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Chicago Urban Gardening

The day to day experiences of a University of Illinois Extension Urban Horticulture Educator in Chicago, Illinois

Organic Gardening Day 2006

Posted by Ron Wolford -

Organic gardening is gaining favor among people concerned about the quality of their food and lifestyle. Whether you are an experienced organic gardener or a beginner looking for guidance as you start out, the University of Illinois' Organic Gardening Day 2006 will give you plenty to think about as you begin to dream about next year's gardening successes. This event is scheduled for Saturday, October 21, 2006, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at the Holiday Inn Hotel and Conference Center, 1001 Killarney Street, Urbana, Illinois, just off I-74 at exit 183 (Lincoln Avenue). The first educational session begins promptly at 9 a.m.

"A day of educational and entertaining sessions, an organic theme lunch, and the chance to interact with noted organic gardening experts from around the country is all packed into this big day of gardening fun, food, and fellowship," Said Chuck Voigt, U of I Extension specialist. "This year's impressive lineup of educational sessions provides more than enough incentive to come early and take advantage of the whole day."

Keith Crotz, owner/operator of The American Botanist, will speak about The History and Literature of Organic Gardening. Keith is an alumnus of the University of Illinois and M.S.), and farms organically in Chillicothe, Illinois.

Dr. John Masiunas, U of I associate professor, will speak about his extensive work with weed control in small fruits and vegetable crops as well as cover crops and allelopathy. He will speak about cover crops, green manures, mulches, and organic weed control.

Ben Lubchansky, U of I graduate, organic farmer, and chef, will tempt our taste buds by demonstrating several recipes to promote Savoring the Flavor of Your Organic Produce.

Kent Whealy, founder of Seed Savers Exchange of Decorah, Iowa. The Heritage Farm there now has 52 organic gardens where seeds of valuable food crop genetic materials are maintained and cultivated for catalog sales. He will discuss the Organic Vegetable Gardens at Seed Savers' Heritage Farm.

Dan Bussey, who is in charge of the preservation orchard at Seed Savers' Heritage Farm, will outline how best to succeed at Organic Home Orcharding.

The program will include a retail area, featuring vendors of equipment, books, and many other organic gardening essentials. It will be open for shopping to program attendees and interested members of the general public from 8:00 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. There is no entrance fee for those attending only the retail event. Come early for the best selection of merchandise, because a lot of selling gets done during the registration hour.

Organic Gardening Day 2006 is sponsored by U of I Extension and is open to professionals as well as members of the general public. Cost of registration, including lunch, is $49 per person. This includes seating in the lectures, an information packet, an organic theme lunch buffet, and access to the retail area. There will be vegetarian options on this buffet, or a vegan plate can be arranged in advance.

Lunch reservations must be received no later than October 13, 2006. Those interested should mail checks, payable to the University of Illinois, to Organic Gardening Day 2006, Attention: Carol Preston, S-406 Turner Hall, 1102 S. Goodwin Avenue, Urbana, Illinois 61801 to reserve registration and lunch.

Space in the lecture room is limited to 250 participants, and on-site registration will only be allowed if those spaces are not filled prior to the event. If available, on-site registration will also cost $49, but will not include lunch. For more information, call (217) 333-7738 or e-mail and mention Organic Gardening Day 2006. Credit card orders cannot be accepted.

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