Hello everyone. My name is Alex Sanders and I am the Grow Appalachia Garden Program Site Supervisor at Project Worth Outreach. We are located in Menifee County, Kentucky where it never stops raining and the sun rarely shines. Just kidding, it just seems that way. About half of our gardeners are having a hard time getting their gardens plowed and tilled because when the ground is almost dry enough to plow the rain comes along and makes us have to wait a little longer. We do have several gardeners with their gardens out and they are seeing items coming up. As a matter of fact as I was giving out tomato plants the other day I had a gardener bring me some leaf lettuce and green onions. This was much appreciated and my wife and I had a delicious salad to add to our dinner that evening. We have been growing lots of tomato plants, among many other plants, in our greenhouses and a few of them have grown to the point they are ready for transplanting. We have distributed approximately 700-750 tomato plants so far this year. This is about 25-30% of what we will distribute by the end of the month. Many of our gardeners have already harvested small amounts of lettuce and green onions and soon hope to harvest broccoli, peas and kale. Below please find photos of a few spring vegetables that are growing in Menifee County, Kentucky. Also, check out this week’s recipe. Until next week lets hope for a lot of dry weather so that everyone can really get into the gardening spirit and begin to grow a bountiful garden.
Healthy Pasta Vegetable Salad
Organic Whole Grain Pasta (Penne, Fuseli, Macaroni, any type you like)
Cook pasta according to directions on package, a few minutes short so that it is not mushy. Rinse pasta quickly in cool water, drain then refrigerate until ready to add veggies and dressing. You can make half a package if you want lesser amount, 2-4 servings. Full package makes 6-8 servings.
This recipe is good for spring veggies or fall veggies. In other words, the veggies you have available will work.
Carrots, shredded ( 1-2)
Radishes, sliced (4-5)
Zucchini or Yellow Summer Squash, sliced or chop
Green Onions, small chop (2-3)
Lightly steamed Asparagus, Swiss Chard, Sugar Pea Pods or Snow Peas, Broccoli cut into bite sized pieces.
Any other veggies that you like could be used, Kohlrabi, Cabbage, raw Spinach, fresh Mushrooms, Cherry Tomatoes, etc.
Depending on how many different veggies you use, the amounts are about 1/8 cup to ½ cup each. Or to taste.
Chopped fresh herbs like Basil, Parsley, Tarragon, Dill Weed. Use what you prefer.
If you want to use pre-made dressing, you can use any Italian or vinaigrette. I usually make my own.
One part red wine vinegar or vinegar of choice to 3 parts Olive Oil or healthy oil of choice.
One teaspoon Dijon Mustard, one clove garlic, chopped fine. Fresh herbs chopped fine.
Salt and Pepper to taste.
Mix vinegar, salt, mustard, garlic and pepper with whisk. Then add oil slowly while whisking briskly until mixed well. Add chopped herbs, adjust salt and pepper to taste. Pour some dressing over pasta and veggies and toss everything until mixed. Refrigerate for half an hour to let dressing soak in a bit.
If you like grated Parmesan Cheese or sunflower seeds, you can sprinkle some at serving time.