Gardening in the rain

Whitney and Jessy propagating collards that will go to a local homeless shelter for families. While it was pouring down rain outside, these two said they felt like little girls playing inside the greenhouse. Gardening IS fun--even when you're gardening in the rain.

Vote for Vallejo People's Garden

Please pass this along to your friends, family, and neighbors--
 
It only takes 60 seconds to help the Vallejo People's Garden win a $10K grant from Seeds of Change to expand our educational and skills workshops for people in Vallejo's food desert neighborhoods. Please nominate us before 9AM Friday: http://www.seedsofchangefoods.com/sharethegood/

We need your nominations to demonstrate community support.

You do not need to answer the questions! Only your name and the VPG information below is needed to submit a nomination. Here's all you need:
Farm or garden name: Vallejo People's Garden
Zip code: 94592
Proprietor name: Global Center for Success

Thank you!!! We will be able to reach hundreds of additional school children and adults in poor neighborhoods with garden classes and more community building if we win.
 
 

Why Pallets Are Awesome

Pallets are not just an efficient way to safely carry and transport goods. They are a wonderful resource for making all kinds of cool stuff! From tables to beds to wall art to planter boxes, the possibilities for DIY (Do It Yourself) creations using pallets are limited only by the scope of one's imagination.

Here we have a tutorial on making a planter out of a single pallet:



And here are some inspirational examples compiled by a DIYer who calls herself the Backyard Diva (click the link and be amazed): PALLET CREATIONS GALORE!

Depending on your own personal style, you can express yourself and your home/garden as someone who is modern, rustic, whimsical, classic, cutesy, playful, artistic... and you can impress your IKEA- and Pottery Barn-obsessed friends with your own brand of self-taught craftsmanship.

The best part? You can often find pallets FOR FREE. They are usually lying around the loading docks of grocery/hardware/supply stores, and just about anywhere that transports supplies and goods into a building. Just be sure to ask before taking a few, and the workers might even thank you for taking the "clutter" off their hands.

HAPPY PALLET-HUNTING! And be sure to post pics of your finished pallet projects!

-Jessy

Easy Herb Focaccia Bread!

Tonight's recipe comes to us courtesy of Show Me the Curry.



Ingredients:
All Purpose Flour (Maida) – 5 cups
Warm Water – 1 2/3 cups
Rapid Rise Yeast – 1 packet (approx 2 tsp)
Sugar – 1 tsp
Salt – 2 1/2 tsp
Olive Oil – 1/4 cup plus 3 Tbsp for coating plus more for coating bottom of pan
Rosemary – 1 Tbsp (Fresh, chopped) or 1 tsp (Dried)
Onion – 1/4 small, sliced finely
Sea Salt/Kosher Salt – to taste

Method:
1. In the food processor bowl (or mixing bowl if kneading by hand), mix Warm Water, Yeast and Sugar. Cover and keep for 5-10 mins until foamy.
2. Add Salt, Olive Oil and 4 1/2 cups of All Purpose Flour (more can be added as needed).
3. Pulse the food processor until the dough comes together. Run the food processor for 1 minute. Add more flour (1/4 cup at at time) as needed until dough forms.
4. Knead dough on a floured work surface or large bowl for 1 minute or until a smooth ball forms.
5. Generously drizzle Olive Oil to coat the bottom of a 15×10 inch baking pan.
6. Place dough ball in pan and press into the bottom into an even rectangle shape.
7. Cover with kitchen towel and keep in a warm place for 1 to 1 1/2 hours to rise.
Preheat Oven to 425F/218C
8. With your finger, gently make indentations one inch apart all over the dough.
9. In a small bowl, mix 2-3 Tbsp of Olive Oil with Rosemary and sliced Onions.
10. Spread the Oil mixture over the top of the risen dough. Arrange Onions/Rosemary evenly over the top.
11. Bake Focaccia for 20 mins at 425F/218C (Keep an eye on it towards the end – all ovens are different).
12. Enjoy hot and store unused portion in an airtight container in the fridge.

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This is a really good Italian-style bread that can be eaten alone, sliced up for sandwiches, or dipped into olive oil and balsamic for a simple snack. Tastes just as good as focaccia from the store, at a small fraction of the price.

I would say that if you're a fan of multilayered flavor explosions, feel free to add other herbs in addition to the rosemary. Basil, oregano, sage, and thyme are good choices. Experiment by making the bread a few times with different combinations! There's no limit to what you can create in your kitchen.

Ask us at the garden about growing herbs on your balcony or in your backyard! Many of them can be grown even into the winter with the right conditions.

-Jessy