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One Seed Chicago 2009

One Seed Chicago, bean seeds

You've probably heard of One Book, Chicago and participate in the program that gets Chicagoans to all read the same book at the same time. One Seed Chicago is a similar endeavor by local urban greening activists with the aim to get Chicago residents to grow the same plant.

The website for One Seed Chicago asks you image thousands of the same vegetable or flower linking "community gardens, yards and window sills across the City!" The imagery is striking and a noble one. The same plant being grown by thousands of people across the city- from an executive to the person who cleans the offices where the executive works and everyone in-between.

The results of the voting haven't been posted on the One Seed Chicago web page but I came across an unrelated press release that states the bean (any kind) will be this years seed. On the website for One Seed Chicago you can request a free seed packet if you'd like to participate.

If you don't live in Chicago how about growing some beans with us in solidarity? Or better yet, start a similar project in your neighborhood, city or state.

Update: 4/28/09

Over the weekend I attended the Green & Growing Fair at the Garfield Park Conservatory. The photo I added above is of the Blue Lake Pole seeds NeighborSpace was handing out. You can now officially request your seed packets to grow your own beans for One Seed Chicago

Never grown plants from seeds? See these tips I've posted before:

Plastic bottle seed starter.
Sandwich bag seed starter.
Seed starter pot from newspaper.
Paper tube seed pot holder.
Homemade seed pots.


  1. Cool blog. I am from chicago (south burbs) and was looking for tips on making your own seed pots and found your blog. thanks for the tips!!

  2. I've had thoughts of promoting something similar. I'd love to see the residents on Main Street in 'my' village plant Daffodils.

    Soon as I trade my cow I'll plants those bean seeds.

  3. Hi Sarah, Glad to see a local around here. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

    WiseAcre, you should promote something similar in your area. A bulb sounds like an awesome idea.

  4. What a cool idea! Ann Arbor has a similar book program, but not the seed equivalent. I've always been struck, when visiting your fair city, by how green Chicago is--flowers everywhere, in planters downtown and on balconies all over. (See related posts I did here and here, if interested.) I hope you'll post your own bean and those of others, should you see them. I vote for castor bean, even though no one asked me, but I just love it!

  5. Anonymous11:18 AM

    Thank you for the information on growing plants from seed. I live in LP and this is my first time starting a garden!!!!

  6. Great idea, I like it.

    Tyra (a seedaholic)


  7. What a fantastic idea! Anyone willing to try it here in the UK? Could we do sunflowers? Imagine the amount of busy bees!!

  8. Monica,

    Thanks for the links. I've seen your pics from those posts they are great. The downtown area is heavily planted and looks really nice. I'll make sure to update this post when I've selected by bean. I have castor beans that I never planted and now that I have small nephews and a niece I don't know if they'll ever get planted.


    Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Hope your garden in Lincoln Park goes well.


    I hope you take it out to your area. Thanks for stopping by. I never get tired of looking at your greenhouse.

    I say start it up if you don't find people in the UK to do it. Get a buch of sunflower seeds and hand them out to people in your neighborhood and get planting.

  9. MBT, works for me - I'll be growing Blue Lake bush beans in the new veggie bed this spring.

  10. Hi Mr. Brown Thumb, I am growing that bean also, just by coincidence so will show it too.

    You asked about my birdbath with the head in it, the head is a piece of concrete sculpture that I bought seperately, I think it is Michelangelo's David? So far being in there for more than ten winters has not cracked it either.

  11. GG & Frances, Can't wait to see your pictures.

  12. The bean is a perfect seed for all to plant. I can just imagine it catching on and anyone walking down a street would see bean vines reaching out to the sun everywhere! Solidarity indeed.

  13. Are there varieties of beans that could be grown in a pot year-round? That would be SWEET.
    Springfield has some sort of gardening initiative, I think it's called Springfield In Bloom or something like that.

  14. Tina, I'll try to take pictures if I come across them.

    Caeseria, Hmm. I have to admit being stumped. I don't know of any bean varieties that would grow year round.

  15. That's a great idea. I wonder if I could get all my blog readers to do this. HMMMM. I know a few of us are growing the same kind of onion this year.

  16. This is a great idea ~ I'd love to see this happen. You will forever in my mind be associated with newspaper seed-starting pots since this is where I first read about them.

    The Amaryllis does have a slight sheen to the petals as they age ~

  17. This is a very cool idea! I'm planting all kinds of stuff this year (beans included) much that my head is swimming! I think I got too carried seedlings are scaring me with their abundance and my lack of experience. Ah well, if nothing else I'll have more compost! :) I will post pics of my beans when I get them in the ground...good luck with yours!

  18. I wish I lived in Chicago so I could take advantage of the free seed offer. But what a cool idea! I like Tina's image of bean vines reaching to the sky all across the city. I will be growing some Blue Lake bush beans this summer; perhaps that will catch on downstate.

  19. This is a great website. I just decided to start my urban balcony garden from my south facing condo in the city. I am absolutely clueless about greenery so this will be an interesting journey for me. I've been checking different blogs for more information and tips.

  20. Interesting stuff - thanks

  21. Hello, again peeps.

    Cherish thanks for commenting. I wanted to return a comment to your blog but the live blog only allows live users to comment. Anyway, thanks for taking a moment to comment and hope you come back.

    Bee Gee, Same sort of goes for you because you don't have a blog yourself.

  22. this is a very neat idea, i take it in terms of "growing plants" instead of "growing what everyone else is growing" ... that holds no value to me. There should be more efforts like this i.e. growing plants, and especially, planting trees.



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