Tag Archives: community gardening

sprout to spoon dinner at sprout city farms




Sprout to Spoon Dinner, a set on Flickr.

Here are some photos from the recent “Sprout to Spoon” dinner, held at the Denver Green School, benefiting Sprout City Farms, Denver’s first nonprofit farm built on unused school property. This one-acre farm provides food for the school cafeteria, hands-on learning and volunteering opportunities, community supported agriculture for 75 families, and offers a weekly farmers market for the community. I was happy to be a part of the dinner, by providing farm-to-table mocktails for some of the courses.

how to make basil pesto

Another day off, and another day that I wanted to spend catching up on a good read, hanging out with a good friend, or simply staring into the sky.  Not to be had.  At its end, the day ended up to be quite rewarding, albeit taxing, along the way!  There was so much basil in the yard and garden plot that it was almost overwhelming.  Half the day was spent catching up, over breakfast, with my boyfriend, who is as equally dedicated as I am in this gardening-cooking-preserving journey.  We planned our day, gulped a couple of cups of coffee, and set out to make the most of it, despite the fact that we really wanted to just put in a movie and zone out!
An abundance of basil at the garden plot…about double the amount awaited us at the house.

You can apply this blog post’s concept at almost any level:  cut and harvest at the peak of freshness and flavor, and m-a-x-i-m-i-z-e.  Right after clipping, we headed to Whole Foods and picked up the necessary ingredients for pesto:  olive oil and Parmigiano-Reggiano (both shredded and powdered).  We already had plenty of parsley, sea salt, and pepper at the house, so we were set.

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specialty vinegars from the garden

I will be completely honest with you, that I feel completely burned out from my past workweek, so much so, that I did not spend much time in either the garden or the kitchen over the past six days!  Today consisted of sleeping in, going out to lunch, making salsa, meeting up with some good friends, and catching up at the garden plot for our monthly potluck and discussion.  It sounds like a lot, but I waltzed my way through each activity in an almost dream-like state.  I think I managed a nap somewhere in between…

About two weeks ago, I experienced a similar day, where I really lacked energy, but I wanted to do something creative and also deal with some excess herbs.  The theme this summer has truly focused on preserving as much of summer’s ripe, fresh bounty, in as many possible ways.  I opened up one of my most useful books, Small-Batch Preserving, ran to the grocery to pick up a few items, and set out to make some flavored vinegars.  The results, although a little time-delayed, proved quite rewarding.

Two weeks later, I had bottles of lemon-thyme-garlic-white wine vinegar and orange-rosemary-garlic-red wine vinegar.

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zucchini cake | why there’s no such thing as too much zucchini

Ellis Community Garden, here in Denver, CO

It has been a beautiful, bountiful, and rewarding summer so far.  As we are nearing the fall season, the vegetables, herbs, and fruit are in full production.  I have had a lot of fun learning more about preserving and extending the flavors and shelf-lives of the food that I grow.  As you can see from the photo above, things are really growing well, despite all of the mid-summer heat.  One of our community garden members, Bill, has organized a weekly pick-up by a local charity, Produce for Pantries, which belongs to Grow Local Colorado (GLC).  GLC is a group of volunteers dedicated to promoting local food, local community, and local economy.  So far, our garden, along with many others around town, have donated well over 1,000 pounds of produce to shelters and food pantries.  How exciting and rewarding!

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the bitters end

Just a quick little blurb for the night.  Just finished up enjoying some homemade tapanade made with ingredients from the garden, alongside some bleu cheese, white truffle oil, sea salt, atop some whole grain crostini.  I really can’t complain about this scenario, except that I am a little bit tired at this point in the evening!  It has really been an amazing summer so far, and I have so many topics to post, but I find that heading off to bed trumps typing out events on the computer most of the time.  I refuse to succumb to my “pressing needs” this time!

House-made bitters at Coohills.  Dave Glasscock, one of my partners-in-crime, and I have crafted our own house bitters blend.  Orange, coriander, lemon, apple, and lavender await to be blended and anticipate shining by themselves in a cocktail in the very near future.

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