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Howard Street Farm Demonstration Garden

A 10,000-square-foot demonstration garden is being installed by the nonprofit group The Talking Farm, at 3701 Howard Street, in Skokie, with the generous assistance of Studio Talo Architecture. In June 2011, The Talking Farm arranged with the Skokie Park District for access to the two-acre farm site on Chicago’s North Shore (refer to the April 2011 article in Natural Awakenings).

A gravel path will lead into the garden, with benches in a meeting area. Beds will show different growing techniques, such as square foot and wheelbarrow gardening, spiral beds and hoop houses, as well as raised beds with various themes. Classes are to be held in growing, preserving and enjoying local foods; and to conduct research relevant to urban farming.

The Talking Farm will use the land to grow fresh produce, applying sustainable agricultural practices such as crop rotation, companion planting, mulching, natural biocides and non-petroleum-based fertilizers. Produce from the farm will be available to local restaurants, farmers’ markets, schools, food pantries and individuals.

Planned projects include a permanent net-zero energy building with greenhouse and root cellar, a small orchard and agro-forest, fences for vertical growing, and hoop houses for season extension.

The Talking Farm is seeking monetary gifts and in-kind donations or services, such as lumber, soil, gravel and fencing. Call Linda at 847-651-1197.