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Oak Park Garden Tour

August 15, 2010

The last few summers, Paul and I have been participating in the Oak Park Crop Swap.  It’s one of the cool things about our neighborhood that makes living in Oak Park worth it through the shootings and craziness.  Basically we meet up every Monday and trade extra produce, with the idea being that we all have different things to share.  Most of the time there are also guest speakers who talk about some aspect of gardening.  Most of us hadn’t seen the gardens of the others in Crop Swap, so today we did a tour of several of them (including ours).

We started this morning at Pat’s house where we ate some breakfast foods (amazing breads, fresh oranges, and a tomato tart) she’d made from her garden.

Akie & Stephan’s had an amazing amount of stuff growing in their yard, and are in the process of putting in more.  Akie (in the hat) showed us the plans she’d drawn up.  I look annoyed, but really I’m just listening.

More of Akie & Stephan's yard

Matt & Stephanie have an impressively organized garden, which I managed to take no pictures of.  They also rigged up empty wine bottles (upside down) into an awesome border for one of their garden beds.  I’m not sure we’ve been drinking enough wine for that, but I wonder if something similar would work with beer bottles?  Speaking of beer, they also had impressive hops growing on the side of their yard.

You can sort of see the hops growing up the lines in this picture.

I should have taken more pictures at Neil & Kara’s house because it looked so dang good, but I was busy calling CPS (long story, but I’ve officially made my first CPS call and been yelled at by the dispatcher who said I should have called the police instead…).

The building to the right is their rabbit hutch. It's amazing and has an air conditioner. I would live in it.

We skipped the next house and made it back to ours to lock up Hazel before people showed up.

I’ll post better pictures of our garden in a different post, but there were a lot of people at our house (maybe 20?) over a very short period of time.  It’s pretty intense to have twenty people show up at your house for a half hour, walk around talking about what’s going on (mostly the chickens in our case), and then have everyone leave.  I was exhausted afterward!

We missed the house after ours also, but heard it was really pretty.  After stopping for some iced coffee at Old Soul, we made it to the last house on the tour (Tom’s), where he showed off his brand new chickens (and his brand new inflatable pool, which everyone was even more excited about).

Tom, who is standing next to P in this picture, had P talk about what’s going on with legalizing chickens in the city.

The whole day was exhausting, but fun and interesting to see what other people are doing.  I have serious garden envy and some ideas for what I’ll do differently with my sprawling sprawl of a front yard garden next year.

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