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Ginkgo Organic Gardens

Ginkgo Organic Gardens Ginkgo Organic Gardens is a community garden dedicated to growing fresh produce for Vital Bridges https://www.gofundme.com/f/ginkgo-organic-gardens-2020-f/

Operating as usual

Ooo look at the baby mantids! They will grow up to eat the bugs that harm our lovely vegetables. Be sure to collect any ...
12/15/2022

Ooo look at the baby mantids! They will grow up to eat the bugs that harm our lovely vegetables. Be sure to collect any egg sacs that may be hidden on your Christmas trees and decor! https://www.housebeautiful.com/lifestyle/a30213003/christmas-tree-praying-mantis/

CCGA Resources' first praying mantis egg case hatched yesterday in the Austin High School greenhouse. Look carefully and you can see half a dozen of the nearly 200 mantids that can emerge, but who's counting? Let's hope they will be good at pest control.

Enjoy this glorious article on the scientific pursuit of bumblebee p**p! We at Ginkgo Organic Gardens are super jealous ...
12/09/2022
Sunflowers make bees p**p—a lot. Here’s why that’s good.

Enjoy this glorious article on the scientific pursuit of bumblebee p**p! We at Ginkgo Organic Gardens are super jealous of these researchers getting to feed and pet lovely fuzzy bumblebees, then look at their glowing waste!!

"It turned out that bee p**p naturally fluoresces under ultraviolet light... It was very dazzling—it almost looked like a galaxy.”

The flower’s pollen works like a medicine for bumblebees afflicted with a nasty parasite.

I love this picture. Rotting wood is not trash! At Ginkgo Organic Gardens we often find cute mushrooms, mosses and bug f...
12/06/2022

I love this picture. Rotting wood is not trash! At Ginkgo Organic Gardens we often find cute mushrooms, mosses and bug friends living in our wood chips and branch pile. Looking closely at these teeny neighborhoods on fallen logs, makes walks in the woods even more enjoyable! Where will you go this winter?? Please take pictures to show us next spring.

THIS LOG IS ALIVE!
Decaying trees are as important to ecosystems as live ones are!

Buena Park Neighbors is hosting this great holiday event!
12/05/2022

Buena Park Neighbors is hosting this great holiday event!

12/02/2022
Priorities and the Path to Progress

December 1 is the annual commemoration of World AIDS Day. At Ginkgo we are proud of our mission to provide fresh organic produce to the clients of Vital Bridges, a food pantry founded by the amazing Lori Cannon to serve people living with HIV. Lori Cannon gives back to the community in honor of friends who died and the ongoing resilience of low-income folks in treatment. Although there is still no cure for HIV, low-cost testing and treatment have become widely available so for many people, we sometimes forget the terror of what was once a stigmatized death sentence. It's still important to support the work of organizations like amfAR until everyone is able to access treatment, and someday a cure.

Food is all around us! Look at these amazing native crops that were used by the Potawatomi living in our region! Have yo...
12/01/2022

Food is all around us! Look at these amazing native crops that were used by the Potawatomi living in our region! Have you ever eaten a paw-paw? Did you know that the delicious spice sumac can be harvested from the berries that grow in trees you may have in your neighborhood?

Regram : celebrates the close of Native American Heritage Month with this lush drawing of crops traditionally harvested by the Potawatomi, a tribe native to our Great Lakes region.

Lenoir precisely rattles off the crops pictured: “There’s calico sweetcorn, Gete-Okosomin squash… also known as Kentucky squash… red-seeded watermelon, sumac…used for lemonade and spices…Seneca sunflower, Miami-Ohio pole beans, paw-paws, cow peas…” - and that’s only a fraction. The artist not only researches and draws these natural subjects, he also grows these crops in a lovingly-tended garden plot at Urban Growers Collective in South Chicago.

You can find more Blake Lenoir tributes to biodiversity on our online store. https://www.projectonward.org/blake-lenoir

At Ginkgo Organic Gardens, we allow wildflowers and grasses to grow around the edges of our garden- leaving these spaces...
12/01/2022
Leave grasses intact in the garden through fall and winter

At Ginkgo Organic Gardens, we allow wildflowers and grasses to grow around the edges of our garden- leaving these spaces a bit twiggy and "messy" provides shelter and food for birds, animals and insects during the winter!

You may have heard the phrase “leave the leaves” when it comes to deciding what to do with your trees' fallen leaves in autumn. But what about the herbaceous plants and grasses in your home landscape? Should you leave them standing over the winter or cut them down? Let’s take a closer look at ...

Today is Giving Tuesday! Please consider contributing to our  fundraiser.  Ginkgo Organic Gardens has grown and donated ...
11/29/2022
Ginkgo Organic Gardens 2022-2023 Fundraiser, organized by Zareen Hansotia

Today is Giving Tuesday! Please consider contributing to our fundraiser. Ginkgo Organic Gardens has grown and donated almost 900 pounds of organic produce for the clients of Vital Bridges Food Pantry in 2022. We use the funds to buy seeds and starts, general upkeep and new tools.

Thanks for your support! If you aren’t able to donate please consider sharing this and/or joining us in 2023 – we depend on volunteers to plant, grow and harvest the food we take to the pantry.

Ginkgo Organic Gardens is a unique community garden in Chicago’s Uptown n… Zareen Hansotia needs your support for Ginkgo Organic Gardens 2022-2023 Fundraiser

reposted from Ruda Sur:Just look at the amazing gathering of monarch butterflies in Michoacan Mexico!  This is the winte...
11/27/2022

reposted from Ruda Sur:
Just look at the amazing gathering of monarch butterflies in Michoacan Mexico! This is the wintering grounds of the lovely butterflies that we love to see each summer. They need our protection- this is why we plant wildflowers and milkweed for the caterpillars to eat. We must end all use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides that harm these beautiful pollinators which are loved around the world!

Happy Native American Heritage Day and post-Thanksgiving holiday! At Ginkgo Organic Gardens, we are so proud to take car...
11/26/2022

Happy Native American Heritage Day and post-Thanksgiving holiday! At Ginkgo Organic Gardens, we are so proud to take care of the land and the water- working with, not against nature, to grow food for those in need. We recognize the original inhabitants who were forcibly removed from this land, which we now call Chicago after the Indigenous word for the wild onions that grow here. We are grateful to Indigenous cultures that developed the plants we grow- among these are corn, potatoes, squash, peppers, tomatoes, and eggplants that come from the areas now called Mexico and South America. We honor centuries of farming traditions by learning time-honored practices like collecting rainwater, saving seeds and companion planting. We are truly thankful to our community, and all of our friends and supporters!!


Friends, Ginkgo Organic Gardens is officially closed for the winter. Here are a few pics to show that we covered our fig...
11/24/2022

Friends, Ginkgo Organic Gardens is officially closed for the winter. Here are a few pics to show that we covered our fig trees to let them hibernate. (And we took home some veggie plants to keep as houseplants.)

Thanks for a lovely year. We are so grateful for your help and look forward to seeing you all again in the spring! Please continue to support our pantry partner Vital Bridges Groceryland- and consider donating to our GoFundMe that will provide essential funding for the maintenance our garden needs!

Amazing! Thank you voters. Please enjoy your local forest preserves this winter!
11/15/2022

Amazing! Thank you voters. Please enjoy your local forest preserves this winter!

Thank you!

The referendum on yesterday's ballot in Cook County to provide more funding to the Forest Preserves passed with overwhelming support. It’s amazing to see how many people deeply appreciate all the benefits our public lands provide the residents, wildlife and environment of Cook County.

Our work begins today on enacting plans to expand ecological restoration work, add more land to the preserve system, address critical long-term needs, continue to grow our programming and public outreach, and more.

📸: Busse Woods by Philip Walker, August 2021

Happy Election Day! Our friends at Openlands are supporting this ballot referendum for Cook County Forest Preserves! Ple...
11/08/2022

Happy Election Day! Our friends at Openlands are supporting this ballot referendum for Cook County Forest Preserves! Please join us in voting yes.

There are only 4 days left until Election Day! Use your voice and vote to protect our local environment and support Cook County forest preserves. By voting “YES” you will help create hundreds of jobs for residents, keep our air clean and so much more.
Vote Yes Forest Preserves
For more info, visit: https://www.voteyesforestpreserves.org/

11/05/2022

This Halloween, don’t trash your pumpkins; smash them with University of Illinois Extension at sites located throughout Chicago:
Gary Comer Youth Center 7200 S Ingleside Ave, Chicago, IL 60619
Lake View High School 4015 N Ashland Ave, Chicago, IL 60613
Morton School of Excellence 431 N Troy St, Chicago, IL 60612
Plant Chicago 4459 S Marshfield Ave, Chicago, IL 60609
First Presbyterian Church of Arlington Heights 302 N Dunton Ave, Arlington Heights IL *this event starts at 9 am*
All are welcome for this free family event happening rain or shine.
Saturday November 5, 10 am - 2 pm.
Pumpkins must be free of candles, stickers, glitter, yarn, synthetic decorations. We can compost pumpkins decorated with water-based paints.
There's pumpkin smashes all over this year. To find another one by you, see SCARCE.ORG/PUMPKINS

We won Best Overall Halloween display for our haunted garden!  Vegetable tidings be with you all!
11/01/2022

We won Best Overall Halloween display for our haunted garden! Vegetable tidings be with you all!

Join us this Saturday from 9:30am to 12:30 for our final harvest of 2022! Ginkgo Organic Gardens
10/29/2022

Join us this Saturday from 9:30am to 12:30 for our final harvest of 2022! Ginkgo Organic Gardens

Great event happening tomorrow after our volunteer day!
10/29/2022

Great event happening tomorrow after our volunteer day!

This Saturday, join us for a Harvest Fest to celebrate the closing of our market and volunteer season. The Harvest Fest with UGC and Friends of the Parks is from 1-3 pm on Saturday, Oct. 29th. Come on by for pumpkin painting, apple cider, farm stand, face painting, an ofrenda altar, and a hay bale photo area! All ages are welcome. Bessemer Park District will host a Breast Cancer Awareness Walk from 10 am-12 pm and a Trunk or Treat event from 3-5 pm at the same location (flyers for these events are posted in our stories today!). Come enjoy a day of amazing end-of-season events at Schafer Park!

 we need to start growing mushrooms again, look at this one!
10/29/2022

we need to start growing mushrooms again, look at this one!

Timeline photos
10/26/2022

Timeline photos

Ginkgo trees have a unique trait—once their leaves transition from green to brilliant yellow, and the weather gets cold and windy, they fall together at the same time, creating a vibrant golden ocean around the trunk. Trees create “scars” on their stems to protect themselves from disease once leaves fall. This process happens on a leaf-by-leaf basis in other trees, while ginkgoes do it all at once!

Happy Diwali! We think you will love this article about how marigolds are a sacred flower both in Mexico and South Asia....
10/24/2022
How the marigold became a global icon, from Mexico to India

Happy Diwali! We think you will love this article about how marigolds are a sacred flower both in Mexico and South Asia. We love them too- they are wonderful for pollinators and warding off bad bugs. We plan to grow as many marigolds as we can next year!

See our photographers' best images of the flowers, which abound at events as diverse as Diwali and the Day of the Dead.

We are not surprised by this news that yet another toxic weedkiller was sold by a company lying for decades about it's l...
10/20/2022
Secret files suggest chemical giant feared weedkiller’s link to Parkinson’s disease

We are not surprised by this news that yet another toxic weedkiller was sold by a company lying for decades about it's life-threatening impacts. Today's important expose in The Guardian, has come out thanks to a years-long lawsuit about notorious weedkiller Paraquat having caused thousands of cases of Parkinsons! Please keep yourself safe by never handling these terrible chemicals and buying only organic food and garden products.

"For decades, Swiss chemical giant Syngenta has manufactured and marketed a widely used weed-killing chemical called paraquat, and for much of that time the company has been dealing with external concerns that long-term exposure to the chemical may be a cause of the incurable brain ailment known as Parkinson’s disease. But a cache of internal corporate documents dating back to the 1950s reviewed by the Guardian suggests that the public narrative put forward by Syngenta and the corporate entities that preceded it has at times contradicted the company’s own research and knowledge.”

Cache of documents seen by Guardian detail effort to refute scientific research into paraquat and derail nomination of key EPA adviser

Help stop this horrible industrial ag practice of burning sugarcane fields, which needlessly pollutes the air in Florida...
10/19/2022
Sugar Field Burning

Help stop this horrible industrial ag practice of burning sugarcane fields, which needlessly pollutes the air in Florida and Hawaii! This plant material could be composted or re-used for sustainable products. https://www.sierraclub.org/florida/sugar-field-burning?

Stop the Burn! Pre-harvest sugar field burning is a toxic and outdated harvesting practice that takes place every year from October through May over the approximately 400,000 acres of sugarcane fields in and around the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA).

Let's go learn about Chicago history while planting flower bulbs! We can go after our Ginkgo workday!
10/15/2022

Let's go learn about Chicago history while planting flower bulbs! We can go after our Ginkgo workday!



Join us and artist Amanda Williams for a community planting day this Saturday in Washington Park. Be a part of her new work Redefining Redlining. We’ll be planting 100,000 red tulip bulbs.

Saturday, October 15
9 am - 4 pm
53rd St and S Prairie Ave

More info at the bit.ly/redefiningredlining

This event is part of our Terra Firma initiative to tend and beautify over 200 acres of vacant land on the South Side of Chicago.

"Glyphosate’s use in the U.S. has skyrocketed since 1996, the year Monsanto introduced genetically engineered seeds that...
10/11/2022
A potentially cancer-causing chemical is sprayed on much of America’s produce. How high is exposure near you?

"Glyphosate’s use in the U.S. has skyrocketed since 1996, the year Monsanto introduced genetically engineered seeds that could survive being sprayed with higher quantities of herbicides."

Ginkgo has ALWAYS stood against genetically engineered seeds and chemical weedkillers like Roundup. These cancer-causing chemicals pollute our drinking water, kill our pollinators and contaminate our land. We are sad that so much of the Midwest has been impacted. We are devoted to ecological practices that safeguard our precious environment and our food supply. NOTHING matters more.

https://www.nbcnews.com/data-graphics/toxic-herbicides-map-showing-high-exposure-state-rcna50052?

Weedkillers containing glyphosate are sprayed on nearly half of all corn and soybeans grown in the U.S. Exposure is highest in parts of Iowa, Illinois and Indiana.

Come to Ginkgo Organic Gardens tomorrow from 9:30 to 12:30 to help us wind down for the year!
10/07/2022

Come to Ginkgo Organic Gardens tomorrow from 9:30 to 12:30 to help us wind down for the year!

As the season comes to a close, it can be hard to find the motivation to properly shut down the . Steps taken in the to organize and protect tools, equipment, and supplies will be rewarded with more efficiency when getting started in the spring. While all and are unique, there are many commonly used systems and tools that connect us to one another at certain times of the year. In the late fall, even if the don't completely stop for the winter in your region, the summer season has ended, the weeds are slowing down, and precautions should be taken to preserve the integrity of tools, machines, and production houses during the winter months.

Read more from Paul Betz on our featuring some suggestions on steps to take in fall and winter that can set you up for success next year: https://bit.ly/3CeYylo 🥕🥕

Yay! Alternative options for lawns!
10/05/2022

Yay! Alternative options for lawns!

For many homeowners, a long, hot summer means mow the lawn, water, repeat. It’s a cycle that feels inevitable. Discover how Becky Barak, a conservation scientist at the Garden’s Negaunee Institute, is collaborating with a team of scientists to change that assumption and offer a “menu of options” for greener lawns: https://chgobg.org/3BUjlKY

https://earthactivisttraining.org/earth-repair-fungi-and-disaster/?mc_cid=1ccd05c579&mc_eid=2c526e3356Wonderful workshop...
10/05/2022
Earth Repair, Fungi, and Disaster | Earth Activist Training

https://earthactivisttraining.org/earth-repair-fungi-and-disaster/?mc_cid=1ccd05c579&mc_eid=2c526e3356

Wonderful workshops! Sign up for the free workshop tonight to receive a recording!

* FREE CLASS * Earth Repair, Fungi, and Disaster: Working with Nature in the Face of Climate Change   register now WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW The world is changing quickly and the times ahead often feel uncertain. Many of us know we have a role to play in this significant shift, but it can be overwhelmi...

How to help birds!
09/28/2022

How to help birds!

Fall migration has officially begun. Chicago is a “critical survival point” for birds as the city is along the Mississippi Flyway, a superhighway for birds to get to their destination. However, the lights in the city’s high-rise buildings can confuse birds and cause them to collide with the buildings. To help protect migrating birds, turn off your lights and draw your blinds after 11 PM.

To learn more, visit:
https://blockclubchicago.org/2022/08/31/help-save-migrating-birds-by-turning-off-high-rise-lights-at-night-birders-say/

Visit Ginkgo Organic Gardens (4055 N Kenmore Ave) tonight at 6 for our final Wednesday Night Gardening of 2022! We will ...
09/28/2022

Visit Ginkgo Organic Gardens (4055 N Kenmore Ave) tonight at 6 for our final Wednesday Night Gardening of 2022! We will watch the sunset and listen to birds as we help transition the garden into fall.

09/27/2022

How are Black and Indigenous organizers and land stewards across occupied Chicago, Hawai’i, and the Philippines resisting colonialism, racial capitalism, and militarism while transforming and healing their communities through land defense and stewardship? 🌱 Join us on Thursday, September 29 at 7pm CST for a panel discussion with Adrien Pochel (, ), Bweza Itaagi (, ), and Punahele (Nā Pua Kū’ē— ). By connecting local struggles for land sovereignty and self-determination, we hope to water seeds of international solidarity and transplant strategies for waging land defense and reclamation campaigns so that the earth & our communities can heal and thrive. Register at bit.ly/defendtheland! ✨

Thank you Chicago Community Gardeners Association - CCGA for picking up this important contamination issue. PFAS are not...
09/27/2022

Thank you Chicago Community Gardeners Association - CCGA for picking up this important contamination issue. PFAS are not safe, and are notoriously present in sewage sludge aka "biosolids" that municipalities have been trying to pass off on farmers and gardeners. Sewage sludge is excluded from organic standards and for very good reason! We have never used it here at Ginkgo Organic Gardens.

It is imperative that we as gardeners understand the dangers of PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) in our soil and compost. We encourage all gardeners and growers to read Michael Hawthorn’s investigation into dangerous PFAS found in biosolids in the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District’s free EQ (Exceptional Quality) compost (article link below.) This is a disappointing and devastating failure of MWRD to know - but downplay - the health risks of growing food in their product, while specifically offering it to food growers such as community gardeners and urban farmers. PFAS, even if used in ornamental beds, are considered “forever chemicals”.

CCGA has always turned down MWRD's offers of EQ compost for distribution to community gardens, even rejecting free oak saplings planted in buckets for the same concerns mentioned here. The Tribune article also reported that the City of Chicago has held a policy since 2006 that biosolids are not safe enough for use on vacant lots. If biosolids containing PFAS aren’t good enough for vacant lots, then they’re not good enough for Chicago’s backyards, community and school gardens, and urban farms. CCGA will call on the City to hold all spaces for gardening and growing to the same environmental standard as city-owned lots.

We believe that MWRD needs to take responsibility for the safety of their products. "Every scoop of sludge is contaminated with toxic forever chemicals linked to cancer and other maladies, a Chicago Tribune investigation has found.” Accountability should include 1) offering testing of affected sites now and in the future, not just for PFAS but also other heavy metals commonly found in biosolids, and 2) paying for cleanup/removal of soil contaminated with PFAS introduced by their biosolids.

Read his Tribune article: https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/environment/ct-pfas-sewage-sludge-gardens-20220910-gpkdphif7faflemajudoxrggma-htmlstory.html.

Read more about PFAS: https://www.epa.gov/pfas

Please visit http://www.chicagocommunitygardens.org for pdf versions of the articles as well as statements from the MWRD.

Photo: Mary Weaver harvests tomatoes in her garden plot in McCormick Community Gardens on Sept. 7, 2022, in Evanston. Weaver is concerned she and others might be inadvertently contaminating their vegetables by using PFAS-laden sludge as fertilizer in their community garden plots. (Erin Hooley / Chicago Tribune)

Please be aware of the parking restriction this Saturday, and hang out with us at the Block Party from 6 to 11pm!
09/23/2022

Please be aware of the parking restriction this Saturday, and hang out with us at the Block Party from 6 to 11pm!

Looking forward to representing Ginkgo Organic Gardens this Saturday at Buena Park Block Party it's gonna be so fun!!
09/23/2022

Looking forward to representing Ginkgo Organic Gardens this Saturday at Buena Park Block Party it's gonna be so fun!!

Hurry, tonight is our second to last Wednesday Night Gardening for 2022. Spend a precious late summer hour with us! See ...
09/21/2022

Hurry, tonight is our second to last Wednesday Night Gardening for 2022. Spend a precious late summer hour with us! See you at six!

All of Chicago's neighborhoods deserve beautiful garden spaces everywhere! Beautifying the space to reclaim it makes com...
09/20/2022
Episode 46 - The Gardener Changing His Neighborhood One Corner At A Time | It's All Good - A Block Club Chicago Podcast

All of Chicago's neighborhoods deserve beautiful garden spaces everywhere! Beautifying the space to reclaim it makes communities safer and more connected. Listen to this Block Club profile of an inspiring self-taught advocate from Back of the Yards. Then get involved with us or on your own corner!

https://its-all-good-the-block-club-chicago-podcast.simplecast.com/episodes/episode-46-the-gardener-changing-his-neighborhood-one-corner-at-a-time-bPcD8z18

Edgar Florentino is brightening up the neighborhood he grew up in by landscaping "hot corners" — streets where there is a lot of gun violence.

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4055 N Kenmore Avenue
Chicago, IL
60613

Opening Hours

Wednesday 6pm - 8:30pm
Saturday 9:30am - 12:30pm

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Donations are needed for a new Seed Library being established at the Uptown Branch Library in cooperation with Ginkgo Organic Gardens. Harvest seeds from your plants this fall, put as many or as few seeds as you see fit in an envelope labeled with the name of the plant, and bring them to the library. Next spring, library patrons can "borrow" seeds from this library and continue the cycle. Seeding is fundamental! 🌱
April 11th will be the first day of planting and clean up at Ginkgo Organic Gardens! See below for details on how you can get involved.
This holiday season please consider donating to Ginkgo Organic Gardens right here in Buena Park. They are fundraising to replace their worn-out composters and raised beds. Click the link below for details.
John and Ivy led the regular Saturday work day at Ginkgo Organic Gardens.
These guys were my compost heroes today. We are so lucky to have so many hardworking great volunteers like these.
Starting this Weds join Ginkgo at 6:30PM each week for some meditative weeding and watering as we listen to birds and watch the sunset!
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