Tag Archives: food security

Crop City: Local Chefs Visit the Farm!

With the 2013 Crop City program winding down here in its final week, campers were treated to a very special visit at the Hands On Nashville Urban Farm yesterday!

Local chefs Tony Galzin and Jo Ellen Brown stopped by and spent the morning whipping up a pair of delicious summer dishes for campers to enjoy. The demonstrations, part of Crop City’s unique farm-to-table curriculum, gave dozens of youth a first-hand look at how easy it is to create dishes that are not only delicious, but healthy as well.

Chef Tony’s squash salad and Chef Jo Ellen’s fruit dip were such a huge hit yesterday that we thought it would be a great idea to share the recipes with you.  Give one or both of these outstanding recipes a try in your own kitchen!

Chef Tony Galzin puts the finishing touches on his summer squash salad.
Chef Tony Galzin puts the finishing touches on his summer squash salad.

Summer Squash Salad

2 medium summer squash
1 bell pepper
6 cherry tomatoes
1 lime
1 Tablespoon of olive oil
Salt
Pepper
Cayenne pepper

–Wash all vegetables.
–Cut squash into 1/4 inch slices.
–Microwave in a plastic container with a little water for 2 minutes.
–Check to see if the squash is tender. If it’s not, microwave until cooked.
–Strain out water and put the squash in a bowl.
–Cut the pepper in half. Remove the seeds, and cut into small dice. Add to the squash.
–Cut the tomatoes into quarters and add to the rest of the vegetables.
–Cut the lime into quarters and squeeze the juice over the vegetables. Add the olive oil and mix.
–Season with salt, pepper, and a small amount of cayenne, and mix.

Yogurt Almond Fruit Dip

Chef Jo Ellen Brown slices apples for her yogurt almond dip.
Chef Jo Ellen Brown slices apples for her yogurt almond dip.

1 cup of Greek or plain yogurt
1/2 cup of peanut butter or almond butter
2-3 Tablespoons of honey
Pinch of cinnamon (optional)

–Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.  Whisk until the dip has a consistent color and texture. Serve with sliced apples.

Many thanks to both chefs for donating their time and expertise to help Nashville-area youth eat smarter and healthier!

Meet our Awesome Urban Farm Apprentices!

We are so excited to introduce our truly amazing 2013 Urban Farm Apprentices, who have been training and working diligently to make the future of our communities brighter, one step at a time. All 15 Apprentices have gone through a rigorous application and interview process and weeks of training to become the rock stars they are today. 

This summer, HON Urban Farm Apprentices will lead groups of up to 60 of their peers through a curriculum built around agriculture, the food system, and healthy eating at our Youth Summer Camp and Crop City programs, both held at the fabulous Hands On Nashville Urban Farm.

Without any further ado, read on to learn more about each of these awesome young people!

2013 Urban Farm Apprentices (in alphabetic order):

GA2013-AminaAmina is a rising sophomore at McGavock High School. She loves food and enjoys being around others. She also loves being in the outdoors and is good at helping people.
GA2013-CarsonCarson is a rising junior at University School of Nashville. She is a scholastic-winning author and budding environmentalist.
GA2013-ChloeChloe is a rising senior at MLK. She loves listening to music and also enjoys ballet and meeting new people.
GA2013-DanielDaniel is a rising senior at MLK. He enjoys backpacking and whitewater rafting. He is interested in pursuing a degree in agriculture business.
GA2013-EmilyEmily attends Hume-Fogg High School, where she is a member of the GSA and the Fighting Disease Club. She served as co-captain of her school’s swim team and she enjoys making art.
GA2013-EmmaEmma is a rising junior at MLK. She is an avid gardener, aspiring writer, and LGBT rights activist.
GA2013-FarhiyaFarhiya is a rising sophomore at Hillwood High School. She enjoys reading books and getting to know new people.
GA2013-HaydenHayden is a rising senior atHume-Fogg. He loves running and juggling and is excited to work at the Urban Farm this summer. Hayden enjoys working outside and hanging out with other kids.
GA2013-JazminJazmin just graduated from Glencliff High School. She wants to do nonprofit and leadership work, and loves to volunteer.

GA2013-KatherineKatherine is a senior at Hume-Fogg Academic and is an event organizer for her Environmental Action Club. She is passionate about music, cooking, books, nature, and helping others. Katherine aspires to be a sustainable systems designer on a city-scale.

GA2013-LydiaLydea is a sophomore at Nashville School of the Arts, where she enjoys playing the cello and going to English class. Her favorite hobbies include reading books and ‘fangirling’ over Benedict Cumberbatch (go Sherlock!).

GA2013- MariaMaria attends Glencliff High School and is a rising senior. She is passionate about helping others and aspires to become a pediatrician. She also loves soccer and watermelon!

GA2013-NancyNancy is a rising sophomore at MLK. She enjoys playing soccer and volleyball in the summer with her church. She also plays ping-pong and has played the piano and clarinet. Nancy enjoys volunteering and reading books in her free time.

GA2013-RachelRachel is a rising senior at Nashville School of the Arts. She enjoys painting and is president of the National Art Honors Society. She loves to work out and stay healthy while maintaining a positive attitude and encouraging others.
GA2013-TerrellTerrell is a rising senior at Glencliff and describes himself as an Afrocentrist. He is plenty of things, one of which is an athlete. He runs or bikes to the Urban Farm every day.

In Thanksgiving of Nashville’s Volunteer Spirit

This week always has a certain feel to it – life’s busy pace seems to slow down just a bit, autumn really seems to settle in amongst the fallen leaves, and families and friends prepare to gather around tables to share a meal together. There’s just something about this holiday that seems to allow space for quiet reflection, even amidst the grocery shopping, the travel, and the menu preparation. And so – in between making plans to run in the Boulevard Bolt Thursday morning and our travel schedules – here’s our reflection on what makes us proud to be Nashvillians.

Middle Tennesseans have embraced a spirit and culture of volunteerism over the past two years that is quite literally changing lives every day. We can share the numbers with you until we’re blue in the face (Nashville leapfrogged 19 places in the latest national ranking of volunteer service – from 37 to 18 among 51 of the nation’s largest cities), and we can point to the number of people who volunteered in 2010 to help with Nashville’s flood response and then kept volunteering in the community beyond flood response. But the every-day stories of people helping people are what remind us of how truly remarkable our community is. Here are a few:

Children served by Bethlehem Centers showcasing the tasty produce grown in the Center's garden. The garden was built by volunteers, and volunteers continue to work with the children to maintain it (and enjoy the fruits of their labor).
Volunteers creating rain gardens at a Metro School, in partnership with HON and Impact Nashville. Rain gardens make a big difference in our city's rainwater system by reducing runoff - this helps our rivers stay clean and healthy.
Twice a month, volunteers play goalball with the blind and visually impaired athletes of TN Association of Blind Athletes.
The high school students serving as HON Youth Volunteer Corps interns work each month to engage children from low-income families in fun service learning activities.
Volunteers make big improvements in Metro Nashville Public Schools each September as part of Hands On Nashville Day. A record number of volunteers participated in HON Day 2011.
Each week, volunteers work to make efficiency improvements in low-income homes in North and East Nashville, so homeowners can be more comfortable during weather extremes and save on their energy bills. This is a group of Ford employees with the homeowner they helped. So far this year, 33 homes have been improved thanks to the volunteers who have participated in HON's Home Energy Savings Program.
Just last week, volunteers from DaVita Kidney Care spent an entire day helping to renovate East Nashville Cooperative Ministry. The renovation will help the organization better serve the elderly, poor, disabled, unemployed, and disadvantaged with emergency food assistance and empower community wellbeing through food security.

So, as we prepare for our Thanksgiving activities, we want to acknowledge our deep appreciation and thanks for the culture and spirit of volunteerism and service that makes Music City such an incredibly giving community.

The Power of Space

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” -Henry David Thoreau
When the folks at DaVita Kidney Care approached us about coordinating a service day for their employees during the company’s conference in Nashville, we landed on sprucing up the building that houses East Nashville Cooperative Ministry (ENCM). It was clear to DaVita that this small-but-mighty East Nashville nonprofit impacts a lot of lives, and that the building where it does so much good work – helping the elderly, poor, disabled, unemployed, and disadvantaged with emergency food assistance and empowering community wellbeing through food security – didn’t quite reflect the beauty and potential of its work. As we dug into the needs of the facility, it became clear that the building would need a complete renovation. DaVita (based in Denver, Colorado) and the Nashville community stepped up to the challenge.

For the past few days, volunteers from the community have been working through the sunshine and the rain to tear down walls, set fence posts, build scaffolding, and more. Tomorrow, 180 DaVita employees will descend on the small building on Gallatin Road to paint an exterior mural on the side of the building, construct fences and arbors for the vegetable garden, build indoor and outdoor tables, paint and install shelving, paint interior walls, and build planters. Dozens of community members will continue to volunteer over the next few days to complete the project. And on Monday, after Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee restocks its food pantry with staple food items and produce,  East Nashville Cooperative Ministry will unveil their renovated facility – a space that will enable the organization to meet the rapidly increasing demand for emergency food assistance, provide food education to the community, engage more volunteers, and improve the curb appeal of the neighborhood.

As ENCM executive director Alan Murdock says in the news release that went out yesterday, “The renovation will not only help expand our services and volunteer programs, but it will also put the agency in a position to provide more healthy food choices, and expanded gardening and cooking education to our clients and the community on a more consistent basis.” While a building certainly isn’t everything, the space within which ENCM operates will be forever changed after this week. All thanks to the vision of caring businesses and Nashville volunteers. And that’s a powerful thing.

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Youth Volunteers to Impact Poverty Through “Hunger Banquet” Service and Learning Event

On Saturday, November 5, Nashville youth ages 11 to 18 are invited to experience firsthand the disparities that exist between the developed and developing worlds by participating in HON’s Hunger Banquet, presented by Qdoba. Participants will be divided at random into high-, middle- and low-income groups representing the demographic divisions across the world, and then fed according to socioecoHunger Banquetnomic class in order to help them understand the extent of poverty and hunger worldwide. After the meal, youth will work with Second Harvest Food Bank to sort nonperishable food donations and help feed hungry Tennesseans. This food sorting project becomes even more meaningful because volunteers gain a new perspective on global hunger and poverty during the Hunger Banquet. If you’re ready to learn about hunger issues facing millions of people, and want to be part of the solution, sign up here to be one of the 65 youth volunteers who will make a difference during the holiday season.  Space is limited.

HON is proud to partner with Qdoba and their five area locations to provide food for the Hunger Banquet.