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By Lydia Krupinski

If you’re anything like me you’ve procrastinated with writing your New Year’s Resolutions for 2011. Seeing that we’re still in the first few days of the year I think there is no shame in getting them in a tad late. Perhaps this can be a resolution in and of itself!

To help you come up with at least one eco-minded goal for the New Year we’ve compiled the following suggestions: Read the rest of this entry »

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posted by Lydia Krupinski

The sun is shining, the air is warm, and I could think of no better day to bring the entire garden out for its debut! I’ve been itching to move all of my sprouts out from the germination stations – but figured that as long as I’m wearing a coat – the delicate veggies are staying indoors. But today was the day!

Here’s a general update on my Seed Saver plants: The swiss chard, broccoli, lavender, green onions and lettuce are growing but vveeerrryyyy sssslllooowwwlllyyy. The sage and stevia never surfaced, but the tomatoes, zucchini, beans, and peas have flourished! These four plants were all over 6 inches tall a month ago and I was aching to put them out to feel the fresh lake breeze. The peas and beans, being more resilient to the cold, went out three weeks ago.

The sad news is that amidst some unannounced construction on the patio above me, the bean plant was pulled from the soil, snapped, and is barely hanging on. I was very upset if you can imagine. Here was my prized plant sulking under its own weight after being mauled by some handymen. But the peas are climbing up their hemp very well – and we’re hoping that a new bean seed can catch up. Read the rest of this entry »

by Lydia Krupinski

I realized after my last post that I was fawning over thoughts of Spring, greens, and planting and totally forgot to share where I would be acquiring my seedling bounty! Seed Savers Exchange is a fantastic organization that works with farmers around the world to preserve vanishing heirloom seeds. Visit them here to stock up on seeds for the upcoming season.

Their website is  a valuable resource for growers, large and small, giving insight into an heirloom’s origins, planting techniques, and more. Become a Seed Saver Exchange member and you’ll gain access to an even larger variety of seeds! Not only is the organization helping to preserve bio-diverstity, Seed Savers sells these tiny treasures to the likes of city dwellers like me! Which means that urbanites everywhere can relish in the literal fruits of their labor.

It’s never to early to start thinking about Spring. Even when we’re knee deep in snow, and our cheeks are permanently wind-burned pink, we can set our hopes on fairer weather. To get you thinking of a warmer season, One Seed Chicago has opened their polls to voting for 2010’s Prarie Seed of the Year. Gardeners, green thumbs, and ecoists can all cast a ballot for their favorite plant and receive the winner’s seeds in the Spring.

“For the third year One Seed Chicago is uniting Chicagoans. By planting a common seed, backyards, windowsills, community gardens and balconies across thie City will be linked together in a season-long celebration of urban greening.”  Ben Helphand, NeighborSpace Executive Director

One Seed Chicago writes “This year the winning seed will be from a plant that was once commonly found in the prairies around Chicago, but that is now rare in the wild outside of prairie restoration projects and cultivated gardens. Once established this native plant will require little water, is less prone to diseases and attracts beneficial insects and birds to a garden.”

“Native plants attract native birds and insects and help to increase biodiversity in your garden,” said Colleen Lockovitch, Director and Horticulturalist at the Lurie Garden at Millennium Park. “Our native plant friends are more adapted to their local surroundings and can handle the Chicago area’s fluctuations in climate and weather.”

Cast your vote for your favorite native plant today!

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