The Edible Gardens

As Green City Market’s primary educational outreach program, The Edible Gardens’ mission is to connect children with their food hands-on, and to ensure that families have the knowledge, experience, and inspiration to help support a sustainable food system.

Jeanne Pinsof Nolan 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 what it takes to grow the food people eat – and how delicious the results can be. The Edible Gardens have been described as the perfect springboard for introducing the Midwest to what Alice Waters, locavore extraordinaire, calls “edible education.” 

Today, Jeanne and The Organic Gardener team maintain The Edible Gardens in partnership with GCM and Lincoln Park Zoo. Welcoming over 25,000 visitors annually, the now 5,000-square-foot vegetable gardens are open to the public from April through November. 

The Edible Gardens program at Green City Market provides hands-on gardening education and activities to children, adults, and school groups. Programs are also available for school and summer camp field trips.

Local schools and community organization tours include an interactive walk-through of the Gardens, tasting of seasonal produce, and hands-on garden activities – planting, watering, turning compost, harvesting, seed saving, and more. Garden lessons vary with the seasons, and may include pollination, organics, seed germination, composting, and climate.

On Wednesdays and Saturdays, scheduled tours of the Gardens can be combined with a tour of Green City Market. This portion includes a guided tour of the market, a meet-and-greet session with a local farmer, and seasonal tasting table of fruits, veggies, and herbs.


May through September: Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from 9:30am-12:30pm  

October-November: Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9:30am-12:30pm  

For general inquiries or for more information on field trips, including how to schedule a trip, email:

The Edible Gardens calendar

  1. Jul 16 Saturday

    Expand Your Growing Season: Planting Fall Crops

    9:30:00 AM

    The Edible Gardens

  2. Aug 13 Saturday

    Keeping a Tidy Garden: Staking, Pruning, Harvesting, and Composting

    9:30:00 AM

    The Edible Gardens

  3. Sep 17 Saturday

    Growing Locally: Tips for Gardening in Chicago

    9:30:00 AM

    The Edible Gardens

  4. Oct 15 Saturday

    Time to Hit the Hay: Putting your Garden to Bed for Winter

    9:30:00 AM

    The Edible Gardens

Full calendar »

Know your food, know your farmer
Locations & hours
May through October (Outdoors)
Lincoln Park
Wednesdays and Saturdays, 7am–1pm
June through October (Outdoors)
West Loop
Saturdays, 8am–1pm
November through April (Indoors)
Peggy Notebaert Museum
Saturdays, 8am–1pm

Full schedule »

Business office
2613 W. Lawrence Avenue

Chicago, IL 60625

(773) 880-1266

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Proud member of the Farmers Market Coalition