GLENCOE, Ill. (May 1, 2013) – The Chicago Botanic Garden is a natural place to celebrate food grown from the ground up. Spring through fall, visitors can see hundreds of the best edible plants to grow in the Chicago area in the Regenstein Fruit & Vegetable Garden. The garden is dotted with helpful hand-lettered signs with interesting information and tips for growing food organically.
Summer plant giveaways are an added bonus from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesdays through Fridays, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, May 15 through October 6. Volunteers share information about the featured plant, which changes monthly, and encourage visitors to plant seeds or seedlings (while supplies last) to take home to their own gardens. A flyer with care information and a recipe is available. Featured plants include Johnny-jump-up viola in May, speckled Roman tomato in June, marjoram in July, crimson king basil in August, and merlot lettuce in September.
For those who want to taste the edible bounty, summer is the time to visit. Options include the Garden's Farmers’ Markets, Garden Chef series, Grapevines & Wines, the Farm Dinner series, Herb Garden Weekend and Heirloom Tomato Weekend.
Visit www.chicagobotanic.org/calendar for a complete list of events or call (847) 835-5440.
Local, sustainable farmers and the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Green Youth Farm will sell seasonal produce, pottery, meat, baked goods, and more. The Esplanade will be lined with over 14 vendors on Sundays, May 5 & 19, June 2 & 16, July 7 & 21, August 4 & 18, September 1 & 15, October 6 & 20. Visitors can purchase a reusable market bag at the Garden Shop to carry purchases.
Vendors include Made from Mud (Mokena, IL), Faith's Farm (Bonfield, IL), Seedling Fruits (South Haven, MI), W&M Land Corp (Woodstock, IL), Wild Flour Bakery (Milwaukee, WI), Xanadu Forests Apiary (Lake Villa, IL), H&H Flowers - Sunkissed Organics (La Porte, IN), Jaci’s Cookies (Woodstock, IL), Tempel Farms Organics (Old Mill Creek, IL), Nordic Creamery (Westby, WI), Sharpening by Dave (Skokie, IL), Sweet Earth Organic Farm (Wauzeka, WI), Twisted (Riverside, IL), M. Belle Pie (Wauconda, IL), Mill Road Farms (Sheffield, IL).
Garden Chef Series
Forty of Chicago’s top chefs share their culinary expertise, preparing a signature dish with garden-fresh ingredients during the Garden Chef series. Thousands of visitors enjoy watching the chefs work their magic in the Regenstein Fruit & Vegetable Garden open-air amphitheatre each year. The free demonstrations take place at 1:30 and 2:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays from May 25 through October 6. Seating is limited and is on a first-come, first-served basis.
The 2013 Garden Chef series schedule (subject to change) includes:
Saturday, May 25 Luca Corazzaina of 312 Chicago in Chicago
Sunday, May 26 Harry Crane of Kraft Foods Group in Madison, Wisconsin
Saturday, June 1 Marc Bernard and Patricia Yeo of Big Bowl in Lincolnshire, Schaumburg and Chicago
Sunday, June 2 Rick Starr of Ad-Lib Geocafe in Lindenhurst
Saturday, June 8 Ramiro Velasquez of Nieto’s in Highland Park
Sunday, June 9 Brad Bussen of Special Events, Museum of Science and Industry
Saturday, June 15 Dave Boehm of DiPescara in Northbrook
Sunday, June 16 Terry and Dirk Fucik of Dirk’s Fish and Gourmet Shop in Chicago
Saturday, June 22 Cleetus Friedman of The Fountainhead in Chicago
Sunday, June 23 Andy Novak of Tapas Gitana in Northfield
Saturday, June 29 Margarita Challenger and Jovanny Diaz of Guanajuato in Glencoe
Sunday, June 30 Nell Funk of Now We’re Cookin’ in Evanston
Saturday, July 6 Molly McGrath of The Noodle - Small Plates & Market in Wilmette
Sunday, July 7 Juan Carlos Median Vazquez of Café Central in Highland Park
Saturday, July 13 Chris Lateano of Soundings Restaurant at the Shedd Aquarium
Sunday, July 14 Keith Chazin of Sur La Table in Northbrook
Saturday, July 20 Frederico Comacchio of Coco Pazzo in Chicago
Sunday, July 21 Dave Esau of Dave’s Specialty Foods in Mt. Prospect
Saturday, July 27 Herb Garden Weekend — Peggy Ryan of Dining Room at Kendall College in Chicago
Sunday, July 28 Herb Garden Weekend — Brian Bishop of Bluegrass in Highland Park
Saturday, August 3 Chris Macchia of The Florentine in Chicago
Sunday, August 4 Jeff Shapiro of Real Urban Barbeque in Highland Park
Saturday, August 10 Phil Rubino of Royce in Highland Park
Sunday, August 11 Andy Motto of Quince in Evanston
Saturday, August 17 John Michael Gioe of Special Events, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN
Sunday, August 18 Victor DeLeon of O’Donovan’s Pub & Restaurant in Chicago
Saturday, August 24 Heirloom Tomato Weekend — Laura Piper of Trattoria No. 10 in Chicago
Sunday, August 25 Heirloom Tomato Weekend — Roger Waysok of South Water Kitchen in Chicago
Saturday, August 31 Ivan Yuen of Shanghai Terrace at The Peninsula Chicago
Sunday, September 1 Cein Cid of Sullivan’s Steakhouse in Lincolnshire
Saturday, September 7 Paul Choi of Culinary Landscape at the Chicago Botanic Garden
Sunday, September 8 Christopher Tong of My Private Chef, Inc. in Chicago
Saturday, September 14 Kristine Subido of Pecking Order in Chicago
Sunday, September 15 Dennis Stover of Mindy’s Hot Chocolate in Chicago
Saturday, September 21 Armando Gonzalez of Libertad in Skokie
Sunday, September 22 Karianne Soulsby of Diva Chocolates & Confections, Inc. in Chicago
Saturday, September 28 David Di Gregorio of Osteria Via Stato in Chicago
Sunday, September 29 Shelley Young of The Chopping Block in Chicago
Saturday, October 5 Heather Terhune of Sable Kitchen & Bar in Chicago
Sunday, Octber 6 Paul Choi of Garden Café at the Chicago Botanic Garden
The Garden Chef series is made possible by the generous support of Food Network Magazine and NorthShore University HealthSystem.
Grapevines & Wines – Thursday, May 30
Sample wines from around the world while enjoying the idyllic backdrop of McGinley Pavilion. Participating wineries include Wente Vineyards, Massimo Prestige Vineyards, Oyster Bay Wines, Novus Ordo Vineyards and Winery, Montes Wines, Robert Kacher Selections, Codorniu Winery, Joe Dobbes Collection, Cape Classics, The Sorting Table, and Winebow. Light fare will be available for purchase as well as wine by the glass.
Hours are from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, May 30. Must be 21 or older to attend; valid ID card must be shown. Advance tickets are $20 for members; $25 for nonmembers. Day-of tickets cost $23 for members; $28 for nonmembers. Standard parking fees apply. Visit http://www.chicagobotanic.org/wines for more information.
Farm Dinner Series – Wednesdays, July 17, August 14, and September 11
Enjoy a locally produced meal, fresh air, and the company of others as the Chicago Botanic Garden brings together local farmers, winemakers, breweries, distilleries and our own Green Youth Farm for three Farm Dinners. Meet award-winning chef Cleetus Friedman, executive chef of The Fountainhead, as well as farmers and beverage makers, during this multi-course dinner held under the grape arbor in the Regenstein Fruit & Vegetable Garden. Farm Dinners are generously supported by BMO Harris Bank.
Hours are from 5 to 8 p.m. $200 price includes cocktails, appetizers, a garden tour and a multi-course meal.
Herb Garden Weekend – Saturday & Sunday, July 27 & 28
Learn about a variety of kitchen garden herbs in the Regenstein Fruit & Vegetable Garden at Herb Garden Weekend. Staff, volunteers and outside experts will talk about their top ten herbs, how to grow herbs in containers, herbs in the kitchen and more. Herb Discovery Carts will introduce visitors to the herbs and edible flowers they can grow in their own gardens. Marcia Carmichael, herbal expert and historical gardener at Old World Wisconsin, will answer herb gardening questions throughout the weekend. Select vendors will offer plants and herbal products for sale.
Visitors can take part in a number of family friendly activities, including a sniff & guess game, planting an herb seed and making a dried herb mix for herb butter. As part of the Plant Giveaway Program, visitors can take a marjoram seedling home (while supplies last). Hours are from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Heirloom Tomato Weekend – Saturday & Sunday, August 24 & 25
Get new ideas about everyone’s garden favorite, tomatoes, with programs focused on growing and using heirloom varieties. Volunteers and staff will provide tips on growing and using tomatoes. Tomato Discovery Carts will explore many types of tomatoes you can grow at home, and trace the history of tomatoes as they’ve traveled the world. Visitors can ask experts tomato questions and shop for tomato-related items in the Wheelbarrow Shop and from select vendors.
Family activities include creating an herb mix for pasta sauce, a tomato toss, a tomato test, “sorting supper,” “rainbows of tomatoes,” and “indicator art.” As part of the Plant Giveaway Program, visitors can take a crimson king basil seedling home (while supplies last).
Hours are from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visitors will be able to tour the tomatoes growing in the Regenstein Fruit & Vegetable Garden with the horticulturist at 1 and 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Seed-saving demonstrations will be offered on the half hour throughout the weekend.