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Edible Gardening Workshop Series

Schedule and Location

9:30 a.m. to noon
Sycamore Room, Visitor Center

  • Section A: Saturday, March 16, 2019, Vegetables 2.0: Lesser Known, Lesser Grown, Tasty Vegetables for Your Home Garden
  • Section B: Saturday, March 23, 2019, Grow a Tea Garden 
  • Section C: Saturday, March 30, 2019, Bountiful Gardens for People with Limited Time, Space, & Budget 
  • Section D: Saturday, April 6, 2019, Get Started with Backyard Permaculture 

Fees and Registration

$39.00 member
$46.00 nonmember
(Fees include admission to the Arboretum)

BY PHONE: 630-719-2468 (Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.)

Course Description

March 16: Vegetables 2.0: Lesser Known, Lesser Grown, Tasty Vegetables for Your Home Garden 

The Garden Boss, William Moss, will discuss some of his favorite veggies (fruits and vegetables) that are not commonly planted in the Chicagoland area. Some are from different parts of the world. Some are prominent in other cultures. Some are new varieties of old standards. All are nutritious, delicious, and easy to grow!

  • Learn about leafy greens, herbs, vines, shrubs and more.
  • Get the scoop on horticultural techniques for sowing, planting, placement, soil care, maintenance, harvesting, and storage. 
  • Get ideas on how to prepare the veggies and create delectable dishes.

Source lists and select seeds will be available to participants.

Instructor: William Moss

William Moss graduated from Northwestern University and completed the Chicagoland Master Gardeners program. Joining the Chicago Department of the Environment to work on habitat restoration and greening efforts throughout the city led to a career as a a garden coach, horticultural educator, and TV and web personality. He uses his contagious excitement and expertise to teach youth programs, adult continuing education courses, and school gardens.


March 23: Grow a Tea Garden 

Learn to grow your own tea with herb expert Marcy Lautenen-Raleigh. Come and discover the many types of herbs that can be used for tea, and how to turn your backyard into your own, private tea shop. What you choose to grow will depend upon the flavors you like and the growing conditions in your garden.  We’ll begin the morning with a tea sampling so you can get to know the flavors you might grow in your own backyard. You’ll also learn

  • how to choose tea herb plants, including their uses and the most popular flavors for tea
  • how and where to grow your tea garden
  • how to care for and harvest your tea herb plants
  • how to use blend your herbs into a tea

Participants will go home with recipes, tips and seeds to get you started on your very own backyard tea garden.

Instructor: Marcy Lautenen-Raleigh

Marcy Lautanen-Raleigh spent 20 years as a museum curator, cultivating a hobby which began as a museum program into a personal passion. With Backyard Patch Herbs, she grows herbs on a 3/4 acre plot, creates teas, cooking blends and more, and shares her experience with medicinal, culinary and scented herbs on a blog, in herb magazines and through lectures and programs.


March 30: Bountiful Gardens for People with Limited Time, Space, & Budget 

Learn tips and strategies that will help you get the most produce out of your garden. Whether you have a dedicated garden or squeeze fruits, vegetables, and herbs in your landscape wherever space allows, Melinda will help you grow lots of produce no matter your limitations. We will explore products and plant varieties as well as planting and harvesting techniques to help increase your vegetable gardening success!

Melinda’s books will be available for purchase and signing at the event.

Instructor: Melinda Myers

Melinda Myers is a nationally known gardening expert with over 30 years of horticulture experience. She has written over 20 gardening books and hosts the nationally syndicated “Melinda’s Garden Moment,” seen on over 115 TV and radio stations throughout the U.S. She hosts the The Great Courses “How to Grow Anything” DVD series, is a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms, and has a nationally syndicated gardening column. In 2017, Myers was inducted into the Hall of Fame of GWA: The Association for Garden Communicators. Myers’ website, www.MelindaMyers.com, features hundreds of gardening videos, audio tips, answers to frequently asked garden questions and more.


April 6: Get Started with Backyard Permaculture 

Learn to grow an edible, sustainable home garden using permaculture principles with this information-packed, how-to workshop. Learn how “guilds”--a grouping of plants and other components that work together as a mini-ecosystem--improve the health and productivity of your edible garden.
Fruit tree guilds are an easy way for homeowners to apply the principles of permaculture in your own backyard. Find out how growing a fruit tree with the appropriate companion plants (a fruit tree guild) minimizes maintenance, increases nutrition, and manages diseases and pests naturally. Learn to grow your favorite fruit--peaches, nectarines, pears, Asian pears, plums, cherries, apples, serviceberries, paw paws, or persimmons--and which companion plants to grow alongside it. Begin enjoying fresh, delicious nutritious fruits, vegetable and herbs from your own garden this summer!

In order to grow a fruit tree guild you will need a full sun location (6+ hours daily) with a minimum of 100 square feet (10'x10').  Most edible plants require full or partial sun to be productive, so we will focus on these plants only.

Instructor: Jodi Trendler

Jodi Trendler, co-founder of The Resiliency Institute in Naperville, Illinois, completed her Permaculture Design Certificate in 2012 through Midwest Permaculture, and her Permaculture Teacher Training certification in 2017 with Jude Hobbs.  She is currently enrolled in the Masters Agroforestry Certification program at the University of Missouri. She teaches the “Permaculture Forest Gardener” course through The Resiliency Institute, and along with giving several presentations per year about transitioning lawns to edible forest gardens, with the help of many volunteers she has designed and installed two public community forest gardens, several fruit tree guilds, and consulted with several organizations to help them transition their properties into edible oases.  As a certified Forest Therapy Guide she also enjoys leading guided forest therapy walks through The Resiliency Institute, Forest Preserve District of DuPage and The Morton Arboretum.

Course number


Course Details

Notes: Held indoors. Register for each week separately. Limit 50 per week.

Edible Gardening Workshop Series