three-leafs WTTW-PBS | Chicago Public Media

Jeanne Nolan first appeared on WTTW’s Chicago Tonight program to discuss the launch of her book, From the Ground Up, in 2013. But her visit inspired a larger partnership – why not build an organic edible garden right there at the WTTW Albany Park studios? As Chicago’s PBS station, WTTW would serve as an ideal medium for sharing basic gardening how-to with its many local viewers using this on-site garden as a teaching model. The idea was to create an affordable, productive organic vegetable garden that anyone – urban or suburban – could recreate in their own backyard.

In 2014, Jeanne and the TOG crew worked closely with the WTTW team to design, plan, and maintain two raised beds at the studio. WTTW employees enjoy the harvest, and Jeanne visits regularly to film season-specific garden segments for Chicago Tonight.

The WTTW team has created a robust website documenting the progress of their “Homegrown” garden, archiving all of the Chicago Tonight segments, viewer questions, and more. They’ve also shared excellent resources on how to DIY the entire project on your own, listing out costs, materials, and tips for the raised beds, coldframe, and other elements. Check out the Homegrown site to learn more, and watch Jeanne’s segments below.


April 18, 2017 – Get Your Garden Set for Spring Planting

May 9, 2017 – Cool, Wet Weather Ideal for Spring Planting

May 25, 2017 – Tips for Terrific Tomatoes, from Soil Prep to Staking

June 29, 2017 – Summer Gardening: How to Maximize Your Crops

July 18, 2017 – Techniques for Harvesting Your Garden

August 10, 2017 – Garden Yields Bumper Harvest

August 16, 2017 – Hanging Out With Jeanne Nolan in her ‘Happy Place’

August 31, 2017 – Gardening in Chicago: How to Maximize the Growing Season

September 27, 2017 – Unseasonable Heat Wave Ripens Last of Summer Crops

November 6, 2017 – First Frost Signals Time to Put WTTW Garden to Bed


April 28, 2016 – Cool-Weather Crops & Hot Reasons to Grow Your Own

May 24, 2016 – Strategies for Container Gardening in Chicago

June 28, 2016 – 1st Summer Harvest Finds Organic Garden Thriving

August 1, 2016 – Tips for Midsummer Gardens

September 1, 2016 – Harvesting at the WTTW Organic Garden

October 18, 2016 – Last of Summer Crops Come Out, Winter Planting Begins


April 8, 2015 – Getting the Garden Ready

May 7, 2015 – First Planting of the Season

June 4, 2015 – Planting Summer Crops

June 29, 2015 – Wet Start to Summer Does Little to Dampen Growth in WTTW Garden

July 20, 2015 – Harvesting of Summer Crops Continues

August 17, 2015 – Gardening, Watering Tips for Summer Heat

September 22, 2015 – Approach of Fall Does Little to Deter Garden’s Growth

October 15, 2015 – Lengthening the Gardening Season

November 16, 2015 – Wrapping Up the Gardening Season


June 25, 2014 – Jeanne Nolan, Chicago Tonight Go Organic

July 21, 2014 – Jeanne Nolan Talks Garden Tips

August 5, 2014 – In the Garden with Jeanne Nolan

September 4, 2014 – Jeanne Nolan Talks Garden Pests, Problems

October 1, 2014 – Extending the Gardening Season

November 25, 2014 – Final Harvest of the Year