In addition to serving their local Russellville community with a free Saturday meal, Russellville’s All Saint’s Episcopal Church and its Edible Churchyard Community Garden has implemented the new Cooking Matters garden addenda. Facilitator, Suzanne Alford has said “in spite of monsoon-like rains during all three pilot classes, our most recent Cooking Matters class planted and harvested plenty of basil, green pepper, and cucumber for our final “The Works Pizza” class.
Participants also learned about composting and beekeeping during trips to the garden. The most popular recipes were Veggie Quesadillas and Turkey Chili and snacks of seasonal fruits and vegetables, including crispy roasted kale. One of Suzanne’s favorite parts of the classes was introducing label reading and reinforcing it during each class and during the grocery tour. A few teens even agreed ground turkey was a good, tasty, lower-fat substitute for ground beef and that “homemade ranch” was just as good as store-bought versions with hard to pronounce ingredients!
With so many health goals in mind when implementing classes, her biggest hope is that “students will begin to read labels and think about what they are eating!”