Gardening’s reputation soars, crowding city farming websites

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(WBBM NEWSRADIO) — The recent springlike weather we’ve enjoyed had a lot of people thinking about gardening, which has been extremely popular since the pandemic started.

More people are home. Some are without jobs. And last year, nationwide, 16 million people became first-time gardeners.

Now, if you want to join a community garden in Chicago — like the Peterson Garden Project on the North Side — your options are narrowing, fast.

“We actually saw people just really jumping on and wanting to sign up immediately as soon as we opened registration. And we sold out of a couple of our gardens right away, and we have really long waitlists,” Rebecca Rico, director of the Peterson Garden Project, said Monday.

“We actually stopped taking people on our waitlist for two of our gardens, just because we don’t want to give sort of that false hope.”

Rico said the Peterson Garden Project has about 1,000 gardeners at five gardens. Opening day is April 24.

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