Thursday, September 29, 2011

Unity Harvest Celebration

With Gardening still in full swing we are thinking of 2012 and how to support the Unity Gardens another year . So while we are still out gardening our focus for the next 2 weeks will be towards this fall fundraiser . So please look at this blog and see our many supporters , please let them know you support them supporting us . Many of the logos you can click on and go to thier facebook page and make a comment .
Taste of Unity Harvest Event / Silent Auction / Tapas Dinner
Fundraiser Tickets $ 25
Tuesday Oct 11th 4pm-8pm

The Jewish Federation
 3202 Shalom Way South Bend, IN 46615
Our upcoming Harvest Event celebration local food- local chefs is really gaining community enthusiasm! We have an exciting array of chefs already involved with more on the way.
With tickets on sale now at our Unity Gardens blog you can almost taste the fun!
Highlighting Chefs and tapas from Thyme of Grace, Fiddler's Hearth, UpTown Kitchen & The Mark, Sangrias and Agave Lounge, Joel Barrett co-founder of Green Drinks, and more!
Silent auction items and sponsorships are still being offered, reminding me of how benevolent this community really is! Just like the way the Unity Gardens have been growing, this event is taking on an energy all its own. We appreciate the shared dedication to growing our community in Unity!
Thanks to our Major sponsors
 WNIT Public Television,
Teachers Credit Union,
WSBT & B100,
PNC Bank
Martin's Super Market
Bethel College,
Saint Mary's College

We have tickets on sale now for $25.00. You may purchase them through our Website (see the left upper corner), or via snail mail (PO Box 10022 South Bend IN 46680) or by calling 574 315-4361.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Rainey & Cool Event

ROC does cooking Demo at LaSalle Square Unity Garden . It was rainey , and cool , but we still had a good turn-out , and made some new friends
The Reducing Obesity Coalition of St. Joseph County works to promote healthy lifestyles in the greater South Bend area through education and active events

Description ROC's goals for the St. Joseph County community are:
-Increase awareness of nutrition, physical activity, and appropriate healthcare related to health and obesity.
-Improve individual and household attitudes toward health and wellness.
-Improve access to nutrition, physical activity, and appropriate healthcare services related to health and obesity.
-Increase advocacy for healthy nutrition and physical activity promotion.
-Aid in the collection, management, analysis, and dissemination of data related to health and obesity among key stakeholders in St. Joseph County.
-Increase behavior change and increased participation as an outcome of ROC-supported initiatives.
Mission To promote healthy lifestyles in St. Joseph County through the prevention and reduction of overweight and obesity in adults and children.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Don't Forget Fall Classes Start Wed

Thanks to Potawatomi Conservatories for hosting the Unity Gardens Fall

Season Educational Series! We are confirmed for Wednesday evenings
6 to 8pm

Sept 21 Putting Your Garden to Bed Presentated by
Mitch Yaciw / Purdue Master Gardener

Sept 28 Garden Planning plan your spring garden Presentated by
Mitch Yaciw / Purdue Master Gardener

Oct 05 Healthy Harvest and Proper Proportions Cooking Demo
Presentated by Robin Meleski / St Joe County Health Dept

Oct 12 Preserving Your Harvest - Dehydrating
by Tammy Baker

Oct 19 Cooking from the Garden- Cooking Demo

Oct 26 Preserving Your Harvest - Canning Safely

Nov 02 Healthy Cooking - Managing Dietary Fats

Nov 09 Health Cooking - Managing Dietary Salt

Nov 16 Cooking from the Garden

Phone 574-315-4361

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Random Garden Thoughts

      I often have days that as I drive home I think what a unique thing the Unity Gardens are . Many people ask " is it about free food for poor people " My answer is " no its about free healthy food for everyone " . My next response is " its about you , and I talking "  The gardens are about so much more than food .
     I often see reports on kids not eating healthy food , yet in the garden I see kids enjoying fresh food right off the plant . LaSalle Academy is a prime example . When I go there to work with the students in their garden they can't get enough vegetables . They are like sponges wanting to taste everything . I think we all assume that McDonalds is their food of choice . When if presented with healthy food choices the outcome may surprise you.
    I meet a guy that works for the city . He tells of his time as a migrant worker in Texas picking tomatoes for 5 cents a bushel . Not complaining just saying coming to the garden reminds him of his youth . He offers to bring out some special watermelon seeds to plant next year . he leaves with a bucket of green tomatoes .
    Staying on the watermelon theme , at the very same time a couple offers to bring in watermelon seeds that will grow 140lbs watermelons. They enjoy the garden because it reminds them of the gardens from their childhood . They leave with a bag of Tomatoes , peppers , and radish .
    A couple guys stop by to look around . One of them had visited the first Unity Garden on Franklin Street . They like vegetables , and leave with some Okra , and Eggplant .
       It goes on like this day in and day out . Some many people so many stories !  People getting together , learning about growing , about eating , and each other

Monday, September 12, 2011

Fall Is on its way

     While things are still very active at the Unity Gardens its clear that fall is right around the corner . This is the time we start to put our garden to bed . We have planted our fall crops , and as our warm weather crops die off we pull the plants , and cover up the area with cardboard and  leaves or grass clippings . Its been a long hard summer . We have had on average 500 people a week harvesting in the LaSalle Square garden since May . The number is more than likely much higher at LaSalle Square . Then if you add in all the other 40 Unity Gardens in town the numbers increase dramatically . Unity Gardens has helped supplement a large number of people with fresh healthy food , but its more than that . With all the kids programs , garden tours , and garden , and cooking classes Unity Gardens educates the community on growing , and eating healthy food . Then there is the social dynamic of bringing diverse people together to enjoy the outdoors , and the common bond we all have with eating .
    Its always bittersweet as we head into fall . Cool weather feels nice , but the days enjoying the garden are numbered . Enjoy it while you can !!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

North Liberty Garden Intern

"High school scholar spends summer growing more than vegetables at Unity Garden in North Liberty!.... Kirsten Brown, a top senior student at John Glenn volunteered for helping Unity Gardens. She took over the garden leader position for Will Groves during the summer. Kirsten first volunteered during the year attending various public presentations, volunteering at events, even manning the kids booth at the LaSalle Square Luau! When summer hit Kirsten was ready, tending to the North Liberty Unity Garden, securing volunteers, and even getting a substitute while she was in Germany! The garden looked great all summer, but what was most evident, is that Kirsten Brown was able to nurture and"grow" her leadership skills! Community organizing is not easy, but Kirsten did a spectacular job, taking a first year Unity Garden and making it successful!" Most recently, Kirsten delivered fresh veggies, complete with sign over to the North Liberty library, a brilliant way to increase community involvement for next year!