On Chicago’s northwest side in the Irving Park neighborhood is Kilbourn Park organic greenhouse. I first learned about the greenhouse while doing my Master Gardner’s Certification. I was so happy to learn that organic practices were being put to use in the city’s park district, and now that I live close, I volunteer there! Folks from as far as Wheeling come down to help prepare for the plant sale (a huge money maker for the greenhouse). Just to give you an idea of the size of the sale, I started 60 seeds of one variety of sunflower; and the previous week, I started 72 plugs of just one variety of tomato. From the looks of it, there will be thousands and thousands of vegetables and flowers grown organically for the sale.
Along with the pure joy of being in a greenhouse while things are still dormant outdoors, they have a few cute kitty friends. A practice of organic pest control, these cats help ward off rabbits, rats, snakes, and the like. If you are interested in helping this dedicated group of gardeners by volunteering, contact Georgia Chilton, firstname.lastname@example.org.
More to come on the prairie and the orchard as they spring to life in the coming weeks. This is a true gem to Chicago. For a brief history, please check out Friends of Kilbourn Park Organic Greenhouse.