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Six Things to Plant in the Ideal Starter Garden

Illustrations: Vidhya Nagarajan These six edible plants are just right for beginners who have outdoor space, whether a backyard, a community garden plot, a deck, or even a fire escape. The only place you don’t want to plant is directly in the ground—Chicago’s soil tends to be too toxic and compacted to yield safely edible … Read more

A Step-by-Step Guide to Raising Chickens

Community organizer Kelli Wefenstette, 33, and her husband have been raising hens in their Portage Park backyard for seven years. The birds do a lot more than lay eggs, she says. “They’ll chase after things, they’ll jump off the ground, they’ll kind of do tricks for you. They’re freaking hilarious.” They’ve also endeared themselves to … Read more

A Step-by-Step Guide to Urban Beekeeping

Naaman Gambill, 33, runs a local beekeeping supply store called—what else?—the Hive. A resident of Roscoe Village, he got his first hands-on experience with honeybees on his family’s Indiana farm. Like many apiarists, he has gotten used to bee stings over time, but early on he learned some painful lessons. Not long after beginning to … Read more