We can’t wait to get our hands in the soil to begin a new gardening season. Spring brings rebirth, new growth and many possibilities. Last year, despite very dry conditions, our Community Gardeners produced amazing results. We hope the weather will be more forgiving this year.
As we plan our new Grow Cook Learn sessions we can’t help but reminisce about our experiences over the past year. Our cooking sessions brought community gardeners, old friends and new friends into the kitchen to connect the dots between the garden, fresh food and living well.
Our Pumpkins and Squash class demystified these seasonal treats. Because there are so many varieties and each has their own their unique taste and texture, we decided to do a tasting. I think we all found new favourites. Dianne served up spaghetti squash plus a fantastic casserole made with butternut squash, apples and onions. The great lesson here was that this casserole became part of a warm salad with greens and goat cheese and also an easy creamy soup made in the blender. The class demonstrated the versatility of this affordable vegetable.
Chef Chad demonstrated how to make biscuits during our soups and stew class. Then it was our turn. The hands on experience is valued by all. Chad is Chef, a Community Gardener and valued volunteer ready to share his experiences in the garden as well as the kitchen. We all love coming together and having the chance to talk about cooking and gardening with our classmates. The best part (besides the sampling!) is when we come back to the next class to find that so many are incorporating new foods and trying out their new found skills and recipes at home.
Our Grow Cook Learn program gave the opportunity for small corporate groups to come into our Knowledge Garden at Riverforks to help with a little weeding, ask lots of questions and the best part of all, do some harvesting. When you get a group of people out from behind their desks to get their hands in the soil the dialogue shifts from reports and deadlines to new conversations about eating fresh food, enjoying the outdoors and sharing with our community. Another great story from last season was about a group of employees from CIBC Mellon the came together to grow fresh food for the London Food Bank. We are looking forward to hosting more community members as we come together to Grow, Cook, Learn!