Updated: Sep 5, 2019
This season the Manchester Country Club's Gardening Club has been hard at work growing and cultivating vegetables to share with SJCS clients. On Friday, August 16th the fruits of their labor came into fruition, the gardening club was able to provide us with fresh tomatoes, zucchini, squash, and eggplant.
Because of this generosity, we were able to hold a Farmers Market at the Carpenter Center in Manchester, NH for our clients. The community diners were thrilled by the addition of fresh vegetables! Many diners shared recipes they were hoping to make with this fresh produce.
After lunch, there was a short presentation out on by our nutrition specialist Kristi to showcase the benefits of a garden and how to properly wash fruits and vegetables.
The Benefits of Gardening
Gardening isn't just about making your house look good. Caring for plants can also do wonders for your own wellbeing, an abundance of scientific research suggests. The physical exercise can contribute to a healthy weight and blood pressure levels, and just interacting with flora can improve your mood and mental health.
Roll up your sleeves and get digging, planting, and weeding this spring and summer. Here's how tending to your garden beds will benefit you in the long run:
- Helps you save money on groceries
- Gardening is a great way to stay active
- Garden fresh fruits and vegetables are usually higher in nutrients than store bought produce
- Better for the environment
- No plastic or cardboard packaging
- No shipping impact-trucks, ships
- Promotes an appreciation for nature
- Adds beauty and interest to a landscape
- Growing your own produce may motivate you to consume more fresh fruits and vegetables
WASHING FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
- FDA estimates 48 million people get sick from contaminated food each year
- Contaminated by animals
- Harmful substances in soil or water
- When food is transported after harvest it may travel many miles and pass through many hands
- Cutting into an unclean piece of fruit may transfer any dirt or bacteria from the skin to the inside
- Wash your hands with soap and water before and after preparing your produce
- Hold under clean running water and rub gently
- A vegetable brush is helpful on firm produce and produce with porous skin
- Dry with a clean paper towel or cloth
- A colander is helpful with smaller or more delicate items
- Lettuce or cabbage, dispose of the outer leaves
- After cutting or peeling produce it should be refrigerated at 40 degrees F or below