Friday, September 30, 2011

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Making compost

Friends in Gasca Gardens Partners with G-Team for the FIGG Kids’ Place Initiative

Friends in Gasca Gardens Partners with G-Team for the FIGG Kids’ Place Initiative
The Kids’ Growing Place program to provide education and supplies for local at-risk youth

Tempe, AZ – Friends in Gasca Gardens (FIGG) and G-Team (, the philanthropic arm of Groupon, announce the launch of a local campaign to purchase educational supplies for local at-risk students working in FIGG’s Kids’ Place Garden.

The Kids’ Growing Place campaign will be available on Groupon Phoenix’s G-Team page beginning on Tuesday, October 11th through Thursday, October 13th.  Utilizing G-Team’s collective action model, Groupon followers can pledge support for the FIGG Kids’ Place Initiative in increments of $10.  If 30 people give $10, then Friends in Gasca Gardens will be able to fund the Kids’ Growing Place program which will provide one Tempe after-school program group of at-risk youth 2-3 visits to the garden throughout the growing cycle.  Every additional $50 provides one additional Kids’ Growing Place program session at the Gasca Community Garden.

“We are excited to employ the collective action model of G-Team to raise support for FIGG’s Kids’ Place,” said Pam Smyth, President.  “We look forward to creating new awareness for Friends in Gasca Gardens as one of the first local organizations in the Phoenix-metro area to be featured on G-Team.”

100% of the G-Team campaign proceeds will be used for purchasing tools, supplies required for one growing season, and educational materials necessary to expose at-risk children to a hands-on, outdoor classroom experience in the garden.

The Kids’ Growing Place campaign aims to: give one group of at-risk children the opportunity to participate in 2-3 visits to the garden in order to participate in the food growing cycle, from soil preparation to planting through harvesting; teach at-risk children where their food comes from and how to garden using pesticide-free and non-toxic organic gardening methods; teach children the health benefits of eating tasty, home-grown vegetables; and to address the growing concern over obesity prevalence in children.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

For Foodies

The radio show Fresh Air with Terry Gross interviewed food experts and they are worth a listen.

  Go here to get great cooking tips and more.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Zucchini Fritters

Pic from Smitten Kitchen

Zucchini Fritters

Yield: About 10 2 1/2 inch fritters

1 pound (about 2 medium) zucchini
1 teaspoon coarse or Kosher salt, plus extra to taste
2 scallions, split lengthwise and sliced thin
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Olive or another oil of your choice, for frying

To serve (optional)

1 cup sour cream or plain, full-fat yogurt
1 to 2 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
Pinches of salt
1 small minced or crushed clove of garlic

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Have a baking sheet ready.  Trim ends off zucchini and grate them either on the large holes of a box grater or, if you have one, using the shredding blade of a food processor. The latter is my favorite as I’m convinced it creates the coarsest and most rope-like strands and frankly, I like my fritters to look like mops.

In a large bowl, toss zucchini with 1 teaspoon coarse salt and set aside for 10 minutes. Wring out the zucchini in one of the following ways: pressing it against the holes of a colander with a wooden spoon to extract the water, squeezing out small handfuls at a time, or wrapping it up in a clean dishtowel or piece of cheese cloth and wringing away. You’ll be shocked (I was!) by the amount of liquid you’ll lose, but this is a good thing as it will save the fritters from sogginess.

Return deflated mass of zucchini shreds to bowl. Taste and if you think it could benefit from more salt (most rinses down the drain), add a little bit more; we found 1/4 teaspoon more just right. Stir in scallions, egg and some freshly ground black pepper. In a tiny dish, stir together flour and baking powder, then stir the mixture into the zucchini batter.

In a large heavy skillet — cast iron is dreamy here — heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Drop small bunches of the zucchini mixture onto the skillet only a few at a time so they don’t become crowded and lightly nudge them flatter with the back of your spatula. Cook the fritters over moderately high heat until the edges underneath are golden, about 3 to 4 minutes. If you find this happening too quickly, reduce the heat to medium. Flip the fritters and fry them on the other side until browned underneath again, about 2 to 3 minutes more. Drain briefly on paper towels then transfer to baking sheet and then into the warm oven until needed.

Repeat process, keeping the pan well-oiled, with remaining batter. I like to make sure that the fritters have at least 10 minutes in the oven to finish setting and getting extra crisp.

For the topping, if using, stir together the sour cream, lemon juice, zest, salt and garlic and adjust the flavors to your taste. Dollop on each fritter before serving. These fritters are also delicious with a poached or fried egg on top, trust me.

Do ahead: These fritters keep well, either chilled in the fridge for the better part of a week and or frozen in a well-sealed package for months. When you’re ready to use them, simply spread them out on a tray in a 325 degree oven until they’re hot and crisp again.

Smitten Kitchen has lots more fun recipes.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A new beginning

A new planting season begins. Beds are composted and turned in preparation for Fall planting.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The gardners meet

At Bunna Coffee. 

A new planting season is about to begin, and many exciting additions to the garden are in the works.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


 With all the basil collected at the garden recently, pesto was made.

The recipe used can be found here.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Aprende NJHS helps out

Aprende NJHS students participate in community service and help FIGG get ready for Fall planting.