Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Lyman Woods Hike Canceled

While we missed the worst of the snow, the forecast for today and tonight is more snow, high winds, and plunging temperatures. Given concerns about traveling to the meeting and then home later in the evening, along with outside conditions (high winds and excessive wind chills) that are not good for a night hike in the woods, we are canceling tonight's meeting and hike. The Downers Grove Park District told us we could use the Interpretive Center for future activities, so we can schedule a hike and meeting for a later date.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Lyman Woods Night Hike

The DGOG Club will have a night hike on Wednesday, Dec. 9, at the Lyman Woods Nature Center in Downers Grove. The Nature Center is located at the corner of 31st and Highland, with the entrance on 31st St. The evening will consist of a night hike through the woods followed by hot beverages and cookies at the Center. If you plan to attend, please arrive by 7PM - we should be done between 8:30 and 9:00 PM. Dress warmly and with sturdy shoes, and bring a flashlight. In the event of rain, we'll skip the hike and go straight to the refreshments! Feel free to bring a holiday treat to share, but don't stress out if you don't have time to bake.
--Cathy

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Nov. 11 Meeting

Our next meeting on Nov. 11 will feature Patricia Hill, author of Design Your Natural Midwest Garden. She will offer ideas for shade gardening with native plants. Join us at 7 p.m. at the Downers Grove Public Library, 1050 Curtiss Street.

That afternoon, Trudi Temple will be speaking at a Downers Grove Chamber of Commerce luncheon. Find details here.

Monday, October 26, 2009

A Lovely Autumn Day at Trudi's Farm


Here's a report and some photos of the group's trip to Trudi Temple's farm. Thanks to Irene Hogstrom for the report!

"The rain stopped and we had a gorgeous fall day for our visit to Trudi Temple's farm in Marengo. Trudi served us soup and sandwiches, with almost all of the ingredients coming from the farm. She has a large vegetable garden, fruit trees, grass fed cows, and chickens on the farm. After lunch, we had a tour and Trudi talked about her extensive conifer collection on the property. She is also striving to make the farm sustainable, as seen by the solar panels on her daughter's glass artworks studio. (in the photo, behind Trudi) "

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Visit Trudi Temple's Farm

Join us for a visit to Trudi Temple's farm in Marengo on Saturday, Oct. 24. We'll meet at the Downers Grove Public Library at 10:15 am to work out carpooling arrangements. Or, you can drive yourself.

We'll be at Trudi's farm by noon for an organic lunch and then enjoy a tour. The day is free for DGOG members and $15 per person for nonmembers.

RSVP or get directions from Irene Hogstrom (630-852-7849, i_hogstrom@yahoo.com)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Harvest Fest Preview

Many gardeners have already shared photos for the Harvest Fest on Oct. 14. Click here for a video preview.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Container Garden Class

Wicker Park Garden Club
Container Design for Fall and Winter

In this workshop, Susan Fontana will give you ideas how to choose plants, dried grasses and flowers, and other materials that will work together to keep your containers looking colorful, exciting and healthy through the season. Please bring with you questions that will help you design the containers that you have at home - think what shape, size and color they are in determining the final design for your containers.

Saturday, October 3 - 10am-12 noon
Wicker Park Field House - 1425 N. Damen, Chicago
Reservations - $15: wpgarden@aol.com (773) 278-9075

Registration fee will assist with the Support of Wicker Park's 10,000 sq. ft of Gardens and our Educational Programming.


Friday, September 25, 2009

Liberty Gardens Fall Class Schedule

TOMATOES AND NOTHING BUT

If you’re tired of just putting up 50 jars of spaghetti sauce every year and want to try something different, come and taste some great ways to preserve tomatoes that are easy and fun to prepare and will keep all winter. We’ll prepare something during class for everyone to take home. All supplies and recipes will be provided. Vicki will share lots of other tomato secrets. $45.00 (3 hours)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009, 1:00 -- 4:00 p.m.
Thursday, October 1, 2009, 6:00 -- 9:00 p.m.


GARLIC
Aaaahh—garlic.... When to plant, how to plant, when to harvest? Questions I hear. Answers I will give and much more including a sensational way to make your own fresh garlic powder! You simply must come and try this and all the other garlic treats to be tasted. You haven’t lived until you grow your own garlic and the time to plant is now! $30.00 (2 hours)

Thursday, October 8, 2009, 1:00 -- 3:00 p.m.
Saturday, October 10, 2009, 9:00 -- 11:00 a.m.

ASSEMBLE YOUR COMPOST PILE NOW FOR SPRING
There are so many ways to enhance the quality of your compost pile right now. There will be lots of biomass at this time of year from the vegetable garden and there will be the added bonus from heaven—LEAVES! By doing it now we afford ourselves the additional luxury of time. All the time that the weather is good this fall and all the time that the complex workings of your pile are waking up next spring in late February and March and April, your biology will be hard at work while you are indoors resting. You can work on composting, crop residues, leaf composting and much more and by next year, you will have a bonanza of material to improve on your 2010 crops. $35.00(2 ½ hours)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009, 9:00 -- 11:30 a.m.
Saturday, October 24, 2009, 9:00 -- 11:30 a.m.

GOT WORMS?

I don’t mean to be personal but, if you don’t have worms, you’re missing out on a great opportunity to create a garden amendment that has no equal. Its availability to plants is even greater than finished compost and therefore, not as much quantity is needed per plant to give superb benefits. Fortunately, a homeowner only needs a small indoor space that stays above 55 degrees in the winter and a steady supply of leftovers from everyday meals to keep a worm bin going all through the winter season. Vicki will show you everything you always wanted to know about keeping a friendly little herd of worms around And your home and garden will be glad for it. $30.00 (2 ½ hours)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009, 1:00 -- 3:30 p.m.
Saturday, October 24, 2009, 1:00 -- 3:30 p.m.

Garden is located at: 907 Summit Street, Downers Grove, Illinois 60515 (1 block north of 55th street, 2 blocks east of Main Street, ½ block west of Washington, 1 ½ blocks south of Maple)


For information or to register call 630-852-5263 or email vnowicki@comcast.net

Fall Fairs

A few fall fairs to be aware of:

Cantigny Green Fair on September 26

Preparing the Fall Garden for an Edible Spring at Vie Restaurant

Monday, September 21, 2009

September, October, November

We hope you were able to sample Kathy Vitalo's various vinegar creations on Sept. 9. The sampling will continue on Oct. 14 when we gather for our annual Harvest Festival. Bring recipes, snacks, and your gardening stories and questions. Email any photos of your 2009 garden to Carol Morency at midway117@worldnet.att.net.

On Nov. 11, we welcome Patricia Hill, author of Design Your Natural Midwest Garden, to talk about Shade Gardening Beyond Hostas. As always, the meeting begins at 7 p.m. at the Downers Grove Public Library. The DGOG board meets at 6:30 p.m.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Garden Study Course

Click here to view a flyer on an upcoming gardening study course at the Cook County Farm Bureau.

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If you don't have Adobe Reader, download it here.

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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Expert Brings the Flavors of Herbs to Sept. Meeting

Join us for our next meeting on Wednesday, September 9 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. Kathy Vitalo will present "Extending the Summer Bounty of Herbs in Your Garden" which focuses on tasting, smelling and identifying herbs depending on the season. Vitalo is an owner of Herbally Yours, a family-owned and operated herb vinegar farm. Its artisanal basil-oregano vinegar was a 2006/2007 finalist in the Gallo Family Vineyards Gold Medal Award competition. Kathy is a 19-year member of the Pleasantdale Garden Club and of Slow Food USA.

We meet at the Downers Grove Public Library, 1050 Curtiss Street.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Recycling Extravaganza

The Downers Grove Park District, in partnership with the Village of Downers Grove, will host a Recycling Extravaganza on Saturday, September 26 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Belmont Road Train Station in Parking Lot H.

Items Accepted:

  • Electronics: TVs (including console models), VCRs, DVD players, cameras, computers/laptops, copiers, cords, discs, electric typewriters, fax/adding machines, hard drives, keyboards, mice, monitors, PDAs, printers, scanners, small kitchen appliances, radios, speakers, stereos, telephones, zip drives
  • Furniture: cribs and dressers
  • Lead acid batteries: car, motorcycle, boat, lawn mower, truck, sump pump, RV and all sport vehicle batteries
  • CFL Lightbulbs
  • Ink jet cartridges
  • Cell phones
  • Hearing Aids and Eye Glasses
  • Select Medical Supplies: Gently used wheelchairs, walkers, and crutches

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Meet the Author of Wicked Plants

Anderson’s Bookshop will host author Amy Stewart and botanical illustrator Briony Morrow-Cribbs. Their meticulous research and vast knowledge of plants is evident in the new release: Wicked Plants—A Book of Botanical Atrocities. Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the garden, Stewart, the best selling author of Flower Confidential, delves into the dark side of the plant kingdom. Amy Stewart’s essays have appeared in Organic Gardening, Garden Design, the New York Times, and elsewhere. She has been featured on NPR, Good Morning America, and CBS Sunday Morning. Visit her online at www.amystewart.com. Visit her in person at Anderson’s Bookshop in Naperville on Thursday August 20 at 7 PM.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Got Worms? You Will After This Class!

You can still catch a class with Vicki Nowicki this summer:

Got Worms?
Wednesday, July 29, 9a.m.-12p.m.

See what all the squirmin’ is about. Everybody either has worms or is talking about worms. Be in with the “in” crowd and learn how to take care of Eisenia foetida so that you can show off your worm bin to all your company, too and get that unanimous “ew, gross” that we love to hear. Just kidding, this is the best thing you’ll ever do!

Classes are $40 per person. All materials will be provided unless otherwise specified.

Classes held at:
The Land Office
907 Summit Street
Downers Grove IL. 60515
630-852-5263

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Note From Cathy

Hello DGOG! Hope your summer is "growing" well! Thanks to Irene and Kim for the wonderful and informative presentations at our June meeting. At that meeting, we also voted in the 2009-2010 officers. Welcome to the newcomers and thanks to those who have served over the past years.

We have a few dates to help weed the Butterfly Garden at Lyman Woods. Join us on Saturdays July 18 and August 15 from 9 to 11:30 am. Anyone can help out! Meet at the Lyman Woods Interpretive Center.

Our field trip this year will be to Heritage Prairie Market, 2 N 308 Brundage Road, Elburn, at 7 pm on July 8. They will give us a tour of their farm and market and we will sample their wares. The market is about a 45 minute drive from the Downers Grove Public Library. We will meet there at 5:45 pm at the parking lot entrance and carpool. Please
RSVP to Irene Hogstrom at i_hogstrom@yahoo.com or call (630) 852-7849.

The board will be planning another garden walk in September. Watch for details.

Hope to see you on July 8.

Cathy Hlohowskyj, President

Monday, June 22, 2009

Garden Walks Galore

Palos Park Garden Walk

Saturday June 27, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Seven private gardens will be open to the public on Saturday, June 27 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. when the Palos Park Garden Guild I hosts its garden walk. Proceeds from the walk will be used to send children with burn injuries to a special camp for burn victims this summer. Tickets for the walk are $10.00 and may be purchased at the following locations:

Ollie’s Coffee CafĂ© at 11845 Southwest Highway in Palos Heights (708) 671-1352

Wild Birds Unlimited at 13012 S. LaGrange 708-361-8726

Take Me Home Gifts at 9664 W. 131st in Palos Park (708)448-8600

Contact: Arlene Adams 708-448-4007


The Wayne Countryside Garden Club 2nd Garden Walk

Saturday, June 27

The 5 gardens and vendor exhibits will be open from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.

Advance tickets and those for your Garden Club members are $12. Tickets will be $15 the day of the event for non-Garden Club members. Tickets are available for sale at:

Alltemp Fireplaces, 112 W. Lake Street, Bloomingdale

Prestige Nursery, 28W761 Army Trail Road, Bartlett

Scentimental Gardens, 428 W. State Street, Geneva

Shady Hill Gardens,42W075 Route 38, Elburn

Blue Goose Market,300 S. Second Street, Saint Charles

Heinz Brothers Nursery, 2010 E. Main Street, St. Charles.

Tickets will also be sold at the first garden - 33W262 Ashley Lane in Wayne. Ashley Lane is in the Brewster Creek North Country subdivision which is west of Dunham Road between Army Trail Road and Stearns Road. For more info, call Barb at (630) 497-0186

Friday, June 12, 2009

Good Neighbors, Great Worms


Kim Christen introduced us to vermiculture and Irene Hogstrom shared her thoughts on being a good neighbor during our June meeting.

Thanks to Maria Hlohowskyj for the photos!

Watch for information about our July 8 to field trip to Heritage Prairie Market in Elburn. For more information about the market, check out their website: http://www.hpmfarm.com.

Monday, June 8, 2009

June Meeting

Our June meeting will be at the Downers Grove Public Library on Wednesday, June 10, at 7 p.m. Our program this month will be member-led. Irene Hogstrom will give a short talk on being good neighbors with our natural areas by using native plants in the home landscape. Then Kim Christen will offer a demonstration on the assembly of a worm-bin, along with an overview of vermicomposting.
We will also have elections of our officers for 2009-2010.

And, mark your calendars for a field trip on the evening of July 8 to Heritage Prairie Market in Elburn. They will give a tour and provide some tastings of their products. For more information about the market, check out their website:http://www.hpmfarm.com. More details and coordinating carpooling will be forthcoming.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Plant Sale Thanks!

Thanks to all buyers, helpers and planners who helped make the 2009 Plant Sale a success. We had a lovely day and many shoppers stopped by to purchase plants and continue spreading the news about organic gardening.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Plant Sales, Seminars, Garden Walks

Plant Sales:
Wheaton Park District
April 25 from 8:30 am - Noon.

Lots of trees, shrubs and forbs.
Public Works Building on Liberty Street
Northeastern Illinois University
April 29 (10 am - 5 pm) and April 30 (10 am - 3 pm)
Variety of indoor and outdoor plants; many natives and heirloom tomatoes
Student Union,
5500 North St. Louis Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60625

2009 Native Plant Sale, Mayslake Peabody Estate
Friday, May 8 from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Saturday, May 9 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
A catalog is available at
www.dupageforest.com. Pre-sale orders are due into Stacey Becker by Friday, May 1st. This year you will be able to submit your order online. Orders can be picked up at Mayslake on Wednesday, 6 May – 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. or Thursday, 7 May –12:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Seminars and Classes:
Need help planning your garden? Sign up for the “Native Landscaping for Beginners” class at Fullersburg Woods on May 3rd.


Experts share tips for healthy eating at the Organic Eating Fair on Thursday, May 7 at Ashton Place in Willowbrook, part of the ten-town Big Read.

Garden Walk:
Walk the Garden Path to help find a Cure for Parkinson's Disease
Sunday, June 28, 2009
All six the gardens are located within walking distance of each other in Naperville near the intersection of Royce Rd. and Apple River Drive. Each garden is unique and spectacular in its own way, you will find a variety of gardens ranging from very natural to perfectly groomed.

Highlights include natural habitats for birds and a fabulous outdoor living room complete with stove and a fireplace!


Reception, Picnic, Music, Silent Auction & Raffle at: DuPage River Park 808 Royce Road, Naperville, Il 60540
. Donation: $50 per person

Click on the links to see the
full brochure with maps and links to the ticket reservation form

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Tell Your Friends and Neighbors

May will be a busy month for our club. On May 2, our annual plant sale once again takes root at Hummer Park. Print out a flyer and give one to everyone you know!

While you're talking up the plant sale, tell everyone about our joint program with the Pierce Downer's Heritage Alliance at 10 a.m. on May 9 at the Downers Grove Public Library. Jim Kleinwachter with Conservation at Home will be there with expert information on making your backyard earth-friendly. All attendees will also get a coupon for $10 off a rainbarrel purchased at The Conservation Foundation (regular price: $85).

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

April Meeting

Our own garden Goddess Cathy Hlohowskyj shares her butterfly wisdom with us in "Butterflies: Attract Them, Raise Them, Set Them Free" at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 8 at the Downers Grove Public Library, 1050 Curtiss Street. The DGOG board will meet at 6:30 p.m.

Don't forget to pay your annual membership dues, and please remind your fellow members to do so as well this month!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Plant Sales and Expert Advice

Linda Walker writes:

Two plant sales that you can pre-order from for planting in May have posted their lists. I've ordered from both for many years now, and they never disappoint in the quality of their plants...at such reasonable costs.

http://citizensforconservation.org/ Pre-order by April 13th. Also, check out their mission statement.

If you'd like help selecting what might be best for your particular situation, just bring your printed form to the
April 8th meeting, with your initial 'leanings', and I'd be glad to help you complete your choices.

Rain Barrel Workshop

As much as 500 gallons of rainwater fall on the roof and through the downspouts of a 2,000 square foot average home for each quarter-inch rain fall. Learn how adding a rain barrel to the picture can reduce water bills and conserve one of our most precious resources at The Conservation Foundation’s Rain Barrel Workshop, from 10 to 11 a.m., Saturday, April 4, at McDonald Farm.

Jim Kleinwachter, The Conservation Foundation’s land preservation specialist, will explain procedures to install a rain barrel in your home. He will also discuss how to paint the food-grade plastic barrels, some of which are imported from Greece and were originally used to transport olives and pickles.

The cost for the workshop is $10 per person. To register, email cthompson@theconservationfoundation.org This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call 630-428-4500, Ext. 10. Each registrant will receive a $10 coupon to be deducted that day only from the regular purchase price of an $85 rain barrel.

If you can’t make the class but would like to purchase a rain barrel, they are available at The Conservation Foundation’s McDonald Farm for $85 on Thursdays from 2 – 4 p.m. from April through September. They are available by special arrangement at other times by contacting Jim Kleinwachter at jkleinwachter@theconservationfoundation.org This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or by phone at 630-553-0687, Ext. 302. Rain barrel stands are also for sale for $20.

Click here for more information about the Conservation@Home program and what you can do to make your yard more earth-friendly.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Gardening Events Springing Up

It's time to start filling your calendar with garden-related events. The first item of note is our own Plant Sale, set for Saturday, May 2 at Hummer Park. On May 9, the DGOG and Pierce Downer's Heritage Alliance are collaborating on a program that will welcome back Jim Kleinwachter. Watch for more information at our April meeting and on this blog.

On Saturday, July 11, gardens from two DGOG members will be among those featured in “Hope Among the Flowers," the third annual Downers Grove Garden Walk sponsored by the Bridge Board of First United Methodist Church, Downers Grove. The walk features six unique private gardens throughout Downers Grove. Master Gardeners from the University of Illinois Extension DuPage County will be available at several gardens to answer your gardening questions.

Find information at www.dgfumc.org/gardenwalk. Tickets will be available after May 1 at the following locations: The First United Methodist Church office, 1032 Maple Ave., (630-968-7120), Dream Interiors, 5122 Main St. (630-810-1389) and Phillips Flowers, 1512 Ogden Ave. (630-969-9300).

The Bridge Board of First United Methodist Church partners with Bridge Communities effecting positive change for formerly homeless families – one family at a time. The Board provides transitional housing, mentoring, direction, encouragement and a stable environment so that families may become self-sufficient and sustain their independence. Proceeds from the Walk will ensure the continued work of the Board helping families to a better life.

Monday, March 9, 2009

March Meeting and Other Dates

Don Obuch will talk about planning your fall garden and ornamental grasses during our next meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 11.

Below are a few more dates to put in you calendars:
Friday, March 20th, 10:30am: The District II Garden Clubs of Illinois Annual Meeting. This is a luncheon, business meeting, and program on "Spring Florals." The cost is $26 per person. If you would like to attend, please email Irene at i_hogstrom@yahoo.com.
Wednesday, April 8th; 7:00pm-8:30pm: Our April meeting, featuring our own Cathy Hlohowskj on Attracting and Raising Butterflies.
April 26th-27th: The Garden Clubs of Illinois' Annual Convention. This year's theme is "Growing in Green Possibilities." Information and a registration form can be found in your copy of Garden Glories.
Saturday, May 2nd: The annual DGOG plant sale! More details and ways to be involved will follow...
Saturday, May 9th; 10:00am-12:00pm: The Downers Grove Organic Gardeners will be hosting a joint community event with the Pierce Downers Heritage Alliance. We have invited Jim Kleinwachter, of The Conservation Foundation to speak on conservation practices in the home landscape. This will be a great event, enabling both organizations to create public awareness of our respective missions.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Inspiration, Just When We Needed it Most

Out from behind the weather, the economy, and other shadows cast upon our recent days came Vicki Nowicki at our February 11 meeting. Vicki was not just showing us decades of expertise on starting seeds. No, Vicki wants a revolution! Now!

Do not wait, she insisted. The time to start to grow our own food and begin the escape from corporate-dominated frankenveggies is now!

Of course, many of us do grow our own food, on some scale. But we can all do more. Or, we can encourage others to join us. It was so wonderful to see such a crowded room last Wednesday. Think of the potential for change just here in the Downers Grove area.

Thanks Vicki, for your passion and your knowledge.

Development Doings

For those of you who live or work in Downers Grove, the village is embarking on its Total Community Development Process. This is a long-range planning exercise that the village revisits every few years. TCD 3 has a website, where you can fill out a questionnaire and sign up for updates.

A community discussion is planned for 7 p.m. March 4 at Downers Grove South High School. Space is limited, so register by calling (630) 434-5527.

So what does community development have to do with gardening? Well, a lot! Do you want to ensure the village is committed to preserving green space? Do you want to suggest a natural alternative to stormwater managament issues? Do you want to see a town that's more friendly to bikers and walkers? This is your chance!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Meeting Minutes

Our meeting minutes are now available on this blog. Scroll down to the left to read them.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

February Meeting

Erin Tuttle writes: "I have been doggedly determined to enjoy this winter, despite the bitter temperatures. After all, it's a beautiful season, and a time for us to rest...right? Nevertheless, I have started to feel that familiar itch for all things green and growing, and have been dreaming about a garden that is lush and buzzing with life.

February's DGOG meeting could be the perfect antidote for this spring fever. Next Wednesday, February 11th, we will have Vicky Nowicki speak to us on Starting Seeds Indoors. Vicky spoke to us last year at this time, and her talk was so engaging and educational that we decided to have her back to review the particulars of such an important topic.

As usual, we will meet at the Downers Grove Public Library, 1050 Curtiss Street, starting our open business meeting at 6:30, followed by Vicky's talk at 7:00pm. We will wrap up by 8:30 pm."

Monday, January 26, 2009

Heirloom Tomatoes at the White House?

There is a movement among Illinois organic food enthusiasts to convince the Obama Adminstration to install a garden at the White House. Here is a link to an article in the State Journal Register. And at the website whitehousefarmer.com, you can nominate a farmer to be the official White House farmer.

Thanks to Ellen Swirsky for the tip!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Oh no! Snow! January Meeting Cancelled

Due to bad weather, the January meeting has been cancelled. It's a great night to plan your garden!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

January meeting UPDATE

Join us for a Member Information Exchange! Irene Hogstrom will talk about How to Be Good Neighbors with Nature Preserves; Kim Christen will discuss Composting, and Erin Tuttle will introduce you to Micro Greens.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. Wednesday, January 14. You'll find us, as always, at the Downers Grove Public Library, 1050 Curtiss St.

Preceding the meeting, the DGOG board will meet at 6:30 p.m. All members are invited to attend the board meeting.

Recipes

DGOG members share recipes using fresh vegetables. Try them now and again with your own harvest.

Romesco Dip
Make 2 1/2 cups
Work time: 30 minutes
Total time: 1 hr 5 min

4 red bell peppers
5 oz whole blanched almonds
2 garlic cloves
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp sweet paprika
3 tbls olive oil
1/3 cup loosely packed, finely chopped mint
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Broil red peppers 6 inches from heat. Turn occasionally and broil until charred--about 30 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, cover and let stand 15 minutes. Heat oven to 350 F and spread out nuts on baking sheet and bake until golden--about 12 minutes, and cool. Peel skin from peppers, core and seed. In a food processor, puree together peppers, nuts, garlic, salt, vinegar and paprika. Add oil and process until smooth. Transfer to a serving bowl and stir in mint and parsley. (Can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 1 day. Serve at room temp.)
From Ladies Home Journal

Basil Tomato Tart
Prep: 30 minutes Bake: 35 minutes
Ingredients
1/2 of a 15-ounce package folded refrigerated unbaked pie crust (1 crust)
1-1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (6 ounces)
5 Roma tomatoes or 4 medium tomatoes
1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
4 cloves garlic
1/2 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper

Fresh basil leaves (optional)
Directions
1. Unfold pie crust according to package directions. Place in a 9-inch quiche dish or glass pie plate. Flute edge; press with the tines of a fork, if desired. Line shell with double-thickness of foil. Bake in 450 degree F. oven 8 minutes. Remove foil. Bake 4 to 5 minutes more or until set and dry. Remove from oven. Reduce temperature to 375 degree F. Sprinkle crust with 1/2 cup of the mozzarella cheese. Cool slightly on a wire rack.
2. Cut tomatoes into wedges; drain on paper towels. Arrange tomato wedges atop cheese in the pie shell. In a food processor bowl combine basil and garlic; cover and process until coarsely chopped. Sprinkle over tomatoes.
3. In a medium mixing bowl combine remaining mozzarella cheese, mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese, and pepper. Spoon cheese mixture over basil mixture, spreading to evenly cover the top. 4. Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until top is golden and bubbly. Serve warm. If desired, garnish with basil leaves. Makes 8 appetizer servings or 4 main-dish servings.

Make-ahead tips: Prebake pastry crust; cover and let stand at room temperature for up to 2 hours. Slice and drain tomatoes; let stand at room temperature for up to 2 hours. Prepare cheese-mayonnaise mixture; cover and chill up to 2 hours.