Showing posts from September, 2012

California Maritime Academy students

This past Saturday, students from the California Maritime Academy helped out at the Vallejo People's Garden. Roughly 86 pounds of vegetables were harvested from VPG and donated to the Christian Help Center. Thanks Cal-Maritime!  

Food desert

Vallejo People's Garden s hares vegetable seeds with Marina Vista Apartments, low-income housing units located in one of Vallejo's food deserts.  Food deserts are clusters of neighborhoods that have little or no access to foods needed to maintain a healthy diet but often served by plenty of fast food restaurants. There are four food deserts in the city of Vallejo with a population of over 115,000. Brittany, Assistant Manager of Marina Vista Apartments is shown here standing in their community garden.

Compost Heap Turning September 12th, 2012

Some pics of our compost heap! (pile was moved from the center to rightmost compartment of our three bin system). Top picture is the compost heap prior to moving (with a few shovel fulls of material removed from it.) The heap has seen very little in the way of maintenance for well over a month and actually became somewhat dry. Surprisingly, there was still some warmth in the center. As you can see from the middle picture, particle size is still fairly large and there is a good number of worms and insects in the material. Bottom picture is the compost heap after transferring to the rightmost bin of the compartment (it was thoroughly moistened during this process.) Some links on composting:  (The above link discusses oxygen, C:N ratio, moisture, temperature, particle size, time on the composting process.) An interesting point in the above link is that moisture is needed in the pile for mic

Meatless Mondays: Lemon Basil Pasta Salad

It’s another Monday, so it’s time for another edition of Meatless Mondays!  Since tomatoes are still in season, this week’s featured recipe will be for lemon basil pasta salad.  It is zesty, satisfying, and uses tomatoes.  This pasta dish is refreshingly light, yet full of flavor.  With some added grated parmesan, the kids are sure to enjoy it as well.  Most of all, this dish is very simple and quick to make.  It requires only a handful of ingredients! Recipe for 6 to 8 Ingredients: 1-16 ounce box of pasta (farfalle, penne, or practically any shape you like) 4 tomatoes (diced) Handful of cut basil leaves 1 lemon 1 teaspoon salt ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil ½ cup grated parmesan cheese Boil pasta per directions on package. After pasta is cooked, drain and rinse with cold water.  Mix pasta with extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, and salt. Mix in basil and diced tomatoes. Add parmesan cheese.
Our artichoke plant is doing great after being cut all the way to ground middle of June! Prior to being cut back the plant was quite large at approximately 5' x 5' and produced a very strong spring 2012 harvest of 50 lbs of artichokes (recorded from first week of April to first week of June 2012). After the prolific harvest we noticed the plant started to go into decline. Originally we thought the reason for the yellowing might be water related, but further reading confirmed the need for extreme pruning on a yearly basis. (see Perennial Planting section, page 1, in above link for pruning info)                                                                        (More info, including notes on withholding water after the spring pruning to assist summer dormancy. Apparently high heat can have an adverse effect on artichoke quality.) RJ

Meatless Mondays: Roasted Eggplant Sandwiches

It's the beginning of the week, and you know what that's Meatless Monday!  Studies have shown that vegetarians often have lower rates of heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, and some types of cancer.  In addition to all of those benefits, a vegetarian diet is also a great way to use all of those veggies in the garden to make delicious dishes.   A few weeks ago, we had roasted eggplant sandwiches at our community potluck and they were a huge hit.  Try this dish at your next party or for tomorrow's dinner.   It is a really simple, fresh, light, and delicious crowd-pleaser.   Roasted Eggplant Sandwiches Recipe for 4 Ingredients: Your favorite type of bread (ciabatta is a good choice for this sandwich since it is very crusty) Garlic mayonnaise (recipe below) Sliced mozzarella Basil leaves 1 sliced tomato 1 large eggplant sliced in 1/2 inch slices Olive oil Salt 1.  Slice the eggplant.  It is very important to let the eggplant s
We had a great harvest at the September 1st, 2012 Volunteer Event. Many thanks to the volunteers (past, present, and future) whose hard work makes our charitable mission possible. (All food donated to Christian Help Center and GCS) Special thanks to Sister Elvie and Luisa Santos for all the work they did cleaning, organizing and weighing the veggies (after the volunteer event was over.) RJ