Sunday, September 21, 2008

Would You Hold A Giant Hissing Roach?

Madagascar Giant hissing cockroach

Giant African Millipede

At the Garfield Park Conservatory County Fair I not only held a giant roach, I let a great big millipede crawl around on my hand . When I arrived at the University of Illinois Extension service Master Gardener's tent,Elizabeth Bruhns ask if I would be comfortable working the insect petting zoo. It was fun. There were times when the kids were two deep all along the the table. Parents were standing by or joining in depending on their own insect issues. A hand washing station was situated right next to the Extension tent so than everyone could wash up after handling either the insects or checking out the worm bins.

Speaking of worm bins...

A volunteer demonstrates adding vegetable matter to the big wooden worm bins out in the organic vegetable garden.

A table with examples of other home waste that can be added to the worm bins.

The earth box vegetables are still going strong.

Fall crops in the square foot bed. Look how they marked off the squares with florist tape.

The demonstration garden beds are made from reused and found items like wooded pallets, cinder blocks or old bricks.

The organic demonstration garden is part of the outside gardens surrounding the Garfield Park Conservatory. After entering the main building there are exits into the outdoor gardens from several of the rooms. While open to the public every day the demonstration garden volunteers and conservatory staff are in the garden on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday to answer questions and for hands on work with visitors. Starting in spring with how to prepare planting areas, through summer growing and harvest into winter garden preparation. School groups and daycare centers often arrange field trips for Tuesdays but it is not just children. Many adults are interested in learning about urban organic growing.

Demonstration Garden


Blogger Cheryl said...

As an organic gardener I found this post interesting and encouraging......great post.....look and learn.....

22/9/08 1:38 PM  
Blogger Rambling Woods said...

I just finished another of Sara Stein's book and it has changed the way I look at things. I am not a gardener, but want to make my yard over into native and for wildlife..

22/9/08 10:31 PM  
Blogger Gloria said...

Cheryl, it is encouraging to see a city park system back organic gardening. The children have been amazingly interested in growing, especially food.

Rambling Woods, Sara Stein's books are well written. It is a shame we have already lost her voice for a more natural gardening. I hope that beautiful terrace she so lovingly built is kept in place. I would love to see it in person some day.

23/9/08 11:35 AM  
Blogger EAL said...

Worms are cute, but I don't know about the hissing roach.

5/10/08 12:25 AM  

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