Garfield Park's 18th Annual Green and Growing Fair

April 23, 2010 (CHICAGO)

With the help of several local partners, the Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance will present its 18th annual Green & Growing Fair this weekend.

The experts say it's too soon to plant seeds into the ground, but you can start them inside now. You might consider making a "rot pot." an old water bottle, some good soil and a newspaper are all you need. You can plant the newspaper pot right into the ground and over time, it will rot.

"If you're able to plant it in a container that will rot then you don't actually have to take it out of its container and give it that kind of jarring," said Robin Cline, Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance.

This is just one of the "how to" seminars being offered Saturday by green-net. Green-net is a coalition of Chicago organizations that works to promote open spaces and community gardening in the city.

They'll teach you how to build a structure out of ordinary sticks and twigs found in your yard to use as a child's playhouse-- or as natural trellis to grow plants and vines. And, if composting confuses you -- find out a variety of ways to turn your kitchen scraps and yard waste into food for your soil. You'll even learn how to make a simple compost bin on your own -- just using an ordinary trash can.

"In addition to all these resources and exhibits, we have lots of vendors who are selling interesting heirloom varieties of vegetables. We have somebody who's coming to sell paw-paw trees. So , you can get your green thumb going," said Robin Cline, Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance.

The Green and Growing Fair takes place Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is free with a few small fees for various workshops. For a complete list of take home planting activities, drop-in learning stations and other activities, visit

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