2014 Growing Season

We’re starting our 5th season and now have a waiting list for participation.  If you’d like to be added to the list, please email gwcommunitygarden@gmail.com.  thanks!

Spring 2013 Season

We’re starting our 3rd year and we are looking for a few new members!

Below are some details about the garden and membership. If you are interested in participating, please contact us at gwcommunitygarden@gmail.com.

The garden is located at the George Washington Middle School in Alexandria, VA. We have 11 large and 5 small beds to grow veggies and herbs. It is a cooperative garden so all members participate in growing, watering, and weeding all areas.  We share the garden area with GW students and teachers who use the garden in their coursework.

This year, our first work party is Sunday, March 10th from 2 to 5. All members are required to attend a few work parties a year–these events are where we all get together to take on the big garden duties: cleaning up, mulching, composting, prepping the beds and other tasks where a big group is helpful and more fun!

During the summer (once regular watering, weeding, and harvesting are necessary), we have 3 regularly scheduled 2-hour work sessions a week. Members are asked to attend at least 2 to 3 work sessions a month.  Everything we grow is divided among the members.

Yearly dues are $25 per person/family.

Kale to the chefs!

I put out a call to our gardeners for more kale and chard recipes and here are the two that came in. They both sound delicious, so I’ll report back after I try them out.

Swiss Chard Patties –  from Denise

  •  ½ cup cooked Swiss chard, chopped
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup olive or cooking oil

Drain chopped cooked chard well.  Mix thoroughly with crumbs and cheese.  Add egg and seasonings.  Shape into 3-inch patties about ½ inch thick.  Fry in hot oil until golden brown on both sides.

Makes about 6.  I use a little more P cheese and a lot less oil.  More like sauté than fry.  I plan on trying this with the kale also.

Kale Chips – from Beth

While preheating the oven to 350, line a baking sheet with parchment paper
Cut or tear kale leaves into “chip”-sized pieces and place in a single layer on the parchment paper
Drizzle the leaves with good quality olive oil (avoid soaking the Kale completely)
Season with sea salt and pepper or garlic or onion powder to taste
Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until crisp.

Kale, chard, kale, chard, kale, chard

We’re experiencing a bumper crop of chard and kale from our Spring planting. It’s still growing strong and it’s hard to come up with creative ways to prepare it. My tops:

  • Juice it. I watched Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead and decided that I didn’t have enough juice in my life. So I resurrected a dusty juicer from the basement (from some other health kick) and started juicing. My favorite has all or a combo of these veggies: carrot, apple, ginger, beet, celery, parsley, kale, and/or chard. Ginger is key and don’t use too many beets — they make the juice sweeten up really fast!
  • Saute it. Seems that everyone has their own variation on this, but I saute the some garlic in olive oil, then add the greens, then add red pepper flakes and a dash of salt. Finish it off with a splash of lemon juice.
  • Add it to soup. Chiffonade some greens and add them to any soup. Tonight I made this Split Pea soup with andouille I bought from Stifler Farms at the 4 Mile Run Farmer’s market. Typically, summer doesn’t scream out “hearty soup” to me, but office air-conditioning sure does!

Garden Planting Plan Spring/Summmer 2012

Beth, one of our beloved master gardeners, has put together the garden plan for Spring and Summer 2012 using a way cool tool on the Mother Earth News web site.

Spring 2012 work sessions have begun

We’ve had a couple of work parties to turn over the winter rye and work some more compost into the beds and now it’s time for our regularly scheduled programming!

Like last year, sessions are Tuesday and Thursday evenings starting around 5:30 until dark, and Sunday from 3-5.

Zucchini-palooza! part 2

After the zucchini bread, I wanted to cook a main dish. I was thinking of just adding the zuke to a lasagna recipe since we already had all the ingredients to make that in the cupboard.

Before starting to cook, I took a quick zip around the internet and I’m glad I did. Thanks to this recipe on The Italian Dish, I discovered that you can use zucchini in the place of noodles in lasagna!  My variation on her recipe is below. I’m not much for measuring when it comes to cooking, so use your best judgement for how much to use.

Spinach Zucchini Lasagna
adapted from The Italian Dish

1 monstrous zucchini
1 jar tomato sauce (or homemade tomato sauce once the tomatoes come in)
1 bag/box frozen spinach
Bread crumbs
8 ounces ricotta cheese
3 eggs, lightly beaten
handful of fresh parsley, chopped
handful of fresh basil, chopped
Salt & pepper to taste
Grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
Mozzarella cheese, coarsely grated (around half of a bag or thin slices of fresh)

Slice zucchini into long, thin slices (like lasagna noodles). Cook in boiling water just until limp, about 5 minutes, then drain.

Dethaw the spinach and squeeze most of the water out of it. Mix together the eggs, ricotta, spinach, salt, pepper, basil, and parsley.

Layer like you make lasagna: start with tomato sauce on the bottom of the dish, sprinkle some bread crumbs on top, lay out zucchini slices, cover with spinach ricotta mixture, sprinkle mozzarella and parmesan, then more tomato sauce, etc…  On the very top I finished with some more breadcrumbs and cheese.

Results:
Amazing! I don’t think I’ll ever use pasta again in lasagna! I’m wondering how many times I can make this without getting sick of it. I can’t imagine it happening.