Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A Day Full of Caring!

Morning Day of Caring teams with harvested SAGE produce for Stone Soup!
Friday, September 20th was the United Way Day of Caring.  Across Corvallis teams full of caring individuals dispersed to volunteer at different agencies needing a helping hand.  SAGE was fortunate to receive both morning and afternoon teams who helped us accomplish a huge load of work! 

Weighing produce

Many hands make mulching much lighter work and volunteers learned how to get rid of a whole patch of nasty weeds to make a new garden bed.  Cardboard was laid and many, many loads of leaves thrown on top will decompose over the winter to create a beautiful new garden space for next year.  This will help us increase the amount of produce we can grow for local hunger relief agencies.  While some folks were mulching, others helped weed the bed of overwintering crops....all tasks that were much needed!   

Tomato Taste Testing!

One of my favorite things about having people out at SAGE is the opportunity for tastings!  Taking a break from all the hard work, we fine tuned our palettes as we explored the different tastes and textures of the five varieties of cherry tomatoes growing.  We even had some brave souls who claimed to not like tomatoes but who tried them all!   

Of course, this time of year is great for not only tastings, but also for harvesting.  168 pounds of fresh produce was harvested for the Stone Soup meal site and the South Corvallis Food Bank. I always enjoy wrapping up with a big harvest as it gives volunteers a more concrete sense of how other abstract garden tasks add up!
Thanks CH2MHill team!

Thanks Samaritan Health teams!
(sorry afternoon team, we didn't
get a picture because it was raining!)

Thanks to the employees of Samaritan Health and CH2MHill who took the time to volunteer at SAGE!  The success of SAGE hinges on community support and volunteers and we so appreciate everything you contributed! 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

A Couple Simple Recipes to Enjoy the Summer Bounty

This time of year there is a bounty of delicious produce.  Talking with folks I've discovered that sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming to find a use for all the tomatoes or giant zucchini flowing from our gardens.  Here are a couple easy suggestions of how to enjoy all that goodness:

Summer Squash Galore!
- Zucchini Latkes:  This is a great way to use GIANT zucchini.  In fact, you'll get a number of meals from one big one....For latkes, all you do is grate up some zucchini, mix with an egg and a little binder (flour or flax meal) and then fry up like a pancake!  You can make these as fancy or as simple as you'd like.  I love adding fresh pesto to my mix for a savory treat while other folks enjoy just the basics and then top them with maple syrup.  Latkes are great for breakfast, lunch and/or dinner!

- Summer Ratatouille: A volunteer gave me this simple French recipe last year and it utilizes many of the delicious summer veggies we have at SAGE right now!

What you'll need: Onion, garlic, eggplant, summer squash, peppers, tomatoes, oil, thyme

Ratatouille is a great way to utilize peppers and eggplant 
What to do:
1) Heat oil in a large pot over medium to low heat and add onions and garlic until soft.
2) In a large skillet add some oil and saute veggies up *except the tomatoes* (one at a time...first the eggplant, then peppers, etc)
3) Once each batch is sauteed, add them to the large pot
4) Season pot mix with salt and pepper, add thyme.  Cover and cook at medium heat for 15 - 20 mins.
5) Add tomatoes to pot and cook another 10 - 15 minutes.
6) Stir occasionally.
7) Enjoy all your delicious garden produce!

If you find you have too much produce to use right now, think about storing it for the winter (freezing, dehydrating, canning, etc) or sharing with your neighbors!  Happy Eating!