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GrowUptown News & Updates

8.4. 2018 GrowUptown is open!
7.27.2018 Update
Soil is mostly in, and we’re waiting for the joints of the pavers to get filled with sand and compacted. Since the garden isn’t quite ready to open, we’ve moved Grewbie 101 back a week to Saturday, August 4th. Click here to sign up! We sent out an email to registered GrowUptown members on July 24th. If you did not receive the email, please contact us ([email protected]) to make sure you’re on the list!
7.18.2018  Update
Over 2/3 of the pavers and beds are in! Soil is coming on Monday, July 23 and will be loaded manually into each bed. Depending on weather, this may take 2-3 days. We’ll be scheduling our first Grewbie 101 class in the garden for Saturday, July 28th.
6.30.2018 Update
Pavers arrived this week and are getting placed. Due to rain and the excessive heat warning, it may take another week or two to get everything in. Our contractor is being careful and conscientious with this process, as it’s our first permanent garden and we want the materials to be long-lasting and installed with quality techniques. We are now looking at the end of the second, or beginning of the third week of July for opening the garden.
6.18.2018 Update
Due to heavy rains last week, getting the gravel and sand in for the pavers has been delayed. For safety reasons, our contractor wants to have all of the pavers and beds placed before beginning to fill with soil – not in tandem. We are hopeful this will be finished in the next week or two. Many of you have asked for an opening date so you can plan for planting your garden. At this time, we would estimate late June/early July.
Is late June/early July too late for gardening? Definitely not! In fact, this is the time to start preparing for fall crops.
  • early – mid-July:
    • Seeds like broccoli, kale, cabbage, swiss chard, cauliflower, and romanesco are typically started around early/mid-July for transplanting in early-mid August to harvest before the first frost.
    • Seeds like beets, cucumbers, beans, zucchini, radishes, and carrots can be planted directly in the ground for a late summer/fall harvest.
    • Seed potatoes can also still go in.
    • Transplants like peppers, tomatoes, herbs, and eggplant can still be planted. In fact, the Chicago Botanic Garden is giving away tomato transplants through the end of June.
  • mid-late August:
    • Seeds like bok choy, lettuce, arugula, and spinach can be started indoors and transplanted after 3-4 weeks, or direct-seeded outside.
  • late October: Plant garlic cloves for a harvest in late July/early August 2019.

How will I know when the garden is ready to open, or if a work day is happening? We will email you, as well as post in the membership portal.


6.6.18 Updates and Soil-Filling Days
We finished building the beds on Saturday, June 2. Thank you to the 47 volunteers who came to help out!
The next step is getting the gravel and pavers down. This is being done by the contractor and is weather-dependent. As the pavers go down, the beds will be put in place so they’re ready for soil. We’re expecting the soil-filling to begin on June 19th (possibly earlier). We will have six loads 30-yard loads delivered, spread out over the week, with the goal to be finished Saturday, June 23rd. The garden will not open (and plot numbers will not be assigned) until the beds are filled with soil, so we’ll need as much help as possible to do this quickly. Please sign up for a shift or two below:
5.4.18 Updates, Workdays and Orientations
Hi everyone. We’ve had some delays on sharing info because of last minute issues with the site – sewers, water mains, City Council approvals, you know, the basic stuff. But all that has been settled and work is beginning!
As of last week, you may have noticed temporary fencing around the site. This is in advance of the excavation work that will commence as soon as the site dries out (it is currently a mud pit from the torrential rain we experienced earlier this week). Pavers and permanent fencing are the next construction steps after excavation is complete.
Ground breaking ceremony:
Leave work early on Friday, May 11 and join us for a ground breaking ceremony at 3pm on-site (weather permitting)
Mandatory orientations: 
All GrowUptown gardeners are required to attend one of two sessions. We may do a pick-up session at a later date but that is TBD. Orientation is mandatory, if you don’t attend we refund your membership.
Volunteer Work Days:
We’re going to start building the raised beds concurrently as the contractors lay the pavers. The contractors will place the beds as they go along so, when the paving is done the beds are already in place and ready to be filled with soil.
The links explain the type of work and what you can bring to help – aside from your excited self!
  • Saturday, May 19 – Shift 1: 9:30 – Noon Sign up HERE
  • Saturday, May 19 – Shift 2: 1:00 – 4:00pm Sign up HERE
  • Wednesday, May 23, 5-8pm Sign up HERE
  • Wednesday, May 30 5-8pm Sign up HERE
We are shooting for the garden to open second week in June. Stay tuned here and to the PGP newsletter for updates. PRAY TO THE WEATHER GODS because all this rain will sloooowwwww things down and delay our ability to get in the garden. Garden opening also depends on the number of volunteers who show up to help build beds and fill beds with soil. You put the COMMUNITY in community garden! Also…
Please add [email protected] and [email protected] to your email address book. We have a terrible time with certain providers not making our communications available. Also check your spam folders. For now, this blog will be the best place to get new and updated info. Please feel free to send questions to [email protected]. Once we do orientation, you’ll learn more about our Garden Member portal which will also be a place to receive information and ask questions.
We’re on our way, GrowUptown! Get excited!
4.5.18 Membership is Open!
Membership is officially open for the new GrowUptown garden! Register soon!
2.19.18 Notes on Community Meeting
Thanks to the lovely future GrowUptown gardeners who joined us at Heartland Alliance Health Center on Monday, February 19 for our community meeting!
We talked about the plans, and potential obstacles, for GrowUptown opening for 2018. We’re optimistic but feel transparency is always the best option.
Here’s the tentative plan:
  • Registration opens: TBD
  • April 10: Mandatory Orientation
  • Mid-April: Funds released from city, begin fencing and paving work (approximately six weeks)
  • Late May: Build and fill beds – volunteers needed
  • June 1: Garden Open (Tentative)
  • November 4: All gardens close for the season

Here are the potential obstacles:

  • Weather
  • Volunteers/community participation
  • Funding delays
  • Force Majeure

We’ll keep everyone updated as we learn more. Sign up for our newsletter to stay in the know! You can also follow us on Facebook.

Also, without hard working partners, projects like this could never happen. A quick thanks to those who have supported GrowUptown to date and in the future! We are grateful for you!

1.30.18   GrowUptown registration delayed
Yesterday we received unexpected information from the City of Chicago that will impact the start date for building GrowUptown. Until we can confirm when we can build the garden (and if we can get our members in for a reasonable length 2018 growing season), we are postponing registration for this garden.
  • Join us at the community meeting on February 19 and we will share what we know at that time. We will also post all updates on this page.
  • Returning gardeners who registered to move to GrowUptown, until this matter is clarified, we are moving you back to your original garden and plot. If you have questions about your previous garden or plot, please email [email protected] 
We will keep everyone updated as we learn more