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Carpe Weekend: Garlic galore

Garlic will abound during Thorn Creek Nature Center’s annual Garlic Fest Oct. 6 Park Forest.  | File Photo

Garlic will abound during Thorn Creek Nature Center’s annual Garlic Fest on Oct. 6 in Park Forest. | File Photo

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Jay’s other weekend picks

FOOD FEST: The Mokena Chamber of Commerce will host its ninth annual Food and Wine Festival from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday at McGovney-Yunker Farm, Schoolhouse and LaPorte roads.
Tickets are $24 and are available at the chamber office. Information: (708) 479-2468,
mokenafoodandwine.com.

AMERICAN SONGBOOK: The Moraine Chorale and Chamber Singers will perform “The Great American Songbook” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the Dorothy Menker Theater at Moraine Valley Community College, 9000 W. College Parkway, Palos Hills. The concert will feature the music of Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Jerome Kern and Cole Porter. Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for seniors and students. Information: (708) 974-5500.

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Updated: November 5, 2012 6:17AM



It doesn’t wear a cape, and it can’t see through walls. It doesn’t even fly.

But make no mistake: Garlic is blessed with superpowers.

What other plant is a potent spice, a natural antibiotic and an effective vampire deterrent all in one?

Garlic is so powerful, in fact, that people gather in Park Forest every year to pay tribute to its sheer awesomeness.

Grab your spice rack, a pair of nose plugs and a wooden stake (just in case) and join them during the annual Garlic Fest, which runs from noon to 4 p.m. Oct. 6 at Thorn Creek Nature Center, 247 Monee Road, Park Forest.

Your first stop should be the Garlic Market Place, which will have more than two dozen varieties of garlic bulbs for sale.

You also will be able to taste free samples of raw garlic with a parsley “chaser,” which organizers said is the best way to discriminate between the different varieties.

Other vendors will sell books on garlic and organic gardening, garlic roasters and keepers, and handmade herbal products such as lotions, salves, soaps and bath and beauty products that use natural ingredients.

There also will be plenty of live demonstrations.

Tim Chappell, two-time winner of the Kankakee amateur chef contest, will prepare and provide sample items such as roasted garlic, cultured greens, pear chutney and other common and unusual recipes during a cooking demonstration.

Master gardener Art King will demonstrate how to use worms to recycle compost used for growing garlic. He’ll even give out free red wiggler samples to get you started.

If at any point you find yourself getting overwhelmed by all the garlic knowledge being dropped on you, garlic guru Kathy Tovey will be on hand to answer your questions.

Other Garlic Fest events include a bake sale featuring items made with garlic, live hammered dulcimer music by Jerry Santoni, walks through the center’s surrounding woods with a guide, demonstrations on how to create a garlic braid and how to properly clean garlic, and raffles.

The event is open to garlic aficionados of all ages, and admission is $5 per car or $1 per bicycle. Parking is across the street from the nature center.

Organizers said each of the 1,500 bulbs of garlic for sale at the fest are grown on Thorn Creek’s Historic Farm using organic practices such as compost, crop rotation and planting cover crops.

No genetically modified organisms or synthetic herbicides, pesticides or fertilizers are used, they said.

Information: Thorn Creek Nature Center, (708) 747-6320.



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