As part of our Greyston Kitchen program, we’ve been trying to balance out our snacking on tasty brownies and cookies by incorporating some fresh, home-grown vegetables into our diets. This summer, our garden has been sprouting several varieties of produce, including tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, herbs, lettuce and cauliflower. So far we’ve managed to harvest a several bowls of lettuce and tomatoes. The collard greens and peppers are almost ready for harvest.
Even better, we’ve been incorporating our fresh-picked produce into recipe demonstrations so that our team can get ideas for healthy, delicious meals. Sara, our Summer Marketing Intern, led a demo with tomatoes from our garden and made some fresh, tasty salsa for all of the staff to try! Karen’s chickpea salad recipe also included one of our thriving plants; peppermint! As our veggies and herbs continue to grow, we will host several more cooking demos that use our own produce. It’s a great feeling being able to taste the (literal) fruits of our efforts.
Even though Greyston Bakery only started a summer garden last year, the Greyston Foundation has been spreading the goodness of gardening and the health benefits of nutritious produce to Yonkers residents . The Foundation has turned six vacant lots into thriving green spaces and the Community Gardens and Environmental Education Program has served more than 1,100 of our neighbors. Initiatives include outdoor education, nutrition education, an Enviro-Earth club after-school and summer youth program, and countless special events including garden barbeques, clean-ups, and ‘green’ holiday celebrations. 400 garden members care for some 277 garden plots and get to enjoy the fresh, healthy produce that results from their hard work while gaining an entrepreneurial work ethic, a feeling of ecological stewardship, and a sense of community. In addition to these fantastic outcomes, gardening has been proven to fight stress and improve mental and physical health, making for a happier and stronger Yonkers community.
Today we launch our SEVENTH community garden in Yonkers at 128 Oak Street. We are very proud of this accomplishment.