Group wants to grow communiversity garden

Jo+Cessna%2C+culinary+instructor+with+KishHealth+Systems%2C+gives+a+demonstration+on+how+clean%2C+store+and+cook+early+spring+greens+at+a+DeKalb+County+Community+Gardens+meeting.+The+meeting+%E2%80%94+the+first+of+the+year+%E2%80%94+was+Tuesday+at+the+Unitarian+Universalist+Fellowship%2C+158+N.+Fourth+St.+Meetings+are+the+first+Monday+of+every+month.

Jo Cessna, culinary instructor with KishHealth Systems, gives a demonstration on how clean, store and cook early spring greens at a DeKalb County Community Gardens meeting. The meeting — the first of the year — was Tuesday at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 158 N. Fourth St. Meetings are the first Monday of every month.

Colin Finnegan

DeKalb County Community Gardens discussed its plan to grow a food forest and a communiversity garden near campus during its Tuesday meeting.

The DeKalb County Community Gardens organization had its first meeting of the year at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 158 N. Fourth St.

The group has 200 gardens at more than 40 locations  — including several DeKalb and Sycamore schools — in the county. Most of the food grown goes to food pantries and people in need.

Dan Kenney, director of the DeKalb County Community Gardens, said the organization had big plans for the future. The organization plans to grow a communiversity garden as well as an Old State Food Forest near campus. The group hopes to interest students and get them to help out. Kenney said the forest will be at the corner of Old State Road and Five Points Road and would have fruit and vegetables.

“We’re a grass-roots volunteer organization trying to benefit the community through providing organic food,” Kenney said.

AnneMarie Clifford, of DeKalb, attended her first meeting Tuesday.

“I’m new to the area and thought this was a great way to get involved in the community,” Clifford said.

Freshman business major Ben Paulson said he learned a lot about the importance of greens and vegetables in a balanced diet.

Jo Cessna, culinary instructor with KishHealth Systems, spoke during the meeting. Her presentation focused on greens, particularly how to properly clean them. Cessna also gave healthy recipes such as her Spring Clean and her Perfect Poached Eggs.