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One Seed Chicago 2010

Voting is now open for If you have never participated in One Seed Chicago before, it is really easy to do. NeighborSpace, Chicago's land trust for community gardens and GreenNet Chicago choose three plants. Gardeners like you and me vote for their favorite. The one that gets the most votes is the "winner" and celebrated all season long and we're giving seeds (for free) of the winner to grow.

The seeds for the winning plant are mailed out to everyone in the Chicagoland area who voted and you can plant them in your garden, windowsill, balcony, container garden or a community garden if you don't have land to garden on.

This year's candidates are: Bee Balm, Nodding Allium and Purple Coneflower. Visit to familiarize yourself with the three plants up for voting and vote for your favorite. This year three native/prairie plants were chosen to help educate Chicago gardeners about the benefits of growing native and prairie plants in our gardens. Native plants once established require less water, are resistant to diseases and pest and attract beneficial insects to your garden.

Last year One Seed Chicago gave away 10 thousand green bean seeds to gardeners and classrooms around Chicago. My nephew's class grew them and I saw how they got him interested in learning about growing food. Recently, I decided that I wanted to become more active in my community and one of the things I wanted to do was help inspire other people the way my nephew was with those bean seeds. I contacted NeighborSpace and volunteered my services and here I am. I changed the Google Page they were using to a blog, so that participants of One Seed Chicago could have a place to gather and communicate. When you visit the site make sure to become a member by following the blog with your Google, Twitter AIM or OpenID account or subscribe to the feed. Check out the events of where you can vote in person for your favorite seed.

Voting will close on April 1, 2010 and the winner will be announced at the Green & Growing Fair at the Garfield Park Conservatory on April 24, 2010. You don't have to be an experienced gardener or even have a garden. You just have to want to help beautify Chicago by planting more gardens. If you have a blog or a website, consider making a post about One Seed Chicago. You can get graphics for the blog post here along with images to make a button for your sidebar link to You'll also find a copy of this year's press release with all of the information you need to make a post. Pick a plant, blog about it and encourage your readers, friends and family to vote for their favorite.

Next week I'm going to announce which of the three plants I am supporting and why you should vote for it too.


  1. Sounds great, Mr. Brownthumb. May 2010 be a satisfyingly prosperous year for you! :-)

  2. Hi Shady Gardener,

    Thanks for stopping by. I hope 2010 exceeds your wildest dreams and brings you a lot of success and joy.

  3. Mr. BrownThumb,

    I'm in Virginia, so cannot vote, but I do grow both Coneflower and Bee Balm already, so think I will find some Nodding Allium (bet you can give me a variety name) to try here - in solidarity with Chicago. Think this is a great project. If I had to vote between the two I know, I would go for BB - great smell, wonderful square stems, and it helps people get over their fear of bees. Whata plant!

  4. Nice job with the One Seed Chicago blog MBT! I should have known that was your handiwork. It was good of you to volunteer and help with this project.

    Looking forward to seeing which plant you pick and why.

  5. @Webb,

    If you look around the garden centers where you live you could probably find one or two to grow. usually in the fall the big box garden centers around here carry some good ones, but if you check your independent garden centers you can probably find some nice gems. I think I'm leaning towards the bee balm for the reasons you describe, but as a grower of several nodding onions I'm kind of torn, don't know what to do.

    Thanks for taking the time to comment, I appreciate it.

    @Garden girl,

    Thanks, I can't wait to see what I decide on too. It is a really hard choice for me. Thanks for blogging about One Seed Chicago and for putting the badge on your blog.

  6. I think this is a brilliant idea! Unfortunately I don't live in Chicago (or even an urban area) so I cannot vote. But I love bee balm already, and I'll be trying to grow nodding onion for the first time this summer. I have a feeling coneflower might win, though. It's such a classic, well-known form.

    Good luck with your decision. It looks tough :)

  7. What a neat project! Once I am done with all this moving craziness, I want to try and start a school gardening project at my son's school.

    I can't vote either, but I personally like the nodding onion, though they are all cool. Great work!

  8. Hi! Thanks for stopping by and looking at blog about my art studio!
    The one seed chicago looks like a great idea! Its so wonderful that you are doing this!
    I always love seeing what you write about!
    I would choose the plant that has the best germination stats, to insure success for all the great gardeners!

    Think spring! :)


  9. I am in NY so I can't vote, I like all three but I would go with bee balm. I love the bees for one and they are so easy to grow. Your seed project sounds great and so does the community involvement. Kids are always impressed by seeds and growing food. It is easy to catch their enthusiasm.

  10. I like that Purple Coneflower :-D I think it would be nice to see many homes to have this plant in their gardens. This project not only green the city and promote native plants but unifies everyone. What a great way to start the new year. Good luck MBT and Chicago gardeners!

  11. Happy New Year to you! Your blog has been inspiring me a lot lately. I had been doing good in gardening!

  12. Anonymous7:13 PM

    I filled out the voting form linked in the blog but coudn't find where to send the vote.
    I clicked on the title..'Vote for ..'
    and thre form came up empty.
    I hope you received my vote and comment.

  13. @Meredith, @GardenMom, @GardenDesigner, @Teresa, @Stephanie, Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I thought maybe one of you would sway me but all these days into it I still haven't come off the seed fence. Heh. Anyway, I appreciate the comments.


    Did you scroll down to the below past the "Notes" box? There is a submit button that you click, once you do your vote gets entered. Let me know if you have any problems.

  14. Wow, what a great blog find. Thanks for putting out this information out there for others!

  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

  16. Anonymous9:36 AM

    To bad it's only open to residents of Chicago. I vote for purple coneflower. Did you know it's in danger of extinction?

  17. Hi, P. Coneflower gets my vote. I will be there at GPC on Green and Growing Fair Day. Thanks for stopping by at my new blog.

  18. I can't vote either, but it would be coneflower! (I already grow all three but coneflower is my favorite :) Great project!

  19. The Garden of James,

    Thanks for the compliment and for stopping by to comment.


    I did not know that. Maybe I'll change my vote, ha!

    The Suburban Gardener,
    Not a problem, you got a nice blog going. Glad you voted.

    Thanks for stopping by and voting in solidarity with the project.



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