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May 10, 2013
‘Grow Anywhere Tour’ – Chicago Knows How To Grow
Burpee  Edible Gardening Team Members

By this time the "Grow Anywhere Tour" has traveled coast to coast, but it all began with our kick-off in our hometown of West Chicago, Illinois. So it was especially satisfying to see the excitement from folks at Arnold Mireles Academy in Chicago and bring the #BurpeeTruck full of plants and fresh veggies to their community on May 8.

The coordinator of Mireles’ “Green Team” is Ms. LaJuana Jackson (pictured at left below next to principal Evelyn Robbins). She and her fellow teachers worked hard to get out the vote for their school. All their efforts paid off! The “Grow Anywhere Tour” arrived right in time for planting season. The popular veggies we gave away were Gold Standard cucumber and Sweet Heat pepper. Both are part of the BOOST collection of hi-nutrition vegetables. Visitors we’re interested to try their unique flavors in home-cooked recipes this summer.

The Burpee truck picked up our veggie plants from Schaefer Greenhouses in Montgomery, Illinois. Earlier in the day we spent some quality time with shoppers looking to fill their gardens this year. There's always good conversation when vegetable gardening is the topic!

The Mireles Green Team has spent many semesters teaching students how to grow plants and be good stewards to their environment. Master Gardener Gregory Bratton of I Grow Chicago ( often visits the Mireles community to teach classes in composting and growing in containers. He was on-site during the event to answer questions from visitors (especially how to keep pesky squirrels from eating young plants).

One of the very charitable things Mireles did for their community is to donate almost half of their free Burpee Home Gardens vegetable plants to local organizations and schools. So while there weren’t as many plants to hand out to visitors that day, the long-term benefits to the neighborhood community gardens  will be reaped and harvested this summer. 50 plants each went to SEEDS Chicago, I Grow Chicago, and Bowen High School. Way to go, Mireles!

Much appreciation goes to all the volunteers who helped organize the assembly line to put fresh vegetables into take-home bags. The set-up and giveaway went smoothly thanks to you!

The “Grow Anywhere Tour” continues east now. Only a few more stops to go! Next stop: Flint, Michigan.

Follow the truck as it travels the country this spring! Real-time updates on Twitter @BurpeeHG, #BurpeeTruck, #GrowAnywhereTour.

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