Want to learn more about growing vegetables? Last year the Master Gardeners of DuPage County, along with other gardeners at Naperville Community Garden Plots contributed over 1,000 pounds of produce to Loaves & Fishes. This year they expect to double that despite it being another challenging growing season! Being a gardener is hard work, but rewarding. Pantry clients interested in learning more about growing veggies are welcome to visit the Garden Plots from 8 to 10 am, Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. (Plots are located at 811 S West Street, Naperville, IL 60540.) The Master Gardeners of DuPage County are tracking donations as they harvest. Update from Ron Ory on July 24, 2012: You know these dog days have been around far longer than we should expect. All you want to do is find some shade and do some coffee clutching. Here was Tricia explaining her “weed” project to the volunteer weeders. That’s the way this Monday morning started for Jan Gricus and me. Just water, water, water. But then we had some visitors! One of the park district camp programs had us on their walk. The kids were eager to see how their (and our) vegetables were growing. Our pumpkins were the hit of the stroll! They also made our day! And we also had visitors of even a smaller variety: the bunny in the shade of yellow coneflower, the bee on liatris, dragonfly on black-eyed susan, and a yellow swallowtail on swamp milkweed. But as rewarding was the amount of veggies harvested and gleaned from the donation stand: 112 pounds–our single highest daily amount for the year! This brings our total delivered to Loaves & Fishes this year to 470+ pounds. Thank you all for a job well done!
Gardening can be fun and a healthy addition to any lifestyle. No one knows this better than the volunteers of the DuPage County Master Gardeners program offered through the University of Illinois Extension location in Naperville. Among the many efforts to educate and enhance our community, several members of this talented group have been managing a local garden plot located at the Kraft plant on Ogden Road in Naperville, only a short distance from Loaves & Fishes. Update from Dick Kaleba on July 18, 2012: To date we have harvested over 160 lbs of fresh produce from the Kraft Garden. Early in the year we were harvesting lettuce, radishes and spinach. Now that the hot weather is here, we are harvesting beans, beets, carrots, basil and the first tomatoes and summer squash. With succession planting we will plant more lettuce, radishes and spinach if it ever cools down. We projected that we could produce between 600 to 700 lbs and should be on track to see that. Remember, we only have 400 sq feet to work with and all of our produce comes from that little plot! Last year we harvested around 460 lbs. As Sally Mabbit said last year, “It’s the Little Garden that Could.” These pictures were taken recently: