Friday, February 14, 2014

First Signs of Spring

Friday, February 14, 2014.  Grow Food Grow Hope received a great Valentines Day surprise.  In the early morning when our staff went in to check on the seeds, which have been planted by college students and volunteers, they found the first signs of life.  Just 4 days after planing a few plants have started to break the surface.  This is a major triumph for our volunteers and students.  Most of them have never started seeds or experienced the "creation of life" in this capacity.

Red peppers beginning to grow.
The seeds started this winter/spring will be used in our Friends of Hope Community Garden this spring and summer.  The garden provides novice and new gardeners with opportunities to develop and fine tune their skills in a structured environment.  The goal is to provide as many people as possible with the opportunity to increase access to fresh produce and increase self sustainability in daily food habits.

1.2 billion people still live in extreme poverty around the world.  While we aren't able to serve the entire population, we can make an impact in Clinton County.  Our friends of Hope Garden is open to anyone who is interested in learning to garden, it doesn't matter if you make $1 a year or $1,000,000.  We are happy to help you learn how to grow your own food and hope that you will pass those skills on to others.

Cabbage beginning to break it's shell.
One great example of this is the Urbancrest Baptist Church in Lebanon, which has started it's on Grow Hope Garden.  Assisting with the project is Jill Young, one of our former gardeners.

We hope that you will consider working with Grow Food Grow Hope this summer and continue to support our cause to increase access to fresh food and produce while increasing self sustainability in daily food habits regardless of economic opportunity.



Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Seed Starting Workshop

While our Seed Starting Workshop on February 11, 2014 was attended by only a few people it provided a great opportunity for one on one instruction. Those in attendance were educated about the tools necessary to start seeds as well as a few different methods.  The students in attendance had a good time bonding over providing plants for our community gardens this summer.  Additionally, students at Wilmington College have started to volunteer to start seeds for our Friends of Hope Community Garden.  Those students are part of Professor Stephen Pothoff's Values and Ethics course.  In this service learning project students are engaged in starting seeds because our gardens provide community members with fresh local food and opportunities to connect and become friends.

If you would like more information on how to start seeds you can feel free to click here.  This will take you to our online garden community page.  You can down load a copy of our informational flyer at the bottom of that page.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Read and Seed February 15, 2014


Press Release
Grow Food, Grow Hope
Wilmington College
For Immediate Release: 2/10/14
Contact: 937-382-6661, ext. 321

Wilmington College- Grow Food Grow Hope
Read and Seed Saturday February 15, 2014

Wilmington College Grow Food Grow Hope will be hosting a read and seed on February 15, 2014 at 10:00AM in the Center for Service and Civic Engagement at Wilmington College.  This month the youth will have the opportunity to start seeds and learn about the germination process.  If you have questions or concerns feel free to give us a call or reach out via email.


For more information about Wilmington College- Grow Food Grow Hope call 937-382-6661 ext. 321 or email growfoodgrowhope@wilmington.edu.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Don't be Nervous

If you don't have a green thumb, if you don't know anything about soil health and if you don't know how deep to plant a seed-- Don't worry.

Growing up I heard a lot about the magical green thumb.  Some people had beautiful lush gardens and some people had a few nice plants.  But I quickly learned that the secret to a beautiful lush garden wasn't anything more than passion and time.  People who tended to their gardens regularly always had the best results.  (It's a lot like studying).

But, you work full time, you have a lot of children, you're never home, you're too busy, you just don't have the energy or it's hard to get on the ground.  All of these are just excuses.  If you want a beautiful garden or you want to be described as having a green thumb, don't over extend yourself.  Think about what is manageable and plan around that.  Window box gardens have been popular in urban areas for a long time and require very little work.  A raised bed (like we use at the Friends of Hope Garden) can help reduce the number of weeds in your garden and can raise the bed just enough to help with bending over.  A small garden close to your house can be a lot of fun as well.  

The secret to gardening is starting with something small enough to provide you with success.  Sure you're going to have to read some books (or blogs) and you might need to buy some tools, but if you want to be successful at gardening, start small and grow.  Once you feel confident you can expand your garden space.

If you would like to learn more about gardening, or to sign up for our Friends of Hope Community Garden click here.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Check out the Winter Newsletter in its full format online.

Having Trouble: Click Here

Grow Food Grow Hope Winter Update

· Montgomery County Food Summit
Grow Food Grow Hope was invited to share the story and experience of Grow Food Grow Hope on November 8, 2013.
· Fall Gardeners:
12 Community Gardeners
8 Student Gardeners
500 lbs of produce grown
· First Food Policy Council Meeting:
On October 29, 2013 approximately 35 people attended the Wilmington College Grow Food Grow Hope Food Policy Council Meeting. 
· Ag Issues Forum
Grow Food Grow Hope was asked to help judge the Ag Issues Forum in November at Wilmington College.  All of the schools did a fantastic job.
· New St. John Baptist Greenhouse:
From the STAR program three young women assisted with building a greenhouse at New St. John Baptist Church in Avondale, Cincinnati.  The greenhouse was built from 2x4’s and plastic construction sheeting.
· Hours of Volunteer Service
18 volunteers served 96 hours from
October to January.  Winter is a very slow time for Grow Food Grow Hope. We were able to utilize our students from the new Work Program and community gardeners to clean up plots and fulfill other routine needs.
· GFGH Alum in Our Ohio Magazine
Dessie Buchanan will be featured in the upcoming edition of
Our Ohio Magazine. Check it out!



Grow Food Grow Hope seeks to raise awareness of the benefits of local food production, backyard and community gardening and increasing self-sustainability in our daily food habits regardless of economic opportunity.


With $100, Grow Food Grow Hope can provide a family of four with a garden plot that produces 200 lbs. of produce each year saving $250, and a mentor that can guide each family through the growing process.
You can make a donation by calling 937-382-6661
or visit growfoodgrowhope.com and click on
Get Involved!

How to Start A Community Garden


The updated Grow Food Grow Hope Garden Toolkit will be available in April, 2014! Here is how you can get started.




These four steps should get you started, but check out growfoodgrowhope.com in April for our full and finalized Garden Toolkit.  This kit will outline everything you need to start a community garden in your area.  For questions or to become a Recognized Grow Food Grow Hope garden, contact Tony Staubach at 937-382-6661 or email growfoodgrowhope@wilmington.edu.


Entertainment Food By: Tony Staubach

The following is a reflection on Joel Salatin’s book: Holy Cows and Hog Heaven: The Food Buyer's Guide to Farm Friendly Food.  In the book, Salatin advocates for farm centered shopping.  Late in the book he discusses Entertainment Food.  His view and knowledge should give us pause as we consider the nutritional values of our food and our connectedness with the food chain.






Joel Salatin will speak at Wilmington College on April 23 at 7:30PM in the Boyd Cultural Arts Center.  Salatin is an expert on sustainable food and takes a very interesting stance on how our relationship with food should be shaped.  In preparing for his presentation at Wilmington College, we recommend reading Holy Cows and Hog Heaven: The Food Buyer's Guide to Farm Friendly Food.  It is a fascinating book, filled with action steps and a number of interesting and unique perspectives— but none more fascinating than his simple point, “Coca-Cola. Hershey's. Taco Bell. McDonald's... They are in the recreation and entertainment business."  This should give us pause Coca-Cola, Hershey’s, Taco Bell and McDonalds— they all seem to sell food.  But, from Salatin’s perspective what they are selling isn’t food at all.  Throughout his book, he outlines the concerns of mass production and the dangerous path we travel as we continue to remove the farmer from the food consumer.  Further, Salatin argues that today, many farmers don’t grow food, they produce a product.

To reflect on the concept that Coca-Cola, Hershey’s, Taco Bell and McDonalds are actually in the entertainment industry is harrowing.  Is one to believe that millions of people per day are not purchasing food, but simply  entertainment?  Like a movie? It is a question everyone must answer on their own.  McDonald’s offerings contain meat, but according to Salatin it is low-quality meat, which comes from large-scale processing and does not contain the nutritional value that a farm-fresh cut of meat would.  Salatin suggests that perhaps our desire for low-cost food is dangerous to our health.  While other costs, like housing and transportation, have risen, the cost of food has decreased but so has its nutritional quality.

Lower nutritional quality is dangerous to our health and can contribute to a number of health concerns including diabetes, heart disease, obesity and high blood pressure.  Salatin takes his point further by stating that even grocery stores are culprits.  His argument is that farm-fresh eggs are healthier than their grocery store counterparts.  Why?  Farm eggs are fresh.  They come directly from a farm, and are often the eggs that farmers would eat.  Salatin shares a story in his book about a woman who pulled up drinking a soda, stating that she would never pay $2 for one dozen eggs at his farm stand.  He knew his eggs were double the price of the grocery store and that his eggs were healthier than her soda, but he couldn’t say anything because that would have been poor customer service.  Salatin’s point about entertainment food is poignant.  It is more fun to choose a quick, cheap alternative rather than a healthy, life-sustaining option. 

Entertainment food is not often considered.  Healthy food is food a person can trace back to the source, can be recognized and that can be connected to emotionally.  Healthy food is not just about nutrition, but it is also about realizing the consumer’s part in the food chain.  There is a place for entertainment food but as consumers it is important to realize that many companies spend billions of dollars on advertising.  So next time you purchase something to eat it is important to consider whether your purchase a life sustaining purchase or entertainment?


   

Food Symposium 2014


Friends of Hope Community Garden By: Sam Kremer

Now that Winter is upon us, the Friends of Hope Garden is put to rest.  But we are still preparing for the Spring and Summer.  We are setting up locations to recruit gardeners for the upcoming growing season. We are accepting gardener memberships for those interested and we cannot wait to see what the Spring has in store for the garden beds! It will be nice to see plants growing in the beds again, just like last Spring.


When I was preparing for college, I knew that I wanted a job on campus to assist with my college tuition. I was sent some forms that asked for my job preferences. Since I am majoring in Agronomy with a minor in Business Management, I knew that I wanted an agriculture-related job. Three agriculture-related jobs on the list were with Grow Food Grow Hope. I thought that I wouldn’t be selected, due to my lack of gardening experience. To my surprise, I was hired as the Garden Manager. I was  nervous because I came from a farm where we plant corn, soybeans, wheat, hay, and sorghum. My job now consists of managing 40 raised beds where we  plant vegetables, fruits, and herbs. The first week of work, I was thrown into the job and I have learned a lot. There were some plants I had never thought about growing, such as kohlrabi, bok-choy, and Swiss chard.
Some of my duties include planting cool season vegetables, mowing, weeding beds, watering, assisting gardeners, composting, and then cleaning out beds at the end of the growing season. This occurred at the end of October due to frost. I really enjoyed  harvesting the vegetables and then donating some of them to Sugartree Ministries. It was neat to see that the efforts of Grow Food Grow Hope could help others in need.


SIGN UP TO GARDEN
It’s that time again! I am Samantha Kremer with Grow Food Grow Hope and we are looking for individuals or families that are interested in gardening this Spring and Summer.
You will
· Advance your gardening skills.
· Be part of a unique community.
· Learn to prepare new dishes.
If you are interested in gardening with Grow Food Grow Hope in the Spring and Summer, please fill out an application on our website:
growfoodgrowhope.com
Click on About and find a link to our application at the bottom of the page.

If you have any questions about Grow Food Grow Hope or gardening, please call:
(937) 382-6661 ext. 321
or email
growfoodgrowhope@wilmington.edu

We hope that you will join us this year!

Growing Hope Through Education By: Micaela Wright

This Fall we had the privilege of visiting two Clinton County elementary schools and sharing three different lessons with students.  We also held a successful pumpkin pie family event.

The lessons presented at the schools included Farmer’s Market, Fruits vs. Vegetables, and Where Our Food Comes From?  The second and third graders at Clinton-Massie and New Vienna Elementary School were taught them about what can be found at Farmer’s Markets and that shopping at a farmer’s market is better than going to the grocery store because it’s usually cheaper, the food is fresher and it promotes local economic and business development.  Each class had the opportunity to create posters that will be displayed at the Clinton County Farmer’s Market! The Fruits vs. Vegetables lesson taught the children the difference between fruits and vegetables. The children learned to identify fruits and vegetables, based on whether the item had seeds or not. The third lesson at New Vienna taught the children about how food travels from the farm to the grocery store and then into lunchboxes. The children learend that some foods come from other countries and we marked examples of this on a map. The children also learned that certain foods come from certain crops, for example peanut butter is made from peanuts. The school visits this Fall have been very successful, and I look forward to the Spring lessons for next semester: Pollinators, Life Cycles of Plants, and Bugs..

This Fall I also planned a family event that was pumpkin-themed. It was held at our pavilion by the community gardens. We had about eight children come and participate in a story, games, and a “pumpkin pie walk” (instead of a cake walk). I would like to thank everyone who donated a pumpkin pie and the 20+ volunteers for their help— not only at the pumpkin pie walk, but also at the school visits. The children seemed to have a lot of fun!

SPRING LESSONS
Schedule one of our lessons for your classroom or group.

Contact:
Micaela Wright
Youth Outreach Student Associate
growfoodgrowhope@wilmington.edu
937-382-6661 ext. 321

Bugs– Students learn which bugs are helpful to have in the garden and which are bad.
Pollinators-  Students will learn how bees help with pollination and why.
Life Cycles of Plants– Students learn the parts of  a flower and the stages of growth.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds:

Ingredients: 
1/2 Cup Pumpkin Seeds
2 Cups Water
1 Tbsp. Salt
2 Tbsp.  Vegetable Oil
Directions
1.) Once the seeds have been harvested rinse them under cold water to remove all pumpkin residue.  
2.) Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
3.) Bring two cups of water and 1 Tbsp. of salt to boil.
4.) Pace 1/2 cut of pumpkin seeds in the water, let boil for 10 minutes.
5.) Remove from heat and strain the pumpkin seeds. Pat dry to remove any excess water.
6.) Cover a cookie sheet with oil and place the seeds on the sheet one layer thick.
7.) Cook until gold brown, usually 20 to 40 minutes.
8.) Remove from the oven and let stand until cool. 
9.) Add additional salt as needed. Then enjoy.

Service to the Environment By: Nina Veite

Service is about more than volunteering.  It is also about addressing needs and educating people, like educating people about sustainable living.  Nina Veite is a new resident of the Wilmington College Eco-Houses who has taken time to immerse herself in a world of environmentally friendly practices.



Nina Veite
Perhaps the two most rewarding service events were working on the garden cleanup and sharing roasted pumpkin seeds I had collected. The garden cleanup event was scheduled for a very chilly day.   While cleaning out the garden beds, I learned what some of the plants look like before they are harvested. I also learned that some plants are incredibly hard to pull out of the ground. When the roots were deep, rather than branched, I had trouble trying to pulling out the plant. The other volunteers made this work look easy! It was fun cleaning up while talking to the other volunteers.

Sharing the pumpkin seeds was very rewarding— and was perhaps my most rewarding experience.  After spending two hours and forty-five minutes gutting pumpkin seeds, it was fun to hand out the roasted seeds that came from my hard work. Sometimes, when you work on a project, you don't get to see the results of your labor, but with this project I got to work on the project from start to finish.

Let’s Build A Greenhouse By: Lindsay Overmyer and Caitlin Pauley

The project seemed simple, build a greenhouse.  For three Wilmington College Students and two members of New St. John Baptist Church the project proved to be both challenging and rewarding.  On November 23, 2013,  three young women left Wilmington College to embark on a frigid “urban experience” in Cincinnati. Their goals: to build a greenhouse and learn about urban Ohio.



 Lindsay Overmyer:
Today we went to Cincinnati to build a greenhouse from scratch.  I did not know what to expect, but I am so glad I went.  Building the greenhouse was really fun.  I’m glad Julie and Casey (members of New. St. John Baptist Church) came to help.  It was great to see the people we were helping and how excited they were about the project.  It was awesome teaching others about agriculture and seeing them enjoy it.  It was rewarding to teach William the basics of herbs and leafy greens and the removal of dead tomato plants for composting.  Urban agriculture is an excellent way to grow food and grow hope.

Buying local food is also important, because it helps the local economy. Buying Local can strengthen and sustain the community economically.  Local foods are also healthier for you when consumed fresh because they maintain their nutrients.  Eating local honey can even help ease your allergies.  By buying local you support the creation of local jobs and keep jobs in the area by ensuring that the producers can continue to sell in the community next year.  Buying local can also help build relationships and introduce consumers to the local growers and processors. 

I’m glad I had the opportunity to visit Cincinnati.  I did not realize what the city had to offer including Findlay Market.  I thought the market was interesting. You could purchase many kinds of raw or cooked foods.  The market had a lot of fresh produce that reminded me of the markets at home, but there was definitely more variety and culture represented at Findlay Market.  Finally, learning about gentrification and the increase of middle-class residents into urban neighborhoods was interesting.  I didn’t think about the displacement of low-income residents.  It was a great day, capped off with a trip to Mt. Adams to view Cincinnati from the top of the hill.


Caitlin Pauley
I traveled to Cincinnati with two other members of the (Students Taking Active Responsibility) STAR Program and Tony Staubach to perform community service and learn more about the surrounding community. Through this activity, myself and fellow STAR members were able to act upon the mission of our group.

The first part of our day in Cincinnati consisted of volunteer work. We built a small greenhouse for a community garden in order to protect growing parsley from the freezing winter temperatures. To begin this task, we traveled to Lowes where we gathered the necessary materials to build the greenhouse. Then the real work began.  We measured and cut pieces of wood, screwed them together, and attached construction plastic to the outside of the frame to complete the project. From beginning to end, the greenhouse took a few hours to complete; however, if it were not for the help of two local people, it would have taken much longer.

After the greenhouse was complete, the members of the STAR program and I were led on a tour of Cincinnati by Tony, who showed us a grand view of the city while providing many historical facts about Cincinnati. We also had the opportunity to experience Findlay Market, a large market featuring various vendors selling fresh meats, vegetables, baked goods, and crafts, proving that local agriculture can exist even in large cities. Finally, we tasted some of the local fare when we stopped for lunch at a local pizza chain before heading back to Wilmington.

Before going on this trip, I expected to help out a community by building a greenhouse, but I did not expect anything else to come out of this trip. However, as the day progressed, and even when the day was over, I realized that much more came from this experience. Not only did we help a community build a greenhouse, we also shared our agricultural knowledge with the community, learned various construction skills such as using a saw and building a supported structure, fine-tuned life skills such as patience, teamwork, persistence, and critical thinking, while, most importantly, having fun at the same time. I would definitely do it all again if I could!



Garden this Spring!



To Apply Online click the links below.
Due: Monday, February 1, 2014

Garden Applications 
Due: Friday, March 14, 2014
Mentor  Applications  Due: 
Tuesday, April 1, 2014