Strengthening access to fresh, local, sustainably-grown organic food for people in need.

Category: Slider

Would YOU Like to Participate?

Walnut Grove Vocational Farm is now taking participant applications for the 2017 season. There will be three sessions throughout the year that involve different training. The individual must be 18 years or older. The participant will be responsible for their own transportation to and from WGVF. Below are descriptions about the training that will occur throughout the year. Click here for an Application (due by January 16, 2017). For questions, please contact Dan Kenney 815-793-0950.

Sow seeds in germination room/greenhouse
Fill pots/trays with media
Transplant plugs
Prune plants
Package plants for shipping
Sow seeds outside in vegetable garden
Plant vegetable plants in outdoor garden
Plant flower beds
Identify weeds and remove from vegetable and flower beds
Mulch beds
Care for chickens – feed, water, clean coop
Plant garlic bulbs
Prepare garlic for resale
Harvest and wash vegetables
Prepare CSA boxes
Plant fall bulbs
Mulch beds
Inventory product
Sanitize pots and flats

Volunteer Spotlight – Michael Payne

Volunteer Spotlight: Michael Payne


DeKalb County Community Gardens would like to take this volunteer spotlight to appreciate Michael Payne! He is a full time student, a leader at NIU campus, and a dedicated volunteer for DeKalb County Community gardens. Michael’s love for gardening started at a very young age and truly flourished when he got involved with the NIU Communiversity Gardens during the summer of 2014. He finds his work to be very rewarding.

“I love giving food from the garden, and seeing the [other] volunteers incredibly interested in the food” says Michael. He loves the idea that the work he does in the gardens helps peoples around him to eat. It is very rewarding when people come back and tell him how good the food was. Michael is a regular volunteer. While he originally did not have much gardening experience prior to his work in the NIU Communiversity Garden, he quickly picked up on the skills and knowledge and people started to look at him for guidance and leadership.

His favorite part about DeKalb County Community Garden is that there has been so much growth in such little time. “It is very cool to see members of the community help as much as they can”, says Michael. He realizes that you can come as you are when you volunteer for DCCG. Michael points out that there is a misconception that people have to be expert gardeners in order to help at the gardens, but it is definitely not the case. Anyone at any skill level is welcome to volunteer! It is wonderful to see when the new volunteers become regulars. He wants all current and future volunteers to know that their work in the garden actually makes a difference and it allows for more food to go on people’s plate who need it most. Even the work that does not have to directly deal with the produce such as weeding, tilling, and compost turning matters because it allows for the garden as a whole to be more successful.

One of the best memories he has even had in the garden was when a family came to volunteer. They were so appreciative that they could take as much produce as they wanted. He distinctly remembers digging up a carrot with their son, and seeing the expression on his face when he saw what a carrot looks like when it comes right out of the ground. In the gardens, memories are made, laughter is shared and people like Michael Payne make a difference, one carrot at a time.

Fun Facts-

Favorite quote-“spread your cool”

Desired super power- to be able to see through walls and practices his ability to be in multiple spots at once

-He is a full time student at NIU, graduating in May of 2016

-Michael has multiple jobs on NIU campus

Volunteer Spotlight Prepared by: Gladys Sanchez, NIU Intern with DCCG

DCCG To Manage City of DeKalb Community Garden Plots on Dresser


Exciting news! The City of DeKalb Garden Plots along Dresser Road will now be managed by DeKalb County Community Gardens. DCCG is a citizen volunteer based non-profit that provides fresh vegetables for food pantries, community meal sites, and others in need.

If you would like to rent a 20 by 30 foot garden plot to grow vegetables for yourself and your family please contact DeKalb County Community Gardens, 815-793-0950, not the City of DeKalb.

A $20 per plot rental fee will be charged. Those who had plots last year will have first chance to return this year. Also this year the plan is to create more plots, about thirty at the north end of the existing sites.

If you would like a plot please request an application as soon as possible, a limited number of plots are available. To get an application form visit, or email , or call 815-793-0950.

Thank you, DCCG looks forward to getting to know each of you, and to creating a great community gardening experience for all. It should be a great growing season!

See you in the gardens!

Dan Kenney, Executive Director

DeKalb County Community Gardens


Box of Hope Vegetables

Strengthens access to fresh local sustainably-grown organic food for people in need.




You can help DCCG plant seeds of hope and provide wholesome, fresh vegetables for those who struggle with food insecurity. DCCG grows thousands of pounds of healthy produce for DeKalb County individuals and families. DCCG also helps provide access to land and support for those who are able to grow their own food.

Now, you can help support the work of DCCG, and provide healthy, sustainably-grown fresh vegetables for your family at the same time. Join the Box of Hope Vegetables Program.

How It Works

You can subscribe for the season (20 weeks) or pay for boxes individually. If you subscribe for the season, the subscription is paid at the beginning of the season, June 12th and you can receive a beautiful and delicious 20 lb. box of vegetables weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. A pick-up point near your home will be established for you to pick up your vegetables, or if this is difficult a delivery to your home can be arranged. The season will run June 12 to October 25, 20 weeks of delicious vegetables, fresh from the garden! Just fill out the form and mail with check to DeKalb County Community Gardens, PO Box 348, DeKalb IL 60115.

Options: Season subscription price: $25.00per box/ $15.00 per box for students, limited income, or seniors (65+) Individual Boxes $35.00 per box.

Season Subscription Rates: Weekly $500.00; bi-weekly, $250.00, Monthly $125.00






Subscription Choice:






DeKalb County Community Gardens © 2017

Follow this blog

Get every new post delivered right to your inbox.

Email address