Local Flavors Harvest Dinner in DeKalb Sept. 22

Staff Report

DEKALB, Ill. — DeKalb County Community Gardens (DCCG) has joined with Tapa La Luna for a special fund-raising dinner from 6 to 8 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 22, at Tapa La Luna, 226 E. Lincoln Hwy., DeKalb.

All of the food for this Local Flavors Harvest Dinner will come from within 30 miles of DeKalb. Chef Chad of Tapa La Luna has created a delicious menu with a choice of entrees as well as a spectacular dessert. Craig Mathey will provide music throughout the evening. Tickets are $45 each, and all proceeds will go to support the work of DCCG.

DCCG and the Illinois Stewardship alliance are working together to promote local eating in northern Illinois. The goal of “local flavors dinners” is to raise awareness about the healthy food choices that can be found close to home. Local flavors dinners connect local growers with local chefs. It is a farm-to-table event that highlights locally-raised food and also spotlights local chefs. DCCG’s first local flavors dinner drew nearly 100 to Feed’em Soup in July.

The farmers providing produce, eggs or meat for this dinner include Rob and Christina Montabano of Sandwich; Scott Hassellman of Marengo; DeKalb County Community Gardens; and the Nadig’s farm of Cortland.

Dan Kenney, director of DCCG, said: “DCCG wants to support local foods because it is healthier and creates a stronger local economy if we can eat food grown locally, rather than food which has traveled over 1,500 miles to get to our plates. Also, fresh produce and organically-raised meat is healthier for all of our diets.”

DCCG is in its second year. Thus far, they have raised more than 5 tons of food donated to local food pantries, Voluntary Action Center, DeKalb County Health Department, community meal sites, senior citizen centers and senior citizen living facilities. DCCG has installed and helps coordinate more than 40 garden sites, including elementary schools in DeKalb and Sycamore. Gardens are at Conexion Communidad, Golden Years Plaza, in vacant lots owned by Ideal Industries, Dolce Vita Salon and Spa, Kish Health Systems, City of DeKalb, City of Genoa, and the Town of Cortland. DCCG manages nearly 10 acres of growing space. More than 300 volunteers participate throughout the season, along with the support of more than 60 partnerships and sponsors.

Residents wanting to attend the harvest dinner should call Tapa La Luna to reserve their place. Seating will be limited. Phone Tapa La Luna at (815) 217-0990. For more about DCCG, contact Kenney at (815) 793-0950.

From the Sept. 18-24, 2013, issue

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