It has been almost two months since my journey with the London Community Resource Centre began, but it feels as if I have been around a lot longer. Not because I am bored or tired of it, in fact, quite the opposite! These last two months have been filled with fabulous experiences and amazing opportunities!
Since I last chatted with you I have been a part of numerous events and have been on quite a few little “outings” with Linda and the group, making for one exciting summer!
Back on June 11th we had our first GROW COOK LEARN session where we demonstrated the skills involved in preparing homemade salad dressings using simple ingredients typically found in a pantry, and basic ratios, to create the perfect vinaigrette to suit all individual taste preferences. We also paired these skills with lettuce-less salad ideas which included an asparagus, bacon, and mixed greens salad, as well as a quinoa salad. We also prepared a delicious creamy garlic-avocado dressing. It was the first time some of our participants had ever tried certain ingredients such as avocado or quinoa, and I must admit I had never tried quinoa either. Diane sold quinoa beautifully by combining it with Macedonian feta cheese and a variety of veggies fresh from Covent Garden Market. The recipes were a hit and, judging by the whispers and talk flying around after the session, everyone felt they had learned something and the evening was therefore a success. I am looking forward to seeing some familiar faces, as well as some new ones, at the upcoming GROW COOK LEARN session in a few weeks (check out the EVENTS page for more info!).
Shortly after GROW COOK LEARN, on June 14th, Eva and I were asked to give a presentation to Y.O.U on the basics of eating healthy on a budget. Even though the presentation itself was a little rocky, on accounts of my flu bug, the experience was very eye opening. Trying to teach someone to incorporate Canada’s Food Guide and the four food groups into their diet when money is tight can be a challenging task. As a future (hopefully) community dietitian these are skills I will need to improve on, and I am grateful for having the opportunity to practice. I have to take the time to thank Eva for really stepping up that day. Thank you!
Closer to the end of the month, on June 26th, the LCRC crew and I traveled over to University Heights Public School where we joined
s with the Covent Garden Market, Growing Chefs, and Thames Valley School Board to host the launch of the “Seed to Plate” Local Food Project.
I am super excited about this initiative that incorporates in-class learning, planting, growing, harvesting, and healthy eating and I truly wish a similar program was in place when I was in elementary school. It is very beneficial for children to know where their food comes from and beginning this exposure at a young age will no doubt plant the seeds for a positive relationship with food. We would like to thank all those involved with the project for all of their support. I can’t wait for this project to really take off in September!
Earlier this week, on July 8th, I had the opportunity to speak at the LCRC’s Annual General Meeting. Although I was nervous, the experience was great and really allowed me to develop my communication skills and explain to Board members, community members, and volunteers my visions for GROW COOK LEARN and my role within the organization. The meeting was a success and we had a great turn out! We featured two of the recipes that will be incorporated into the Fresh Summer Harvest session on July 23rd (visit our Events page for details!). Eva and I prepared a fresh salsa and a raspberry-lemonade, very refreshing and delicious! I would like to take the opportunity to thank all who came out on a busy Monday evening; your support is greatly appreciated.
Throughout my time here I have also been lucky enough to tour the new Y.O.U Rooftop Garden! This project is a great way to bring experienced gardeners together with gardeners of the future to share their wisdom and tips relating to planting and maintaining the garden, as well as growing, harvesting, and even cooking food. Their garden looks beautiful, full and is definitely off to a great start! Fabulous job Y.O.U!
I have also been able to visit almost all of the Community Gardens around the City. I am amazed at the work everyone has put into them and everything looks beautiful! I have met so many great gardeners and look forward to meeting you, if I haven’t already done so. You continue to inspired me and I can’t wait to expand on my own garden next year!
I cannot thank Linda enough for providing me with this opportunity. I started out as a volunteer and quickly became part of the LCRC family. Working with Linda, Chris, Eva, and most recently with Temesghen has been wonderful and I am constantly learning from each of them. We all bring something slightly new and different to the table. I look forward to our upcoming events together including the Youth in the Garden Evening, the Annual Summer Picnic, Southeast Summer Fest, and future GCL sessions!
Overall, this summer has been inspiring and full of opportunity. I feel excited and, most of all, lucky to come to work every day. I am always looking forward to new adventures with the LCRC. I will keep you posted!