First Post for 2010

You ever felt like a big kid and wanted to say, “Hey, lookie what I did”?  Well, that’s how I’m feeling now.    

First, though, happy (belated) Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year.  It’s been a while since I’ve sat down and put fingers to keys for a blog post, so you’ll have to forgive me if this post is a little long.

I got my badge with the BUGs  program (Building Urban Gardens).  First you get your little red ladybug pin for attending all the classes, then you do four days of volunteering to earn your badge.   I felt pretty good about earning the badge because out of a filled to capacity class, only three of us got our badges.   

Bugs Potluck

 Terrible picture, I know, but the lady in blue with the smile on her face is Ellen.  She’s receiving her award for Friend to Community Greeners.  I did a couple of my volunteer days with her.  On the last volunteer day it started raining and everybody had left except for me, Ellen, and the person whose garden we were working on.  Ellen finally told me to GO HOME!!!    I’ve got this thing about seeing things through to the end, but I think she was worried I’d catch pneumonia.  No worries…not a sniffle, not a sneeze, not a cough.    

 On the home front, we finally got the trees down.   This is before…


And this is after…  


We worked literally all day getting everything cut and stacked onto the garage apron so the city could come and pick the limbs up, which they did bright and early Monday morning.  We’ve still got to get the trunks cut down, but that’s a job for this spring.  I’m absolutely expecting things to go better now that the garden won’t be so shaded.   

  Thanks Sidney and Fernando!! 

Fernando and Sidney cutting the last limbs to be stacked

It’s only January, but the garden-related volunteering has already started.  Gregory Bratton, Master Gardener, Gardens Coordinator, He Who Lives, Breathes, and Dreams Gardening has the opportunity to restore an abandoned greenhouse. So, last Saturday, with temperatures in the upper 20s, he had about 30 volunteers from the University of Chicago to help clean up the greenhouse.   

Gregory and UIC volunteer leader

Many, many, many UIC volunteers

Da' Boss

 The chickens were kind of running and hiding, but this guy was strutting and cock-a-doodle-doing all morning.   I learned something.  I thought roosters only did their thing in the mornings, but this guy was letting his presence be known…repeatedly. 

And the piesta resistance…  

Greenhouse frame before end walls and plastic covering

 I was forwarded an e-mail in which volunteers were needed to help construct a greenhouse for the Near North Montessori School.  Four fun-filled days of digging post holes, cementing posts in the ground, building end walls, covering with plastic.  Sooooo exciting.   

Anna Viertel, the Urban Farm Manager for the school, has secured the use of the property on which the greenhouse is being constructed to be used as an outdoor classroom for the school.  What started as a desire to have an edible garden on the school property at the Near North Montessori School has lead to “a student-driven vehicle for interdisciplinary, experiential learning and civic engagement that would ultimately be a replicable model for other schools and communities.” 

Gregory and I saw this as an opportunity to get a little bit of a free education on hoophouse/greenhouse construction, so we both volunteered.   He did one day, I did two, and I have lots of pictures….which I’ll put up on the next post.

Happy Gardening!!!



  1. January 22, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    Woo-hoo! She’s back! And that’s all I have to say for now, as I’ve just returned from a full day in Mexico, a visit to the dentist, minus a molar, tired, sore jawed and ready to get to bed. But I’m sure happy to see you are back.

    • gardengoodies said,

      January 24, 2010 at 11:23 am

      Somebody (hmmm, could it have been you?) said to get my butt back to blogging. Thanks for the push.

      You’ve got company with the sore jaw. That’s why Gregory couldn’t do the second work day. Hope you’re both feeling better soon.

  2. Liisa said,

    January 22, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    Good to see you posting again. Looks like you have been very busy and having some fun.

    • gardengoodies said,

      January 24, 2010 at 11:24 am

      I’ve been busier working too. Ahhhh, to be independently wealthy.

  3. engineeredgarden said,

    January 22, 2010 at 11:47 pm

    Good to see you blogging again! Isn’t volunteering fun? Oh, I bet those trees required alot of hard work to remove, and thankfully you had some help with it. I can’t wait to see your next post!

    • gardengoodies said,

      January 24, 2010 at 11:45 am

      It really was fun…until my hand started hurting from using the staple gun. If it wasn’t for that, I would have hung in there until the end.

      Sid and Fernando did the real work. I was the gopher (go for this, go for that).

      Those trees grew so fast. I wish my vegetables grew as well as those trees did.

  4. Jewell said,

    January 23, 2010 at 11:53 am

    Hi, Cheryl

    Thanks for sharing. Be proud of your bug…. Looking for more pictures.
    Gregory forwarded this to me.

    • gardengoodies said,

      January 24, 2010 at 11:36 am

      Hi, Jewell:
      The plan is to post the pictures today, but you know how that is. My computer is soooooo slow. I wonder how many bugs I have in it.

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