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Jane packer's flower course : easy techniques for fabulous flower arranging.

New Book Arrivals - Wed, 09/28/2016 - 9:45am
Jane packer's flower course : easy techniques for fabulous flower arranging.
Author: Packer, Jane, 1959-2011, author.
Call Number: SB449.P33 2016

Prairie state of mind / Larry Kanfer.

New Book Arrivals - Wed, 09/28/2016 - 9:45am
Prairie state of mind / Larry Kanfer.
Author: Kanfer, Larry, 1956- author.
Call Number: TR660.5.K364 2016

Repotting Alice the Amorphophallus

Garden Blog - Tue, 09/27/2016 - 2:24pm

I have an update on Alice the Amorphophallus: Alice has been repotted and has a leaf sprout. Yes, Alice is alive and well, happily growing in the production greenhouses here at the Chicago Botanic Garden.

(Many of you might remember we successfully pollinated Alice with pollen from Stinky, donated to us from the Denver Botanic Gardens’ own Amorphophallus titanum.)

Alice followed a normal growth cycle—as it would have in its native habitat on the island of Sumatra, Indonesia—producing fruit and seeds. This past summer, the flower stalk with the remaining fruit began to wither and collapse as Alice went into dormancy. (We successfully sowed and germinated the seeds, and were rewarded with several dozen seedlings.) On Tuesday, September 13, we removed Alice from the wooden crate she had been living in for the past 24 months, pleased to observe a healthy corm—and a new leaf shoot emerging from the top! We loosened the corm below the soil surface in order to repot it and record its current measurements, and got a few pretty interesting photos. 

First, we washed the corm thoroughly so we could examine it better and get accurate measurements of the corm’s weight and size. We looked for areas of rot, if any, and pulled off any new bulblets that may have developed. (We removed and potted up two new small bulblets—mini-corms—from Alice at this repotting.)

 Amorphophallus corm before repotting.

Here is Alice the Amorphophallus as removed from the crate, before washing.

 The freshly washed titan arum corm awaits weighing.

The freshly washed titan arum corm awaits weighing.

One big observation was that the corm had actually decreased in size and weight. The big cracks seen in the images below are from the corm rapidly shrinking in size. This is from the large amount of energy (starch and sugars) used for Alice to bloom, and in the production of fruit and seeds. Rather than losing mass and becoming spongy, the post-bloom and fruiting corm is the same density, but smaller in size—both diameter and height—by several inches.

 Titan arum corm with emerging leaf sprout and roots.

Splits in the titan arum’s corm are from its rapid decrease in size as energy was used up.

 Closeup of a large split in the titan arum corm.

Close-up of a large split in the corm

Now Alice is getting ready to begin the life cycle all over again as a leaf. A ring of new roots at the top of the corm is to support the growth of the emerging leaf bud. The roots do not form or add to a new corm—new corms come from the main corm as bulblets on the side and bottom of the original corm.

The corm has been repotted in a mixture of peat, coir (coconut fiber), composted bark, and perlite, back in its original crate, which still has room to grow in it. 

 Alice the Amorphophallus gets ready to leaf out, almost exactly a year after blooming.

Alice the Amorphophallus gets ready to leaf out, almost exactly a year after blooming.

Here are some interesting details on the corm: 

  • Corm size: 13 inches in diameter and 7.5 inches in height
  • Corm weight: 17.5 pounds (weight at last repotting in 2014 was 28.2 pounds)
  • Base of old stem (top growth plate): 4.75 inches in diameter
  • Bottom growth plate: 3.5 inches in diameter
  • New growth/leaf shoot: 2 inches tall (still underground) with a healthy rosette of new roots
  • Surface of the corm: very lumpy and warty looking

I can’t believe it has been a year since we all gathered in the Semitropical Greenhouse at the Chicago Botanic Garden to celebrate Alice’s bloom and stink. What an event that was! Alice will bloom another day, maybe three to five years from now; we will just have to wait and see. But in the meantime, it’s likely another one of the titan arums in our collection will bloom before then. 

©2016 Chicago Botanic Garden and my.chicagobotanic.org

Brookfield Zoo Big Year Birding Field Trip

Birding Events at the Forest Preserves - Sun, 09/25/2016 - 7:00am

Bird the grounds at Brookfield Zoo and search for migrants along the Forest Preserve Nature Trail at Swan Lake. Contact team leader James: james.mckinney@czs.org or 708.688.8475. Trips last 2 hours.

The post Brookfield Zoo Big Year Birding Field Trip appeared first on Forest Preserves of Cook County.

American medicinal plants of commercial importance / By A.F. Sievers.

New Book Arrivals - Sat, 09/24/2016 - 9:25am
American medicinal plants of commercial importance / By A.F. Sievers.
Author: Sievers, A. F. (Arthur Frederick), 1885-
Call Number: QK99.S54 1930

American medicinal barks / by Alice Henkel.

New Book Arrivals - Sat, 09/24/2016 - 9:25am
American medicinal barks / by Alice Henkel.
Author: Henkel, Alice, 1869-1916, author.
Call Number: QK99.H4654 1909

Wild medicinal plants of the United States. / by Alice Henkel.

New Book Arrivals - Sat, 09/24/2016 - 9:25am
Wild medicinal plants of the United States. / by Alice Henkel.
Author: Henkel, Alice, 1869-1916.
Call Number: QK99.H46 1906

American medicinal flowers, fruits, and seeds / by Alice Henkel.

New Book Arrivals - Sat, 09/24/2016 - 9:25am
American medicinal flowers, fruits, and seeds / by Alice Henkel.
Author: Henkel, Alice, 1869-1916.
Call Number: QK99.H45 1913

American medicinal leaves and herbs. / By Alice Henkel.

New Book Arrivals - Sat, 09/24/2016 - 9:25am
American medicinal leaves and herbs. / By Alice Henkel.
Author: Henkel, Alice, 1869-1916.
Call Number: QK99.H465 1911

Kiehl's botanical handi-book : lists and uses of medicinal herbs, roots, flowers, berries, and spices.

New Book Arrivals - Sat, 09/24/2016 - 9:25am
Kiehl's botanical handi-book : lists and uses of medicinal herbs, roots, flowers, berries, and spices.

Alphabet train floor puzzle.

New Book Arrivals - Sat, 09/24/2016 - 9:25am
Alphabet train floor puzzle.

Train sound puzzle.

New Book Arrivals - Sat, 09/24/2016 - 9:25am
Train sound puzzle.

Sound puzzle. Train.

New Book Arrivals - Sat, 09/24/2016 - 9:25am
Sound puzzle. Train.

Thomas & friends 7 wood puzzles.

New Book Arrivals - Sat, 09/24/2016 - 9:25am
Thomas & friends 7 wood puzzles.

Bird Walks

Birding Events at the Forest Preserves - Sat, 09/24/2016 - 9:00am

Join us for a morning stroll to look for resident and migrating birds. Beginners welcome! Limited binoculars available. Registration required at least two days prior.

The post Bird Walks appeared first on Forest Preserves of Cook County.

Perkins Woods Birding Trip

Birding Events at the Forest Preserves - Sat, 09/24/2016 - 8:30am

Join the Evanston North Shore Bird Club to look for warblers and other fall migrants. Street Parking. Meet at the corner of Ewing Ave and Grant St.  Please visit http://ensbc.org/trips.html for updates and contact information.

The post Perkins Woods Birding Trip appeared first on Forest Preserves of Cook County.

Viaje de Campo Miller Meadow

Birding Events at the Forest Preserves - Sat, 09/24/2016 - 7:30am

Observar la migración otoñal.  Esta gira será bilingüe. Nos reuniremos en el área estacionamiento localizado en Roosevelt Road, cerca de la entrada. Traigan botas a prueba de agua. Contactar a Luis Muñoz, malango@rcn.com.

The post Viaje de Campo Miller Meadow appeared first on Forest Preserves of Cook County.

Fresh Recipes in Windy City Harvest’s New Cookbook

Community Gardening - Fri, 09/23/2016 - 11:00am

‘Tis the season for the harvest bounty at Windy City Harvest! Our staff and program participants are busy harvesting our final summer crops: peppers, tomatoes, and eggplant; and early fall crops: kale, carrots, and cabbage.

This harvest season we are excited to unveil our new cookbook, Cooking in Season with Windy City Harvest. This cookbook is a collection of our favorite seasonal recipes and features the fresh produce grown and harvested at our farms transformed into healthy dishes by our program participants, staff, and local chefs.

 Windy City Harvest Youth Farm participants.

Windy City Harvest Youth Farm participants

Our program has been lucky to develop wonderful partnerships with local chefs and restaurants. Many of these chefs, including Cleetus Friedman, executive chef and creative chef for Caffé Baci; and John des Rosiers, chef/proprietor of Inovasi, Wisma, and The Otherdoor, have generously shared seasonal recipes that feature Windy City Harvest produce.

 Harvesting kale at the Washington Park farm.

Harvesting kale at the Washington Park farm

Just like planting seeds and harvesting the bounty, cooking is an essential component of the Windy City Harvest program. Program participants learn how to cook with produce grown on the farms, sometimes using fruits and vegetables that may be unfamiliar to them. The participants then share their newfound culinary skills with their communities, whether trading recipes with market customers, providing cooking demonstrations at local WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) clinics, preparing multicourse lunches for their peers, or showcasing their dishes at our annual Open House celebrations.

One of our favorite fall recipes is a grilled kale salad.

Grilled Kale Salad
Preparation: 15 to 30 minutes. Serves: 6 to 8

 Grilled kale salad.

Salad:

  • 3 pounds (about 4 bunches) toscano kale, washed and dried
  • ½ cup vegetable oil, divided
  • ½ teaspoon salt, plus more for bread
  • 2 garlic cloves, cut in half
  • ½ loaf of sourdough bread (cut into ¾-inch thick slices)

Dressing:

  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled

Preheat the grill to high. Stack the kale and cut off the thick end of the stems about 3 inches from the end of the leaf. Compost the stems. In a large bowl or large plastic bag, toss the kale with ⅓ cup of the vegetable oil and salt, until the leaves are evenly coated with oil.

Rub each slice of bread with a garlic clove half. Drizzle the remaining oil on the bread. Grill the bread slices until golden brown with nice grill marks on each side. Set aside. Grill the kale leaves until crispy and cooked—about 30 seconds to 1 minute per side. Dice the grilled bread into croutons, and julienne the kale into bite-size pieces. Place the mixture in a large bowl.

To make the dressing, combine the minced garlic with the lemon juice, olive oil, and salt in a Mason jar. Tighten the lid and shake the jar vigorously to combine the ingredients. Pour the dressing over the kale and bread, and toss the mixture to coat. Add the feta and toss again. Transfer the salad to a serving platter or bowl.

 Windy City Harvest student cooks in the Fruit & Vegetable Garden kitchen.

Get in the kitchen with Windy City Harvest

If you would like to see more seasonal recipes and learn about the Windy City Harvest program, purchase a cookbook from createspace.com or pick one up in the Garden Shop. Bon appetit!

©2016 Chicago Botanic Garden and my.chicagobotanic.org

Fresh Recipes in Windy City Harvest’s New Cookbook

Garden Blog - Fri, 09/23/2016 - 11:00am

‘Tis the season for the harvest bounty at Windy City Harvest! Our staff and program participants are busy harvesting our final summer crops: peppers, tomatoes, and eggplant; and early fall crops: kale, carrots, and cabbage.

This harvest season we are excited to unveil our new cookbook, Cooking in Season with Windy City Harvest. This cookbook is a collection of our favorite seasonal recipes and features the fresh produce grown and harvested at our farms transformed into healthy dishes by our program participants, staff, and local chefs.

 Windy City Harvest Youth Farm participants.

Windy City Harvest Youth Farm participants

Our program has been lucky to develop wonderful partnerships with local chefs and restaurants. Many of these chefs, including Cleetus Friedman, executive chef and creative chef for Caffé Baci; and John des Rosiers, chef/proprietor of Inovasi, Wisma, and The Otherdoor, have generously shared seasonal recipes that feature Windy City Harvest produce.

 Harvesting kale at the Washington Park farm.

Harvesting kale at the Washington Park farm

Just like planting seeds and harvesting the bounty, cooking is an essential component of the Windy City Harvest program. Program participants learn how to cook with produce grown on the farms, sometimes using fruits and vegetables that may be unfamiliar to them. The participants then share their newfound culinary skills with their communities, whether trading recipes with market customers, providing cooking demonstrations at local WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) clinics, preparing multicourse lunches for their peers, or showcasing their dishes at our annual Open House celebrations.

One of our favorite fall recipes is a grilled kale salad.

Grilled Kale Salad
Preparation: 15 to 30 minutes. Serves: 6 to 8

 Grilled kale salad.

Salad:

  • 3 pounds (about 4 bunches) toscano kale, washed and dried
  • ½ cup vegetable oil, divided
  • ½ teaspoon salt, plus more for bread
  • 2 garlic cloves, cut in half
  • ½ loaf of sourdough bread (cut into ¾-inch thick slices)

Dressing:

  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled

Preheat the grill to high. Stack the kale and cut off the thick end of the stems about 3 inches from the end of the leaf. Compost the stems. In a large bowl or large plastic bag, toss the kale with ⅓ cup of the vegetable oil and salt, until the leaves are evenly coated with oil.

Rub each slice of bread with a garlic clove half. Drizzle the remaining oil on the bread. Grill the bread slices until golden brown with nice grill marks on each side. Set aside. Grill the kale leaves until crispy and cooked—about 30 seconds to 1 minute per side. Dice the grilled bread into croutons, and julienne the kale into bite-size pieces. Place the mixture in a large bowl.

To make the dressing, combine the minced garlic with the lemon juice, olive oil, and salt in a Mason jar. Tighten the lid and shake the jar vigorously to combine the ingredients. Pour the dressing over the kale and bread, and toss the mixture to coat. Add the feta and toss again. Transfer the salad to a serving platter or bowl.

 Windy City Harvest student cooks in the Fruit & Vegetable Garden kitchen.

Get in the kitchen with Windy City Harvest

If you would like to see more seasonal recipes and learn about the Windy City Harvest program, purchase a cookbook from createspace.com or pick one up in the Garden Shop. Bon appetit!

©2016 Chicago Botanic Garden and my.chicagobotanic.org

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