As the line for food was winding down last night at Rivertown Commons’ (140 unit affordable housing community in St. Paul) National Night Out, cooking coach and nutrition educator Tracey KS Yue was setting up for a cooking demonstration. Using green cabbage, kale, red onions, cilantro, basil and cucumbers from the Backyard Harvest garden on the property, she welcomed both kids and adults to help chop, stir and cut the produce that was picked just that day. ‘This is all fresh food from your garden!’, she would exclaim. The quizzical looks from residents soon turned to intrigue as a colorful salad took form. Lentils and an oil/vinegar dressing were tossed with the fresh veggies creating a delectable looking delight. Several of the child chefs took turns passing out samples to the residents. It was a refreshing finish to the traditional barbecue menu of the annual summer event.
My name is Lea Berg, and the garden at Rivertown Commons is one my primary responsibilities as Equal Access Coordinator with Backyard Harvest. For a first year project, the 400 sq. ft. garden at this urban apartment complex is going remarkably well. Many residents have been involved with the garden this season as planters, harvesters, observers or eaters. We’re already looking forward to duplicating this initiative at other multi-unit housing sites next year. Growing organic food and making it available to all people, regardless of income, is something we believe in!
If you believe in growing a healthy & sustainable food system for everyone, we invite you to support us via Kickstarter. The campaign runs through August 31. See the updater on the right to see how close we’re getting to our goal!