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The Edible Gardens

The Edible Gardens are one of Green City Market’s primary educational outreach programs and consist of over 5000 square feet of beautiful, organically grown vegetables, fruits, herbs, grains and flowers. Open to the public during the April to November growing season, the gardens offer Chicagoans the opportunity to connect with the process of growing healthy, delicious food.

The garden theme this year is The Columbian Exchange

The Columbian Exchange is a phrase coined by historian Alfred Crosby in reference to the exchange of plants, animals, people, ideas and disease that took place between the Old World (Europe, Asia, Africa) and the New World (the Americas) following Christopher Columbus’ historic voyages from Europe to the Americas beginning in 1492. Did you know that prior to 1492 there were no tomatoes in Italy, no potatoes in Ireland, no wheat in the Americas and no chili peppers in Thailand or India? Visit the garden and take a trip back in time through the New World back to the Old world and learn how the crops traveled to the countries they now define.  

In addition to welcoming drop-in visitors to the gardens, Green City Market offers free hands-on gardening workshops each month and hosts scheduled field trips throughout the year.


Open & free to the public

April: Wednesdays and Saturdays 10am - 1pm

May through October: Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays 10am - 1pm

November: Wednesdays and Saturdays 10am-1pm

The Edible Gardens are located across the road from Green City Market’s outdoor location. They are centered inside Lincoln Park Zoo’s ‘Farm-in-the-Zoo’ complex on Stockton Ave between Dickens Ave and North Ave.

For general inquiries about the Garden email:

For more information on field trips, including how to schedule a trip, email:


Free hands-on gardening workshops are held at The Edible Gardens each month of the growing season. Workshops are presented by Jeanne Pinsof Nolan, founder of The Organic Gardener, Ltd. 

Saturday, April 26, 2014 - Spring Start: Soil Preparation and Planting Cool Weather Crops
The key to a successful organic garden starts with proper soil preparation.  Learn the techniques of good soil stewardship including soil aeration and the beneficial use of compost, soil amendments, and organic fertilizers.  We will also discuss how to successfully direct seed cool weather crops such as peas, spinach, chard, and radishes.

Saturday, May 17, 2014 - Planning for Summer: Transplanting Warm Weather Crops
Join us as we transplant warm weather crops such as tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and herbs.  Learn how to layout your garden and space your transplants to maximize fruit production throughout the season.  We will also discuss what plants pair well together and the benefits of planting a diversity of crops.

Saturday, June 21, 2014 - Necessary Nourishment: Feeding Plants for Healthy Growth and Production
What is an organic fertilizer?  Can you compost at home?  Learn the basic principals and techniques of foliar feeding and side dressing in an organic garden.  These techniques provide plants with the extra nutrients they require to ensure good plant health and a bountiful harvest. 

Saturday, July 19, 2014 - Expand Your Growing Season: Planting Fall Crops
Planting succession crops ensures a continuous harvest throughout the growing season.  We will direct seed for plants that will mature in fall such as carrots, turnips, and beets.

Saturday, August 23, 2014 - Keeping a Tidy Garden: Staking, Pruning, Harvesting, and Composting
August is often the month when gardens are at their peak.  Avoid the “jungle garden” by learning how to properly stake and prune.  Learn to distinguish when produce is ready for harvest and learn the principles of home composting.  Please bring pruners if you have them.

Saturday, September 20, 2014 - Growing Locally: Tips for Gardening in Chicago
In conjunction with the “Locavore Challenge,” we will take an extensive tour of the Edible Gardens to view and discuss crop varieties that thrive in Chicago.  An urban environment provides a unique opportunity to grow locally produced food on a rooftop, deck, in a small space, or even in containers.  Eat locally by growing your own food.

Saturday, October 18, 2014 - Time to Hit the Hay: Putting your Garden to Bed for Winter
Bundle up and join us as we put the Edible Gardens to rest for the winter.  We’ll pull the remainder of our plants, lay hay, compost, and tidy our rows.  We will also save seed for next year’s garden, focusing on dried beans and flower seeds.  Please bring pruners if you have them.

WORKSHOPS ARE BY RSVP ONLY.  To RSVP please email and specify which workshops you will attend.  Space is limited.


Green City Market created and planted the Edible Gardens at Lincoln Park Zoo’s Farm-in-the-Zoo in the spring of 2005 at the request of Green City Market founder Abby Mandel, who envisioned an environment where children could learn where their food comes from on a first-hand basis. Today, Green City Market welcomes over 25,000 visitors to the garden each year. The Edible Gardens have been described as the perfect springboard for introducing the Midwest to what Alice Waters, locavore extraordinaire, calls “edible education.”

The Edible Gardens calendar

Apr 4 Saturday

Browse all events

Know your food, know your farmer
Location & hours

May through October
South End of Lincoln Park at the intersection of Clark and Lincoln.
Wednesdays and Saturdays

November through April
Peggy Notebaert Museum
2430 N. Cannon Drive
Scheduled Saturdays, 8am–1pm
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Business office:
2732 North Clark Street
Suite 301
Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 880-1266

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