Lisa Hilgenberg has vegetable gardening in her blood: her family’s Century Farm heritage dates to 1881. As the horticulturist at the Chicago Botanic Garden’s four-acre Regenstein Fruit & Vegetable Garden, Lisa leads a crew of four and a team of 25 volunteers in curating and interpreting a collection of 500 types of edible plants. Using USDA protocol and standards for organic growing, the plants grown in 2018 produced a harvest of two tons of fresh fruits and vegetables. Lisa designs three seasons’ worth of vegetable display beds, manages two orchards of apples and stone fruits, and mentors interns from Windy City Harvest (the Garden's urban agriculture program), College First (Chicago Public Schools), and the French Heritage Society.
You may recognize Lisa’s voice from her Weekly Gardening Minute on WBBM Newsradio 780 AM and 105.9 FM. In addition, she teaches classes and workshops at the Joseph Regenstein, Jr. School of the Chicago Botanic Garden and writes and speaks for local and national magazines and trade shows.
Follow her on Instagram at hilgenberg8.
Education: Gustavus Adolphus College, University of Iowa, with majors in geology and French. Professional horticulture certification from the Joseph Regenstein, Jr. School of the Chicago Botanic Garden. Produce Safety Alliance certified.