Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Monarch Butterflies Bon Voyage!

Here are some photos I took on Saturday, at South Church's garden, when releasing 3 of the 22 Monarchs I fostered.

Another one was released by the children's class on Sunday.

The monarch butterflies will spend their winter hibernation in Mexico and some parts of Southern California where it is warm all year long. 

"Have a margarita for me!" 

-- MJ Wilson

photo credit MJ Wilson

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Fan Mail!

It's so good to hear from people who attend our programs, or just hear the buzz about them! Here's some notes we received recently.

Composting is EZ with Eliza Zazzera

My name is Aimee and I am a Dobbs Ferry resident (right down from South Church on Broadway). My partner and I have been to the church a few times and recently learned of the composting program held at the church through Roots & Wings. We've been looking for a composting option for our small apartment for some time now and would love to be able to drop them off at the Roots & Wings Community Garden. Might that be a possibility? 

With gratitude,
* * * 

hi -- i live in ardsley and i was wondering if you take contributions to your compost -- we juice organic vegetables -- the juices include carrots, celery, apples, ginger, dandelion, parsley and cilantro so that is what is in the pulp -- i have been trying to find a place to donate it for compost -- thank you -- j.  

We replied:  
Thanks for reaching out.
We think it would be wonderful if you dropped off your compost at our bins. The best thing to do would be to come to The Kitchen Garden on a Saturday morning (10 AM - noon) and meet Marcello or Gabriela, two of the people who are most involved in The Kitchen Garden. The Kitchen Garden is behind South Church and our compost bins are right next to the garden. They would acclimate you to our bins and you could take it from there.

Tomato Sauce Making and Canning with Coco Zordan

Hi ladies,

Just wanted y’all to know that my penne a la vodka last night, using the sauce we made Saturday, was the best I have ever made! We did good. Thanks!

Warm regards,

 * * * 
Dear all,

The bread, the quick sauce, the focaccia, the bread SO delicious.  I enjoyed meeting you all (Donna and Lenore, my friends from before, so much fun!). I can't think of a better way to spend a Saturday morning...  Ellen, if you are willing, I would love your recipe for vodka sauce!

I look forward to the bread making class.  Coco, your focaccia is pure heaven....

Ciao to all and until the next time,

* * * 

I haven't used the sauce yet (except for some of the chunky sauce with Coco's delicious bread), but I had a lot of fun with all of you on Saturday and I am looking forward to trying the sauce. 


Our teacher Coco replied:
Great team work indeed! looking forward to creating more delicious recipes and have fun with you guys soon.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

notes from the garden

Gabriela and Marcello 
After missing my gardening day during the Labor Day weekend I rejoined the gardeners this past Saturday.  Linda M. helped with the removing of vegetable plants and the preparation of the soil for next season by sifting and adding compost to one of our community plots.  Gabriela brought in cover crop seeds and added them to that same plot.  Blanca helped with the harvesting of tomatoes, collard greens and weeded around the raised beds.  Mark P. worked at weeding around the inside and outside the garden fence and general landscaping while I helped with the sifting of the compost.  Overall it was a very productive day as we get ready to prepare our soil and beds for next year while still harvesting some of the remaining vegetables for the Food Pantry.

Our group gardening days remain Thursdays from 5:30 to 6:30 pm and Saturdays from 10 am to noon.  We will be having our second free gardening workshop on Thursday September 24 at 6:30 pm with Suzi Novak.  If you like more information about the class topic and registration please visit RivertownsCommunityGardens.com.


Sunday, September 13, 2015

Tomato Sauce Making and more

Coco, Donna, Lenore, Nancy, Ellen and Yaelle

Now five more people in the world know how to can tomatoes … and more! 

Coco Zordan's Tomato Sauce Making and Canning workshop last Saturday morning also included discussions on how to buy olive oil, making bread and the real cost of food (is it good for you? is it good for the environment?).

Below is Coco's how-to make basic tomato sauce for canning, taken from her website CocosBread.com. Click here to watch her step-by-step canning instruction.

How to Make Basic Tomato Sauce for Canning

I was really surprised when recently I found out that some of my friends and neighbors still make tomato sauce! If you’re here to join: Welcome to the Club!  There isn’t only one way to make a nice tomato sauce and it really depends on your family’s size, time and personal taste. My favorite methods are two: the “quick and fresh” sauce and the  traditional recipe for canning that of course  requires more time.  In summer, when tomatoes are still in season, you can make a quick sauce  to use immediately or within a week. However at the end  of summer you might wish to can those beautifully ripe tomatoes of  the Farmers’ Market  in order to have them available for  the rest of the year.

  • Traditional Tomato Sauce for Canning

By September 19, 2014
Traditional Tomato Sauce for Canning
How to make a basic delicious tomato sauce by using fresh tomatoes and basil.



wash the tomatoes,throughly, cut them in half and remove the stem or any imperfections.DSC04810DSC04812
Chop them in big pieces and add them directly into a big saucepan.
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Cover the pans with a lid and let them get to a boil. Let the pots simmer uncovered for 30/40 minutes or longer if the sauce looks too watery.
DSC04820 DSC04847
When the sauce has dried up enough, turn the fire off and, using an immersion blender, puree the sauce until smooth.   Be careful: the sauce is hot!