CCGA 6th Annual Gardeners Conference

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Saturday March 3rd 2018

Kennedy-King College
740 West 63rd Street, Building U, Chicago, Illinois, 60621

Schedule

  • 8:30-10:00am – Doors Open, Continental Breakfast, Networking
  • 9:00-9:30am – Exhibitors, Soil Testing, Speed Gardening
  • 9:30am – Welcome
  • 10:00-11:00am – Workshop Session 1
  • 11:15am-12:15pm – Workshop Session 2
  • 12:15-2:15pm – Lunch, Networking, Speed Gardening, Soil Testing, and Exhibitors!
  • 1:00-1:30 – Mini-Session 1
  • 1:45-2:15pm – Mini-Session 2
  • 2:15pm – Conference Concludes

 

Attendance Fees

The registration fee for the conference is $25.00 per person, $15 for students and children and includes continental breakfast, workshops, lunch and all networking activities!

Volunteers receive a $5.00 discount from registration which includes workshops, breakfast, and lunch. Volunteers can also purchase a lunch only option for $15.

JUST IN TIME! Due to generous anonymous donations these few days before the conference, we are able to offer a number of full scholarships!

For more information, please send an email to education@chicagocommunitygardens.org or call/text Lorraine at 323-861-4906. Please share!

WALK-INS ON SATURDAY ARE WELCOME!

Registration Links

Online registration is now closed. You can register onsite at the conference on March 3rd.

if you have questions about your registration please email: communications@chicagocommunitygardens.org

 

Workshops

Workshops may be subject to change.
* Spanish language translation will be offered for these workshops. We are only able to offer Spanish translation at this time. Please let us know if you would like to have another language considered for next year.

Meet our presenters here!

Workshop Session 1 – 10:00am – 11:00am

WK1 - Planning the Community Garden: Grow the People First

Eager to start a community garden but don’t know where to begin? In this workshop, we will discuss the basics for everything that happens before you plant your first seed: member recruitment, land and water access, garden needs, community engagement, neighborhood support, and getting the work started.

WK2 - Growing the Base for Every Meal: The Botanical History of Carrots, Celery, and Onions from Antiquity

This presentation will reveal how growing these three staple vegetables connects us to the history of gardening, seed saving, shared meals, and culinary flavor. Culture developed as people began to share gardening and cooking practices. These three vegetables have played a central role that acts as an example for the transformations of seeds and vegetables across cultures and generations. Each onion, celery, or carrot seed we plant binds us to people that have preserved, cultivated, and adapted these representative vegetables from their original wild incarnations.  Knowing that history also strengthens our responsibility to other gardeners in our own lives and the ones who will plant seeds for generations to come.  Attendees will benefit by learning practical skills about growing these three vegetables, as well as a botanical history that ties their individual gardening efforts to past and future gardeners. Because these staple vegetables are also the base for many recipes, the presentation will also discuss the relationship between how people selected what to grow in their gardens based on the foods they ate, and vice versa.  This information will be presented with care to limit cultural appropriated and racial bias, while highlighting the impact of culture (and often cultural appropriation and colonization) on the history of these seeds.

WK3 - * Best Practices to Identify and Manage Soil Heavy Metal Contamination

Do you know if the soil in your backyard and garden is safe to use? Due to legacy contamination, soils in suburban and urban environments may contain heavy metals such as lead. Screening your soil for these heavy metals is the first step to ensuring the safety of those who benefit from using soils- gardeners, consumers of garden products, children, and even pets). Many gardeners, yard owners, and urban farmers are aware of heavy metal contamination risks, in particular lead. However, resources for identifying, interpreting, and managing soil contamination are often scarce, unclear, or unaffordable. This workshop will review basics of heavy metal contamination in soils, communicate options for soil screening and testing, and summarize evidence-based practices for practices that can be used by gardeners to mitigate contamination and exposure risk.

WK4 - Getting Started in Microgreen and Benchtop Greens Production

Learn how to grow microgreens and more mature benchtop greens during the winter months to cure the “winter blues”. Take home some free seed samples to get your microgreen project started.

WK5 - Compost Harvesting: Building a Sifter and How to Use It

Every gardener values this “black gold”, compost. Once a composting bin system is in place and working well, you will have rich, but still bulky material that looks like dark, crumbly and rough soil. To add this compost to your potting soil mixes, or to use it to side-dress your plantings, you will generally want a nice, sifted compost without any large lumps or chunks or bits of material that haven't fully decomposed. The best way to get this fluffy, sifted compost is to use a self-standing compost screen so you don’t have to hold the screen over a wheelbarrow, shoveling compost onto the screen. Your hands are free to shake the screen or rake the compost with a hoe. After a few hours, your back and shoulders will thank you, and your garden will be richer. In this workshop, we will demonstrate how to make a sifter for refining and harvesting your compost.

WK6 - Beyond Raised Beds: Cultivating Community in a School Garden

In this interactive workshop, equipped with stories and sing-alongs, you will walk away with tools/lessons for building community around school gardens. You will learn how to cultivate a curriculum that goes beyond the raised beds and above the educational common core standards. You will learn to construct a culturally competent curriculum, steeped in reverence and respect for the earth and one another, that will produce healthy habits that are carried out both in school and at home.

Workshop Session 2 – 11:15am – 12:15pm

WK7 - Planning the Community Garden: Site Analysis and Planting Plan

Use online tools like the Soil Survey and Google Earth Pro for potential site analysis. In addition using both basic handwritten and Excel based computer tools to plan and organize your planting plan for the upcoming season.

WK8 - Growing the Base for Every Meal: The Botanical History of Carrots, Celery, and Onions from Antiquity

The goal of this presentation will be to reveal how growing these three staple vegetables connects us to the history of gardening, seed saving, shared meals, and culinary flavor. Culture developed as people began to share gardening and cooking practices. These three vegetables have played a central role that acts as an example for the transformations of seeds and vegetables across cultures and generations. Each onion, celery, or carrot seed we plant binds us to people that have preserved, cultivated, and adapted these representative vegetables from their original wild incarnations.  Knowing that history also strengthens our responsibility to other gardeners in our own lives and the ones who will plant seeds for generations to come.  Attendees will benefit by learning practical skills about growing these three vegetables, as well as a botanical history that ties their individual gardening efforts to past and future gardeners. Because these staple vegetables are also the base for many recipes, the presentation will also discuss the relationship between how people selected what to grow in their gardens based on the foods they ate, and vice versa.  This information will be presented with care to limit cultural appropriated and racial bias, while highlighting the impact of culture (and often cultural appropriation and colonization) on the history of these seeds.

WK9 - Best Practices to Identify and Manage Soil Heavy Metal Contamination

Do you know if the soil in your backyard and garden is safe to use? Due to legacy contamination, soils in suburban and urban environments may contain heavy metals such as lead. Screening your soil for these heavy metals is the first step to ensuring the safety of those who benefit from using soils- gardeners, consumers of garden products, children, and even pets). Many gardeners, yard owners, and urban farmers are aware of heavy metal contamination risks, in particular lead. However, resources for identifying, interpreting, and managing soil contamination are often scarce, unclear, or unaffordable. This workshop will review basics of heavy metal contamination in soils, communicate options for soil screening and testing, and summarize evidence-based practices for practices that can be used by gardeners to mitigate contamination and exposure risk.

WK10 - * Apples, Pears and Plums Oh My! - Fruit Trees in Community Gardens

Come learn about how you can get started growing fruit in your community garden. Members from MidFEx, the Midwest Fruit Explorers are conducting this workshop where you will learn the basics: how to select what to grow for your site and where trees are best suited, how to graft and start your own trees and continuing care and maintenance of your mini-orchard!

WK11 - Compost Harvesting: Building a Sifter and How to Use It

Every gardener values this “black gold”, compost. Once a composting bin system is in place and working well, you will have rich, but still bulky material that looks like dark, crumbly and rough soil. To add this compost to your potting soil mixes, or to use it to side-dress your plantings, you will generally want a nice, sifted compost without any large lumps or chunks or bits of material that haven't fully decomposed. The best way to get this fluffy, sifted compost is to use a self-standing compost screen so you don’t have to hold the screen over a wheelbarrow, shoveling compost onto the screen. Your hands are free to shake the screen or rake the compost with a hoe. After a few hours, your back and shoulders will thank you, and your garden will be richer. In this workshop, we will demonstrate how to make a sifter for refining and harvesting your compost.

WK12 - Beyond Raised Beds: Cultivating Community in a School Garden

In this interactive workshop, equipped with stories and sing-alongs, you will walk away with tools/lessons for building community around school gardens. You will learn how to cultivate a curriculum that goes beyond the raised beds and above the educational common core standards. You will learn to construct a culturally competent curriculum, steeped in reverence and respect for the earth and one another, that will produce healthy habits that are carried out both in school and at home.

 

Soil Testing Station

Bring soil directly from your garden to be tested right on the spot for heavy metal contamination! Many thanks to Dr. Andrew Margenot from the University of Illinois Department of Crop Sciences in collaboration with University of Illinois Extension and Advocates for Urban Agriculture for providing this opportunity!

Click here for directions on how to prepare your soil sample. Samples must be dry to be tested.

 

Speed Gardening!

Learn from fellow gardeners in these quick 15-minute hands-on sessions!

Organic Weed Repellent from the KITCHEN!  
Join Robert Hart for this hands-on project. Learn to use products straight from the kitchen to remove pesky little plants growing between sidewalk cracks and on garden paths.

To Seed or Not to Seed? That is the QUESTION!
Can you plant those seeds that have been in your pantry for 5 years? Join students Donnell Walker, Dejeon Jackson, and Tariah Staples and their teacher Kimberly George from Chicago Youth Centers to learn about how to test your seeds for viability.

It’s in the BOX!
The Englewood Salvation Army Red Shield Women’s Ministry “Tea Room” Garden is located on their 3rd Floor balcony of the facility. Ms. Pearl Thompson and Ms. Betty Wright will take you step by step on how their milk crate box garden is assembled.  You will also learn how they seed start using a toilet paper roll and paper.

That’s for the BIRDS!
How important are bird feeding stations and bird houses to your garden? Ida Hubbard will be displaying feeding stations and birdhouses along with a hands on project for you to take home.

And it came from the SEED…
Come for a walk with Ronald Stacy as he deciphers the mystery of seed packet. Here is where you will learn from start to finish how sow your seeds using the instructions on the back of the package provided by our seed companies.

Here are a few things that SPRING to mind!
Students of Miles Davis Magnet Academy of Englewood demonstrate the use of soil blockers while sharing a recipe idea for all those radishes from your spring garden. Stop by and have a taste.

 

After lunch: Mini-Sessions!

Choose from these 30-minute sessions, held in two sessions after lunch:

Reading and Amending Our Soils for Nutrient Dense Food and Positive Environmental Impact
Presented by Lora Lode, Lynn Bement, Dr. Shemuel Israel from the Chicago Chapter of the Bionutrient Food Association

The Growing Classroom
Presented by 10-year old students Donnell Walker, Dejeon Jackson, and Tariah Staples with Kimberly George from Chicago Youth Centers

Out of the Garden Comes… Perspective, Engagement!
Presented by Richard Dobbins of South Side Roots

How to Avoid the Grocery Store and Support Local Farming and Direct-to-Consumer Sales
Presented by Farmer John Willis

 

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