Rachel Weston presents “Early Spring Harvest” at Rutgers Gardens Saturday June 6th

Cooking From the GardenRutgers Gardens in New Brunswick, New Jersey

Early Spring’s Harvest

Rachel Weston has been a long-time advocate for fresh affordable local food. Meet Rachel as she shows us how to prepare our spring harvest!

The long winter wait for fresh produce is over. Join us for a tour in the Rutgers Gardens vegetable garden as it displays its spring offerings. We’ll start with a comparative taste test of tender spring greens like kale, sorrel, arugula and mustard. Then Chef Rachel will demonstrate how to make several dishes using spring crops. English peas, soft herbs, crisp radishes and sweet carrots will be on the menu. Recipes will be provided to take home. This class will take place in the garden. Please dress for the weather and don’t forget to wear your big garden hats!

Instructor: Rachel Weston

For more information and to register visit:  http://www.rutgersgardens.rutgers.edu/cookingfromthegarden.html
Also pick up your own signed copy of Rachel’s new book “New Jersey Fresh”.

New Jersey Fresh

via Rutgers Gardens in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

Rutgers Gardens: Spring Flower Fair Mother’s Day Weekend

Come to get your vegetable seedlings at Rutgers Gardens Spring Flower Fair, as always on Mothers Day weekend. The fun begins on May 8th! If you are a member come and get first dibs, and imbibe on some hors d’orves and a glass of wine while you shop on Thursday May 7th!

The Spring Flower Fair is a garden plant sale that provides you with the opportunity to purchase everyone’s favorite varieties, as well as unique and/or difficult-to-find plants that will enhance your garden with flower, form or food.  This year we increased the selection of those hard-to-find plants, but also focused upon those plants that will provide solutions to difficult sites in your garden!

Your purchase directly benefits the Rutgers Gardens Student Internship Program, which will provide hands-on educational experience for over 12 students this coming summer.  Rutgers Gardens is entirely self-supporting, and your support is greatly needed and appreciated.

For more information: Rutgers Gardens: Spring Flower Fair.

NOFA-NJ | Food as Medicine Conference Saturday May 2nd


Food as Medicine Conference Food is Medicine

Can what you eat really change the way you feel? Want to eat healthier but don’t know where to start? Would you like to learn how to prepare REAL food to maintain nutrient density? We’re here to help! NOFA-NJ’s second conference focused on the health benefits of nourishing foods, features a full day of expert speakers across disciplines who will share their expertise, connecting the food we eat and grow to our health. The Food as Medicine Conference speakers will teach you all about reclaiming your health through traditional diets, how to shop for and prepare meals using these guidelines, and optimal nutrition for you and your family. Whether you’re a foodie, gardener, farmer, or fan of a healthy lifestyle – if you love to cook, eat in, dine out, and keep your family healthy while doing so, this conference is for you!

for details and registration:  NOFA-NJ | Food as Medicine Conference.

Spring Family Garden Club at Rutgers Gardens Begins April18 th

Learn Gardening with your Family at Rutgers Gardens Family and Youth Garden Clubs

Veggardenvegtable garden

Vegetable gardening is a fun and rewarding hobby that can start in childhood and last a lifetime. Our Garden Clubs are a great opportunity for children to learn the skills to grow their own vegetables and to develop a connection with nature and an appreciation of healthy, home grown foods. Participants will also take home plants to grow in their own gardens and harvest vegetables to eat at home.

via Family Garden Club: Rutgers Gardens.

2015 Rutgers Summer Exploration Camp–Kids Learn About Local Food and Nutrition


2011campThe Early Bird Rate ends March 31st!  Camp dates are July 6-10th. Take advantage of these wonderful outdoor nature-connecting activities at Rutgers Gardens such as:

  • Explorations through designed gardens and natural habitats.
  • Vegetable garden harvesting and food preparations.
  • Topics on plant diversity, animal habitats and environmental awareness.
  • Hands-on activities to allow learning by observation.
  • Guest speakers.
  • Fun projects, games and activities to further explore topics and enjoy being out-of-doors!
    For more information and registration visit: Rutgers Gardens Summer Exploration Camp 

Slow Food USA’s Good, Clean and Fair School Garden Curriculum “Hits…

Slow Food USA’s Good, Clean and Fair School Garden Curriculum “Hits the Shelves”
Lauren Howe, February 16, 2014

Slow Food USA’s National School Garden Program is excited to have launched our first-ever monthly webinar last Thursday February 12 just in time for the release of the initial volume of the Good, Clean and Fair School Garden Curriculum. We were lucky to have Gigia Kolouch, Education Director for Slow Food Denver, present this first section, which she developed and wrote for Slow Food USA. A long time educator, cooking teacher, and chef, Gigia explained, “Slow Food needed its own curriculum because of our unique mission.” Hence, she wrote the activities, instructions, and recipes around cooking and eating.

he goal is to have the curriculum broken up into three parts: Good, Clean and Fair, to capture Slow Food’s mission. Here, Good means “enjoying the pleasures of healthy and delicious food,” Clean is “gardening for sustainability,” and Fair indicates “producing food that respects economic and social justice.” This Good volume incorporates an assortment of lessons that not only promote children’s excitement for new foods, but also include activities that can fit into a more conventional classroom setting. What’s more is that anyone can teach these lessons – you don’t have to be a teacher or chef!

GCF Chapter 1 Sensory Ed CoverGigia provided an overview of the curriculum, which includes a wide variety of activities that focus on: observation and the five senses, research, experimentation and action, and reflection. She emphasized how two major skills are needed before an individual even reads a recipe or cooks a dish: how to mix/balance flavors and kitchen skills. These fundamentals have guided the development of this first volume, which is broken up into two chapters: “Sensory Education” and “Kitchen Skills and Tools.” The first of which turns everything into an experiment (e.g. tastings) and really puts the kids in charge, whereas the second chapter emphasizes mastering basic skills such as knife handling and simple tools like mortars and pestles.GCF Chapter 2 Kitchen Skills Cover

We had 18 people join us for the webinar from a range of Slow Food communities from Boston to Dallas and Chicago to San Diego. We hope that teachers and volunteers alike will utilize this curriculum to help expand the minds and palates of students of all ages!

If you would like to view the recording of this webinar, please click here. You can also view the Good, Clean and Fair School Garden Curriculum Webinar Notes. If you would like to access/download the curriculum online, please visit our Resources page. And be sure to join us in March for our next school garden leader call/webinar. Have an idea for a topic you’d like to hear about? Email lauren@slowfoodusa.org

Lauren Howe is Manager of Slow Food USA’s National School Garden Program.

via Slow Food USA’s Good, Clean and Fair School Garden Curriculum “Hits….

Growing intolerance – Sustainable Food Trust

Rivet flour

30 January, 2015

Farming What to Eat

Bread has always been at the heart of human history – we’ve been baking it for the best part of 10,000 years. But over the past decade there has been an explosion of people reporting problems with eating it. How could wheat, a staple food that has sustained humanity for so long, have suddenly become a threat to our health? What’s happened to wheat that is causing the increase in digestive disorders? And can we get back to the bread we ate for millennia without becoming wheat intolerant?*

The story that lies behind our problem with bread is a sad one. In the space of one century we abandoned both the flavour and nutrition of our most basic food in favour of producing vast amounts of cheap industrial loaves.

The impact of the Industrial Revolution

Bread remained almost unchanged for thousands of years. Then, from the late 1850s to the 1960s, every aspect of it changed. We didn’t just change the way we made it – we altered it to the point that our bodies no longer recognised the ingredients. A combination of the Industrial Revolution and the hybridisation of wheat fundamentally changed the nature of the flour we use for baking.

The problems we now face can be traced back to the middle of the 19th century, when Gregor Mendel developed what are now known as the laws of biological inheritance, or hybridisation. This revolutionary technique was quickly applied to wheat, but the grain was hybridised and developed not for its flavour, but for increased yields and levels of gluten. In doing so, we lost both taste and nutrition in our flour at an incredible speed. In just a few decades the gene pool was narrowed from thousands of varieties of to less than a hundred. It was the start of a monoculture.

read more–Growing intolerance – Sustainable Food Trust – Sustainable Food Trust.

Free Screening of “Fresh”, the Movie on March 26th in East Brunswick NJ


FRESH celebrates the farmers, thinkers and business people across America who are re-inventing our food system. Each has witnessed the rapid transformation of our agriculture into an industrial model, and confronted the consequences: food contamination, environmental pollution, depletion of natural resources, and morbid obesity. Forging healthier, sustainable alternatives, they offer a practical vision for a future of our food and our planet.

Among several main characters, FRESH features urban farmer and activist, Will Allen, the recipient of MacArthur’s 2008 Genius Award; sustainable farmer and entrepreneur, Joel Salatin, made famous by Michael Pollan’s book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma; and supermarket owner, David Ball, challenging our Wal-Mart dominated economy.

Watch FRESH at the East Brunswick Library Meeting Room 1 on March 26 at 6:30 pm.


Sponsored by the
East Brunswick Environmental Commission
Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Jersey

Slow Food USA National School Garden Program

Ellis School Garden (Denver, CO)

Every child deserves to grow up knowing where food comes from, how to grow, cook and share it, and how to be healthy.

Slow Food USA local chapters, members and volunteers build and maintain school gardens, lead cooking classes and work to improve school lunches.

We believe that by doing so, we can grow a generation of kids who love and care about food. And by becoming informed eaters and food lovers, they will help make a positive impact on the larger world of food and farming well into the future.

via Slow Food USA National School Garden Program.