ParkTalk Podcast - The Rewards of Gardening

Friday, September 15, 2023

Episode description:

In this episode, we hear from two gardeners about the joys, challenges and surprises of the 2023 gardening season at the Naperville Park District's Garden Plots. Our guests are Priyanka, who rented a plot for the first time, and Barb, who has maintained a plot for many years and is a master gardener.

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View of a few gardens at the Ron Ory Community Garden Plots, summer 2023

Quotes from the episode:

"My favorites are onions, you can plant them early, the frost doesn't bother them, and then when you're ready to harvest them, you do! You don't have to store them in the freezer, like tomatoes or beans. Then the other specialty crop is potatoes. You plant them in the ground and you wait. And they do their thing. And then it's a big deal for my dad and me. We actually invite some of our neighbors and they come and help dig it up, because it's like gold. It's what's under there - we're digging up a treasure." - Barb

"It was so cool to know that I didn't have to spend whatever the price at the Whole Foods but I could just go to my own garden and get the produce I wanted for whatever I was going to eat. It's such a cool feeling, especially as a first-time gardener. Just getting outside and meeting a ton of people. Like Barb mentioned, gardening is something for fun- it's not work, it's not anything we have to do, it's something we all decided we would like to do." - Priyanka


Here is a recipe using bell peppers that Priyanka said she and her family enjoy quite often. Pair it with grilled chicken or fish or even with some rice or quinoa: Corn and Bell Pepper Masala.

Here is Barb's father's recipe for chocolate zucchini cake that she mentioned on the podcast.

After the podcast recording, Barb gave Priyanka advice on how to manage blossom end rot on tomatoes and peppers and sent Managing Blossom End Rot in Tomatoes and Peppers.

Learn more about the Ron Ory Community Garden Plots

Raised plots are available for those with special needs

Get answers to your questions about the Naperville Park District's Garden Plots at

Registration for new gardeners opens annually in March, with information available in the Spring Program Guide, which is released in early March.

As Barb mentioned in the episode, there are free workshops for gardeners offered by the Park District each spring. Additionally, master gardeners are available on site as a resource to help other gardeners at the Garden Plots.

Barb advised, "The DuPage County Master Gardener office is located at 1100 E Warrenville Ave. in Naperville and has a hotline for gardening questions at 630-955-1123. Even with the master gardeners being available at the plots on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday mornings from 8-10, our gardeners may benefit from talking to the office as well."

Sunflowers and squash at the Garden Plots, 2023