A Gardening Lesson From WW2: Keep It Simple Stupid

My father was in the Occupied Forces of Japan during WW2 and that experience influenced his life profoundly… he had a lot of wartime expressions peppering his conversations (and a few fun songs too, like this). He particularly liked mentioning the KISS Principal (keep it simple stupid) when I tended to complicate things. Of course,

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”

Zone Envy

Now is the time of year where the hardcore gardeners in the northern part of the U.S. start suffering. The brain is ready for the start of the gardening season but the weather has something else to say about it… at least in Chicago’s Zone 5. I’m no different and, actually, this year is worse


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