Community Greens

People of all colors discussing evergreen ideas.

Dirty Dozen vs Clean Fifteen

chef 2

These days everyone urges you eat more fruit and vegetables to improve your health and well-being but if you don’t want to consume a chemical cocktail of at least 47 different additives, memorize and try to avoid the items below if they are non-organic:

The “Dirty Dozen”
Celery
Peaches
Strawberries
Apples
Domestic blueberries
Nectarines
Sweet Bell peppers
Spinach, kale, collard greens
Cherries
Potatoes
Imported grapes
Lettuce

You’ll be safer buying these fruits and vegetables even if they are non-organic:

“The Clean Fifteen”
Onions
Avocados
Sweet corn
Pineapples
Mango
Sweet peas
Asparagus
Kiwi fruit
Cabbage
Eggplant
Cantaloupe
Watermelon
Grapefruit
Sweet potatoes
Sweet onions

Always wash fruits and vegetables but understand washing will reduce the amount of pesticides that may remain, not eliminate them.

If it not on the list, a helpful rule of thumb may be buy produce that has thicker skin. When pealed it will have provided a better layer of protection.

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Filed under: CGCooks, CGGrows, Community Green, Cooking, Food, Health, Healthy Eating, ,

Grilled Eggplant

I’m a fan of wholesome food made fast. Recipes that take more than an hour or have more than 5 ingredients don’t usually make my dinner table. When it comes to fresh vegetables, grilling makes the fastest and simplest alternatives. Now that they’re ripening in the garden, lets start with Grilled Eggplant.

grilled-eggplant

Serves 6-8 Ready in 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1⁄3 cup butter or 1⁄3 cup margarine, melted
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon italian seasoning
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon pepper

Directions

  • Peel the eggplant, and then cut into 3/4-inch slices.
  • Combine butter, garlic salt, and Italian seasonings; stir well.
  • Brush eggplant slices with butter mixture, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Place eggplant on grill; grill over medium heat 10 minutes or until tender, turning and basting occasionally.

Filed under: CGCooks, Community Green, Cooking, Food, Health, Healthy Eating,

4-2-1 Vegetable Soup

Serves 4
Ingredients:
4 cups of any raw root vegetable (or combination of vegetables, depending on what you have lying around), such as cauliflower, broccoli, carrot, celeriac, potato.
2 cups of stock (chicken, beef, turkey, and vegetable stock all work equally well–I’ve tried them)
1 cup of dairy, such as heavy cream, whole milk, yogurt, or sour cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Chopped fresh herbs to taste
Instructions:
Chop four cups of vegetables and any herbs you feel like adding to the mix. Place in a medium saucepan on the stovetop, add stock, and simmer until vegetables are soft (about ten or 12 minutes).
Puree the soup, either with the help of an immersion blender or in batches in a food processor or blender. Routine to saucepan over low heat and stir in dairy (do not boil or the mixture will separate). Season to taste with salt, pepper, and any additional herbs or spices you like. Serve immediately.
Note: If you have any leftovers (highly unlikely), this soup freezes well.

Filed under: Community Green, Cooking, Events, Food, ,

Community Greens Garden

The Veterans Garden @Bissel is a more than a garden. It is a community activity that engages local veterans, community residents and young gardeners that covers several garden areas and activities as an overall exposure to urban gardening and techniques.

  • Greens, nothing but greens, in the Brassica/Cabbage Family: collard greens, kale, cabbage, broccoli and brussel sprouts. Experience and enjoy green, leafy, vegetables, some with heads and some without.

How to Grow
Choose a location in full sun with a rich, well-drained soil.
Space plants 1-2 feet apart in rows 2 feet apart.
Dig a hole for each plant large enough to accommodate the root ball.
Place the top of the root ball so that it is level with the surrounding soil.
Backfill the hole and press the soil down and firm with your hand. Water deeply.

Cultivate or mulch to control weeds.
Fertilize at least once during the growing season.
Plants are able to tolerate a light frost.
Use floating row covers to deter pests and protect from extreme cold.

A black man planting seeds

Growing Tips
Harvest after first frost if you prefer a sweeter flavor.
Pick the outer leaves as needed once they reach 6-8 inches long about 55-60 days after transplanting.
Leave the central bud since it will grow new leaves.
Use cabbage and collards as a substitute for lettuce.
Can be eaten raw or cooked.

Common Problems
Diseases: Bacterial Leaf Spot, Downy Mildew, Clubroot, Powdery Mildew
Insects: Aphids, Cabbage Looper, Flea Beetles, Leafminers, Slugs

CG-Bissel-Community-Greens-Garden-pdf

Filed under: CGGrows, Community Green, Cooking, Food, Gardening, Healthy Eating,

Carrot Ginger Soup

This flavorful soup sounds so good that I lifted it from Burpee Seeds and reprinted it here. I’ll prepare it with store-bought carrots because it’s mid winter in NYC but I can’t wait to try this with fresh carrots and squash from Bissel Gardens

contentid-9910242Heat 2 tbsp oil and 2 tbsp butter in a large pot over medium heat, add 2 shallots and 1 clove garlic, finely minced. Stir in 1 tbsp chopped crystallized ginger and 1/4 tsp each turmeric, ground cumin and cinnamon. Add 3 cups sliced carrots, 2 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash and cover with water. Simmer for 45 minutes until carrots and squash are softened then puree in a blender with 1 cup yogurt. Serve hot or chilled.

Filed under: Community Green, Cooking, Healthy Eating, Recipe, , ,

About Community Greens

It takes more than a village to raise a child in today's world. The world is more than flat or round or sun and moon. It's also the village on the other side of the river. The objects in the sky are different from that view. Community Greens, griot-like, tells a story. I invite you to share my view.

CGFROG

Chuck Vasser

Blacks In Green

There are more of us people of color out there than you realize and we are coming together to express our concerns, ideas and sit at the table!

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Community Greens Urban Farm

Veterans Garden Food GiveawayOctober 20th, 2018
Free Greens. First Come. First Serve!

Upcoming Events

  • MLK Day of Service at Seton Falls Park January 21, 2019 at 9:00 am – 12:00 pm Seton Falls Park, at the intersection of Crawford Avenue and Palmer Avenue
  • Green Worker Co-ops: Special Co-op Academy Graduation, Bronx 1/31/19 January 31, 2019 at 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm The Point CDC - 940 Garrison Avenue - Theater - Bronx, NY 10474 For details, link here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/green-worker-co-ops-special-co-op-academy-graduation-bronx-13119-tickets-54656768867
  • Bissel Gardeners Meeting February 2, 2019 at 10:00 am – 11:00 am Veterans Garden-Propagation
  • Volunteer @ Bissel Gardens February 9, 2019 at 10:00 am – 1:00 pm Veterans Garden-Propagation
  • Crazy for Composting February 16, 2019 at 10:00 am – 3:00 pm New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Blvd, Bronx, NY 10458, USA Saturday, February 16; 10 a.m.–12 p.m. and 1–3 p.m.
  • 25th Annual Bronx Parks Speak Up February 23, 2019 at 11:00 am – 5:00 pm Bronx Speak Up Bronx Coalition for Parks and Green Spaces

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Green Tips!

Bee proactive!

A few things you can do to help keep bees healthy:

  • plant different flowers that bloom throughout the season for the bees;

    • native plants and other perennials

    • bloom colors of yellow, white,  blue, and purple

  • watch for neonicotinoid-free note on plant tags- some tags will claim that insecticides were used for ‘your plant’s health’ (but NOT for the bees!)

  • leave the blossoms until they expire

  • plant plants with fragrant flowers with a long bloom season

  • consider early blooming plants for bees that have had little nourishment over the winter

Green Tips

Email

czvasser@yahoo.com

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“Even though this planet is round, there are just too many spots where you can find yourself hanging onto the edge, unless there’s some space, some place to take a breather for a while.” –Gloria Naylor

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