Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Mark your calendar

Among other things, yesterday's meeting yielded a date and time for our Harvest Celebration. Mark your calendars now, and please join us! Info upcoming on what the celebration will entail, but we'll make sure it's fun.

October 22, 2011
10 a.m. to Noon
@ the Harvest of Hope Community Garden

Happy day!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Meeting today

We'll have a Harvest of Hope steering committee meeting today at noon at the United Way of Greater Kingsport. If you want to help, please join us.

Happy day!

Monday, August 29, 2011


I'm back and will be at the blog again this week. I attended the funeral of my grandmother on Thursday. She was a gardener, and many of my reflections on her involve her legacy as it influences the continual greening (I hope!) of my thumb.

With unexpected time off from the routine last week, I thought a little about how getting away from the work of our hands has been detrimental to society. We spent too little time outside, working, and too much time inside in front of a screen. How good for us the garden is. We need to be outside planting, working, interacting with our neighbors and with things that are green. Aerating our minds.

When my Gran had to stop working her big garden plot, she brought what she could of it inside -- her house was a garden -- sometimes a jungle -- of potted plants that she cared for well. Green is good for us.

I believe that a group from the state offices of AARP visited the garden Friday -- I hope they were amazed! And tomorrow is a meeting of the garden's steering group -- 12 to 1:30 at the United Way of Greater Kingsport. Please come if you're interested in helping us!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Listen in

My radio debut begins airing today. Yesterday I did a short interview about the garden with Jeff at WCSK, FM 90.3, the Voice of Kingsport City Schools. It's about the garden. I may sound like a goofball. But listen in if you'd like!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Front page news

Harvest of Hope made the front page of the Sunday Times-News. Pete and Susan scanned it in and share this link so you can see it if you didn't already!

Sunday night we had an intimate gathering for Prayer in the Garden. We will be testing other times to see if we can make that gathering more convenient for more folks.

Larry sent the following progress report from yesterday:

A.  Completed the siding on the bin.
B. Removed the spent bean plants from the IHN garden. SA and KofH previously cleared their beans.  Removed all litter and tilled the beds.
C. Repaired the broken fence behind the shed.
D. Built the remaining tomato cage
E. Planted mums in the childrens garden.
F. Assisted gardener in removing her beans and planting broccoli.
G. Planted a demonstration fall garden in one of the 4x12 plots. Cabbage, broccoli, kale, and spinach.  
H. Removed beans from small demonstration garden and planted cabbage as replacement.
I. Mowed lawn inside and outside of garden
J. Fertilized all lawn areas. 
K. Weeded small beds as required.
L Sprayed all weeds in the aisles.

Thank you, Larry. Over and over again. And, I imagine, Paul was there working too. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Today I will do a short radio interview about the garden with Jeff from WCSK 90.3 FM. Say a prayer for me!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Garden Watcher

If you need proof that the garden feeds good and good feeds the garden, read the story of Paul – the Garden Watcher.

                                Spreading chat

Born in Johnson City, Paul moved to Drexel, N.C., as a child and went to school there. Following a divorce 16 years ago, he returned to east Tennessee and settled in Kingsport. He lived through tough years and experiences and had begun to get back on his feet when he lost his job a year-and-a-half ago because of a local company closure.

Kermit Addington, a community member who was an early advocate for Harvest of Hope, stopped at Paul’s apartment building down the street from Harvest of Hope early in the summer to talk to the residents there about getting involved with the community garden.

“At first I was skeptical,” Paul says. “I didn’t know how much I’d be able to help. But I decided to go for it and hope that it works out. I decided that at 47 years old, I’m going to see this thing through.”

He planted tomatoes, green beans, eggplant, okra and onions. As the plants grew, so did Paul.

                                                 Paul's garden

Paul didn't stop with planting things, either. Paul visits the garden at least twice a day to make sure everything's alright and that dry beds get water. He comes once in the morning at dawn, once in the evening, and oftentimes he's there in between -- sometimes for hours at a time to help with a job.

Paul says his work with the garden has been life changing.

“I didn’t know how much I appreciated this garden until I stuck it out,” he says. “It’s been a rejuvenating experience – it’s given me something to do with my idle time. It’s been a spiritual awakening – it’s given me a breath of fresh air.

“I have been so blessed to be a part of your garden, our garden, it has actually had such a spiritual impact on my life that my relationship with people, neighbors, community and most of all God, has been overwhelming,” Paul wrote in a letter to the group overseeing the garden.

Forging friendships

“I’ve developed a lot of relationships in this garden,” Paul says. “People from different walks of life come together here. It’s good to see people come together for one reason – there’s fellowship.”

One relationship that has developed in the garden is the friendship between Paul and Larry, the master gardener who’s been the coordinator for much of the physical work going on. Paul and Larry have worked side by side to build and fill fall garden beds, spread chat, and construct storage bins, among other tasks.

                                                        Helping Larry build storage bins

“People like Larry have become my good friends,” Paul says.

“Paul’s a terrific guy,” Larry says. “He knows how to work. That’s really, really rare.”

Paul’s also fed his relationships with friends and neighbors – literally – by sharing his harvest.

Paul says he grew up in a garden and that Harvest of Hope has taken him back to when he was a kid.

“The garden has always been a positive experience in my life,” he says. “It would do the whole world good to take a step back,” Paul says. “Some of the best folk I’ve known were people who had gardens. The garden is nourishing. It’s pure. It doesn’t ask for a lot.”

Growing on and on

“I grew up learning that if you can make a difference to even one person, it’s worth it,” Paul says.

This garden has made a difference to him.

“I hope it continues next year and the year after that," he says. "As long as I’m here, I’ll put in an application.”

Prayer in the Garden tonight!

Join us if you can for Prayer in the Garden -- tonight at 6:30. It'll be short but sweet.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Good works

Larry and Paul have been hard at it, along with some of the men from First Presbyterian's Men with Tools group, and now we have fall beds! Filled! Wheelchair-accessible beds! Filled! New chat pathways. Big bins to hold compost and sand and chat. So much good work done! Thank you, men! Here are some images:

In days upcoming, look for me to post a story about Paul, whom you see in the pics with Larry. Next to Larry the amazing (let's wait for my coffee to take effect and maybe I can come up with a better word to scratch the surface of all Larry's done?), Paul is our garden's guardian angel and daily waterer, and that's an apt title for him, for he's been water in my dry well this week. He's a wonder and a blessing.

Happy day.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Breaking the Chains of Poverty

September 9-10, 2011 at First Broad Street United Methodist Church

The Third Annual Abolishing Poverty Conference, “Breaking the Chains of Poverty,” will be held at First Broad Street United Methodist Church (100 E. Church Circle) in Kingsport, TN, on September 9 and 10. This event is sponsored by the Holston Conference and will include workshops such as “Loving Our Neighbor” based on Beth Lindsay Templeton’s book of the same name; “Embracing God’s Economy of Abundance” with John S. Hill, Director of Economic and Environmental Justice with the General Board of Church and Society; and “Living Wage and Worker Justice” with Rev. Jim Sessions.

The conference begins on Friday, September 9, at 1:00 p.m. One special highlight of the Friday events will be a “Poverty Simulation,” in which participants will experience the equivalent of one month of poverty comprised of four 15-minute sessions. Dinner will be served at 6:00 p.m. on Friday with the dinner address given by Keynote Speaker, Bishop Paul Leeland, residing bishop of the Alabama-West Florida Annual Conference. The evening will end with devotions at 8:30 p.m.
On Saturday, September 10, participants can look forward to a full day of workshops and discussions beginning with breakfast at 7:30 a.m. at the Friendship Diner, a breakfast ministry of First Broad Street U.M.C. that occurs every Saturday morning for the Kingsport community. A lunch break will occur at noon, with closing worship held at 3:45 p.m. with Bishop Paul Leeland. The conference will conclude at 5:00 p.m.

For a complete program outline, program fees, and registration, please visit

Additional information may also be requested from Gaye King at

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Here are some photos of the garden at 7 or so in the evening -- from our meeting on Monday. Good light, good weather, great people and a God-given garden. God-blessed, too, to quote Paul.

And here's a good quote from Dirt to Dinner:

"An entire apple tree is initially contained in the seed. Visions are initially contained in the idea. If you trace the path of a blooming flower backwards, it goes from the blooming flower back to a bud, back to a stem, back to a seed. So it is in the way of knowledge. Often we will experience a hunch or a feeling that we are supposed to do something. At first it may not make any sense. This is the seed stage. Once we start to investigate, more gets revealed. As more is revealed, the more knowledge we get. This is the way the Great Spirit guides us."

-Many Lighteneings Eastman, SANTEE SIOUX

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Men at work

A quick stop by the garden yesterday morning yielded this snap of Larry and his colleague filling the fall garden beds. Larry thinks they'll be ready by the end of the week.

These new beds will mostly fill up the Harvest of Hope garden. They represent a lot of work on the parts of several people, but key among them are Larry and Paul, as well as the members of the Men with Tools group from First Presbyterian. Thank you, thank you, thank you, gentlemen.

We had a lovely meeting last night of the garden steering group. Note to any of you gardeners who've not turned in applications -- please let us know/get them to us. It's important to our continued funding that we have a bit of paper trail. Also: harvest celebration date to soon be announced! Good stuff! I took some pictures of the garden at our meeting, too, but I'll save them till tomorrow. For now, another gardenesque recipe. I tried this last weekend and it's yum:

Summer Squash Casserole
From Southern Living farmers market cookbook

1 1/2 lb yellow squash
1 lb zucchini
1 small sweet onion, chopped
2 1/2 tsp salt, divided
1 cup grated carrots
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of chicken soup
1 (8 oz) container sour cream -- I ended up using lowfat plain yogurt and some plain Greek yogurt mixed together, because I forgot to buy sour cream
1 (8 oz) can water chestnuts, drained and chopped
1 (8 oz) bag herb-seasoned stuffing (I used Pepperidge Farms)
1/2 cup butter, melted (I used a little less than this)

1. Preheat oven to 350. Cut squash and zucchini into 1/4-inch -thick slices; place in a Dutch oven. Add chopped onion, 2 tsp salt and water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and cook 5 minutes; drain well.

2. Stir together grated carrots, next three ingredients, and remaining 1/2 tsp salt in a large bowl; fold in squash mixture. Stir together stuffing and melted butter; spoon half of stuffing mixture into bottom of a lightly greased 13x9-inch baking dish. Spoon squash mixture over stuffing mixture and top with remaining stuffing mixture.

3. Bake at 350 for 30 to 35 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown, shielding with aluminum foil after 20 to 25 minutes to prevent excessive browning. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Monday, August 15, 2011


You know the quote, or if you're like me, you had something about it floating in your head somewhere: "If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." -- Sir Isaac Newton. That's what came to mind when I started to do my short blog (no time!) today about Friday's meeting. Marcia Vandermause and Brian Kramer, founders of the Church Hill Senior Center Garden and co-authors of From Dirt to Dinner: The Art and Science of Producing a Garden, came to see and advise.

Their book is fantastic for anyone seeking to start a community, or communal, garden -- to have them so close and willing to come talk to us was helpful, to put it lightly.

After a short Harvest of Hope garden tour, they joined us at First Presbyterian to share some of their stories, successes and speedbumps, and to let us share ours and ask them questions. Good stuff. Many thanks to Marcia and Brian for their time and wisdom. I'll share some highlights in days to come.

Happy day!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Yes, I did.

I will try next week to get some posts up that deal with more than quick recipes, but for now, this is what you get! Today I will spend some time in the garden, so perhaps more pictures and richer content are on the way?

My sister took some time to send me a couple of garden-y or blogworthy ideas last week, and with one, she threw down the gauntlet, and I took the challenge. Spinach popsicles. Yes, I did. Before you say "yuck," look at the recipe. Maybe not so bad?

Yesterday I acquired all the supplies, and put together these dudes.

Spinach Popsicles

Makes 6-7 (depending on your molds -- it made a bunch for me and juice leftover, which I drank, thank you, and it wasn't bad)

6 oz 100% orange juice with pulp
6 oz 100% apple juice
8 oz carrot juice
3 oz fresh baby spinach (1/2 bag)
1/2 cup pineapple tidbits

In a food processor (I used a blender), combine spinach and pineapple tidbits. Chop until smooth puree is formed. In a spouted mixing bowl or large liquid measuring cup, whisk together orange juice, apple juice, carrot juice and spinach mixture. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze overnight.

Nutrition info per 1 popsicle: 60 calories, 0 g fat, 1 g protein, 13 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber

The recipe came from this blog: -- a blog dedicated to providing 80% healthy recipes and 20% just plain good ones. I hope to spend a little more time checking it out in days to come; maybe you would like to, too.

I haven't had the kids try the popsicles yet, as they were freezing up overnight. I will report back on the response.

Happy day! Say a special prayer for Mary, today, please.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Last night's dinner: Ratatouille Bake

Ratatouille Bake


1 tablespoon olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
2 cups peeled and diced eggplant
2 cups chopped zucchini
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes (or 3 fresh, diced)
1 tablespoon dried basil (or 1 Tbsp fresh)
1 tablespoon dried parsley (or 1 Tbsp fresh)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 (8 ounce) package frozen cheese ravioli
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C); spray a 2 1/2-quart baking dish with cooking spray.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat; cook and stir the garlic, onion, and eggplant with the garlic until the vegetables have begun to soften, about 8 minutes. Stir in the zucchini, bell pepper, tomatoes, basil, parsley, salt, and black pepper; bring the mixture to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.

Cook the frozen ravioli as directed on the package; drain. Spread the cooked ravioli in a layer into the bottom of the prepared baking dish; spoon the hot vegetables over the ravioli. Sprinkle with the cheese.

Bake in the preheated oven until the casserole is bubbling and the cheese is melted, about 20 minutes.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Hungry monkeys

For a lot of people all over the country, the time is nigh. What time? Lunch time. As in lunchboxes -- getting ready for school. For some of us, this means at least once in a while we're going to be packing a lunch for our favorite somebodies.

I have a book called Lunch Boxes & Snacks by Annabel Karmel that I pulled out of the cookbook shelf to get myself thinking about creative and healthy lunch possibilities. PB & J is good, but there are other options out there! Today, our first day of packed lunch, didn't really come from the book. It included PB & Js (although one boy just likes the PB), carrot sticks, a box of raisins and a bag of puffed chips (baked, not fried). Not rocket science but not too bad, either.

The books says a healthy lunch box should:
- Help to improve your child's attention span, behavior, and learning in the afternoon
- Provide one-third of your child's daily requirements of nutrients
- Contain a source of protein to keep children alert, complex carbohydrates for slow-release energy, protein and calcium for growth, fat for staying power, and fruit and vegetables for vitamins and minerals

Think healthy for your kids' lunches (and your own, of course!). And don't forget a good breakfast! I figure if you're reading this then you are probably trying to eat healthy already. We'll all try to keep up the good work together.

Breakfast ideas from our house:
Monday -- light English muffin with Nutella and bananas
Tuesday -- banana/peach/plain yogurt smoothie and a zucchini muffin
Wednesday -- oatmeal with raisins, peaches and brown sugar

Peaches p.s. Peaches are available these days at the farmer's market -- buy a bunch and cut up the ones you can't eat fast enough and freeze the chunks -- they go great in smoothies or plopped into hot oatmeal to cool it down. They also make a mean pancake addition, once thawed.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The rain stopped in time

God decided to do some watering for us and stopped just in time for us to have our educational session with Master Gardener Phil Ramey. A group of about 15 folks unfolded chairs in the parking lot between Interfaith Hospitality Network and Harvest of Hope and Phil shared a lot of useful and interesting gardening information with us. He focused on weed control, late summer/early fall gardening opportunities and season-extension ideas, but the wisdom he imparted was broader than those areas.

Chris Ramsey, UT Extension agent, also attended and gave us a weed-identification lesson using weeds he pulled out of Harvest of Hope. It's good to put a name with a "face," even it it's a frustrating face!

A big thank-you to Phil and Chris for coming to talk to us. If anyone reading missed the event because of the rain and would like more info on Phil's talk, or if someone just wants more info, please comment back to the blog and I'll try to share what I wrote down.

Happy day!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Pasta with easy summer sauce

(This is my doubled version so we'll have leftovers.)

2 c. chopped tomatoes (2 large) — very pretty when you use different colors!
2 tbsp. minced fresh basil
1/2 cup minced red or Vidalia onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
12 kalamata olives, depitted and chopped
6 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 lb. pasta — we especially like it with penne and bowties
2 c. cut green beans
1/2 c. crumbled feta cheese

Bring large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, combine tomato through vinegar in a large serving bowl. When water boils, add pasta and beans. Cook until al dente and beans are tender. Drain. Add pasta to bowl with tomato mixture and stir in feta cheese.

Counting our blessings

Last night in the garden, 15 of us gathered for a short prayer to thank God for our garden and all our many blessings and to ask for grace, strength and wisdom and a bountiful harvest -- I think God already has us covered but it's so good to let him know we recognize his goodness and to verbalize our need for his hand. Or her hand : ). Anyway -- thanks to all the folks who joined us! Here are some pictures!

Don't forget, if you can make it, tonight at 6 p.m. Master Gardener Phil Ramey will meet us at the garden to talk about the hows and whens of harvesting our bounty. Shirlene Booker, UT Extension agent, will be there with resources to share, and refreshments will be served. Please join us!

God bless the children and parents involved in the first day of school today or in days soon to come.

Larry gives a tour. Thank you, Larry!

Paul, at left, is integral to our garden. He "grew up in a garden," he says. He checks on Harvest of Hope pretty much every day and makes sure everything's gotten enough water. Margot (in black and white) and Susan (back to us) are major reasons HoH exists, too. SHOUT OUT!

These are our newest beds, ready for fall planting. Two of them are wheelchair accessible.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Holston Valley Unitarian Universalist Church

As school gets started for two thirds of my kiddos, I'm going to try to pick up my idea to profile gardeners here. We have so many beautiful people involved with our garden!

A few weeks ago I called my friend Ann -- she's the volunteer coordinator of Holston Valley Unitarian Universalist Church's (HVUUC) two garden beds at Harvest of Hope. I wanted to see what they had growing in the garden.

(Pictured below are some of the members of the HVUUC volunteers at planting time.)

Harvest of Hope is one among several social-justice projects HVUUC has going centered on the theme "hunger in our neighborhood." Ann says she has about 10 volunteers involved in taking care of their garden beds; their harvest is going to Hunger First, which is an organization with a storefront in Kingsport that gives food and certain necessities to people in need.

I asked Ann what made hunger the focus at HVUUC: The hunger in our neighborhood theme is "what we chose because of economic times right now – I’m sure there are people we don’t even know who are in need of this type of thing," she said. 

In addition to Harvest of Hope gardening, the church's Sunday school group has two raised garden beds on church property; that harvest will go to help the hungry too. They planted a whole field of potatoes and pumpkins to donate or sell to congregants and donate the proceeds. As well, they're working on a gleaning project whereby church members pick produce farmers can't get to and give that food away. 

At Harvest of Hope, the group planted tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, beans and peppers, Ann said. I'll have to check back with her to see how it's growing. 

What are Ann's hopes for the garden? "For this summer I’m hoping that people who might not have access to a fresh tomato and a fresh cucumber might be able to get that instead of just packaged or canned food," she said. "That at the height of the summer time they might be able to have access to a fresh tomato or to what we’d go down to the farmers market and purchase.

"In the future I hope that the people know that the gardens are available to them and that there’s an opportunity to learn how to grown their own healthy produce," she said.

Both HVUUC and Hunger in our Neighborhood have Facebook pages, if you'd like to look there to learn more about what they've got going on.

Many thanks to Ann and the rest of the group from HVUUC for gardening at Harvest of Hope and sharing with the hungry!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Eating Well Zucchini Bread

I'm trying this this morning.

Makes 1 loaf
Freeze up to 3 months

Add chocolate chips and this bread leans toward dessert. Or try it with toasted walnuts or raisins.

3/4 cup low-fat milk
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups shredded zucchini
2 cups white whole-wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 chocolate chips (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350. Coat a 9x5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.

2. Whisk milk, eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla in a medium bowl. Stir in zucchini. Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl; stir in the wet ingredients and chocolate chips (if using) until just combined. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan.

3. Bake until golden brown and a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, 50 minutes to 1 hour. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack. Let cool for at least 1 hour before slicing.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Two newsy bits

There will be an info-sharing meeting in the garden on Monday, August 8 at 6 p.m. Phil Ramey, UT Master Gardener, will present information on when and how to harvest vegetables. Shirlene Booker, gardener and Sullivan County UT Extension agent, will present information on food storage and others on the garden committee will share data on the vegetables grown.  

Our first Prayer in the Garden will be on Sunday, August 7 at 6:30 p.m., weather permitting. It'll be a short service -- approximately 15 minutes -- but long on grace and thanks. Another Prayer in the Garden is scheduled for Sunday, August 21 at the same time and place. You are welcome to join us!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The bounty begins: some recipes

Having just returned from vacation, I haven't been witness to exactly what bounty Harvest of Hope has been providing within the past two weeks, but if the garden mirrors what I'm seeing at home, then our Harvest of Hope is starting to reward. Since we have so many who need the fruits of Harvest of Hope, perhaps it's not overwhelming.

Here at home, this season begins to become so -- always I'm looking for recipes to showcase the fresh veggies I'm out picking every afternoon. And I need to learn how to can!

Since we got our home garden in late this year, we're just starting the ramp up to major harvest. Last night we had just enough tomatoes ripe to prepare these two dishes:

Tomato Feta Salad (this also used fresh parsley and basil I harvested)

Caprese Salad (also featuring fresh basil -- I didn't use the red onion in this one)

and with one of our many cucumbers, I made this Tzatziki sauce. Yum!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Want a simple way to help your kids achieve in school?

by Alison

You guessed it – eat more fruits and vegetables!

Good anecdotal evidence suggests that incorporating more healthy, fresh fruits and vegetables in
children’s diets leads to greater academic focus and fewer behavior problems. Watch for yourself in two installments:

YouTube No. 1

YouTube No. 2

… and thanks to Natural Ovens Bakery for coming forward with this initiative and evidence!

How can you give your kids healthy, vegetable-rich meals and snacks? Here are a few suggestions. (Use what’s growing in your garden now for the best flavor, and you’ll be sure to grow vegetable-loving kids along with your garden!) :

1. Veggie pizzas: Using a whole-wheat English muffin, put on a little bottled pizza sauce and some shredded mozzarella. Add some sautéed vegetables – whatever is ripe – sliced and sautéed in a little olive oil and a pinch of salt, until at a tenderness the kids like. If you’re at home, you can heat this a little to melt the cheese (oven or microwave). If this is for school, pack the items separately and your child can assemble them at lunchtime, like a Lunchable (only much, much healthier!).

2. Sliced raw vegetables in season, with an attractive dip. Get your kids interested in the flavor of vegetables, even if it means compromising your healthy standards a little bit with a not-as-nutritious dip. If the veggies are in season and ripe, the flavor will come through and your kids will begin to appreciate the vegetable’s unique flavors. Some dip options: (Light) Ranch – no need to go light if your child is still 18 months to 6 years old - their brains can use the fat; hummus; bean dip; melted cheese.

If you can’t sell your kids immediately on trying raw vegetables, start simply by having them out and EATING THEM YOURSELF in front of the kids – and be clear about your enjoyment of the cuisine. Your kids may eventually try them out of sheer curiosity. Monkey see, monkey do.

Of course, the other thing that will get kids interested in vegetables is to let them help in the garden! Once they have invested their time and energy in growing the plants, they will more naturally want to taste the fruits of their efforts.

Here are some other sites that can give you recipe ideas – I looked them up after typing the above suggestions, only to find that they have similar suggestions (plus other good ones)!

Recipe ideas No. 1

Recipe ideas No. 2