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Rhonda Ferree's ILRiverHort

Rhonda Ferree's Horticulture Blog
Community & Gift Gardens
lead in soils fs

Food Garden Safety Begins with a Lead Test Soil

The garden season is in full force, and I'm excited to hear about all the food and community gardens happening in our area. As we begin growing food and other plants this summer, please consider some potential health hazards. A growing concern in urban soils is lead contamination, though suburban and rural soils may also be contaminated. I recently partnered with the Peoria City/County...

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Community Garden Resources

Community Garden Internet Resources American Community Gardening Association, Information about starting a community garden, publications, e-newsletter, and conferences, Community Gardening Toolkit , University of Missouri Extension, Publication MP 906 available as a downloada...

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Ten Steps to Successful Community Gardens

Community gardens can turn stark vacant lots into productive keystones in a community. The reasons for starting community gardens are varied, and the rewards are numerous. However various pitfalls can turn noble intentions into negative neighborhood drama. Proper planning, excellent communication, simple rules, and basic garden knowledge all help reduce these problems. Here are ten step...

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Night in the Garden Series Spotlights Food Gardens

"A Night in the Garden" SeriesThis summer a "Night in the Garden" series spotlighted various gardens growing fruits and vegetables in Fulton, Mason, Peoria, and Tazewell counties. Each night began with a short garden tour at 6 pm, followed by informal time for questions and answers with University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners and Horticulture Educator Rhonda Ferree. Dates and location...

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Community & Gift Gardens Serving Fulton, Mason, Peoria, and Tazewell Counties

Here is a list of public gardens in 2016  that grew food. They include community, gift, school, 4-H, demonstration, and other food gardens. Please let me know if there are more to add. Fulton County YMCA Children's Garden in Canton Catholic Church Gift Garden in Canton Junior Master Gardener Project in Canton Mason County Fairgrounds Juni...

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Community Gardening Toolkit

If you are planning a community garden, this toolkit from the University of Missouri will be a big help.

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Vegetable Planting Chart - Timing

Go to for more information on when to plant vegetables in your garden. Vegetable Hardiness Recommended planting period for central Illinois...

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Victory Gardens Make a Comeback

Today is my cousin Lyle's birthday. Lyle is a great gardener and food preserver. Each year he grows and preserves many quarts of tomato juice and more. As I think about Lyle's garden, the Victory Gardens of old come to mind. One of the biggest trends in gardening today is community gardens. In many ways Community Gardens are the Victory Garden of today. Victory Gardens, also called war...

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Community Garden resources

Check out the community garden toolkit and resource links shown below and at right. Community Gardening Toolkit from University of Missouri Extension Cook County Community Garden Scoop-It...

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