Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Changing your diet is a very intimidating and complicated prospect all on its own. If you throw a garden into the mix, things get even more confusing. It's a lot of work just to plant a garden, maintain it, and harvest everything. Then once you harvest it, there are a number of things you can do with it: sell it, save it, cook it, eat it,...
So say you decide you want to eat it. What if you've very recently left the microwaveable world that so many of us know? What if you have no idea how to cook squash or zucchini or eggplant?
Part of eating healthy produce from a garden is learning what to do with it once it's in your kitchen. Understandably, this can be very, very intimidating for some people. It was for me, and it still can be at times! Sometimes when you read something in a cookbook it can sound impossible or even scary. In my case, for instance, I had a pumpkin and I wanted to make pumpkin muffins from scratch. I had no idea how to prepare a pumpkin from scratch, so I consulted The Joy of Cooking (that has information on any food ever). Their description sounded not only complicated, but scary. I ended up consulting my roommate instead and once I did it, it was not very hard.
So where am I going with this, you ask. I have begun a new portion of this project which, as a food enthusiast and lover of cooking, I am extremely excited about. I'm attempting to make some pamphlets for gardeners of certain vegetables that briefly explain optimum planting conditions (As a source I'm using "The Organic Gardener's Complete Guide to Vegetables and Fruits"), common ways that people eat whatever vegetable it is (fried, sauteed, etc.), and then including a recipe. I am purposely trying to pick recipes that are interesting and not so hard they would make Julia Child cringe. I hope, these pamphlets will be brief enough to be accessible and informational enough to be useful. In order for good food to be available, people need to know what to do with it. Eventually I would like to translate the pamphlets so that the refugee population can access them as well. In their case, they may never have seen our vegetables before.
Just for the record, I can't take credit for this idea! Mark Drew from the King of Glory Lutheran Church garden suggested it during our meeting. I thought it was a fantastic idea, so now I am attempting to do it justice! I'd like to have some paper copies available and post them on the website (which is taking shape, coincidentally!)

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