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by Lydia Krupinski

I’ve been thinking a lot about eating seasonally lately. With it being early February I’ve found myself desperate for fresh greens and veggies. But then I wonder – what in the world is in season this time of year?

What I discovered were not only the choice produce items for the month – but also some fantastic websites that give targeted recommendations of what’s best to eat in your region now. Epicurious has a national Peak-Season Map that provides a list of produce for individual states. Going a step further, Smarter Living;s ‘eat local‘ pages highlight suggestions and the farmer’s markets in the area that will carry the goods.

So when planning your upcoming meals and grocery trips, pop onto one of these two sites before heading out. You’ll find that you’ll be living, and saving, green in the process.

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Tis the season to start planning your 2011 edible gardens. City dwellers must overcome the myth and fear that growing veggies is only for those with a stiff mortgage and plenty of land mass. Those of us who live in apartments and high rises can overcome this obstacle by employing some creative solutions:

Urbio Vertical Garden: This up-and-coming design team is currently collecting funds via Kickstarter to turn their urban jungle ideas into reality. Their concept of magnetic and adjustable plastic planters is brilliant, modern, and functional.  Let Urbio be your inspiration. Read the rest of this entry »

Interview and photos by Lydia Krupinski

As our food becomes frequently outsourced to other regions and countries, groups are taking a stand and resurrecting a time-honored tradition: the victory garden. While some movements set to re-invent the wheel, others look back to previous generations for inspiration and to empower their communities. One such group literally broke ground on the far North side of Chicago a few weeks ago. The Peterson Garden Project sets to connect Chicago residents with the earth, their food, and each other. Located just west of Western on Peterson Avenue, this incredible space is changing the way residents are looking at food, community, and empty lots.

By renting a plot, experienced and novice gardeners can share in the satisfaction of growing their own food, which in turn cuts down on both their ecological and economic footprints. For only $45 a season, growers receive a 24 square foot plot, access to the gardening forums, and unlimited advice from their fellow gardeners. For those unable to tend their own land, the Project’s volunteers can nurture a crop for a reasonable donation. The only requirements: Visit your plot 2-3 times a week, commit to using organic gardening methods, and pay your dues. It’s that simple!

Sprout Chicago had the honor and privilege to visit the newly tilled space and speak with the garden’s founder, LaManda Joy, about the Project and more. Read the rest of this entry »

by Lydia Krupinski

I feel somewhat ashamed for having kept this new innovation to ourselves: Over a month ago David and I concocted our very own germination stations to jump start our edible garden. I admit that I shared some of these photos on my Facebook – but never got around to posting them here. Please forgive me.

The two of us wanted to build something that would not deface our vintage rental, while remaining as effective as any fancy greenhouse. We also wanted to incorporate as many upcycled materials as possible. We set up shop in the two rooms that contained the most light for the longest period of time: the bathroom and the bedroom. I focused on the first, David on the latter. Read the rest of this entry »

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