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DeKalb County Community Gardens' July events, including self-guided garden tour July 11

SYCAMORE – Residents are invited to take a self-guided tour of DeKalb County Community Gardens’ Dolce Vita/Northwestern Medicine Garden plot Saturday, July 11.

From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., garden guests can enjoy self-guided tours and garden volunteers will be on-hand to assist visitors, according to a news release. For everyone’s safety, please practice social distancing and wear face masks while at the garden.

The Dolce Vita/Northwestern Medicine Garden is located behind Dolce Vita Salon & Day Spa and Northwestern Medicine on Bethany Road in Sycamore. Parking available behind both Northwestern Medicine (2525 Bethany Road) and Professional Building (2535 Bethany Road).

Started in 2012, the garden is a Food Needs program of DCCG and is one of the more than 50 of DCCG’s community gardens. The garden features two greenhouses, six composting areas (Hugelkultur, lasagna, open pile, & bin methods), 36+ raised vegetable beds and 24 unique feature garden beds. All planting, maintenance and harvesting is done by volunteers alone led by DeKalb residents Lori Brown and Matt Boelk. Volunteers are always welcome to come lend a helping hand.

All crops harvested at the garden—about 1,000 pounds each season– are distributed directly to local residents through DCCG’s Grow Mobile, Pick Your Own Days and by appointment.

The Dolce Vita/Northwestern Medicine Garden is open April through October, Monday through Friday, 9 to 11 a.m. For more information about the garden, Pick Your Own Days or volunteer opportunities, contact Lori Brown at or Dolce Vita/Northwestern Garden Facebook group.

DeKalb County Community Gardens is a local non-profit organization that takes an innovative approach to end hunger and food insecurity in DeKalb County by providing access to healthy, sustainable foods through community education and participation. DCCG works to end hunger in DeKalb County by growing thousands of pounds of sustainably grown produce each year for individuals and families in need.

Since March 19, 2020, DCCG’s Grow Mobile and Genoa Area Community Food Hub has served 6,661 households. 244,419 pounds of food has been purchased or received via direct connect. 

July DCCG events

Residents of DeKalb County are responding generously to DeKalb County Community Gardens’ (DCCG) recent emergency calls for food donations due to 12 to 16 week delays they are experiencing from regular resources, according to a news release.

“With 10 or more Grow Mobile events each month since April, the food needs in our community are great, said Elijah Saucedo, community food needs director for DCCG. “People are hungry and cannot wait that long for food for their families.”

On Tuesday, July 7, Genoa Township Park District is sponsoring a Drive-up/Drop-off Food Drive for DCCG’s Genoa Area Community Food Hub.

“Kristi Dunn and I wanted to do something that would make an impact within the community,” said Doug Kenney, superintendent of recreation at the Genoa Township Park District.

From 4 to 6 p.m., residents can drive up to The Hub (415 W. Main Street, Genoa) and drop off food donations. Volunteers will be on hand for contactless transfers.

Stage Coach Players in DeKalb will be dedicating their food drive collection to DCCG on Wednesday, July 8, from 4 to 6 p.m. at 126 S. Fifth Street, DeKalb.

“We hope that we can help DCCG in a small way,” said stage coach task force member Jan Kuntz. “Since we cannot be in our theater at this time, our food drive/fabric giveaways have been a great way for our community to come together, feel needed, and help others.”

For all food drives, the following food items are needed:Canned vegetables and fruits, canned beans and tomatoes, canned chicken and tuna, boxed or canned dinners, boxed potatoes, rice and pasta, macaroni and cheese or rice or Rice-A-Roni, breakfast cereal, pancake mix and syrup, granola bars, snacks and crackers, condiments and peanut butter.

Home goods are also being collected, including household cleaners, paper products and personal hygiene products.

Last month, DCCG hosted two food drives at their warehouse located at 2280 Bethany Road, DeKalb. Generous community members shared 3,750 pounds of non-perishable food items. Bins are set up near the warehouse door for residents to leave non-perishable food donations at any time.

All food donations collected from food drives are distributed to residents in living food insecure neighborhoods need via DCCG’s Grow Mobile (a mobile food pantry) and Genoa Area Community Food Hub as well as through DCCG’s collaborations with local organizations such as Voluntary Action Center, Elder Care Services and Family Service Agency to reach homebound seniors and those struggling with medical or mental health conditions.If you would like to assist DeKalb County Community Gardens with continuing to be a front-line responder in our community, contact Dan Kenney, DCCG Executive Director, at or 815-793-0950.

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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