Gardens Exchange Extravaganza

March is the month when people who love gardening start yearning to get their hands in the dirt. It’s too early to get out the shovels and seeds, but just the right time to gather with other gardeners and share the seeds of ideas and get some expert advice. 

The Gardens Exchange Extravaganza, a free event for getting your 2023 garden started, will be held Sat., Mar. 25, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Morgan Park Presbyterian Church, 2017 W. 110th Pl. The event will feature workshops as well as free seeds, a tool exchange, plus nature-based arts for children, music and snacks.  

The Garden Exchange Extravaganza offers the chance for sharing around growing, food, and service while we wait for the soil to fully thaw and the sun to start shining longer and longer every day.  

Gardener workshops will help people plan their garden and get expert answers that will help them have a successful growing season. Participants can also learn about seed saving, food sharing, food preservation, tool care, composting, and nutrition.  

Naturalist activities include information on native plants, pollinators, and milkweed for Monarch butterflies.  

Family Activities include nature-based education, and school and community gardens.  

Vegetable, herb, and flower seeds and seedlings will be available, and participants are also welcome to bring their seeds to share.  

The small tool exchange is a great way for people to trade garden equipment they no longer need for something they can use. Garden tools and equipment can be left at Morgan Park Presbyterian, southwest corner of the parking lot, on Fridays until March 24.   

The Garden Exchange Extravaganza will also be a resource for information about beekeeping, three season gardening, microgreens, and supporting local pantries and others who provide food in our community. 

Craft activities for children and adults include making terrariums.  

If the weather is temperate, some activities outside, including a demonstration of how water moves through the environment. 

The exchange is hosted by Morgan Park Presbyterian Church, Grace Seeds Ministry, The Megan Robb Memorial Seed Library, Edna White Memorial Garden, and 19th Ward Ald. Matt O’Shea in partnership with Illinois Extension of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Illinois Master Gardener, and Illinois Master Naturalist. 

Learn more at morganparkpres.org/garden.    

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