Time Capsule of Chicago Famed Maxwell Street Market

Raising your own vegetables is a smart idea: it's healthy, economical and can involve the whole family. Verd Nelson, of the Organic Gardener in Glencoe, says there's still time to start a vegetable garden, whether you've got a patio or a large plot. If you're short on space, he recommends using the Earth Box www.Earthbox.com; the organic "Ready to Grow Kit" costs $52.95.

You can consult Verd at the Green City Market, which is marking its 10th year as Chicago's only sustainable green market. More than 45 sustainable or certified organic farmers participate in the popular outdoor market that attracts thousands of shoppers. GCM features chef cooking demos, the "Sprouts" education program for kids, and "Breakfast Club" discussions about the link between well-being and good nutrition. The city's year-round resource for sustainable food, Green City Market is held in Lincoln Park, between 1750 N. Clark St. and Stockton Dr from late spring through fall and at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum at 2430 N. Cannon Dr. in winter through early spring.

Just across the street from the Green City Market in Lincoln Park is the Edible Gardens, which The Organic Gardener maintains. It's a place to learn all about growing vegetables. While the Edible Gardens are aimed at children, any novice is welcome and can learn about growing, weeding, compost making, harvesting and cooking vegetables. Located in Lincoln Park Zoo's Farm-in-the- Zoo, the Edible Gardens serves as demonstration models for home gardens as well as school gardens. Families and schools – principals, teachers, students and parents – are encouraged to make field trips to the Edible Gardens, which is a partnership between the Green City Market and the zoo.

Garden & Market Hours: The Edible Gardens are open for school field trips from March 15th – December 10th on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10 am – 1 pm. You can also visit The Edible Gardens across the street from the Green City Market when the outdoor market is open: from 7 am – 1:30 through October 29. The market moves indoors from November 1 to December 20.

For more information, contact the Green City Market at (773) 435-0280 or www.greencitymarket.org. You can reach Verd Nolan, The Organic Gardener at 847.636.2720 or www.theorganicgardener.net.

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