Monthly Archives: November 2010

Giving Back….Healthy Version

All too frequently, difficult financial times seem to equate unhealthy food choices with lack of options.  Needy families eat from the dollar menu or the processed food aisles because they think it’s the only way to get the most bang for their buck and local food drives reap an even greater bounty of unhealthy, often expired, processed food.

Below are some other options.  Feel free to chime in if you know of similar programs in your area.P.E.A.C.E. Garden at Saddleback will donate all vegetables and fruit grown on-site to the families that seek assistance from the Saddleback Food Pantry.

(No comment right now on the stupidity that is the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009 (HR 875).

If you have your own edible garden and more veggies than you know what to do with, please contact The Harvest Club.  They will not only help you harvest your garden,but they will also donate the produce to needy families.  If they don’t serve your area, I’m sure they can refer you to someone who does!

On December 1st, The City of Irvine will be hosting the “Healthy” Food Drive.  I’m glad that they used the quotes because it will save me one or two facetious comments.  But they mean well and it could be a step in the right direction by making a point to indicate “healthy.”  Nonetheless, when you’re hungry (and I’ve been there), just about any food is greatly appreciated!  Please help out in Irvine or at your local food drive if you’re able to.

About this time last year, I had barely enough food to feed myself and was on the verge of losing my apartment and thinking that I’d have to quit school and pack it up to move back to Colorado.  I continue to be eternally thankful for the friends and family who came to my rescue and filled my tummy, lifted my spirits and gave me (and my zoo) a place to live until I could get back on my feet!

May you all continue to be blessed and, if you don’t feel like you are, please don’t go it alone but rather reach out for a boost up!  You are, but stress may be causing a little fog.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Playing for Change “One Love”



From Tilth to the Table – Mango Salsa

A couple of nights ago, I was unwinding while sprucing up the patio garden. Everything seems to be faring well given the weird weather that we’ve been experiencing in So Cal.  Then again, my plants are used to “tough love” (read “neglect”) when school gets busy so they’re no strangers to surviving in harsh conditions.

However, my red bell pepper plants are not only surviving but thriving!  In fact, they are downright perky due to the rains that we had a couple of weeks ago (please come back).  Red bell peppers are easy to grow and one of my favorite foods to eat alone or mixed in with something else…..like Mango Salsa!

Photo Credit: World of Crepes

Mango salsa pairs well with fish (Salmon, Tilapia, Mahi Mahi, Halibut), chicken, pork tenderloin or just scoop it up with some chips!

  • 1 1/2 cups (1/2-inch) diced mango
  • 1/2 cup small diced red bell pepper
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon minced jalapeno
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place all the ingredients in a non-reactive medium bowl and stir to blend. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the salsa to macerate at room temperature for 30 to 45 minutes or chill up to 6 hours.

Yield: about 2 cups…so double it because you’ll definitely want more.

Variations:  Add some diced avocado or slightly grill the mango.

Thinking about starting your own edible garden or adding to the one that you have?  Check out this list of seed companies compiled by Greg Holdsworth at Vegetable Gardener.

American Meadows http://www.americanmeadows.com
Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds http://rareseeds.com
Botanical Interests, Inc. http://www.botanicalinterests.com
Burpee http://www.burpee.com
The Cook’s Garden http://www.cooksgarden.com
Evergreen Seeds http://www.evergreenseeds.com
Gurney’s Seed & Nursery Co. http://gurneys.com
Harris Seeds http://www.harrisseeds.com
Henry Field’s http://henryfields.com
Home Harvest Seeds (Ferry Morse) http://homeharvestseeds.com
Johnny’s Selected Seeds http://www.johnnyseeds.com
Jung Garden and Flower Seed Company http://www.jungseed.com
Kitazawa Seed Company http://www.kitazawaseed.com
New Dimension Seed http://www.newdimensionseed.com
Park Seed Co. http://www.parkseed.com
Reimer Seeds http://www.reimerseeds.com
Seed Savers Exchange http://www.seedsavers.org
Seeds of Change http://www.seedsofchange.com
Stokes Seeds http://www.stokeseeds.com
Territorial Seed Co. http://www.territorialseed.com
Thompson & Morgan http://www.tmseeds.com
Tomato Growers Supply Co. http://www.tomatogrowers.com
Totally Tomatoes http://www.totallytomato.com