Extension Educator, Horticulture
September 29, 2008
Master Gardener Intern, Madiem Kawa, is a Site Seward at Washington Park. She is requesting our help with a special park project. We will top off this work day with a special tour of the Dusable Museum.
Check this out, you get a chance to see a famous work of art by Lorado Taft, a museum tour, a visit to the site of the 2016 Olympics and earn volunteer credit. What a deal!!
Habitat Restoration Volunteer Work Day
Free Day at the DuSable Museum of African American History
Sunday, October 5, 2008
9 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. (Work Day)
Meet at the Fountain of Time on Cottage Grove at the Midway Plaisance
Prune scrubs for rejuvenation & weed
Tools, gloves & refreshments included
Contact Elizabeth at email@example.com
September 28, 2008
The 2009 Chicago Master Gardener training will be held at Garfield Park Conservatory, 300 North Central Park in the Jensen room. Classes will be held on Tuesdays starting January 13 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Apply online at http://web.extension.uiuc.edu/county/survey.cfm?sID=50
Deadline for applications is December 2, 2008.
For more information, email Sue Gasper, Chicago Master Gardener Organizer at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to the Chicago Master Gardener web site at http://web.extension.uiuc.edu/cook/mgchicago/index.html.
2009 Chicago Master Gardener Training Schedule
Tuesday, January 13 – BOTANY – Maurice Ogutu, Extension Educator, Horticulture
Tuesday – January 20 –SOILS – Ellen Phillips, Extension Educator, Crop Systems
Tuesday – January 27 – WOODY PLANTS – Richard Hentschel, Extension Specialist, Green Industry Programming
Tuesday – February 3- VEGETABLES – Maurice Ogutu, Extension Educator, Horticulture
Tuesday – February 10 – HERBACEOUS PLANTS – Greg Stack, Extension Educator, Horticulture
Tuesday – February 17 – FRUITS – Maurice Ogutu, Extension Educator, Horticulture
Tuesday – February 24 – INSECTS – Susan Grupp, Extension Educator, Environmental Science
Tuesday- March 3 – TURF – Greg Stack, Extension Educator, Horticulture
Tuesday – March 10 – PLANT PATHOLOGY – Richard Hentschel, Extension Specialist, Green Industry Programming
Tuesday- a.m. – March 17 – IPM and PESTICIDE SAFETY – Russel Higgins, Extension Educator, Integrated Pest Management and Interim County Director, McHenry County
p.m. HOW TO BE A VOLUNTEER – Larry Wilson, Extension Educator, Community & Economic Development, and Interim County Director, Lake County
Tuesday – March – 24 -ORGANIC DAY – Kirsten Akre, Kilbourn Park Organic Greenhouse
Tuesday – March 31 – DATABASE TRAINING AND WRAP-UP
Tuesday – April 7 – SNOW DAY
September 28, 2008
We are looking for patient and compassionate gardeners for help in the Mount Greenwood Children's Garden for the first 4 Wednesdays in October. An Adult Special Needs Gardening Camp will be coming in for a Hort 101 class to plant seeds, learn about insects and worms, and have work days outdoors October 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd. We would love to have 2-4 Master Gardener volunteers at Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences (3807 W. 111th St) between 3:30 p.m.-6 p.m. on these days. The classes meet 4-5:30 p.m., but your help with set-up and clean up would be appreciated.
Please contact Nancy at email@example.com if you can volunteer.
September 28, 2008
The Sustainable Cities Symposium serves to educate Illinois municipal leaders on how to make communities more sustainable by implementing green practices and programs. The conference is an opportunity for you to share information and exchange ideas with mayors, public works departments, planners, engineers, community groups, and interested residents.
Presentations and discussions will cover topics such as renewable energy and energy efficiency, alternative transportation, storm water management, land use planning, pollution prevention, green building and recycling. The symposium will highlight environmental best practices employed by Illinois municipalities and counties, and provide lessons that you can take back and apply to your own community. This event is hosted by the Illinois Green Governments Coordination Council, the Village of Lisle, and Benedictine University.
Date: October 24, 2008
Time: Registration opens at 9 a.m.; 10:00 a.m.- 4 p.m.
Location: Krasa Center at Benedictine University- 5700 College Road, Lisle, IL
September 28, 2008
Q: What comes in many colors and sizes, easy to prepare, tasty, healthy and plentiful now?
A: If you said winter squash, you are correct. Winter Squash comes in many colors, orange, yellow, green, red, and vary in size from a few ounces to 15 pounds or more.
Q: In case you are wondering, what is Summer Squash?
A: Crookneck and zucchini are examples of Summer Squash
Summer Squash are harvested when immature (while the rind is still tender and edible). The name "summer squash" refers to the inability to store these squashes for long periods of time (until winter), unlike winter squashes. It grows on bush-type plants that do not spread like the plants of fall and winter squash and pumpkin. A few healthy and well-maintained plants produce abundant yields.
I love squash. I even like the frozen pureed version you can buy in a box! My mother said I was her picky eater. She got me to eat squash and like it. I know it's good for me and I have had some tasty squash dishes over the years. I think people may simply avoid squash not knowing how to prepare it!
Squash is an American food. It sustained native Americans for more than five thousand years and then helped nourish the early European settlers, who quickly made the vegetable an important part of their diet.
Winter Squash The many varieties of winter squash are harvested at a mature stage, when their shells have grown hard and inedible. Because of these protective shells, winter squash can be harvested in the fall and stored several months, throughout the winter, in a cool, dry place.
The yellow or orange flesh of winter squashes is rich in complex carbohydrates and Vitamin A. Some types, such as Hubbard and butternut, contain more than 100 percent of the Recommended Daily Allowance for Vitamin A and only 40 calories in a 1-cup serving.
Availability: Some winter squashes, particularly acorn, are in good supply year-round. But most are at their peak beginning in late summer and continuing throughout the fall and winter, they become scarce in spring.
Shopping Tips: Look for a squash with a smooth, dull, dry rind, free of cracks or soft spots. A winter squash should feel heavy for its size. If possible, choose squash with the stem attached. The stem should be rounded and dry, not collapsed, blackened or moist.
Varieties: There are many varieties of squash. Most varieties can be substituted for one another in recipes. The three most popular varieties are acorn, butternut, and Hubbard.
Preparation: Rinse off any dirt before using.
Baking: To bake, halve small squash length-wise, scoop out the seeds and strings. Cut large squash into serving sized pieces. Place squash, cut-side down in a foil-lined pan. Pour 1/4 -inch of water into the pan, cover with foil, and bake in a 350o to 400o F. oven until the squash is tender when pierced with a knife. Halfway through baking, the squash halves may be turned, cut-side up, brushed with melted butter or oil, and sprinkled with brown sugar and spices.
Cooking Time: Squash halves or whole small pumpkins, 40 to 45 minutes; cut-up squash, 15 to 25 minutes.
Microwaving: Arrange squash halves, cut-side up, in a shallow microwaveable dish, cover and cook until tender, rotating dish halfway through the cooking time. Let stand 5 minutes after cooking.
Cooking Time: for squash halves, 7 to 10 minutes; for chunks, 8 minutes.
Serving suggestions: Baked or steamed winter squash is delicious mashed or pureed, like sweet potatoes. To enhance its natural sweetness, combine squash with any of the following; baked or steamed pears or apples, bananas, chopped cranberries; lemon, lime, or orange juice; almond or vanilla extract; fresh or powered ginger, curry power; cinnamon; nutmeg; mace; cardamom; cloves; allspice or pumpkin pie spice; brown sugar; maple syrup; or honey. For a savory dish, mash the cooked squash with sauted onions or garlic and herbs, or combine chunks of squash with cooked corn, tomatoes, and bell peppers.
1 medium acorn squash or other small squash
1 medium apples, peeled, or desired, cored and chopped
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons chopped pecans
one half tablespoon butter or margarine
1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
one fourth teaspoon cinnamon
Scoop out seeds from squash halves. Place cut-side down on microwave baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap. Microwave at high 6 minutes, or until fork tender, rotating dish one half turn after half the cooking time. Let stand while preparing filling. 1-1 qt casserole combine apples and water. Cover. Microwave at high 2 to 3 minutes, or until tender, stirring after half the cooking time. Set aside.
Turn squash cut-side up. Place one half of apples in each half. Sprinkle one half of topping on each. Cover with wax paper. Microwave at high one and a half to two minutes, or until topping melts. Serves 2
Nutrition Information per serving: 260 calories, 8 gm fat, 5 mg cholesterol, 45 mg sodium, 7 gm fiber.
September 27, 2008
The Chicago Public Library has asked Extension to teach a fun and crafty class Design Your Favorite Book Character in 6 different library locations. The 6th-8th grade groups will decorate a planter with paints and crafts modeled after their favorite literary character, and then plant grass or lettuce seed to grow the hair. We would love to have 1-2 MG's at each event if possible. Please look at the following schedule, and contact Kate Weinans if you would be available to help. Thank you for your continued dedication and volunteerism.
Saturday, October 4th-- 11:30am-2pm
Rodin Library Branch-- 6083 N. Northwest Highway
Wednesday, October 8th-- 9:30am-12noon
Kodek East Branch-- 3710 E. 106th St
Wednesday, October 8th --3:30pm-6pm
Beverly Branch-- 2121 W. 95th St.
Thursday, October 23rd--3:30pm-6pm
Albany Park Branch-- 5150 N. Kimball Ave.
Wednesday, November 12th--4pm-6:30pm
Whitney Young Branch-- 7901 S. MLKing Drive
Urban Gardening:Youth Programs
University of Illinois Extension
September 27, 2008
Plan to attend the Lurie Garden Fall/Winter Lecture Series and earn Continuing Education hours.
September 27, 2008
As the growing season comes to a close the public has more questions than ever for our Master Gardener helplines.
Please consider coming to the Ag School office from 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. , Monday, Wednesday or Friday (or any other weekday) There will be plenty for you to do, and using the new extension website http://search.extension.org/ makes answering questions easy.
Call Julie at 773-233-0476 to set up a day to volunteer.
If you need to earn volunteer hours, the time to do this is NOW. This opportunity won't be available in November and December.
The Plant Clinic set up at Garfield Park Conservatory is much more enjoyable than when we were in that tiny office. The table in the foyer makes for a pleasant day interacting with the Conservatory visitors. We are open every Saturday from noon until 4:00 p.m. every week of the year.
Please contact Jackie Paine, firstname.lastname@example.org to volunteer.
You need to report your Volunteer and Continuing Education hours by December 15,2008. Time goes by quickly. Don't wait too long to complete them.
Master Gardener Program Organizer
September 27, 2008
Greetings Master Gardeners,
Hope your summer was full and wonderful! We are finally entering the new school year, and you had indicated at the end of class last April that you'd be interested in working on projects with children and schools.
We are beginning with two workdays. New plants have already arrived. This is short notice, so if you can just stop by to help out.
Monday, September 29 - meet at Schiller School at 9:30 a.m.
Tuesday, September 30. (The garden is in the front of the school, easy to find. Parking is right there too.)
Call Kate at 773-350-6589 if you can stop by to help out.
Schiller School is located near Cabrini Green (640 W. Scott) and had taken the cue from their students and written extensive grants for their own school Reading Garden. They want to incorporate quiet reading times and intro to horticulture into their regular curriculum. The school is in the process of building their garden this fall with the help of Christy Webber Landscaping and Extension. Open Books is another partner who will be reading with the kids.
Schiller school would like Extension Volunteers at the school twice a month on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday afternoons. If you would like to be a part of this, it would require a 3 hour commitment each month through the end of the 2008-2009 school year and will include outdoor workdays, indoor plant learning sessions, and (if you want) participating in the Bug Zoo, Worm Composting and other classroom activities.
If this sounds like your cup of tea, please reply to Kate by October 1st. We're looking for 3 committed Master Gardener's. Thank you so much! I'm very excited about this project- the kids were giddy with curiosity on our first workday last week! Thank you!
Urban Gardening: Youth Programs
University of Illinois Extension
September 27, 2008
There are many varieties of winter squash, pumpkin is just one of them. Pumpkin is probably the best known and most used member of the squash family. The most popular way to use pumpkin today is as pie. The pumpkin pie probably originated when some sliced off the pumpkin top, removed the seeds and filled the insides with milk, spices and honey and then baked it in hot coals. Today 99 percent of the pumpkins sold in this country are for jack-o'-lanterns at Halloween. These deep orange pumpkins are too stringy to eat and can be very large. They can easily weight 20 pounds and the very largest can exceed 200 pounds. For cooking the sugar pumpkin, a smaller, sweeter variety with close grained flesh is much better. Most people prefer canned pumpkin, which tastes as good as fresh and is much easier.
The bright orange color of pumpkin tells you that it is loaded with an important antioxidant, beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is one of the plant carotenoids converted to vitamin A in the body. Current research tells us that a diet rich in foods containing vitamin A may reduce the risk of developing certain type of cancer and offers protection against heart disease. Pumpkin is low in calories, sodium and fat and high in fiber and vitamin A.
3 cups biscuit mix
3 Tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
15 oz. can solid pack pumpkin
flour for flouring
Or: instead of spices, use 3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease a cookie sheet. In a large bowl toss the biscuit mix, brown sugar and spices. Stir in the pumpkin to make a very soft dough. Place a large sheet of waxed paper on the counter and sprinkle it with more flour. Flour your hands well and pat the dough into a square or rectangle about 1/2 inch thick.
Use a knife to cut the dough into about 24 squares. Lift the biscuits gently to the cookie sheet with a flour spatula.
Bake about 20 minutes or until cooked.
Yield: about 24 biscuits. (Freeze leftover biscuits for later use.)
I had a caller request a recipe for Pumpkin Fudge recently. Last year I was so curious I had to try some. It was good!
3 cups white sugar
1 cup milk
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice…
(1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
September 25, 2008
Safer Pest Control Project is presenting two workshops in their successful Natural Lawn Care series! Learn from industry experts and researchers how to succeed with organics, turf management strategies, and a review of natural products that can help create beautiful, healthy turf.
September 18, 2008
Here is an opportunity to earn Volunteer Hours and help out one of our most loyal partners, Chicago High School for Agriculture Sciences. Ms Lucille Shaw, CHSAS, has requested that we help with judging at this FFA Fair where CHSAS students will be competing. You would have some orientation before beginning the judging. You may provide your own transportation or take the bus provided by school.
Please contact Ms Shaw directly to volunteer: email@example.com or call her at 773-535-2500.
What: Student FFA Fair Judging
Where: Technology Center of DuPage
When: Saturday, Sept. 27th
Start Time: 9:00 a.m. Orientation
End Time: ???
Master Gardener Program Organizer
September 16, 2008
Join University of Illinois Master Gardener Coordinator Monica David for a relaxing tour of the tulips and the springtime gardens of Holland, Belgium, Austria and Germany from May 3-14, 2009. The group will also visit some of the historical highlights of these four lovely countries. Registration is open to anyone with an interest in gardens, with preference given to Illinois Master Gardeners.
September 15, 2008
We will not have a monthly meeting in September. The County Fair at Garfield Park Conservatory is our big September event. So have dinner at home on September 30 and we will see you on Tuesday, October 28 for our annual Honors Night meeting.
September 14, 2008
We are still in need of many volunteers for the County Fair, which is this Saturday September 20th, if you are free and interested in helping out please let Harmony Picciuca know.
The Garfield Park Conservatory's 8th Annual County Fair
Saturday September 20th
This is the big event of fall season and we need all hands on deck… to help us celebrate fall the harvest at the 8th Annual Garfield Park Conservatory's County Fair. There will be traditional music, jug band lessons, harvest competition, family fun activities, farmer's market, petting zoo, and the seminal favorite pony rides!
Volunteers are needed to help with a variety of fun activities including:
Setting up chairs and tables and helping to load in vendors and exhibitors
The Harvest Competition: entry intake, display set-up, monitoring the ribbon winning produce
Taking tickets at the pony rides
Helping with Kids' Fun Area: the inflatable slides, jumping house, and carnival games
Greeting guests and providing info about the fair at the Information Table
Gift Shop and Membership Table
Children's Activities: Making Corn Husk Dolls, Seed Quilt, Bubble Blowing and Seed Sowing Wagons
Recipe Swap and Storytelling Tents
Helping with two music stages: youth and traditional music
County Fair Volunteer Shifts:
Set-up Shift: 8:00 a.m.-11a.m.
First Shift: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Second Shift: 1 p.m.-5 p.m
If you would like come out to help with the County Fair please contact Harmony Picciuca at firstname.lastname@example.org or 773-638-1766 ext. 24 with your preferred shift time and volunteer activity.
September 14, 2008
Chicago Academy of Sciences/Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
POSITION TITLE: Outdoor Exhibit Manager REPORTS TO: Vice President of Exhibits & Strategic Initiatives
DEPARTMENT: Exhibits DATE: 8-18-08
JOB SUMMARY: The Outdoor Exhibits Manager is in charge of the outdoor landscape, the Notebaert Nature Museum's largest exhibit. This includes the grounds, terraces, balconies, a "living wall" and green roofs. He or she maintains the horticultural elements of indoor exhibit elements, including Butterfly Haven. He or she supervises contract services for labor, seasonal employees, volunteers and consultants for specific projects.
Knowledge of horticulture and an ability to implement landscape design, planting projects and installations. Knowledge of the needs of plants specific to the Museum grounds and interior. Familiarity with classic and contemporary landscapes. Ability to manage budgets, staff and contractors. Good communicator. Ability to work as part of a team. Desire to play a role in achieving the museum's goal of teaching people to care for nature and the environment. Five years or more of professional experience. A degree in landscape architecture is desirable; a Bachelor's degree is required.
HOW TO APPLY: Email email@example.com.
September 8, 2008
When summer draws to a close and it's time to say goodbye to summer flowering 'bulbs' such as cannas, gladiolus, dahlia and tuberose begonia, why not consider giving them a reprieve and store the underground parts (tubers and corms, rhizomes) over the winter so you can include them back into the garden next year, said a University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator.
"Because these are classified as tender bulbs they need to be brought in right after a light frost has blackened their foliage," said Greg Stack. "In the Midwest this can be any time from mid-October on depending on where you live. This is the time of the year when gardeners are very attentive to the weather forecasts and make their local weatherman the most important person on the local news channel."
Storing summer-flowering bulbs is not difficult and can be very successful as long as some simple steps are taken to ensure the bulbs go into storage properly. Basically the steps include proper digging, curing or air drying, and storage under proper conditions of temperatures and air circulation.
"Cannas are spectacular plants for both their foliage and flowers so they are worth saving," he said. "These are among the easiest to store and the way they multiply ensures you will have a lot more the second year than the first year to replant in the garden."
After the first frost blackens the foliage, cut back the stems to about six inches. Carefully dig the rhizome clump out of the ground and leave the soil attached. Try to avoid cutting or injuring the rhizomes if possible. Allow them to air dry for a few hours in the sun.
"This air drying helps to callus over wounds that might have occurred in the digging process," Stack explained.
Put the clumps into crates or boxes that have good ventilation. If there is not a lot of soil attached, cover the rhizomes with peat moss. Place the crate in a basement, crawlspace or other dark, well-ventilated space where the temperature is around 50 degrees. Check on them occasionally through the winter and if the rhizomes show signs of shriveling, moisten the peat slightly. In the spring the rhizomes can be cut apart, potted and started indoors about six weeks before the last frost in the spring.
Dahlias form tuberous roots that are saved from one season to the next. After frost has blackened the stems, carefully dig the tubers.
"They will look like very fat "thumbs" connected to a central point," he said. "Cut the stalk down to about four inches and allow the clump to air dry for a day or two. Again this will help callus over any injuries that occurred during digging.
"Carefully brush away any soil. Do not wash or scrub the tubers. Place the tuberous roots in a well-ventilated box and use peat moss, sawdust or similar material to cover the roots and keep them from shriveling."
Dahlias can be stored at 40 to 50 degrees. A basement or crawl space works well. Check on them periodically to ensure they are not drying out. If needed, add a little moisture to keep the tubers plump. In the spring divide the clumps, making sure to include an eye or bud that is attached to each tuber close to where they were joined in the clump.
Gladiolus corms can be dug about six weeks after they finish flowering or when the tops start to turn slightly yellow. After digging, wash off the soil and cut the tops to within an inch of the corm. Leave the corms outdoors in the sun for a few days and then move them to a light, airy place. Spread them out and allow them to cure for two to three weeks.
"After they are dry, remove the old corm located under the new corm by twisting it off," he said. "Do not remove the papery husk from the corm. Place the corms in an open flat or in onion bags or nylon stockings. Store at 40 to 50 degrees in a well-ventilated area. The small cormels (baby gladiolus corms) can also be saved for future planting. Keep in mind, however, it may take two to three seasons before they will produce blooming-size corms."
Tuberose begonias should be dug before any frost hits them. Dig them with the stems attached and allow them to air dry. Remove the dry stem. Tubers can then be stored in flats or containers with dry sand, peat moss, or vermiculite.
While bulbs are in storage, check on them periodically over the winter. Slightly dampen the peat moss if bulbs show signs of shriveling or drying out. Also, if any of the bulbs show signs of decay or other soft rots, remove them immediately.
"Overwintering your summer-flowering tender bulbs properly ensures that you will have plants to put back into next season's garden and may also have extras to share with your gardening friends," Stack said.
Source: Greg Stack, Extension Educator, Horticulture