New Gardener Program May 2016 update

Did you apply to participate for our New Gardener program?

Perhaps you recently applied to build a garden and receive a mentor or to be a mentor to others in Edible Evanston’s New Gardener program.

Thank you for your interest in participating! Rest assured, we received your application and you will be hearing from us. After two months of planning and a solid month building gardens for others, our team has not had a chance to review and reply to our new applicants. (We also have been anxious to spend a bit of time in our own gardens!)

¡Estamos buscando nuevos jardineros!

¡Únete a nuestro grupo de jardinería y recibe camas elevadas de cultivo para tu propio huerto!

Ayuda para construir tu propio huerto. Te proporcionamos materiales para dos camas elevadas, tierra, semillas y algunas plantas para empezar. Planeamos ayudar a 20 familias y organizaciones a construir huertos nuevos en los próximos 12 meses.

Si eres un residente de Evanston y has pensado en tener tu propio huerto, pero no sabes cómo tomar el primer paso, puedes aplicar para que te ayudemos a desarrollar tu “pulgar verde”. Alentamos a las familias de pocos ingresos a someter su aplicación.

We’re Growing New Gardeners!

Join our home gardening group and receive raised beds in your own yard!

Edible Evanston wants to help you build your own garden. We’ll provide materials for two raised beds, soil, and some initial plants and seeds.
You will also receive workshops, a manual for educational training, plus your own personal garden mentor. We plan to help 20 families and organizations build new gardens in the next 12 months.

If you are an Evanstonian who has thought about having your own garden but do not know how to take the first step, apply to let us help you grow that “green thumb.” Low-income families are encouraged to apply.

Bean sprouts: the original microgreen

How to sprout beans:

If you are itching to grow and eat something in the next week, sprouting mung beans might hold you until your garden seeds start sprouting next month. It’s a simple process and a great way to get kids involved:

  • Rinse the mung beans until the water runs clear.

  • Place the beans in a clean bowl

  • Cover the beans with water. This will be about 2 to 3 times the volume of the beans

  • Soak for about 8 hours. The beans will swell up.

  • Drain the excess water and rinse the beans. Drain them again.

Safer de-icing for plants, animals and people

Winter in Evanston can be rough. We all know that and we have found ways to survive it. If it is a collection of coats, hats, and scarves or an annual vacation to a warm location, we all have strategies to power through. One aspect of winter that we can’t get away from though is snow on sidewalks, driveways, and roads. It is estimated that we use about 137 pounds of salt per person in the US every year for de-icing.

Winter is Time for Seed Selection and Review

If you’re planning on starting your garden from seeds this season, now is the time to organize your seed collection. Check the packages of the seeds you have stored. Did anything get wet over the winter? A good way to check the viability of a packet of seeds is to soak 10 seeds overnight, then fold them into a damp (not dripping) paper towel and slide the packet into a ziplock bag. Check how long the germination period is on the seed pack. After the germination period is over, open the package and count how many seeds have sprouted.

A Seed Starting Primer

seeds germinating under plastic dome

Start your own plants … soon

Why start seeds indoors?

There are certainly plenty of vegetables and flowers you can direct-sow in your garden. However, for those of us who live in the Northern US and like warm-weather crops, many of our favorite plants to grow— and eat —require too many weeks of both warmth and long daylight to wait to sow until after frost. And for those of you who have been buying plants, starting your own seeds can both save you money and allow you to control which varieties you plant.