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7/23/2005
Urban Compost in Chicago
When I bought my compost bin a couple of years back (was it 2 or 3 years? 2, I think), I searched and searched for good information about how to actually make compost. Some municipalities had really good websites and even programs where you could get cheap compost bins. Chicago was not among them.

Until now.

The Chicago Home Composting Program kicked off with a bang today at the Garfield Park Conservatory and the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences (who know there was such a school?), where Chicago residents could get a home compost bin for only $25. Sarah and I picked up two for the Hub Housing Cooperative (rules allowed 1 per residence and we got one each) at the Conservatory.

I always knew the Conservatory was a really cool place, with lots of knowledge about growing all sorts of things. In fact, I had planned to see them about native species. But who know all the other cool programs and growing they're doing?

They have a demonstration garden that's a standard city lot-size 25 feet by 125 ft, I think, where they're growing lots and lots of wonderful things to eat and some ornamental stuff as well. They have gardeners available to answer questions 12 hours per week (Tu, Th and Sat) and have tons of great programs, such as: Summer Mainteance and Planting Fall Crops, Herbal Gifts from the Garden, Troubleshooting the Organic Garden, Fall Season Extension, Seed Saving in the Garden, Cover Crops and much, much more.

And to get back to composting, the Chicago Home Composting site from the University of Illinois Extension has tons of resources on how to compost, how to build a bin, worm composting, classes and much more.

Totally awesome! Check it out.

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