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A 1920s coach house in Glencoe with a garden by The Organic Gardener.
The Organic Gardener's rooftop garden for Chicago restaurant Uncommon Ground.
Nolan's new memoir about growing her own food--and growing up in the process.
Nolan and her young daughter, Thea (seated, center), in 2002 at Zendik Farm, the Asheville, NC, commune where they lived.
Since 2005, Nolan has maintained the Edible Garden at Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo.
Decades ago, when we still thought Honey Nut Cheerios were nutritious, North Shore native Jeanne Nolan left the Midwest right out of high school to live on a commune in California, hoping to ?find herself? while digging into organic farming. (This was way before CSAs and kale as a celebrity vegetable.)
And now, in Nolan?s inspiring new book, From the Ground Up, she tells the whole story of what happened next--from the practical lessons she learned about growing food to the unsavory aspects of commune life. ??
With a foreword by Alice Waters, the book is less gardening tutorial, more memoir about Nolan?s quest to relate to the earth. ??
She doesn?t gloss over the rocky parts. As the book opens, an underweight, distraught Nolan has just ?escaped? from the commune?s latest location in North Carolina after things have gone decidedly sour. (Hint: Nolan writes that its leaders called the outside world a ?death culture.?)
Since returning to mainstream life in 2004, Nolan has helped hundreds of Chicago-area families cultivate green thumbs through her successful business, The Organic Gardener, which plants gardens at clients? homes.
??In the end, as you?ll read, working the land still helped Nolan find peace and purpose--it just happened to be in her own backyard.
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