Are you a writer?

We need help writing this blog. If you have an interest in gardening and like to write, can you be a “guest blogger” for us?  Maybe you can share a canning recipe, or a trick on keeping raccoons out of the corn, or when to plant okra. We just need your help making this blog a lot of fun, educational, inspirational, and a place where our community gathers to, well, be a community.  Tell us a funny story about your gardening experience, or some sentimental story about how your Daddy taught you the tricks of growing the biggest honkin’ tomato in the county.

We don’t care what you write about gardening, we just want you to write. Don’t think  you’re a writer or maybe just need a little help? Well, we have some wonderful people that can help you figure out where the commas belong. Shoot, they help me out all the time!

If you’d like to be a contributor, just let me know. Email us at: Garden@numanainc.com and we’ll send you some basic instructions on how to do it. And we LOVE photographs!

This would be a volenteer effort, hope that you want to help us grow more than vegetables. We’d like you to help us grow this blog!

Numana

Apples never tasted so good!

You would have thought I was passing out candy bars! 55 third graders from Lincoln Elementary in El Dorado were as excited about getting an apple as one would expect them to be over a bag of candy or a sack of chips!
They came to Numana Gardens on north Gordy Street to help us finish up planting the 60 apple trees that will call that place home. We put 5 varieties into the ground and each child got to take turns with the shovels to place the dirt back into the holes the auger had dug earlier. We divided the kids up, about 10 per tree, and they enthusiastically scooped and pushed the dirt in around the bare roots of the trees, tamped it down around the trunk and then listened as we shared with them about building a dam about 18 inches out to hold the water in. Worms slithering through the dirt were an added bonus, as was the encouragement to get down and use their hands to mound up the soil for the ridge.
I wonder……how many of those 55 children had ever had that opportunity before? How many even knew what the bare roots of a tree looked like? Certainly not many could have known that they would be in 7th grade before those trees would be capable of producing fruit. But the good news is, they know now. And they have had a part in actually planting something that they can watch grow. There is something very satisfying about that. Even for a third grader.
Back to devouring those apples, I imagine they tasted extra good since they had just
had a part in planting an apple tree and by using their imagination, they could dream of someday picking an apple just like the one in their hands from the tree they shoveled dirt around!

Guess plants need companions, too!

Companion, according to the dictionary: one of a pair of things intended to complement or match each other. Did you know that even applies to gardening?
Companion planting is a good idea for vegetable growing. It may diminish the insects (i.e. tomatoes love carrots, marigolds deter all sorts of insects., mums keep the mosquitoes away.) Plants with high scents make a great addition to fighting insects.
Whatever it takes! Let us know if you have a great “companion” tip to share, we want our plants to be as happy as they possibly can! Please comment so we can get the most out of growing!

Thanks, Barb Roths, for spearheading this great project!

Cook Once….Enjoy!

 

Numana, Inc. is partnering with K-State Research and Extension, Butler County to offer

Cook Once workshops in Butler County.  These workshops are designed to help participants work together to plan and prepare several main dish recipes.  They then freeze these main dishes to use in their own homes at their convenience.

 At each Cook Once workshop, we begin with a brief overview of healthy eating, importance of family meals, foods that can be successfully frozen, food safety issues, and appropriate storage materials to use for freezing foods.  Then it’s time to choose a partner, go to the kitchen and prepare the main dish recipes to take home, freeze, and use as needed.

 Because of the collaboration between Numana, Inc. and Butler County Extension, as well as great support from local organizations, we offered workshops in the Rose Hill area and in El Dorado at reduced cost to the participant.  The fee included a copy of Once-A-Month Cooking Family Favorites cookbook, as well as several main dish meals (to serve a family of 4-6).  The participants got a wonderful “bargain” – healthwise and budgetwise!

 At the workshop in El Dorado, we targeted those who were interested in meals for one/two persons.  Butler Community College’s Life Enrichment class helped to recruit participants.  When it was time to package the meals for freezing, we used a variety of small freezer bags and/or containers, so that the meals were portioned for one or two people (rather than the family of 4-6).   

 Comments from participants:

 “I learned a lot and met some really great people.  Thanks! I have been looking for a better way to combine and plan dinners.”

“I enjoyed it and my family has enjoyed our new meal ides.  It seems like we have the same thing over and over.”

“It was great to have the ingredients readily available, good recipes.  It will be wonderful to have the meals in the freezer!  Learned a lot!”

“Very well organized and top quality ingredients.  Not having to shop for ingredients was great.”

“Enjoyed meeting and working with my class partner.”

 

You can join us for our next Cook Once…Enjoy! workshop. It is scheduled for Friday, March 2.  Contact the Butler County Extension office for more details:  316-321-9660.

 

 

 

A rose by any other name……

“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” is a quotation from William Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet, meant to say that the names of things do not matter, only what things are.

While this might be true for Romeo and Juliet, what we call things does matter when it comes to clarity and understanding. When we want to convey an idea, place or concept, what we call it matters greatly when getting people to comprehend and recognize something new.

Take for instance, the Numana Gardens on N. Gordy St in El Dorado, KS. This spring we will plant gardens there for the first time, and anticipation is growing (pardon the pun!) especially with all the nice, unseasonably warm weather we have had so far this winter. Until lately, the ground in that block, on the East side of the street, has been fallow, unless one counts bricks, rocks, parts of old foundations and broken up patios as a valuable crop.

Originally we were calling the two types of gardens that will be grown Communal and Community. The blank looks on faces after we thought a thorough explanation had been given, as well as the occasional slip among those of us who knew better, convinced us that those two words were, well, confusing people! They were too similar sounding, with a world of difference in meaning.

So, because words and names of things matter, we have changed the names of the two types of gardens to Public and Personal. The Public Garden will be planted, tilled and harvested by volunteers for the benefit of those in our community who are limited in their access to healthy food. The Personal Gardens will be 25’X25’ plots of land for individuals, groups or families to rent for their own planting, weeding and consumption.

Same concept, same application, just new names to call some gardens that we see
changing the quality of life in El Dorado. Tell your friends, family and neighbors about the “new kid on the block”, that is, the Gardens on the 800 block of N. Gordy!

A rose by any other name…….maybe we can grow some of those, too!!!!

Snow in Kansas and I miss fresh tomatoes!

It officially snowed for the first time someplace in Kansas on November 2, 2011. The leaves are falling and the flowers in the beds are freezing and drying. AND, I already miss fresh tomatoes! I was watching one of the cooking shows last night that served heirloom tomatoes with a balsamic dressing, fresh mozzarella, basil, salt, pepper and parsley. I am already counting the days until the Farmers Market opens and I can buy fresh tomatoes! ASIDE….my fresh basil and parsley is already frozen in my front porch pot! What is a girl to do?

Recipes by Carmen Miller

The first Hunger Free/Healthy Food Community Hunger Forum was held October 31, and 70 people turned out to enjoy a delicious lunch prepared by Carmen Miller and hear Dr. Pierzynski, interim Dean of Agriculture at K-State, speak about Community Gardens and K-State Research and Extension.  Many who attended expressed a desire for the recipes and Carmen has graciously agreed to share them.  Thanks, Carmen!  Enjoy!

CHICKEN AND BRISKET BRUNSWICK STEW
2 LARGE ONIONS, CHOPPED
2 GARLIC CLOVES, MINCED
1 T OIL
1 1/2 T JARRED BEEF BASE
2 LB. SKINNED AND BONED CHICKEN BREASTS
1 (28OZ.) CAN FIRE-ROASTED CRUSHED TOMATOES
1 (12OZ.) PACKAGE FROZEN CORN
1 CAN CREAMED CORN
1 (9OZ.) PACKAGE FROZEN BABY LIMA BEANS
1 (12OZ.) BOTTLE CHILI SAUCE
1 T BROWN SUGAR
1 T YELLOW MUSTARD
1 T WORCHESTERSHIRE SAUCE
1/2 t COARSELY GROUND BLACK PEPPER
1 LB. CHOPPED BARBECUED BEEF BRISKET (WITHOUT SAUCE) I USED PULLED PORK, WARMED IT UP AND TOOK ALL THE YUCKY STUFF OUT. BOUGHT IT AT DILLONS
1 T FRESH LEMON JUICE
SAUTE ONIONS AND GARLIC IN HOT OIL IN A 7.5 QT DUTCH OVER OVER MEDIUM HEAT, 3 TO 5 MINUTES.
STIR TOGETHER BEEF SOUP BASE AND 2 CUPS WATER, AND ADD TO DUTCH OVEN. STIR IN CHICKEN AND NEXT 9 INGREDIENTS. BRING TO A BOIL. COVER, REDUCE HEAT TO LOW AND COOK, STIRRING OCCASIONALLY FOR 2 HOURS/
UNCOVER AND SHRED CHICKEN INTO LARGE PIECES USING 2 FORKS. STIR IN BRISKET OR PULLED PORK AND LEMON JUICE. COVER AND COOK 19 MINUTES, SERVE WITH HOT SAUCE, IF DESIRED
SWEET POTATO BISCUITS
2 1/2 CUPS BISQUICK
1 CUP MASHED SWEET POTATOES, CANNED AND DRAINED
1/3 CUP COLD BUTTER, CUT INTO PIECES
1/3 CUP MILK
CUT BUTTER IN BISCUIT MIX UNTIL MIXTURE IS CRUMBLY. COMBINE SWEET POTATO AND MILK, ADD TO BISCUIT MIX, STIRRING WITH A FORK JUST UNTIL DRY INGREDIENTS ARE MOISTENED.  TURN DOUGH OUT ONTO A LIGHTLY FLOURED SURFACE, KNEAD 4 TO 5 TIMES. PAT OR ROLL DOUGH TO 3/4 INCH THICKNESS, CUT WITH A BISCUIT CUTTER. PLACE BISCUITS ON A LARGE UN-GREASED BAKING SHEET. BAKE AT 450 DEGREES FOR 10 TO 12 MINUTES OR GOLDEN BROWN.
APPLE-PEAR SALAD WITH MAPLE-PECAN BACON
8 THICK BACON SLICES
1/4 CUP MAPLE SYRUP
1 1/2 CUPS CHOPPED PECANS
2 (5OZ) PACKAGES GOURMET SALAD GREENS, ALSO USED SOME ROMAINE LETTUCE, GAVE THE SALAD A LITTLE MORE BODY.
1 LARGE PEAR
1 LARGE GALA APPLE
1 CUP HALVED SEEDLESS RED GRAPES
4 OZ. GORGONZOLA CHEESE, CRUMBLED
CRANBERRY VINAIGRETTE
 PREHEAT OVEN TO 400, PLACE A LIGHTLY GREASED WIRE RACK IN AN ALUMINUM FOIL-LINED PAN. DIP BACON IN MAPLE SYRUP, ALLOWING SYRUP TO DRIP OFF, PRESS PECANS ON EACH  SIDE. ARRANGE BACON IN A SINGLE LAYER ON RACK AND BAKE 20 MINUTES, TURN AND BAKE 5 TO 10 MINUTES MORE., OR UNTIL BROWN AND CRISP. REMOVE FROM OVEN AND LET STAND 5 MINUTES. CUT BACON CROSSWISE INTO 1 INCH PIECES..
PLACE GREENS ON A SERVING PLATTER, CUT PEAR AND APPLE INTO THIN SLICES, TOSS WITH GREENS. TOP WITH  GRAPES, CHEESE AND BACON.
SERVE WITH CRANBERRY VINAIGRETTE DRESSING
WHISK TOGETHER 1 CUP CANNED WHOLE CRANBERRY SAUCE, 1 t ORANGE ZEST, 1/2 CUP FRESH ORANGE JUICE, 1/4 CUP EACH OF BALSAMIC VINEGAR AND OLIVE OIL. 1 T LIGHT BROWN SUGAR, 2 t GRATED FRESH GINGER, AND 1/2 t SALT IN BOWL,WHISK UNTIL BLENDED AND SMOOTH.
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