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Public Green Blog

Organic vs Conventionally Grown Produce

Do you often find yourself standing in the produce section of the market, wondering which fruits and vegetables are most contaminated with pesticides? Each year, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) releases information on which fruits and vegetables are most likely to be contaminated with pesticides, broken down in two helpful lists, thus making it easier for consumers to decide between purchasing organic or conventionally grown produce. This shopper’s guide was recently updated for 2014 and is available on the EWG website. After you take a look at the shopper’s guide, take some time to read through the report for more information.

By mreynolds on May 20, 2014 Categories: Consumer Choices, Food Choices

Seed Starting Project: Plants in Transition

 

This is what they looked like just before they were removed from the light.

This is what they looked like just before they were removed from the light.

This is the sad empty table today...

This is the sad empty table today…

Yesterday the plants were removed from the light table in the lobby of the Library. They were taken to the home of a Green Committee member to be “hardened off” and become acclimated to conditions outside so they can be planted in the next two weeks or so.

The seedlings will be taken outside for a few hours a day to start, out of direct sunlight. Gradually we will increase the number of hours outside and start to put them in the sun for increasingly longer intervals.

A good rule of thumb for judging when to plant outside in the garden is when the night time temperatures consistently stay above 50 degrees. These plants will be kept indoors at night until that threshold is reached.

The entire process generally takes about two weeks.

By julie collins on May 14, 2014 Categories: Gardening, Seed Starting Project

Seed Starting Project: Earthboxes

photo (27)We received our shipment of Earthboxes late last week. We ordered 5 of them: 4 for our planting project and one to raffle at the Green Farmers’ Market on August 17. We are planning on beginning the hardening off process next week: the seedlings need to be brought outside for a few hours a day to get gradually acclimated to being outside. I think they are ready for the transition!photo (30) Some of the pepper plants already have tiny peppers growing.

 

And the tomatoes and cucumbers are ready to be transplanted as well.photo (29)

 

By julie collins on May 7, 2014 Categories: Gardening, Seed Starting Project

River Trails School and Community Garden Open House

Drop by Euclid Elementary School, 1211 N. Wheeling Rd on Saturday, May 10 between 9:00a.m. and 12:00p.m. to celebrate the opening of El Jardin de los Suenos Community Garden. Come ready to work in the garden! There will be gardening experts available for advice and fun family activities. Bring food to share. For more info:  Community Garden Open House. 

By julie collins on May 3, 2014 Categories: Community, Gardening

Seed Starting Project: Cucumbers germinated!

photo (25)The cucumber seeds germinated over the past weekend–just took 3 days or less to sprout up!photo (26)

By julie collins on April 30, 2014 Categories: Gardening, Seed Starting Project

Illinois Air Quality Awareness Week

April 28-May 2 has been designated by the U. S.  EPA and proclaimed by Governor Pat Quinn as Air Quality Awareness Week. The objective  is to educate the public about air quality and to encourage them to monitor their local air quality forecasts. In conjunction with this initiative,  Director of the Illinois EPA, Lisa Bonnett, has announced the expansion of the Illinois Air Quality Flag Program. Participants in this program fly a color-coded fly to alert local residents as to that day’s air quality forecast. For more information: Illinois EPA Kick-off Air Quality Awareness Week.

By julie collins on April 29, 2014 Categories: Air Quality

Seed Starting Project: Cucumber Seeds Planted

photo (23)We planted cucumber seeds today in small pots–2-3 per pot. And transplanted the tomatoes seedlings into one per pot. The pepper and basil plants continue to grow–they are ready to be planted!

 

 

 

 

photo (21)

We ordered the EarthBoxes yesterday and will have 4 of them outside on the southwest corner of the Library grounds. We have been monitoring the spot and it gets loads of full sun for many hours per day. But we still have at least 3 weeks to go before we can even think about planting them out. 

By julie collins on April 25, 2014 Categories: Gardening, Seed Starting Project

Earth Day 2014

Happy Earth Day, everyone!

Did you know that the first Earth Day occurred in 1970? To learn more about the history of Earth Day, read this brief history from the Earth Day Network.

In honor of this special day, please do one good thing for the earth, and encourage others to do something for the planet as well. Do you want to tell us what good deed you did for the earth today? Use our Contact Us form to drop us a line! And remember, no task is too small, as small tasks add up and make a big difference!

By mreynolds on April 22, 2014 Categories: Earth Day

Seed Starting Project: Tomato Sprouts!

The tomato seeds have germinated–mostly. Only 3 of the cells do not have seedlings.

The peppers and basil are growing almost too fast--we won't be planting them for at least another 3 weeks!

The peppers and basil are growing almost too fast–we won’t be planting them for at least another 3 weeks!

And a few of them are starting to get their true leaves already.

Some of the peppers are starting to set fruit and may need to be potted up very soon.

Some of the peppers are starting to set fruit and may need to be potted up very soon.

 

By julie collins on April 18, 2014 Categories: Gardening, Seed Starting Project

Energy Bill Assistance

Mount Prospect and Des Plaines residents who need help with their energy bill costs are invited to a fair on Saturday (April 19) from 9 a.m.  -1 p.m. at Mount Prospect Public Library (10 S. Emerson St.)  Participants can apply for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program and other programs sponsored by the Community and Economic Development Association of Cook County, ComEd, and Nicor Gas. Mount Prospect residents can register by calling 847/870-5680 or by emailing jkane@mountprospect.org. Des Plaines residents should call 847/391-5480 or email HHS@desplaines.org.

By julie collins on April 17, 2014 Categories: Community, Energy