Garden pictures are starting to come in!  HI everyone, Debbie here reporting in from Rural Resources over in East Tennessee.  I handed out disposable cameras to our teens so they can take pictures of the progress with their gardens.  They are beginning to fill them up, and Zack, has brought his in.  His garden space is two 8’X10′ beds.  It looks like they has been doing extremely well with care from Zack and his family:

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When the beds were put in, their neighbors had some pigs, and shared some manure that had been sitting around for a while.  I think the plants enjoyed the compost!  Zack’s family has been enjoying fresh potatoes, tomatoes, beans, peppers, corn, and onions this summer.  His sister has been excited with the garden and is expecting to join the program in 3 more years when she gets to middle school.

With growing food, comes knowing how to cook that food to make it into a masterpiece of flavors and colors.  Another teen group catered a meal today to Munsey Memorial Church in Johnson City, TN for their Care Creation Sunday.  It’s a day they invite us to prepare a fully cooked local meal.  The teens prepared a rosemary marinated chicken, mashed potatoes, roasted butternut squash, garden salad with a vinegarette, fresh-baked rolls, and pumpkin bread pudding.


Most everything on the plate was raised or grown in Greene County – chicken, rosemary, butternut squash, potatoes, vegetables on the salad, pumpkin, and home-made rolls.  The meal was extremely good!  This was a wonderful opportunity for the teens to show off the skills they have learned cooking this year, gain some job skills, work on teamwork/communication skills, socialization, time management, and promotion of our local growers.  The teens showed off a lot of skills they learned, and amazed the chef in charge by cutting whole chickens up, for the first time, without flinching, and completing 25 birds in an hour!  The chef had planned for them to take 3 hours to cut the chickens, and she was extremely impressed with how well they cut the chickens.  We had a wonderful time, and next weekend a different group of teens will serve lunch for a local event.  So, rest a day or two, and start all over again!  I am sure it will be another successful weekend with a lot of fresh local produce being served and promoted.  I will also be working with our garden teens this week – putting in two more gardens and transitioning to fall crops!  A busy week ahead, but a fulfilling one.