is typically...

Waking the Garden Up

Earth Day is coming up in less than a month, which is a typical planting date for cool-weather crops in Chicagoland. Cool-weather crops such as broccoli, kale, and parsley can handle slight dips in nighttime temperatures, provided they have been hardened off properly. This is also a great...

About Arugula

Arugula is a peppery-tasting 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 planted in the spring and fall, and grows and tastes best in...

About 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...

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...

About Beets

Did you know the ancient Romans were one of the first civilizations to cultivate beets to use their roots as food? Before then, people exclusively ate the beet greens, and not the roots. Beets are a part of the chenopod family, along with spinach and swiss chard. Although typically a...

About Radishes

This week’s lesson: Radishes! Radishes come in many different shapes, sizes, colors, and flavors. They are a popular crop for gardeners because of how quickly they can be harvested after planting… some are ready in just three weeks! Plus you can plant them every two weeks or so...