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UC Food Safety

UC revives “Fresh from the Garden” materials



“Fresh from the Garden” is a “vegetable education” program that was created several years ago by retired LA County Cooperative Extension employee and registered dietitian Susan Giordano. Giordano created lessons to reach home gardeners and their families living with limited resources.  The lessons are designed to increase gardeners' knowledge of healthful eating habits, while emphasizing the health benefits associated with a vegetable-rich diet. The lessons also encourage gardeners to grow a greater variety of vegetables, more nutrient-dense vegetables, to cultivate vegetable crops throughout the year, and to prepare their harvest using delicious, nutritious recipes.  In recent months, the lessons have been given a makeover and updated to reflect current dietary recommendations.

Bringing nutrition education into the garden

The LA County Food Stamp Nutrition Education Program (FSNEP) is partnering with UC Master Gardener volunteers this summer to pilot the revamped lessons in the garden. A group of enthusiastic Master Gardeners with an interest in nutrition education attended a “Fresh from the Garden” training on July 10. They are now equipped to take what they learned and bring it into the low-income community and school gardens where they volunteer. Our FSNEP staff members, armed with supplemental nutrition information, plan to provide additional support and expertise along the way. This is a natural fit for UC Master Gardeners who are already teaching low-income communities how to grow their own food, and UC FSNEP staff, who are providing valuable nutrition education to food stamp-eligible families. The families who benefit from these lessons will gain the knowledge and confidence they need to enjoy delicious and nutritious vegetables fresh from the garden!

“Fresh from the Garden” tips for the gardener

This time of year, gardeners are benefiting from the fruits of their labor, however, some might be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of vegetables being produced by their gardens. What to do with it all? Below is a “Fresh from the Garden” recipe for a simple summer veggie pasta sauce.  Any vegetable can be substituted, and the pasta sauce can conveniently be frozen for later use.

Summer veggie pasta sauce

3 – 4 large tomatoes, chopped

1 medium small onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, crushed

1/4—1/2 cup chopped fresh basil

2 medium zucchini, chopped

2 Tablespoons oil

1 small eggplant, chopped

Salt and black pepper to taste

1 medium green pepper, chopped

 

Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add onion, green pepper and garlic. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring often. Add the zucchini and eggplant. Cook for 5 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and basil. Simmer for about 20 minutes over low heat, uncovered, until slightly thick. Add salt and pepper to taste.

This recipe can be doubled or tripled and frozen in individual or family size servings. If it is not moist enough, just add water.

Interested in accessing “Fresh from the Garden” Resources?  The lessons, handouts and recipes are now available on LA County's Cooperative Extension website.

For more information about “Fresh from the Garden,” please contact Los Angeles County nutrition, family & consumer sciences advisor Brenda Roche at bkroche@ucdavis.edu, (323) 260-3299.

Posted on Friday, July 23, 2010 at 6:39 AM
  • Author: Brenda Roche

Comments:

1.
Hi Brenda, thanks for sharing on the Blog, looking forward to learning how you were able to integrate into MG and lessons learned to share with other counties.  
 
David

Posted by David Ginsburg on July 26, 2010 at 9:36 AM

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