Hello! My name is Kylie, and I am a part of Leah’s Pantry.
In the past, I was involved in garden bed builds and garden education for different schools (Pre-K-12). Now, I co-facilitate/participate in the CalFresh Healthy Living Statewide Garden Training Subgroup.
Though I haven’t harvested anything recently, my favorite memory was watching the students pick the produce to use as a tasting during a garden lesson! The students enjoying and tasting their hard work was the best part of the job!
Hello, my name is Karina Hathorn. I work for CalFresh Healthy Living, UC.
I have been involved in SNAP-Ed garden work for about 8 years. I spent many years as a Community Education Specialist, working at elementary schools, leading garden-enhanced nutrition education. I now work at the CalFresh Healthy Living UC, State Office as the Garden Project Manager.
I most recently harvested rosemary! I used it to flavor and garnish my Thanksgiving day turkey.
Hello everyone. My name is Robert Tapia and I work with CalFresh Healthy Living UCCE for Fresno and Madera Counties. I have been involved with garden work for coming up on 4 years in January. I most recently harvested Loofahs in my home garden and plan on using them to make sponges for home chores.
Wow! You should share a picture if you have one. I’ve never heard of anyone growing loofas before
I’m Max Fairbee of CalFresh Healthy Living, UCCE in Alameda County. I’ve been in my role as a community nutrition educator for 7 years now focusing on older adults and seniors. During the pandemic, in order to help stay connected and prevent isolation for our particpants, we delivered indirect ed materials which eventually included living plants (mostly tomatoes and herbs) provided by our local Master Gardener volunteers. The plants were popular and demand grew. Since then we expanded our nutrition ed classes to include some edible garden learning activities. We are now in our second year providing gardening support and programming to adults and seniors in Alameda County.
We harvested tomatoes and summer squash as late as November at South County Homeless Shelter. The tomatoes I used in a gazpacho recipe and the squash I used in a Three Sisters Salad recipe tasting. Both were enjoyed by residents who participated.
That was one plant in my box. It ended up growing way later than what was expected here in Central California. We were able to grow like 10 and are currently awaiting them to dry so we can harvest the sponges on the inside.
A close up of our biggest loofah
by any chance do you still have that gazpacho recipe? My middle school loves to plant tomatoes and I need ideas on what to do with all the extras.
AMAZING! thanks for sharing
The Gazpacho recipe I used is in the Fresh From The Garden curriculum and comes from UCCE Master Gardeners of Los Angeles County.
Here are images of the recipe card and ingredients before I prepared it.
Thank you. I want to use this recipe for some youth and adult lessons… I appreciate the recipe.
Hi I am Rita Palmer and am a Training Specialist with Leah’s Pantry, CFHL Statewide Training Team. I co-facilitate the CFHL Statewide Garden Training subgroup, co-deliver the in-person garden training: Light Bulbs to Garden Bulbs, and other trainings.
Prior to joining the Leah’s Pantry team, I was a CFHL local implementer and worked in the school garden setting.
Now I garden for sport at home. My most recent harvest was an abundance of grape tomatoes that appeared in October. My kids love eating those! If you consider pruning back mint and rosemary as a harvest, I have done that too.
Looking forward to staying connected with you all!
wow, Max! Those veggies look amazing!
I have never tried to grow loofahs, but this is inspiring! Do you know if it grows well in climates by the coast?
This is so cool! I’ve never questioned where loofahs come from, but I never would’ve guessed they’re something we could grow in our own backyards. As a fellow Fresno County resident, I may have to try this! Thanks for sharing.
My name is Diana and I’m a part of CDA’s CFHL team.
I’m new to SNAP-Ed garden work and gardening in general.
Having recently moved to Fresno County, I haven’t planted or harvested anything yet. However, fun story: inspired by my elementary school’s gardening program, I planted a lemon seed as a child that went on to grow into a small tree. When my family moved from the Central Coast to the Central Valley, they brought the tree with them. It must be the Valley sun, but that tree now produces wheelbarrows of lemons each year! I recently picked some up and made lemon bars.