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Chicago: Heirloom Plant Sale, 4 Wk. Organic Veg. Gardening Workshop

  • Subject: [cg] Chicago: Heirloom Plant Sale, 4 Wk. Organic Veg. Gardening Workshop
  • From: Adam36055@aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 6 May 2004 13:55:43 EDT

Kilbourn Park sets spring plant sale

For the ninth year, the Chicago Park District's Kilbourn Park Organic Greenhouse will sell more than 150 varieties of heirloom vegetable, herb and houseplant seedlings to be grown in organic gardens. The annual plant sale will take place May 8 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and May 9 from 10 a.m. to noon at 3501 N. Kilbourn Ave., just west of Milwaukee Avenue and Addison Street.

On May 13, Greenhouse Director Eric Salus will begin teaching a four-week organic vegetable gardening workshop, complete with step-by-step instructions and techniques for transforming those newly purchased plant seedlings into ripe, locally- and organically-grown blooms. The $40 class runs Thursdays, 6:30 to 8 p.m. through June 3.

"Chicagoans are much more aware of growing organically and preserving our agricultural heritage through heirlooms, and they want to learn more," said Salus. "Our plant sale and organic gardening workshop supplies them with the tools needed to harvest specialty vegetables and herbs right in their own yards or containers."

Salus, who spearheads the entire plant sale with the help of only a handful of volunteers, begins starting seeds in late March. Thousands of six-to-10-week-old seedlings will eventually fill the organic greenhouse, and each year, the most popular are the tomatoes.

Customers can expect more than 30 varieties of open-pollinated tomatoes, such as "Brandywine;" a 1923 heirloom "Abraham Lincoln;" "Bellstar;" "Health Kick;" "Paul Robeson," named for the African-American athlete, actor, author and scholar; "Gardener's Delight;" and a fuzzy "Garden Peach."

There is a limited supply of tomatoes, so gardeners are encouraged to stop by early. The Kilbourn Park Organic Greenhouse accepts payment for plants and workshops by cash and check only.

For questions regarding the organic plant sale or to register for a class, call Kilbourn Park at either (773) 685-3351 or (773) 685-3359

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