Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Plant Sale Meeting

It's time once again to begin planning for our 2013 Plant Sale! The first plant sale committee meeting will be held this Wednesday, December 5 at 7:00 pm at Caribou Coffee, 5100 Main, Downers Grove. We will be selecting perennials for our plant sale order with Possibility Place. All are welcome!

 Nancy Carlson

Monday, November 26, 2012

November Meeting This Week

Please join us for our next meeting on Wednesday, November 28 at 7 p.m. (We are meeting on the last Wednesday for this month only to accommodate the Thanksgiving holiday.)
Susan and Matt Schmitz will do a presentation on Beekeeping, and demonstrate the equipment necessary for raising bees. They will also have 100% beeswax candles available for sale. Please join us at the Downers Grove Public Library, 1050 Curtiss Street, for this exciting presentation! 

Monday, November 19, 2012

November 28 Meeting

Just a reminder that our next meeting is on Nov. 28 and will feature Matt and Susan Schmitz sharing their Adventures in Beekeeping.

The photos are courtesy of Mary Ann Badke, who discovered something interesting during her last visit to Starved Rock State Park:

"A few weeks ago while hiking out of a canyon, someone in the group noticed a beehive in a tree. The tree had fallen over and a large branch had broken off. The beehive was revealed at the site of the broken branch."

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Pumpkin Dip Recipe

This fall, everyone seems to have gone pumpkin crazy. The world is finally clued in to what many of us have known for years -- pumpkin is versatile and nutritious. Add some spices and it also becomes delicious. Your blog editor adds canned pumpkin to chili in place of beans. Here's a quick and easy dip to impress your autumn guests (or enjoy yourself):

Pumpkin Dip
Serve with apples or pretzels. Great fall appetizer. Very easy.

  • 1/2 8oz cool whip
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin spice
  • Soft cream cheese 8oz
  • Pumpkin 1/2 c, canned
  • 2 cup powdered sugar
Mix cream cheese and sugar. Add pumpkin and spice. Add cool whip last.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

October Meeting

Our next meeting is Wednesday, October 17 at 7 PM at the Downers Grove Public Library. Our speaker is Charlene Cebulski, who will give us ideas on Water Gardening and Ponds. 

A reminder: if anyone has or can donate any produce to a food pantry for Plant a Row for the Hungry, let us know so we can keep the tally.

The Downers Grove Organic Gardeners meet on the third Wednesday of the month in January, February, March, April, June, July, September, October and November at 7 p.m. in the Downers Grove Public Library. The board meets at 6:30 p.m. and you are welcome to come early to attend the board meeting. Membership is $20 for individuals and $30 for families.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Harvesting Ideas, Tasting Tomatoes

Thanks to everyone who brought tomatoes and other edibles to our annual Harvest Fest. We were able to sample many tomato varieties as well as other snacks made from our garden harvests. Special thanks to Vicki Nowicki for sharing her extensive expertise in saving food. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

October 20 Event

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Cantigny Green Fair on Sept. 22

Cantigny Park, in partnership with SCARCE, will present the fourth annual Cantigny Green Fair on Saturday, September 22, from 10 am to 4 pm.

As part of the Green Fair, Cantigny and SCARCE will host a mass recycling event. Allowable items and materials for drop off include electronics, non-household batteries, scrap metal, pet needs, flags, bicycles, eyeglasses, keys, ink jet cartridges and much more. The complete list of approved items is posted on the Cantigny Park website. Drop-off hours are 9 am to 12 pm.

Green Fair entertainment and education choices include:

FashionEcoNista Show (11 am) – A unique green carpet eco-chic fashion show highlighting the latest trends in organic, sustainable clothing and repurposed vintage looks. Clothing, accessories and more!

Live music by “In the Green” (sets at 10 am and 12 pm) – Back by popular demand, this band is a Green Fair favorite!

“Mother Nature’s Child: Growing Outdoors in the Media Age” (11 am and 1 pm) – Free movie in the Cantigny Theater.

The Frog Lady (1 pm) – Naturalist Deb Krohn’s presentation will show the differences between reptiles and amphibians plus other fascinating facts!

Radio Disney (2 pm) – A high-energy, interactive musical performance with a “green” theme, especially for kids and families,

Cooking demos by Whole Foods (all day) – Learn a healthy new recipe, get answers to your food questions and try some delicious samples!

Eco-friendly vendors – more than 100 confirmed so far!

Local and organic Farmers Market

Vermicomposting and composting displays

Solar Electric Vehicle Fueling Station display

Cantigny beekeeping

Admission to the fair and all event activities are free. Parking at Cantigny Park is $5 per car. Recyclables may be dropped off without charge from 9 am to 12 pm.

Further details about the Green Fair are available at and  

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Harvest Fest!

How did your garden grow? Celebrate the end of growing season at the Downers Grove Organic Gardeners' Annual Harvest fest at 7 PM Wednesday, Sept. 19. Join other gardeners to talk about the summer and share tips, triumphs and heartaches.

Everyone is invited to bring a dish to share along with copies of your recipe. Vickie Nowicki will be our speaker. She will talk about food preservation. We will have our second annual tomato tasting contest. So bring your favorite tomatoes (leave one whole and cut up one for sampling). Remember to contribute photos of your gardens for a poster we'll be creating next year. Hope to see you all there.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Green Expert Discusses Our Oil Addiction

Author and green building expert Dan Chiras explores our energy addiction to fossil fuels and takes a hard look at our current situation at 7 PM August 8 at the Mount Prospect Public Library. What will it take for America to offset the results of energy dependence? Can the effects of global warming and geopolitical instability be mitigated by the use of more renewable energy resources in place of oil? 

Chiras, founder of the Evergreen Institute in Colorado, is the author of numerous books on green building, renewable energy, and sustainable living. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Cantigny Trip Postponed

Our field trip to Cantigny on August 15th has been canceled and we will reschedule at a later date. Thanks for your understanding.

See you all at our Harvest Fest on Sept. 19th!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Our Visit to Iron Street Farm

The farm was once a trucking company.
One of two farm cats.
Murals add color to the outside of the former industrial space.

The farm makes tons of compost. Much of the material comes from local restaurants

Vegetables grow in medium made from compost spread over wood chips.

The view from inside the vermiculture area. 
Testing the worms' work.
Yellow perch are raised in an aquarium from which the waste water then goes to the aquaponic plants on top.
Growing mushrooms in the dark.

Bees on  the roof.

The farm is right next to the Chicago River.

Upcoming U of I Extension telenets

The DuPage County Office of the University of Illinois Extension is offering 4 new gardening telenets for the summer and fall seasons.  Please see the attached flyer for details and click on the link to register.  Seating is limited, so please register early!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Field Trip to Iron Street Farm

Join us on Saturday, July 14 for a field trip to Growing Power’s Iron Street Farm in the Bridgeport neighborhood of Chicago.

Previously an industrial site, Iron Street Farm is a 7-acre site on Chicago’s south side that produces local, healthy, and sustainable food year-round with a focus on serving, training, and engaging vulnerable populations. 

You can either meet with the DGOG group at the DG library at 9 AM or drive to the farm yourself. A map and more information is at 

 If you are coming, please RSVP to Carol Morency at or (630) 607-4799.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Summer Garden Gate

Read the latest edition of our newsletter, The Garden Gate.

Monday, June 4, 2012

June Meeting

Please join us at our next meeting, Wednesday, June 20, at 7 pm to learn about Body Smart Gardening. Jan Hanson of the Illinois Extension Service will be the presenter.

We will also be holding elections for the following offices:
  • President
  • Vice President
  • Membership
  • Social

If you'd like to run for any of these offices, please contact Cathy Hlohowsky at

The Downers Grove Organic Gardeners meet on the third Wednesday of the month in January, February, March, April, June, July, September, October and November at 7 p.m. in the Downers Grove Public Library. The board meets at 6:30 p.m. and you are welcome to come early to attend the board meeting. Membership is $20 for individuals and $30 for families.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Hope Among the Flowers Garden Walk

Buy tickets now for the Downers Grove Garden Walk on July 14 from 9:30am to 3pm. The event features seven gardens all in Downers Grove.

This annual "Hope Among the Flowers" event provides funds for the First United Methodist Church's Bridge Board to support their efforts to transform the lives of homeless families. The group provides housing, mentoring and direction with the goal of making families self-sufficient and able to sustain their independence.

Tickets are $20 in advance and online and $25 on the day of the event.

Find more information and ticket locations at

Monday, May 21, 2012

Lisle Woman's Club Garden Gait

Lisle Park District and Lisle Woman's Club Tenth Annual Garden Gait
June 24, 2012
11 a.m. -- 5 p.m.
  • Visit six delightful gardens
  • Shop garden-themed vendors
  • Enjoy complimentary refreshments
  • Buy 100's of perennials 
Tickets $15 before June 23, 2012; $17 on June 24.

No discount for children.

We regret that the gardens cannot accommodate strollers or wheelchairs.

Ticket Sale Locations
  • Anderson Bookshop, 123 W. Jefferson, Naperville  
  • Anderson Bookshop, 5112 Main St., Downers Grove
  • The Nook, 4738 Main St., Lisle 
  • Safari Cafe, College Square Shopping Mall, 6440 College Road, Lisle
  • Weldon Hardware Supply, 4715 Main St., Lisle
  • Wild Birds Unlimited, 1601 Ogden Ave., Lisle

Meet at the Museums at Lisle Station Park, 921 School St., Lisle, IL

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Plant Sale Varieties

Looking to plan your visit to our plant sale? Here's a list of plant varieties we expect to have.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Plant Sale on May 12

Need flyers to give to friends or post in a school or business. Click here!

Donating Plants to the Sale? Please Read!

To all club members:

If you will be bringing plants to sell at the plant sale, please send an email to Gina indicating the varieties of the plants you will be bringing. Gina makes signs for all varieties that we offer - the signs need to be made ahead of time, so please let her know as soon as possible what varieties you will be bringing. Also, please make sure that you have markers in all of your pots!

Thanks very much, 

Nancy Carlson

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Timmy's Garden Walk to benefit Joliet Hospice

Timmy's Garden Walk benefits the pediatric programs at the Joliet Area Community Hospice. All proceeds will go to the hospice which provided support to terminally ill children, caregivers and loved ones. Tickets are $10 per person and may be purchased starting May 23 at the Joliet Area Community Hospice, 260 Water Stone Circle, Joliet, IL. For information call 815-460-3262 or visit 

Sixth Annual Timmy's Garden Walk
June 23, 2012
9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Rain or Shine

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Wild Edibles

We learned how to eat day lillies, purslane, amaranth and other weeds and wild plants at our meeting last night. Thanks to Patricia Armstrong of Prairie Sun Consultants for giving us a first lesson in foraging. We were also able to sample some food made with wild plants.

Remember we don't meet in May. But do remember our plant sale on May 12 at Hummer Park!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Hole Lotta Fun

DGOG sponsored a hole during last weekend's Downers Grove Public Library Foundation Mini Golf event. It's a fun way to participate in a great community event and let people know about our group.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Creeping Charlie for Dinner? Find Out How!

Attend our next meeting on Wednesday, April 18, at 7 pm to learn about Edible Wild Plants. Patricia Armstrong of Prairie Sun Consultants will show how to turn edible trees, shrubs, wildflowers, and weeds into tasty foods for your table. If you don’t use toxic chemicals in your yard, the weeds you pick can become free organic veggies for your dinner table. Pat has recipes for garlic mustard and creeping charlie. Please join us for a tasty presentation!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Read the Latest Garden Gate

The Winter/Spring 2012 edition of the Garden Gate newsletter is here. You can always read current and past issues via the links on the right side of this site.

Friday, March 30, 2012

New Lecture Series at Argonne

Leading scientists and engineering experts will speak at the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory as part of a new public lecture series called "Argonne OutLoud." The series will highlight the cutting-edge research taking place at Argonne and topics of interest to the community at large. Lectures are free and open to the public but will require advance registration.

The first lecture in the series, taking place on April 12, 2012, at 7:00 p.m., will feature Argonne agronomist and environmental engineer Cristina Negri. Her presentation is titled "Changing the bio-energy equation: Turning environmental challenges into sustainable resources." Negri will discuss how plants can combat water pollution, clean the environment and create new energy sources. She will also share her vision for the future and discuss how these techniques can be used locally to restore brownfields and other areas while producing biomass for energy and revitalizing neighborhoods.

The event will take place at the Argonne Advanced Photon Source Auditorium and will include light refreshments and a poster session preceding the lecture.

To register for this event, please visit

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Compost 101

"Compost Queen" Lynn Bement enlightened us on beneficial critters in our soil last week. Because we had many questions about how to make our soil better, Lynn sent along some links to composting articles she's written. Thanks to Lynn for sharing her expertise with us!

Hot Composting vs. Cold Composting
6 Ways to Make Great Compost

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A Call for Photos

A note from Nancy Carlson:

We would like to put together a poster board featuring pictures of club member's gardens, plants or harvested vegetables.  We will use the display at the Plant Sale, and also at Wannemaker's Garden Show next year. Gina had some very nice pictures of several of her tomato varieties at the Wannamaker's event - if the plants had been for sale that day, I probably would have bought one of each!  The pictures can be of your perennials, flower or vegetable gardens, vegetable plants, harvested vegetables, or other things garden related.  I thought that it would be a nice way for members to showcase what they grow, and it might provide plant sale customers with some ideas.

If you would like to submit pictures, please bring them to the April meeting, as we would like to have the display ready for the May plant sale. Please attach a note with your name and a description (variety of plant ...)      

Friday, March 16, 2012

Dirty Talk on Soil

At our next meeting on Wednesday, March 21 at 7 pm, Lynn Bement will reveal the secret life of the microorganisms that lie beneath our feet during her talk on Sex in the Soil. There are thousands of microorganisms in a single tablespoon of healthy soil. Feeding your microorganisms will create more resistance to diseases and insects, and more tolerance to drought.

The Downers Grove Organic Gardeners meet on the third Wednesday of the month in January, February, March, April, June, July, September, October and November at 7 p.m. in the Downers Grove Public Library. The board meets at 6:30 p.m., and you are welcome to come early to attend the board meeting. Membership is $20 for individuals and $30 for families. 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Roberta Muehlhaus' Presentation

Thanks so much to our own Roberta Muehlhaus for speaking on "Vegetable and Ornamental Gardening the Natural Way" during the Wannemaker's Home and Garden show last weekend.

Click here to view her presentation.

Roberta will also be speaking to the Lisle Woman's Club on April 4 at 7 PM. The club meets at the Lisle Police Station, 5040 Lincoln Avenue, Lisle.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Wannemaker's Spring Home and Garden Show

Get ideas for your garden and hear from a DGOG expert this weekend at the Wannemaker's Spring Home and Garden Show on March 10 and 11 from 9 AM to 4 PM. Roberta Muelhaus will be talking about "Vegetable & Ornamental Gardening the Natural Way" at 1 PM on Saturday. DGOG will also have a table at the show, so stop by and say hello!

The Garden Tax on the "Hell Strip"

Local gardening expert Shawna Coronado, who visited us last year, has been fighting city hall to keep the garden she created on right-of-way behind her house. The story has a happy ending (although Shawna is out some money).

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Plant Sale Committee

The Plant Sale Committee will meet this Wednesday, March 7, at 7 PM at Caribou Coffee, on the corner of Main St. and Burlington Ave. in Downers Grove. Everyone is welcome!!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Floral Symphony benefit

The Music Departments of Glenbard South and Glenbard West High Schools present the 20th Annual Floral Symphony, Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 7 p.m. at Glenbard West High School Auditorium, 670 Crescent Boulevard, Glen Ellyn. The event features flowers, art and prizes. Tickets $12 in advance or $15 at the door. Doors open and musical entertainment begins at 6:15 p.m. All arranges will be given away. You must be present to win. Raffle tickets for additional items will be sold on site. For tickets or information call Lora Ilhardt at 630-790-4138 ( or Betty Thermos at 630-545-0913 (

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Greenhorns Viewing

Join us on February 15 to view the movie The Greenhorns, a documentary that explores the lives of America's young farming community. The Greenhorns is a grassroots non-profit organization focused on recruiting, promoting and supporting the new generation of young farmers. This is a free presentation.

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Last Mountain viewing

The Downers Grove/Woodridge/Lisle League of Women Voters is sponsoring a viewing of THE LAST MOUNTAIN, an Official Selection of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. The movie depicts the struggle between a big coal company and a tiny community over their last mountain, as well as the larger context of the future of energy in the United States. See this riveting documentary and join in the discussion on Saturday, January 21 at 9:30 a.m. at the Downers Grove Public Library, 1050 Curtiss Street. This presentation is free and all are welcome.

January Meeting

Our first meeting of 2012 is Wednesday, January 18 at 7 pm. Don Guzan will speak on the Basics of Pruning for maintaining the overall health of landscape plants. His presentation will include pruning of perennials, shrubs, and trees, and Don will discuss recommended tools and proper timing. Garden planning has begun and we will be having our seed exchange table. Bring in your extra seeds and/or pick up something new to try. Do you have a favorite seed company? Bring in the website, phone #, or catalog to share. Any suggestions for The Plant Sale? Did something work well or flop from last year? Let us know by e-mail, at the club meeting or come to plant sale committee meeting Jan. 25th at 7pm Caribou. The order for Genesis Growers will be placed soon!