Chicago Seed Starting Workshops & Seed Swaps Feb-March 2012

To help Chicago gardeners get ready for spring garden clubs and organizations around Chicago usually hold seed starting workshops and seed swaps. Here are the seed-related events happening in February and March 2012.

Save the date for The Great Chicago Seed Swap. It will go down at the Chicago Flower & Garden Show on Sunday, March 11, at 3pm.  See this post here if you'd like to volunteer or you can donate some seeds. The seed swap is free with your ticket to the Chicago Flower & Garden Show.

Windy City Harvest Workshop - Seed Starting Saturday, February 18 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Class held at Arturo Velasquez Institute 2800 S. Western Avenue, in the greenhouse.
Learn different techniques for starting your own vegetable transplants. Learn to blend your own seed-starting mix and use a soil-block maker, a sustainable method for starting seeds. $39

The Forest Park Community Garden Seed Swap Sunday, February 19, 2-4pm. Free.

Lincoln Park Zoo's Starting Seeds: Inviting Spring Inside. Saturday, February 18th. 9:30-11a.m. Participants 16 and older.
Starting seeds in winter may seem daunting, but it isn’t difficult. These general guidelines—along with some effort and care—will give you a great jump on spring! You’ll also learn how to shop online for heirloom and uncommon varieties, knowing you can start them with confidence. $24.00($20 for LPZ members) Register here. I've been given a pass to audit the workshop so maybe we'll get a chance to meet.

Chicago Botanic Garden Seed Swap Sunday, february 26th 2-5pm. Featuring Diane Ott Whealy co-founder of Seed Savers Exchange and author of Gathering: Memoir of a Seed Saver. Diane will give a lecture and sign books from 2 to 3 p.m. Her presentation will be illustrated with photographs from her cottage–style garden at Seed Savers Exchange’s Heritage Farm. Diane’s practical and personal approach to gardening is bound to provide you with plenty of information for your garden blog spot.

From 3 to 5 p.m. everyone is invited to bring saved seed or excess seed packets to participate in the two hour exchange. You don’t need to bring seed to swap (taking seed home works, too) and there will be a variety of demonstrations on starting seeds, saving seeds, seed germination testing and more. I'll also be in attendance at this seed swap.

The Eco Collective seed swap
Sunday Feb 26 2pm-5pm RSVP to get the address located in Pilsen
$5 donation

Wicker Park Garen Club Plant Propagation From Seeds and Cuttings Saturday, March 3 - 2 sessions: 10-12 or 1:30-3:30 Richard Tilley and Doug Wood Instructors Held in Wicker Park Home – Address Given to Registered Students Registration Required - $15 – Sessions limited at 15 students. RSVP to Pay at Door.

Pleasant Farms Spring Forward Gardening Class
964 West 31st Street (Pleasant House Bakery)
Sunday, March 4, 2012 and March 18, 2012. 2-4pm.
"Hands-on, informative workshop that will cover seed starts, planter box care, and spring bed refreshing." $20 per person. To register, email or phone 773-523-7437

AUA Chicago Hull House Museum
Sunday, March 4th 2:00pm - 5:00pm
Jane Addams Hull-House Museum
800 South Halsted Street
Chicago, IL, 60607

Peterson Garden Edible Seed Swap
The Peterson Garden Project's annual seed swap will take place on Sunday, March 4th 2-5pm., at Swedish Covenant Hospital's Galter Pavillion, Second Floor, 5149 N. California. Cost is free.

While I'm on the subject of for 2012's One Seed Chicago continues until April 1st. Vote for your favorite of the three herbs and you'll get the herb that receives the most votes in the mail to grow in your own garden, for free! Don't know which herb to vote for? Listen or download the hilarious podcast of the "Great Herb Debate" on The Mike Nowak Show.  The debate features Garden Girl, SnappyJDog (two local gardeners and bloggers) against Anthony Todd, the food & drink editor for Chicagoist.



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  • Wow - You have done your homework. I'm going the the seed swap Sunday at Chicago Botanic Gardens. I know I'll come home with some wonderful surprise.

  • In reply to CarolCichorski:

    I'll be there too! We'll finally get to meet.

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