Urban Farming Classes in Chicago's Little Village Neighborhood

Urban Farming Classes in Chicago's Little Village Neighborhood
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The Chicago Botanic Garden is conducting a number of classes that are perfect for gardeners who want to learn to about urban farming and growing food in Chicago. The best part is that they’re being held in the Little Village neighborhood, perfectly situated for residents of the south and southwest side where these kinds of classes are hard to find. While the information will be applicable to any garden in Chicago, they’re ideal for those interested in urban agriculture and finding ways to grow their own food by extending the seasons. The classes are held once month, and unlike similar learning experiences, you don’t have attend each class. You can choose the classes that interest you the most and take only those gardening courses. Below is a schedule of the classes and the location.

February 26 Seed Starting                       
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.
March 26 Season Extension Part 1
Learn how to extend your spring and fall growing season with low tunnels and cold frames.
April 23 Window Box or Container Gardens
Discover space-saving ways to grow your own vegetables and herbs.
May 21 Building Healthy Soil
Learn about composting, early spring cover cropping, and other soil-building techniques. Healthy soil is the key to healthy plants!
June 25 Organic Pest and Disease Control
Organic pest control remedies will help you keep those pesky pests in check.
July 30 Seed Starting: Cool Season Crop Planning
Now’s the time! Learn about fall crops to extend the growing season through Thanksgiving. Start your own seeds for your fall garden.
August 27 Cover Cropping
Discover the best cover crops to use for the fall and winter months. This is a follow-up to spring’s Building Healthy Soil workshop.           
September 24 Tools for the Small Farm and Harvesting Techniques
Learn what small tools are essential for your backyard farm and how to properly use them. Best practices for small-scale post-harvest handling will also be covered.
October 15 Season Extension Part 2
This is the hands-on component of our March workshop. Build a low tunnel on site. Bring in photos to plan specific extension for your site.
November 19 Fruit Tree Pruning
A farmer’s work is never done. Now is the time to prune your fruit trees. Learn about proper pruning techniques to maximize fruit production.
All classes are held at the Arturo Velasquez Institute at 2800 S. Western Avenue in the greenhouse classroom from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays. Cost is $39 per class. Registration for each class ends the Thursday one week prior to each class. All materials and handouts are provided. There is a $20 cancellation fee per class unless the class is cancelled due to low enrollment. Workshops are taught by Chicago Botanic Garden and Windy City Harvest staff. Visit www.chicagobotanic.org/windycityharvest/courses to register or contact windycityharvest@chicagobotanic.org with additional questions.


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  • It's so inspiring seeing the spread of urban farming and veggie gardening in the city! It's great these classes are so accessible for city residents!

  • In reply to ssgardengirl:

    Totally agree. I'm particularly psyched that the Chicago Botanic Garden is offering them in an undeserved neighborhood.

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