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Showing posts from July, 2021

Peaches and more

Yesterday we handed out the sweetest of peaches thanks to a generous donation from Circle Foot Permaculture .   Along with the quarts of peaches, we also provided Samaritan House Food Pharmacy clients a handout with nutritional information on peaches - how they impact your blood sugar - and a recipe for a Roasted Peach Parfait.  Here are links to the handout: Nutritional Spotlight: Peaches (English) Nutritional Spotlight: Peaches (Spanish) It all seems somewhat routine at this point:  gather donations of locally grown produce quickly pull together helpful nutritional information based on the week's donations In retrospect, this is the culmination of 3 years of effort to create a network of local gardeners, foragers and volunteers - with a goal of becoming a reliable source of fresh produce for lower income families struggling with diabetes and other health disorders.    While it has been known for some time that eating fruits & vegetables can positively impact a person's he

Dealing with the inevitable: Powdery Mildew

A healthy squash leaf Now is the time of year to be on the lookout for powdery mildew.  It will show up initially as small round spots on the leaves of squash, cucumber, pumpkin, green beans and even fruit crops like apples, peaches, tomatoes and strawberries.  If you're growing in one of the San Mateo community gardens - it's not a question of if you'll see PM (powdery mildew) - it's when?  Fortunately, there are some things you can do to disrupt the progression of this type of fungus.  Here are a few tips: 1) Diligently prune healthy leaves to allow a good amount of air & light into the plant.   2) Avoid overly moist soil conditions.   Water adequately and, preferably, earlier in day to avoid having wet plant surfaces overnight.  Splashing water from infected plants can transport the mildew spores to nearby plants - making drip irrigation optimal. 3) Many gardeners spray a mixture of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), cooking oil and dish soap upon discovering PM.

Maximize the flavor & longevity of your garden harvest

"Once pulled from the ground or severed from their mother plants, fruits and vegetables begin their march to their twilight, and there is a narrow window between optimal flavor and appearance and the onset of decay and rot."   Michael Ableman, Street Farm: Growing Food, Jobs, and Hope on the Urban Frontier , 2016 You've spent months germinating seeds and caring for young seedlings.  Now your plants are full of produce and you're ready to reap the rewards of your garden.  How you handle your newly picked fruits and vegetables will make or break their flavor and appearance.  And, should you choose to share your harvest, there are ways to increase the longevity of produce to keep it fresh longer.    Here are 6 tips to get the most from your harvest: 1) Start with good hygiene Wash your hands and harvest equipment thoroughly.  Only use clean, sanitized tools. 2) Quickly remove "field heat"    It's important to understand how fruits & vegetables lose flav

"Local" isn't always healthy

 Not all local farmers are alike.   The difference is important to your health.