By: Dana Foley
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Living in the Midwest means summer is heavily rejoiced. This year, we hit negative 55 degrees in January with the wind chill, Chicago wind is no joke. Do you know what that means? It means that hot water thrown out the window freezes instantly. Because of this, I started planning our urban garden earlier than usual.
I was raised just north of Chicago by parents who loved their yard so much that my dad was known for stopping a game of catch to grab a few weeds that were in his eye-line. My mom had a garden which allowed for a few fresh vegetables all summer long. Alongside the family garden, I chose a few plantings of my own and cultivated that area in the summer. When I had my daughter, I started a vegetable garden outside my door and she loved spying the vegetables and eating snap peas off the vine. As I grew, our gardening evolved into what I call, The Farm.
The Farm consists of two, large raised beds filled with organic mulch and mushroom compost. My dad created the design for their yard and then we did the same ones here.
Because The Farm, grows lots of Illinois natives already with an abundance of corn, pollinators can fuel their rise to greatness. We sat down and researched not only the plants needed but also where to purchase them. Rule of thumb is to buy native plants at local nurseries who also grow their own plants in their own greenhouses. Due to the Chicago winters, we need plants that have been sown in hearty environments to ensure they can survive here.
We set off to our favorite nursery that is equipped with its own greenhouses and master gardeners and explained our mission: Illinois native plants to encourage all the pollinators we can have. Pesches delivered. https://www.pesches.com
After a few days these lovely leggy residents faded into the background of our yard however they appear when we least expect them to say hi!