Going Picking?

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Here’s some tips to make your U-PICK trip a success…

 

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Burt’s Buzz….

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Salon International de l’Agriculture in Paris

Obviously, this isn’t about Chicago.  But I couldn’t help sharing this with you.  Click on this link to get a view of this year’s really spectacular annual agriculture show that just ended in Paris.

Then visit the website of David Lebovitz, renowned Chef and Author, and Parisian, and see his wonderful post about his visit to the show this year.

And while you are at it, check out this post from Messynessychic.com about the peach orchards of Paris.

Good Food Festival and Conference: March 13-15

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2014 Urban Livestock Expo: Saturday February 22, 10AM-1PM

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Food Growing Summit 2014

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2014 One Earth Film Festival is Coming Soon!

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What does it mean??

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Low-Line Farmer’s Market

Tomatoes and more Piedt Farms at Low-Line Market 8-1-13

 

 

 

 

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Flavorland Farms: Peaches

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Farm Market: Edmonds Acres

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Learn to Grow Your Own Mushrooms

From earlier date

 

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Michigan Blueberries : The Blueberry Patch

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Indiana Cherries: Pavolka Fruit Farm

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Chicago Grows Green

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Grow Climate-Friendly Lawns and Gardens

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Can You Recommend a Farmer’s Market?

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There are so many Farmer’s Markets out there now, and frankly some are better than others.  Can you recommend your favorites?

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61st St. Farmers Market

61ST STREET MARKET ENTRANCE

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Mushroom Festival: June 7th-8th

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The 2013 Giant City Early Summer Wild Mushroom Foray!

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Want to Buy a Compost Bin in Chicago?

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Are you interested in buying an Earth Machine Compost Bin?

The price is $65. each, which includes shipping and tax.  Read more »

Morel Mushrooms

Morel.  Photo by Ron Kerner.

Photo Credit Ron Kerner, Indianamushrooms.com

 

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Backyard Composting

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Not that long ago, I would never have considered having a compost bin in my backyard.

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Paseo Prairie Garden Annual Plant Sale !! May 11th and May 12th

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What:  Annual Paseo Prairie Garden Mother’s Day Plant Sale
When:  Saturday, May 11 and Sunday, May 12, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm
Where: 2614 N. Kedzie, in Chicago, at the intersection of
Milwaukee and Kedzie Avenues (Blue Line Logan Square stop).

Read further for AWESOME list of plants for sale!

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Planting Seeds….Heirloom, Hybrid, Organic

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Interview: Cristen Lain at Lane Tech High School Aquaponics Program

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Chicago has now become the home to several aquaponics facilities, including a teaching lab established at Lane Tech High School on Chicago’s northside.  We recently asked Cristen Lain, the Academic Center & STEM Coordinator at Lane Tech, to tell us about Lane’s Tech’s aquaponics lab, and their remarkable, highly innovative program.

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Interview: Farmed Here

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 Farmed Here is located in Chicago, and practices sustainable indoor farming.  Their produce is marketed directly to grocery retailers, organic and specialty stores and restaurants – some of the retail stores that sell their produce include Whole Foods and Mariano’s.   Jolanta Hardej founded the company and is currently its CEO.   She has graciously agreed to answer our questions about the farm and their innovative growing practices.

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What is ‘Chicago Farm and Table’?

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Our mission is to serve as an objective directory and information base… an all-in-one source for Chicagoans seeking information on any or all of the following topics : locally grown, organic, sustainably grown, grass-fed, free-range, urban agriculture, community supported agriculture, farmer’s markets, and local restaurants, bakeries and other dining establishments that support any or all of the above.  We have  information on ‘do-it-yourself’ subjects like beekeeping, chicken raising, urban gardening and seasonal cooking tips.  We want you to see all your options; so you can be a smarter consumer, eat better, and all with greater ease.

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Journal: The Urban Goat Herder

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The Ioder family live on the West side of Chicago raising chickens and goats on their urban farm.  They share land space with the Root Riot Community Garden with the pasture space for the goats and also maintain bee hives.  The family attempts to raise as much of their food as possible producing milk, eggs, honey, vegetables, and cheese.  They continue to learn as Carolyn Ioder organizes a bread coop with fresh ingredients from local sources including her own.  Carolyn occasionally shares her learning experiences, challenges, and successes as urban farmer with Chicago Farm and Table.

 

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Interview: Heather Lalley

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Read our interview with Heather Lalley, author of the wonderful ‘Chicago Homegrown Cookbook‘.

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Urban Goats

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Raising Goats in Chicago.  Every day, Carolyn Ioder feeds her hens, and looks for newly laid eggs in their nesting area.  She checks on the baby chicks she’s nurturing with the help of her brooding hen.  She feeds and milks her goats, and takes them out to pasture.   Some days, she tends her beehives or her vegetable garden. No, Carolyn does not live on a farm in rural Wisconsin – she lives in a residential section of urban Chicago, the 3rd most populated city in the United States.

** This article also appears in the March 2013 issue of AcresUSA**

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Interview: Chicago Honey Co-op

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Spring 2012, and along with volunteers and other co-op members, Michael Thompson is one busy guy.  They’re not only working on relocating the 50 Chicago Honey Co-op hives from one location to three separate new ones this spring, but also maintaining business as usual for the Chicago Honey  Co-op.

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Vermicomposting

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First, I want to tell you that I really enjoyed learning about vermicomposting from my new friend Momone.  If you don’t know what vermicomposting is, it’s basically using captive worms to make compost on a smaller scale than a compost pile in your yard.  See the definition further down in the article for the more scientific explanation.  The idea of recycling my family’s organic food waste and doing it in such a simple way (i.e. so easy I can’t mess it up) thrills me.  Yes, thrills me.  Here’s why:  Read more »

Heirloom Seeds and Plants – please share your recommendations!

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Please share your recommendations growing specific heirloom varieties of plants!

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What’s Local and in Season Now

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June means strawberries, peas, …. 

Remember that many local farms offer U-Pick throughout the growing season….

 

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My Big Garden Blog

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Recent Topics:

  • The Latest From the Garden…2014 SEASON

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Interview: Deborah Niemann

 

Homegrown & Handmade

 

Deborah Niemann runs ’Antiquity Oaks Farm’ with her family, in rural Illinois. She has just published her first book, “Homegrown and Handmade: A Practical Guide to More Self-Reliant Living”, (New Society Publishers, 2011).  

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Tell Us What You Think of the Site!

 

We’d love to hear from you! Got ideas for feature articles, or want to be a contributor?  Are you finding the site easy to navigate or are you having problems? Let us know how we can make the site better for you.  Click on this header, and let us know your comments below.  Thanks -

Start Your Garden!

Harambee Community Garden in Chicago's Austin Neighborhood

Yes, folks, it’s that time of year.  Time to go through the seed catalogs, if you haven’t already placed your orders during the dreary winter days.  Time to think about preparing the soil, investigating best planting techniques to ward off summer pests, and draw up some plans for this years delicious yields. (Pictured: Harambee Community Garden in the Austin Neighborhood of Chicago) Read more »

Backyard Beekeeping

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Last fall, my Chicago neighborhood newspaper The Bowmanville Bee featured a story about a local resident who had a beehive in a neighborhood backyard.   Interested to find out more, I contacted the beekeeper, Heidi, who was nice enough to meet with me and talk about beekeeping. 

Yes, those are really hens in your neighbor’s yard!

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In case you haven’t noticed, urban chicken farming is becoming more and more common in Chicago.  With the growing interest in eating fresher, healthier food, Chicagoans have taken this food ethic in hand – it is after all, a way of life.  Pioneers in do-it-yourself urban agriculture are surfacing all over the city. And not only those who were raised in rural settings, (who at least might have experienced childhood 4H projects), but also people who’s only previous experience with farm animals is perhaps petting a cow at the Lincoln Park Farm Zoo.  This interest in “growing one’s own food” is seen all over the city, from vegetable plots sprouting in formally unused city ravaged landscapes, to rooftop gardens and balcony tomato patches.

To find out more, I spoke to several families who have been raising their own chickens in city limits for several years.  All unanimously concurred that raising chickens for eggs can be a satisfying and rewarding experience. Read more »

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