History Re-Eating Itself

There’s been a lot to report over the past few months. The Peterson Garden Project is truly becoming a project vs. just a single garden which we’re all very excited about. 2012 is the 70th anniversary of the first year of WW2 and the first historic Victory Garden summer. Since The Peterson Garden Project had brought awareness

Starting a community garden… WHO, WHY & WHAT…

Thanks to a recent Chicago Tribune article about our award from the Mondavi Growing Through Giving Campaign a lot of would-be community organizers have germinated (sorry, couldn’t resist the gardening pun). Within the first three days after the article went online I had five emails from Chicagoans who had been eyeballing empty lots and imagining

Putting the Community in Your Community Garden

Recently I had the pleasure of hosting an Expert Panel for The American Community Gardening Association, of which I am a board member. The topic was “Putting the Community in Your Community Garden” and was attended by 50 or so community gardening organizers and volunteers from around the country. We talked about what works (and

Chicago Victory Gardens 101

This post first appeared in April of last year. We were just starting plans for The Peterson Garden Project which became the largest edible, organic community garden in Chicago. As much of a novelty as our garden was last year – developing almost overnight on private land – I have heard of numerous other “pop-up”


What an incredible year it has been at The Peterson Garden Project! From an historically-inspired idea to the largest edible garden in Chicago… our 400+ gardeners and volunteers are an incredible group of people. We were happy to receive this award from Mayor Daley at the 54th annual Landscape Competition for Best Community Garden (Region

Block Captain Duties: Harvest Festival

First, I should say that one of our core Peterson Garden Project volunteers just said next year we need NEW block captains… so I’m not sure if that’s a reflection on my duties or not… I can say that having been in this role since March I have a great appreciation for the 5,000 Office

Chicago Victory Gardens 101

When this post first appeared in April of this year, the garden you see above was a weedy, nasty urban lot. Within six weeks hundreds of neighbors, volunteers and friends had transformed it into the largest community edible garden in Chicago. The post below talks about the amazing achievements of Chicagoans in 1943. The Peterson

Block Captain Duties – Update

One of our volunteers found a newspaper article from May 21, 1942 that talked about the original garden dedication. It didn’t reveal too many mysteries other than that a flag was raised, a prayer said and that the Senn High School band played. But it provided plenty of inspiration! In the spirit of my WW2


I’m very excited! Wednesday at 7pm I’m doing my “Chicago Victory Gardens: Yesterday and Tomorrow” lecture for the Rogers Park/West Ridge Historical Society. When I started lecturing on WW2 Chicago Victory Gardens this spring the “tomorrow” part was a general overview of how to start a community garden a la’ Victory Garden today as they

Did they feel this proud in WW2?

My mother likes to say “the road to hell is paved with good intentions.” I have been intending, every day, to update you on the progress of our retro Victory Garden The Peterson Garden Project. However between my day job and early mornings/late nights at the garden the last few weeks are a blur. Luckily