Category Archives: Volunteer for Veggies

Beeting the heat

Yes, the title of this blog post is a horrible food pun. Please keep reading.

Beet MountainIf you’re a backyard or community gardener, CSA member, farmer’s market-goer, or volunteer, you’re probably aware that it’s beet season. One of the things I’ve noticed as I’ve helped out at the River Road Farm CSA is that some people are weary of beets– I see people picking through the selection trying to find the smallest ones. The hesitancy is understandable; until recently, I could only think of two basic uses for beets: raw in salads and roasted in salads. I wasn’t thinking very creatively.

Beets have a deep, rich flavor reminiscent of the soil they grow and mature in. We grow three varieties at River Road: the classic, deeply colored Detroit Dark Red, the sunny orange Golden, and the red and pink striped Chioggias. You might be growing these in your garden, or seeing them in your CSA at one of our other farms. In any case, all have that classic, rich flavor, but the Golden beets are slightly lighter and more delicate than the other two varieties. Another common characteristic is their slightly sweet flavor, which is one of the reasons beets are such a great addition to salads and other savory dishes.

three beet typesBut, let’s face it– no one wants to turn on their oven in the middle of summer to roast all their beets, and eventually the salad route gets old. And, with the sheer numbers of beets maturing and ready for harvest this time of year, some imagination is called for.

As I was eating a beet the other day, I started thinking about utilizing their sweet flavor. It was one of those terribly hot days and the thing I was craving more than anything else was Big Dipper’s pomegranate sorbet. But, alas, I didn’t have that pomegranate sorbet. All I had was a salad with beets, slightly warm from sitting in my backpack for four hours. I wondered if it was possible to enhance the natural sweetness of beets, and use the flavor as a sweetener, perhaps (a ha!) in a sorbet. You can even harness their power in other sweet recipes. Here are a few ideas from our friends at The Kitchn, plus one more way you can enjoy beets for dessert.

Sure enough, the recipe exists and it’s incredibly simple. It does, however, require a food processor. If you’re an ill-prepared college student like me, you may have to borrow one from your landlords.

Beet Sorbet


  • 2 cups beet puree (3 large beets, 4 medium beets, or 6 small beets)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

What to dochioggia chop

  1. Wash and quarter the beets. Place in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then let simmer for about 30 minutes, until the beets are soft enough to stick  a fork into.
  2. Pour the beets and their cooking juices into a food processor and blend until you have a fairly smooth puree. Chill the puree in the fridge for about an hour.
  3. Combine the water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring so the sugar dissolves. Once at a boil, immediately remove from heat and chill in the fridge for about an hour.
  4. Once both components are chilled, mix them together along with the lemon juice in the saucepan.
  5. This is the step where having an ice cream maker would be super handy: if you have one, pour the mixture in and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to make sorbet. If you’re like me and you don’t have one, put the saucepan of sorbet in the freezer for 20-30 minutes and stir thoroughly. Make sure to blend all of the frozen bits. You’ll need to keep repeating this step every 30 minutes or so, until you get the desired texture: evenly frozen, not too chunky. 5 times or so should do the tbeet sorbetrick.
  6. Freeze the sorbet for 4-5 hours before serving.
  7. You can add lots of fun ingredients to enhance the flavor! I liked lemon and ginger (I chopped up some crystallized ginger and mixed it in during step 4). I’ve also heard honey is a good addition, as is orange juice instead of lemon juice.


A word from the PEAS Farm

Josh Slotnick, co-founder of Garden City Harvest and Director of the GCH/EVST PEAS Farm shares his perspective on the unseasonable weather we’ve been experiencing as of late. His candid explanation paints a picture of your farmers’ experience in adapting to changing climate conditions, and why its challenging to predict exactly what will end up in your weekly veggie share:

“Extreme heat mixed up the months for us at the PEAS farm. We had July in June, and basically no May at all. For the CSA, this has meant some summer treats early– we recently were able to give out eggplants and peppers, an unheard of offering in mid-July. Now, in actual July, we appear to be getting June, so all those warm weather plants put on their brakes, so to speak.

The early heat made the weeds go crazy, but we are getting caught up as our numbers are high. Climate change, thy name is volatility! It appears, unfortunately, we are slower to adapt than climate is to change. All in all, the season is unfolding well, and like everyone else, we are grateful for what looks like a reduction in fire danger. Working in the smoke pleases no one, and Cajun smoked zucchini has never been a big hit. We’ll settle for slower growing tomatoes.”


Rolling with the farmies

Garden City Harvest has four farms in our fair city of Missoula: Orchard Gardens, PEAS Farm, River Road and the Youth Farm. Each farm has its own flavor (forgive the pun), created by the farmer, Mother Nature and specific programs that might happen at the farm (like community gardens or youth development).  It is cooler up the Rattlesnake at the PEAS Farm. Scattered showers can hit harder on one part of the city than another.  Hail might ding one farm and not another.

This, my friends, is why we aren’t able to offer a complete list of vegetables for each of our four farms.  Instead, we look at what the farms have on the horizon, and the basics that everyone has now.

So, what’s up this week?

The PEAS Farm caretaker, Samantha, working the rows.


These keep, so bag ’em and put ’em in your fridge if you aren’t ready to deal.  If you are. . . go simple (basil beet salad, using ingredients that will be this week or soon after in your CSA), or go big (beet caviar). Or go breakfast.


We’ve had cabbage for a week or so now. . . Might it be time for sauerkraut?  Packed with probiotics along with the vitamins cabbage carries with it, raw sauerkraut is awesome.  And it extends the life of your lovely cabbage.  My favorite sauerkraut recipe is by Diane Sanfilippo.

Cabbage is also a great topping for tacos, a great bed for salads, and yummy roasted in the oven.


Oh, basil.  A great Italian herb, and SO MUCH MORE.  Basil got me in trouble last weekend, when my friend made Moscow Mules with basil. (This one uses a basil syrup — not necessary!  Just muddle the stuff – the ginger beer has plenty of sweetness.)  There are so many cocktails that taste so good with a little basil involved.

Now that summer squash and zucchini are in the mix, basil tastes great sauteed with them and a little Parmesan.  Add eggplant and tomatoes when they come on and you’ve got yourself an amazing ratatouille.

PEAS summer school students with GARLIC!
PEAS summer school students with GARLIC!


Garlic keeps. And makes almost anything tastes better.  So I am guessing you know what to do. (CHEER!)


Kale is all over the internet, so I am guessing you can find some great recipes.  Kale chips will almost assuredly be a hit at the kid table.  If you find a recipe that tells you to roast at anything higher than 325, keep looking!

This is just a lovely meatless meal — beans and kale on toast.

And the Smitten Kitchen just does kale right. Check out their Kale Files.

In the Crystal Ball:

I see cauliflower

Cauliflower is great roasted, in stir fry, etc. etc. But have you tried making it into rice or faux-tatoes?  A great way to mix up your rice dishes and add nutrition to your meal.  This cauli-mash sounds cauli-awesome (yup, as usual, bacon included!).

I see cucumbers

Great to add to fresh salads, sandwiches, cocktails with basil. . . I love this Cucumber Radish Gazpacho. And a few ideas from the Kitchn.

A few reminders. . .

  • Eat veggies for breakfast! With eggs, in a hash, in a smoothie.
  • Use your cabbage and collards for sandwich lettuce wraps
  • Salads are a great veggie dump! Here’s some inspiration from Love and Lemons.
  • Feel no guilt if you have to compost or toss some of your veggies. This is about fun and exploration.  It’s bound to happen.


An EVST student and his freshly harvested carrots (you'll likely be seeing them this week, too)
An PEAS student intern and his freshly harvested carrots (you’ll likely be seeing them this week, too)


Show your love for the PEAS Farm

Happy PEAS Farm lesson
Kids happy to get their hands dirty at the PEAS Farm

Join us on December 9th, 6 pm, at the MCPS Business Building, 915 South Avenue West!  And help us spread the word — and invite your friends, too!

The GCH/EVST PEAS Farm sits on 10 acres of Missoula County Public School land. Over the past six years Garden City Harvest has been working with the City of Missoula and MCPS on a new long-term lease for this property, including the 3 acres of playing fields south of the farm.

The end of this long process is in sight! The School Board will be considering a 40 year lease with the City of Missoula (who would then sub-lease to Garden City Harvest) at their board meeting on Tuesday, December 9th. Help us secure this community resource for 40 years to come by showing the School Board how important this is – whether you’re a parent, teacher, student, volunteer neighbor, CSA shareholder or just a fan of the PEAS Farm.  Filling the room with PEAS Farm supporters who are willing to simply stand in support of the farm, would show the trustees how beloved the PEAS Farm is to this community.

No need to comment, just come and stand with us. Garden City Harvest Executive Director, Jean Zosel and PEAS Farm Director, Josh Slotnick will comment, asking supporters to raise their hands to show they are there in support for the farm!

Student seeding
A visiting class helps seed the PEAS Farm on a spring time field trip. Photo by Mike Plautz.

The PEAS Farm is an outdoor classroom for students of all ages, from pre-school through university. We host 4,000 kids on educational farm field trips each year, and provide bus transportation. We grow tons (literally!) of food for the Food Bank, farm CSA subscribers, volunteer workers and more. This farm is a place where community members of all stripes come together to work, eat, and grow in the fields.

How to help:

The School Board will be considering a 40 year lease with the City of Missoula (who would then lease to us) on Tuesday, December 9th, 6 pm, MCPS Business Building, 915 South Avenue West. To see the agenda (we are #11) click here, and download the agenda.

Other ways to help:
1. Share this on Facebook: “Join me to support the PEAS Farm as they ask the Missoula County Public School Board for a 40 year lease on December 9th, 6 pm at the MCPS Business Building, 915 South Avenue West.”
2.  Call five friends and ask them to come to the meeting.
3. Email 10 friends and link to this blog post, inviting them to the meeting.

And thanks for being part of this community farm.

Sliding into September

Sarah showing off a bountiful harvest of summer squash, carrots, and cucumbers

For me (Amy), this season is slipping by incredibly quickly and now it is already September. With fall comes back to school for many in Missoula, glove-worthy morning bike rides, and serious food preserving efforts (as discussed in recent Real Dirt blog posts). Today I’ll keep it short and sweet with one volunteer profile, a late summer recipe, and Team Orchard Gardens season (rather than school) pictures brought to you by our volunteer Mary.

Meet Pat!

Age: 27

About: A Connecticut native, Pat went to school in Bozeman to study earth science. Now he is a substitute teacher throughout the Missoula area. Pat frequently teaches math and science classes of all ages, but gym is his true favorite.

Favorite Vegetable: Cauliflower and zucchini

Most used cookbook: Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen and Tartine by Elisabeth Prueitt and Chad Robertson

Pat and Henry

Staple Food: Enchiladas made with sweet potatoes, black beans, onions, zucchinis, spinach or any other seasonal veggies

Summer Highlight: A 5-day river trip on the Smith River with his girlfriend Kelly (also a volunteer), his dog Henry, and other friends.

How he first came to Volunteer for Veggies? After working on a sheep ranch outside of Bozeman, Pat and Kelly moved to Missoula and stumbled upon Garden City Harvest. They were referred to Orchard Gardens during a volunteer lull and two years later, Pat frequently helps out during our CSA harvests. Kelly joins when she isn’t dancing or going to graduate school.

Why he keeps coming back to Orchard Gardens? He enjoys working with our staff and having the opportunity to try new vegetables every time he is here. This week’s sample was a lemon cucumber. Also, Pat lives close-by and appreciates how easy it is to walk or bike to our location using the bike path.

Southwest Bean Salad

Recipe of the Week: Southwest Bean Salad

This recipe brings the taste of summer to my mind. It can be easily altered by adding or substituting any veggies and is great with tortilla chips, in a wrap, or on a bed of greens. Since there are so many variations out there of this dish, below is a guideline for the most essential ingredients and common additions.

Primary ingredients: fresh corn, diced tomatoes, combination of black, garbanzo, and kidney beans, diced avocado, minced cilantro and parsley, chopped red onion or shallots, garlic, lime juice, salt and pepper to taste

Options: bell pepper, poblano pepper, diced jalapeno, a mild cheese, shredded cabbage

Amy harvesting flowers for bouquet making
Kate harvesting napa cabbages earlier this summe

Meet our Orchard Gardens Volunteers

Flower bouquets from Orchard Gardens

Amy here this week on behalf of Orchard Gardens. I would like to introduce you to some of our volunteers. We depend on these awesome individuals to help us weed, harvest, wash veggies, weed whack, and to perform countless other random farm tasks. They keep conversations lively, our everyday dynamic, and our spirits up. We truly could not do what we do without them! So please read on about two of our frequent volunteers and we will have a second edition coming to you later in the season.


  • Age: 18

  • About: Originally from the Northwest Territories, she is now a sophomore at the University of Montana studying Biochemistry. This summer she is participating in a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship studying the medicinal properties of a plant endemic to India and its effects on the central nervous system.
  • Favorite Vegetable: Kohlrabi
  • Staple Food: Seasonal veggie stir-fry, often influenced by Chinese flavors
  • Fun Fact: She designed an outfit for the Off the Rack fashion show.
  • Favorite thing about Orchard Gardens: The social atmosphere and learning about all of the plants. Michelle may even be inspired to take a botany class!


  • Age: 52

  • About: A southern California native, Mary is a physical therapist at the University of Montana, in the School of Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Science.
  • Favorite Vegetable: Currently, eggplant
  • Most used cookbook: How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman
  • Staple Food: Seasonal breakfast creations which currently include chard, onions, summer squash and two fried eggs to top it off
  • Fun Fact: Last summer Mary had to teach her 9 year-old dog, Jocko (a pit bull hound mix) how to swim using a doggie life jacket and significant amount of determination.
  • Favorite thing about Orchard Gardens: “The people who work here. . .The beauty of the veggies. . . Oh, and the singing golden finches.”

Recipe of the week: Grilled Summer Vegetables

  • Cut a desired amount of zucchini, yellow summer squash, and eggplant lengthwise. Cut onions crosswise into thick round slices.
  • Brush vegetables with olive oil, or even better herb or basil infused olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Let absorb flavors for at least 30 minutes.
  • Grill over medium heat until they are tender-crisp and lightly brown. Enjoy!

Shifting seasons at Orchard Gardens

Peas, peas, and more peas!

Amy here from Orchard Gardens.

The comment of the week has been, “Wow it IS summer!”

Although the solstice was weeks ago and the incredibly hot weather last week made it obvious, the shift to the summer season on the farm has occurred. We said goodbye to greens faster than any of us quite expected and now it is time to pick peas multiple times a week, catch up on tomato trellising, harvest summer squash and make beautiful beet bunches.

And next week we will be starting our CSA flower pick-ups.

It sure is impressive what a good boost of sunshine can do. More to come next week!

Project of the week: fashioning tomato trellises

Recipe of the Week: Simple Summer Slaw

-Finely chop kale. Mix with grated raw beets and carrots. Add any other desired raw vegetables like onion, peas, or kohlrabi.

-Add a simple homemade dressing like this Ginger-Sesame Dressing :

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons honey or brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons peeled and minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

-The great thing about this slaw is that it gets tastier after a night in the fridge to let the flavors mingle. Happy summer eating!

Bunches of beets
Kate harvesting basil

United Way Day of Action Makes Everything Better

Team DirecTV in all their glory!

This week at Orchard Gardens the largest volunteer group ever (I mean it)  came and completely transformed the place.  Over the course of the day, over 60 volunteers, employees of DirecTV and Adventure Life and high schoolers from the Schwanke Honors Institute weeded, weeded, weeded and weeded.  Earlier in the week, I was feeling despair at the sight of so much weedy jungle.  Now, I feel like I work in a formal French garden.  Or at least something kind of like that.  We managed to weed all the onions (500-plus feet) and all the potatoes (450 feet).  People walking by on the bike path were stunned to see such a pretty garden where once was a wall of knapweed.  An entire drip tape installation was assembled in the winter squash and raspberries.  The fruit trees were freed of tall grass at their feet.  And on and on.  I spent much of the day walking from project to project oohing and awing in genuine surprise and delight at how much work was being achieved.

Before: potatoes
Before: Onions

Proof again that many, many hands do a lot of stuff really, really quickly.

Veggie of the Week:  Yukina Savoy

Everyone in the CSA wants to know what Yukina Savoy is.  Well for starters, it’s probably my new favorite vegetable.  Yukina Savoy is yet another amazing Brassica family mustard green.  It has beautiful dark, green leaves that are shaped like giant, crinkled spoons.  “Savoy”refers to the crinkliness.  Here are two pages of yukina savoy info, nutritional facts and a few recipes.

As for me, like pretty much everything else, I like to stir-fry it.  Heat up some oil in a wok or skillet.  Throw in some chopped garlic and ginger and onion-type things.  Add a chopped chile pepper or two if you want.  Throw in a massive amount of chopped greens.  Maybe a mix of yukina, mustards and broccoli raab.  Stir and stir.  After a bit, add a splash of tamari and rice vinegar.  Eat with rice or noodles and maybe some tofu or poached eggs or steak.   See Cori’s recent post about simple cooking.

Prepping for Green Curry Broth

Otherwise, Yukina Savoy is very good in anything that calls for spinach.  Just substitute.  I made this Green Curry Broth using Yukina.  (Side note:  I did happen to have yuba, from a spring trip to Seattle, but any old noodle would work).  I also added some Chinese shunkyo radishes and some asparagus.  It was very yummy.

Community Garden News: Preventing Veggie Theft

A police academy's approach to curbing veggie theft. Don't worry, we wont be employing this method! Photo by Linda Sliter.

Every year we have a few incidents of vegetable theft.  It’s as innocent as kids playing house in the Northside hops teepee, making food for their dolls with the harvest or as intentional as a group of people spilling from a camper  to quickly pick as much as they can carry.  Garden City Harvest has seven community gardens in Missoula and only one of them has a locked gate, a response to repeated vandalism and veggie theft.  Many other gardens remain intentionally open to the public.

So what can we do about veggie theft?

First, report it.  Let your Community Garden Manager or a Leadership Committee Member know what happened.  We want to keep record of all incidents to plan an appropriate response or to alert the necessary persons.

Beyond reporting, get to know your garden neighbors! If you see someone at the garden who you haven’t met, introduce yourself.  When I was little, my dad tutored me on making small talk as we rode the chair lift.  He’d say to anyone riding next to him, ‘nice day ‘ay?’ For me at the community gardening it’s… ‘how’s your garden growing?’  The more you are able to get to know the people around you, the better you’ll be able to identify a suspicious person at the garden.  Not to mention you might meet someone who’ll share a recipe or help you water in a pinch.

If you see a stranger at the garden, and feel that the person is safe to approach,  share a carrot with them and then let them know what community gardening means to you. Someone might not be aware that community gardening isn’t a place for the community to come harvest at will.  Maybe point them in the direction of your garden’s food security plot.  Or, if they’re interested in renting a plot, point them our way and we’ll get them on our waiting list.

Lastly, there are other opportunities to access fresh fruits and veggies in Missoula.  Here are a few resources to pull from your tool belt… Garden City Harvest’s Volunteer for Veggies Program, the Missoula Food Bank, and the Poverello Center’s soup kitchen.  The Missoula Food Bank and the Poverello Center distribute and cook with produce grown by your very own Garden City Harvest!

Orchard Gardens – the ins and outs

Orchard Gardens' 4-hour volunteer basket full of early summer veggies

Hello, Amy here: the AmeriCorps member coordinating volunteers at Orchard Gardens Neighborhood Farm and Community Garden. I could not be more excited to join the truly inspiring 2013 Garden City Harvest crew, to learn and experience all this organization has to offer. As part of our team’s weekly rotation, here’s my attempt at this blogging business.

First off, Volunteer for Veggies  is well underway at the Orchard Gardens and River Road Neighborhood Farms. Volunteer for Veggies is a great deal — in trade for a few hours of farm work, volunteers take home veggies in amounts corresponding to hours worked. Plus, you work side by side with folks like Sarah who have been gardening for years, so you learn a little about gardening along the way.

We would like to thank all of our past, present, and future volunteers for their hard work. Of course, as the growing season advances so do the weeds and the constant stream of farm tasks waiting to be accomplished.

On a different note, I want to share my appreciation for the bike-friendly access available to Orchard Gardens. Many agree, the streets of Missoula can be challenging to navigate. I often find myself avoiding trips out to Reserve Street at all costs. So when I first discovered that Orchard Gardens was located on the west side of Reserve, I cringed at the thought of biking to work. I quickly discovered the Milwaukee Trail that now connects the River Trail system all the way to Grove Street. A quick 15-minute ride from

The Milwaukee Trail passes by Orchard Gardens

downtown, the bike path offers a safe, fast and convenient way to access Orchard Gardens for employees, volunteers and CSA members alike. The trail allows people to observe the growing season progress as they pass by; a unique aspect of our semi-urban location. Whether it is just a friendly wave or a full-on conversation about the vegetable crops, the adjacent Milwaukee Trail keeps Orchard Gardens a dynamic work environment. Keep your eye on the fava beans growing along the south edge of the farm as you pass by next time.

Veggie of the Week: Spinach 

This time of year spinach can induce mixed emotions. Its return is exciting; big beautiful, leafy leaves are abundant in just about every garden. High in vitamins A, C, K, iron, zinc, and fiber, spinach is often considered a “super food.” However, when you have too much and are tired of spinach salad variations, it can get old.

Today’s springtime recipe is one of my absolute favorites, and although it is fairly common and simple, it is always a hit. The following recipe for spanakopita is a great way to use up large amounts of spinach in a delicious, flavorful entrée. Although it is not for the calorie-faint-of-heart, using some local butter and feta may decrease your guilt. Note: Don’t be intimidated by phyllo dough. It is easier to use than you think. Just make sure to thaw it out in the fridge and be gentle while assembling.

Kate harvesting spinach

Spanakopita recipe adapted from Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen

  • 2 cups crumbled feta cheese
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 tbs. flour
  • 3 tbs. butter
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tsp. basil
  • ½ tsp. oregano
  • 2 lbs. fresh spinach
  • salt, pepper
  • 2 cups (1 lb.) cottage cheese
  • 1 package defrosted phyllo dough
  • ½ lb. melted butter (or less)


  1. Clean, stem and chop the spinach. Salt it lightly, and cook, adding no water, for five minutes.
  2. Cook the onions in butter. When soft, combine with remaining ingredients and spinach.

    Homemade Spanakopita

To Assemble:

Spread melted butter on a 9 by 13″ baking pan. Place a strudel leaf in the pan (it will outsize the pan. Let the edges climb the sides) and brush generously with butter. Keep layers of dough coming, one on top of another, brushing each with butter. When you have a pile of 8 or so leaves, then apply the remaining filling, spreading it to the edges. Pile as many more layers of phyllo and butter as your baking pan will accommodate.

Bake uncovered, about 45 minutes-till golden brown at 375 degrees F. Enjoy.

Team Orchard Gardens contributes two cents.

"Team Orchard Gardens" Sarah, Kate and Amy

Garden City Harvest’s Orchard Gardens Neighborhood Farm and Community Garden is staffed by a team of three. Sarah, Kate and Amy, with the help of many volunteers, grow several tons of food to distribute to CSA members, Volunteer for Veggie participants, Mobile Market and the Missoula Food Bank.

This season we decided to join the Garden City Harvest blogosphere.  We three, in turn, will share stories, photos and recipes from our week at Orchard Gardens.

First up, Sarah.  (hello.)

The World’s Greatest Bike Trailer (this is a little bit of a pun because not only is the trailer truly fantastic, it is GIANT)Garden City Harvest bike trailer

Every week, June-September, I make twice weekly deliveries to the Missoula Food Bank.  I’ve always made these deliveries in a truck and I’ve always wanted to make them on a bike.  Last fall, one of our Community Gardeners, Dave, gave us a beautiful, bright red cart-turned-bike trailer.  Mike from Home Resource fashioned a hitch and we were off.  Two problems:  1)There were gaps in the frame big enough for our boxes to slide out and 2) It wasn’t quite up to my desired level of “cutest bike trailer on the planet.”

Hellgate High School Industrial Arts Students with fabulous bike trailer.

Solution:  Hellgate High School Advanced Welding Students.  Josh Legrey and his students narrowed the gaps to make the trailer functional.  And they designed and manufactured a tailgate to make it fashionable.  Thank you so much Hellgate High Industrial Arts! The only problem now is that it might also be the “heaviest bike trailer on the planet.”  Either I’ll end up keeling over on side of the bike path or by the end of summer I’ll have legs like this.

Veggie of the week:  Salad Turnips

This is the second year of growing Salad Turnips at Orchard Gardens and we love them.  Sweeter and smaller than a regular turnip, they are excellent raw or lightly cooked. Both root and greens are edible.  Thinly slice the roots and toss in a green salad or on a sandwich.  Throw some bacon (or oil) in a pan, add a bunch of mustard and turnip greens (chopped), saute until wilted.  Toss in a splash of vinegar, salt and pepper.  Viola.

My current favorite turnip recipe comes from the book Cooking in the Moment by Andrea Reusing.

TurnipsSkillet caramelized salad turnips

2 bunch golf-ball size salad turnips, stems trimmed to 1/4 inch, sliced in half lengthwise
3 teaspoons vegetable oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
pinch cayenne


Toss the turnips in bowl with half the oil, salt and pepper.

Heat a cast-iron skillet over med-high heat.  When it is quite hot, coat with the remaining oil and add turnips.  Reduce heat to medium.  Saute, carefully turning the turnips occasionally, until they turning golden brown.  8 to 10 minutes.

Combine honey or maple syrup in a small bowl with cayenne and teaspoon or so of water.  Add this to turnips and cook, tossing frequently, for another few minutes until the turnips are tender.