Dining for Good

Hello Friends!

This is Gabrielle reporting in as Growing Food and Sustainability’s Youth Farm Director (if you don’t know us yet, we’re a Summer of Solutions program and Local Initiative in Middleton, WI). A big goal of ours is to provide fresh, local produce to the Middleton community. To that end, we have donated over 2,500 pounds of produce to the MOM Food Pantry (all by bike trailer!) in the past two growing seasons. We also love donating our produce to other good causes, like the Middleton High School Ecology Club’s Annual Organic Dinner!

Last year was the first year that Organic Dinner featured produce grown right at the school. This year, we teamed-up with Ecology Club to make it even better: all of the produce used in the meal was grown at the Youth Farm, and all of the cooking was done by the students themselves! We had a great dinner featuring pasta with pesto and tomato sauce, bread, kale salad, and ice cream. Many local businesses supported our efforts and 130 community members turned out for the dinner. What a success! Continue reading

Back to Work

I’m sitting on a beach in South Carolina. It’s been three days since leaving August Gathering. My grandma is inside, watching TV with her caretaker. The horizon line is an extended blur in the haze, somewhere between the dark water and the dark sky. I’ve seen two shooting stars.

An ancient fossil becoming coal, exposed by blasting

An ancient fossil becoming coal, exposed by blasting

I’m having that odd realization that the things I’m seeing – stars, the ocean – exist on a scale beyond imagination. Somewhere across all this wind and water there is another mass of solid land. Quite possibly, someone else is on the edge of that mass, looking towards ours and wondering what it’s like over here. Continue reading

Breaking Bread with One Another

Heidi, a program leader in East Tennessee has started a new job at Second Harvest and is blogging about her experience.  Below is a recent post.

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Unicoi, TN

Well, my worst fear happened today. The very first day of service we ran out of food. It was an easy fix, we survived and even managed to just be 15 minutes off schedule the whole day.

The drive home was particularly beautiful after a stressful day and I realized why I love it here so much. I realized why I love coming home no matter how far I’ve gone. It’s the view. Every where you turn rich blue hues and many shades of green dazzle your eyes. The mountains surround us in this fantastic hug. You can’t help but feel at peace and protected by the mountains. Continue reading

Soulardarity Taking it to the Next Level in Detroit

All good things must come to an end, and the Community Organizing grant from Grand Aspirations is no exception. But to quote another piece of folk wisdom, as one thing ends another begins, and that Soulardarity is very nearly prepared to launch into a fundraising campaign for a community-owned city-wide infrastructure project (and, hopefully, pay salaries) is evidence of this statement’s truth.

Brandon Knight, discussing a potential solar investment opportunity with these chickens

Brandon Knight, discussing a potential solar investment opportunity with these chickens

Continue reading

Extra garden veggies? Pickle them!

The garden, it grows!

All the recent rain has caused our community garden plot to flourish.

Lexy here from East Tennessee.  I have a confession to make: I’m obsessed with lacto-fermentation.  There are definitely times when multiple shelves in my fridge are filled with jars of homemade pickles.  Since we’re heading into the summer months, when garden produce is overwhelmingly abundant, I thought I’d share this with you.  Our community garden plot is currently popping out radishes, so what follows is a radish pickling recipe.  You can pretty much lacto-ferment any vegetable, so don’t be afraid to try this with anything you have a bunch of.

Last year, Build It Up hosted a pickling workshop with our partners at Shakti in the Mountains (a women’s community organization in Johnson City) and it was one of our most popular.  We just had a great meeting with Shakti to plan another series of food and gardening workshops.  So far we are planning pickling/kraut making, container gardening, backyard bees, low cost chicken coops, and oyster mushrooms in buckets.  I’m looking forward to planning a summer of workshop fun!

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Kids in the Garden and Community Support

It’s already been a busy month in Middleton!

Kids in the Garden: We just wrapped-up our first after school program! We had a wonderful five weeks learning about the greenhouse and seed starting, planning dream gardens, preparing the garden for planting, and cooking!

2Showing off their dream gardens

We made many tasty seasonal dishes with the kids including carrot muffins, apple crisp, spinach frittata, and oven fries. Our snack for the last day of the program was 5 weeks in the making: we planted greens in the greenhouse back in April and they were finally big enough to harvest for a tasty salad. We made a home made balsamic vinaigrette dressing and enjoyed the fruits of our labors 🙂 Continue reading