Chicago, the city of flowers and vegetables

Some cities just know how to put on a show. Chicago has plantings like this all over town. Each one seems unique, and all are kept looking great.

I attended a talk this morning at The IGC (Independent Garden Centers) Show here in Chicago by Rick Bayless, award-winning chef-restaurateur, cookbook author, and TV personality. What's really cool is he  harvests organic herbs, vegetables and other edibles from his home garden  and other city gardens for his restaurants, Topolobampo and Frontera Grill.  He mentions that just twenty years ago there were no farmers markets in Chicago, so he started growing his own! Now,

any top notch restaurant in the city MUST use fresh vegetables grown locally. Yes, they also grow them on the rooftops of the city.

The edible craze will certainly die down, but it will not go away. It's a great opportunity for those of us who sell gardening. We have waited for years for this kind of opportunity. Food and gardening just go together. Having a representative of the trend like Rick will only encourage people even more to "grow their own".

IGC show in Chicago, I'll be there

This summer the IGC show will be in Chicago from August 16th through the 18th. I'll be taking part in a panel discussion on social media on the 18th at 12:15 pm. According to the IGC webpage Kyle Lacy will be moderating. "Kyle Lacy is known for his in-depth understanding of the application of social and digital media for both small businesses and large corporations. He is the author of Twitter Marketing for Dummies (Wiley, 2009) and Branding Yourself: How to Use Social Media to Invent or Reinvent Yourself (Pearson, 2010)."Kyle is joined by Garden Chic magazine’s Clint Albin in moderating a lively and practical discussion about how people who communicate for a living are using social media. Panelists include: Shirley Bovshow, garden designer, TV host, product spokesperson and new media producer; Melinda Myers, garden author and radio and TV host; William Moss, garden TV host and author; Trey Pitsenberger, Owner of The Golden Gecko Garden Center and the personality behind The Blogging Nurseryman; Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp, Director of the Garden Writers Association; and Jennifer Youngquest, Marketing Manager at English Gardens. These panelists have been on a discovery path during the IGC Show, finding products that retailers are going to sell in 2012. Learn how they are using social media to tell consumers about what they’ve discovered at IGC 2011.

So there you go. If you are going to be at the show be sure to stop by and say hi.