• Growing & Green Living

Growing & Green Living

Beekeeping, Composting and Adult Programs

The Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance offers a myriad of programs designed to help you get closer to nature in the city. We partner with the University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners and Master Composters programs to provide many of our gardening and composting demonstrations and workshops. The Conservatory is also the proud home of multiple bee hives and an active beekeeping program - enjoy the fruits of their labor by purchasing Conservatory made honey in our Gift Shop. To learn about all the programs, events and activities taking place at the Conservatory this month, visit our Calendar page.

Getting to Know Your Compost: Part I

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Getting to Know Your Compost: Part I
Instructor: Nance Klehm
Saturday, April 9, 2016
Hours: 9 am – 1 pm
Cost: $70 / $56 for GPCA Members and Volunteers

Our food is only as nutritious as our soil is and our soils are only as resilient as we support them to be. As our gardens bed down for the winter, it is a perfect time to apply amendments to nourish the biology of the soil. In this workshop, learn basic compost biology and how to make compost tea and fermented plant extracts to increase the fertility of your soils and support your plants through environmental droughts and flooding. Learn More ‣

Getting to Know Your Compost: Part II

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Getting to Know Your Compost: Part II
Instructor: Nance Klehm
Saturday, April 16, 2016
Hours: 9 am – 1 pm
Cost: $70 / $56 for GPCA Members and Volunteers

In this hands-on workshop learn why you would want to build a cool (mesophilic) or hot (thermophilic) compost pile and develop your techniques on how to do both. We will discuss and build upon your current compost practices and end compost product. In this hands-on workshop, we will work with various organic wastes to build meso and thermo piles with specific end uses in mind. Learn More ‣

Composting 101

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Composting 101
Saturday, June 4th, 2016
Hours: 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Cost: $40 / $32 for Members and Volunteers

Compost happens, but how can we speed it up and ensure it is full of nutrients for our gardens? Spend the morning with us as we explore different methods of composting that can happen right here in the city. We’ll help determine what bin is right for your needs, how you can manage the decomposition process, and how to harvest and use your compost. This class serves as a pre-requisite for our GPCA Composting Volunteers and is open to the public. This class is oriented to those new to composting or composting within city regulations; more advanced composting topics are coming soon! Learn More ‣

Register

Composters at Work

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Composters at Work
Saturdays, December through May
Hours: 11:30 am - 12:30 pm
Cost: Free

Drop in any time during the program hours for free tips, techniques, and useful information about composting at home. Our trained volunteer composters will be on hand to answer your questions about composting in the city, and they will have a working worm bin to discuss and explore.

Beekeepers at Work

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Beekeepers at Work
Missed the free demos this year? Beekeepers at Work resumes in late spring 2016!

Curious about bees and beekeeping? Join us throughout the summer as our volunteers and Head Beekeeper demonstrate techniques with active beehives and explain their work. Demonstrations are for all ages and interest levels.

2nd Wednesday Adult Lecture Series

Join us on the second Wednesday each month to hear a lecture on a variety of topics that will expand your knowledge and understanding of how plants and nature help shape our identities and communities. These lectures are free, open to the public, and cover a wide range of topics. Learn more

Christopher Robert Reed on Notable African Americans through History

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Christopher Robert Reed on Notable African Americans through History
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Cost: Free
Admission: Pre-Registration Required
Eligibility: 13 and Up

For Black History Month, we invite Historian Christopher Robert Reed, who currently holds the rank of Professor Emeritus of History at Roosevelt University, Chicago, to present on Notable African Americans through History. Professor Reed has a strong and vibrant connection to the heart and soul of Chicago - its people and their history. As a native Chicagoan, he describes himself as attempting to blend a love of place with a holistic, scholarly view of what made Chicago and its citizens behave as they have done and presently do. An original resident of the South Side's historic Bronzeville community, Professor Reed is a permanent resident of the city where he is active in civic, community and political affairs which include the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boys and Girls Club, the John Marshall High School Alumni Association, the East Garfield Park Residents, and the Black Chicago History Forum.. Learn More And Register‣

Julia Bachrach on Jens Jensen and the Power of Nature

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Julia Bachrach on Jens Jensen and the Power of Nature
Date: Wednesday, March 9, 2016
Hours: 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Location: Jensen Room
Cost: Free
Admission: Pre-Registration Required
Eligibility: 13 and Up

Renowned landscape architect, conservationist, and designer of the Garfield Park Conservatory Jens Jensen (1860- 1951) believed that plants and gardening had the power to uplift and inspire individuals and society. He wrote: “Everyone is entitled to a home where the sun, the stars, open fields, giant trees, smiling flowers, are free to teach an undisturbed lesson of life.” Through this program, Julia Bachrach will illuminate the ways in which Jensen used gardens, landscape designs, and programs in Chicago’s parks to bring people closer to Nature. Julia Bachrach is the Chicago Park District historian and author of several books including Inspired by Nature: The Garfield Park Conservatory and Chicago’s West Side.

Learn More And Register ‣

Tree ID Walk at Garfield Park Conservatory

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Tree ID Walk at Garfield Park Conservatory
Fridays, February 19, May 13, July 8, and October 14, 2016
Hours: 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Cost: Free

Spring, summer and fall - learn about city trees throughout the seasons with Openlands’ Regional Forester, Daniella Pereira. Daniella will explore the trees of beautiful and historic Garfield Park. Interested children are welcome, but must be accompanied by an adult. Pre-registration is required. Please dress appropriately for the weather – walks take place rain or shine! Learn More ‣

Register

Chicago Bonsai Club Meeting

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Chicago Bonsai Club Meeting
Third Wednesday of the Month, March through October
Hours: 6:30 pm - 8 pm
Cost: Free

Come join us to learn about the ancient art of growing bonsai from the Chicago Bonsai Club, a chapter of the Midwest Bonsai Society. Bring your bonsai trees to work on or just come to watch. Potting soil and wire will be provided, and some plant materials and pots will be available at a nominal cost. There is no fee to attend. Learn More ‣

Composting Information Booklet by The University of Illinois Extension Master Composters

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Composting Information Booklet
Cost: Free PDF Download

Interested in composting at home? The University of Illinois Extension Master Composters are the experts. Their in-depth composting information booklet contains information on why compost is important, making compost, basic compost recipes, do's and don'ts, and more! Click to View ‣