Registration Rundown

Well folks, the time has come: registration is now open for the 2013 Peterson Garden Project. We can practically smell the gardens and hear the birds chirping already. We’ve got four garden locations currently, with additional locations to be announced soon. Stay tuned! Meanwhile, registration is open until gardens are full, with spots allotted on a first come, first served basis, so hop to it!

2013 Garden Locations

Global Garden (Lawrence and Sacramento) (GARDEN FULL)
Land on Lincoln (Lincoln and Sacramento)
Montrose Green (Montrose, at the Montrose Brown Line stop)
Vedgewater (Broadway at Rosemont) (GARDEN FULL)
Register here:

Note: Stars Garden will close this year. Previous Stars gardeners have been given priority registration at Land on Lincoln through March 1.

Additional locations will be announced soon — we’ll update this list as soon as we have confirmed all logistics.

Key Registration Dates

3/18 – New garden location registration opens. Anyone wishing to become a member at one of our new 2013 garden locations can register today. We are still finalizing details around new garden locations, and as soon as they are finalized, we will announce their names and addresses.

Updates on Full Gardens

Gardens are filling up fast, and here’s what you need to know:

– Vedgewarer and Global Garden are both full.

If you’re on a wait list, you’ll be refunded your $75 membership fee (more info on that below) and added to a non-payment list. If you are then in at a garden officially, we’ll ask you to sign up and pay.
To sign up for the Global Garden wait list, visit here:
To sign up for the Vedgewater wait list, visit here:
Stay tuned to this newsletter and our Facebook page for updates on full gardens and wait lists.

Peterson Garden Project Membership Fees

Peterson Garden Project membership is $75 for the 2013 growing season, which includes education, events, some materials, and a garden plot.

We also provide need-based scholarships. If you want to request a need-based scholarship, go here:
If you would like to support a scholarship plot, please make a donation of $100 at

UPDATE: Value of a scholarship has been updated to $100 to more closely reflect actual cost.


As always, an annual orientation session is mandatory for all members, even if you are a returning gardener. Why? Because membership in a PGP garden means that we all share responsibility for maintaining our gardens together, so we need to review how that happens with you every year.

You will pre-select an orientation date during the registration process.
All orientations will be held at The Peterson Garden Project Learning Center, 4642 N. Francisco, Chicago (adjacent to the Francisco Brown Line stop).
IMPORTANT: If you don’t attend one of the orientation sessions, we will refund your registration fee and release your garden to the waiting list. For any questions, please email [email protected]

Garden Clean-up, Set-up, and Opening

We will announce garden clean-up dates and assorted events in all our garden locations in the coming weeks. We anticipate existing gardens to open on April 22 and are targeting new gardens to open Memorial Day weekend. Watch our newsletter and Facebook page for ongoing updates.

Upcoming Classes & Events

Victory Today at the Chicago Flower & Garden Show

We’re excited to debut our exhibit at the Chicago Flower and Garden Show, called “Peterson Garden Project: Victory Today!” Thanks to our wonderful volunteers Mark Kanazawa, Patrick Ewing, Chris Braun and others who have worked hard to design and build this exhibit, it tells the story of Chicago’s role in the WW2 Victory Garden Movement, and how people are growing food today in community and home gardens for Victory Today! Come to the show March 9-17th at Navy Pier, and learn how Chicago is going to lead the nation in Victory Gardens again!

We’ve designed postcards emblazoned with different types of victories that come from growing our own food today. For some, the chief victory might be growing food that is full of flavor, for others it could be growing food that teaches kids, helps the environment, or saves money. There are so many reasons to grow your own food, and we are here to celebrate that. We encourage you to get involved with our Victory Today exhibit by visiting our album on Facebook and sharing the victory that means the most to you, with the hashtag #VictoryToday.

Psst: PGP gardeners can get an additional discount on online tickets for the show when using the code PGP13 (only available with online orders). Get your tickets here:

Hot Crops Seed Starting

This hands-on class teaches you the essentials of starting seeds for “hot crops” (tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, herbs, etc.) to plant out after the last frost. Lighting, soil, watering, and other techniques will be covered in the class, taking place March 30. We will also address recycling common household products to save money. One of the great benefits of starting your own seeds vs. buying plants is you can have a greater control over the varieties you grow. This is particularly good for heirloom seed geeks that have a hard time finding rare plants. Class Fee: $15. More details here:

Good Food Festival & Conference

We’re excited to be participating in the Good Food Festival & Conference this year, taking place March 14 through March 16 at the UIC Forum. Highlights at the festival, presented by, include speakers, DIY workshops, chef demos, an urban agriculture bus tour, exhibitors, and a kids’ corner. We’ll be busy at the festival: LaManda Joy will be speaking Saturday afternoon on a panel, we’ll do mini-workshops on community gardens, and we’re co-hosting the seed swap with Chicago Foodies. For more info, visit here:

Cook County Seed Exchange

We admire the Cook County Seed Exchange for its commitment to preserving open-pollinated seeds grown in or near Cook County, Illinois. To get precise, the Cook County Seed Exchange is a group of gardeners that commits to growing out and returning at least one seed variety throughout the season, whether grown in their own backyard, a community garden plot, or a city balcony. The Seed Exchange shares growing and seed saving tips with its members, and hosts free workshops for specialized saving and cleaning techniques.

Designed for both beginning and advanced seed savers, the Seed Exchange matches up seed types with your experience level, and seeds will be saved seasonally or biennially, depending on seed type. To join, attend the upcoming seed exchange information session at the second annual Jane Addams Hull House Museum community seed swap on Sunday, March 10. There will be two half-four sessions during the swap, which runs from 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m., plus a seed cleaning demonstration and cooking demonstrations. Email [email protected] if you are unable to attend but would like to join, and they will arrange an alternative. For more information, visit this link.

Mutha Cluckers: Raising Chickens in Chicago

Are you chicken curious? This workshop will explain the ins and outs of city chicken keeping so you can make an informed decision about staring your home flock. Housing, maintenance and breed selection will be covered. The class is free and takes place April 13, so mark your calendars! More details here:


Membership fees alone don’t cover the full expense of building/maintaining the gardens, so we need your help to support scholarships, community programs and events, volunteer management, and free classes. Please go to and make a tax-deductible gift to the Peterson Garden Project today.