grow, marvel, eat, laugh, persevere

Thursday, February 25, 2010

One Seed Chicago: Promoting Solidarity Amongst Chicago Gardeners

Seeds on the ballot for One Seed Chicago this year.
  • Bee Balm
  • Nodding Onion
  • P. Coneflower

Winning seed will be announced April 24th at the Green and Growing Fair, Garfield Park Conservatory.

I remember learning in General Psychology about how participating in tandem rituals builds loyalty and unity in societies. In the United States, the best examples of this are standing during the National Anthem and saying the Pledge of Allegiance to our flag. I've struggled with this concept at times (for reasons not relevant to a garden blog), but I get the point. It brings us together and sometimes that's a good thing.

For the third year in a row One Seed Chicago will be distributing a single seed variety to Chicago Gardeners and come summer, I'll be standing in my garden admiring a beautiful plant whilst a bunch of other Chicago Gardeners admire the same plant in their own gardens. Pictures will be taken. Blog posts will be written. We'll be tweeting our asses off about these plants. Holy Cow, this is gonna be fun!

Gardening is a very solitary activity. And what a person plants in their garden tells just as much about them as the way they decorate their home does. We may never get to visit each other's gardens, but, by reading about these three beautiful prairie plants, voting, then growing the seed in your garden, you'll be gardening with me, in spirit.

One Seed Chicago is fostering a sense of community amongst gardeners and I think we need that.

Here's the official press release...


NeighborSpace's One Seed Chicago project lets Chicago gardeners vote on their favorite seed then distributes the winning seed for free in an effort to help Chicago "Grow Together" in 2010.

CHICAGO-This month gardeners across Chicago will begin voting for their favorite prairie seed for One Seed Chicago and the winning seed will be sent to them through the mail.

“For the third year One Seed Chicago is uniting Chicagoans,” said Ben Helphand, NeighborSpace Executive Director. “By planting a common seed, backyards, windowsills, community gardens and balconies across thie City will be linked together in a season-long celebration of urban greening.”

In partnership with GreenNet, Chicago's community greening coalition, One Seed Chicago selected the three candidates Chicagoans will choose from. This year the winning seed will be from a plant that was once commonly found in the prairies around Chicago, but that is now rare in the wild outside of prairie restoration projects and cultivated gardens. Once established this native plant will require little water, is less prone to diseases and attracts beneficial insects and birds to a garden.

"Native plants attract native birds and insects and help to increase biodiversity in your garden," said Colleen Lockovitch, Director and Horticulturalist at the Lurie Garden at Millennium Park. "Our native plant friends are more adapted to their local surroundings and can handle the Chicago area's fluctuations in climate and weather."

Vote from Jan 1 until April 1st.

The winning seed will be announced at the annual Green and Growing Fair, April 24, 2010 at the Garfield Park Conservatory.

For more information or to vote visit

Origins of One Seed Chicago

One Seed Chicago is a project of NeighborSpace, Chicago’s land trust for community gardens. Entering its third year One Seed Chicago aims to build upon the success of the previous years and get even more gardeners involved. In 2009 One Seed Chicago distributed 10,000 Blue Lake Pole green bean seeds thanks to a generous donation from the Ball Horticultural Company. “The Year of the Bean,” as 2009 was called, was popular because it dovetailed with Chicagoans who rediscovered growing their own food in a recession.

About NeighborSpace

NeighborSpace is a nonprofit urban land trust dedicated to preserving and sustaining community managed open spaces in Chicago. Their growing network of gardens provide thousands of people the opportunity to grow fruits, vegetables and flowers; to restore habitats; and create unique gathering places in their own neighborhoods.NeighborSpace’s partners in the community can rest assured that the land will remain dedicated to conservation and their efforts will never be displaced. For more information, please visit .

1 comment:

  1. Gina,

    Thank you for blogging about One Seed Chicago. Your support of the program is really appreciated. Like you, I too can't wait to be growing and looking at the same plants as our fellow Chicagoans.