Garden additional is put to good use

August 18, 2016 - garden totes

There comes a time, customarily in late July, when my small village garden tract starts producing some-more squish and zucchini than my father and we can presumably eat.
Thankfully, there’s a resolution to this problem: we place a additional in a basket labeled Squash Hunger.
There are customarily a few other vegetables in a basket, infrequently tomatoes, cucumbers and kale. The furnish doesn’t lay there too long; dual or 3 times a week, a proffer picks adult a veggies and takes them to a internal soup kitchen or pantry.
This settlement is steady all summer prolonged during a 51 village gardens managed by Capital Roots, a Troy-based classification with gardens in Schenectady, Rensselaer, Albany and southern Saratoga counties.
I’ve been gardening during a Lincoln Park village garden in Albany for 5 years now, in a tract we share with my landlord.
We aren’t a world’s biggest gardeners, and a tract tends to simulate that.
By mid-August, a garden is disproportionate with weeds and a attempts to revive sequence fundamentally finish in failure. But this doesn’t meant a garden is a failure. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that even a laziest and many random of gardeners will breeze adult with a flattering large bounty. Thanks to Squash Hunger, we never have to worry about what to do with it all. When we have too much, we give it away.
This week we met Sharon Howard, a proffer who picks adult a Squash Hunger donations during a Lincoln Park garden.
Howard lives in my neighborhood, and shares a garden tract with a crony that’s flattering tighten to mine. She filled dual receptacle bags with donated vegetables — we contributed dual zucchinis and a squish — installed them into her car, gathering to a Capital City Rescue Mission dual blocks divided and forsaken them off.
Prior to my outing to Capital City Rescue Mission, I’d never unequivocally given many suspicion to where a vegetables we donated went, or who ate them, or how they were prepared.
Now that we know, I’m even some-more eager about a Squash Hunger program, that delivers uninformed vegetables to approximately 60 puncture feeding programs via a Capital Region, according to Amy Klein, a executive executive of Capital Roots. What’s many delightful is meaningful that a immeasurable infancy of vegetables will get eaten.
“Most of a time, we do a medley,” Max Ansong, a executive cook during Capital City Rescue Mission, told me. He pronounced he chops adult a vegetables — mostly, from a looks of it, zucchini and squish — adds onions, garlic, peppers and Italian dressing, and bakes it. “The people who come here don’t always take caring of themselves health-wise,” Ansong said. “We wish to give them healthy food.”
The day we visited, Ansong and his staff were portion chicken, strawberries, a garden salad and corn on a cob from a internal farm.
Perry Jones, a mission’s executive director, pronounced a peculiarity of a food has softened tremendously given he started operative during Capital City Rescue Mission 30-plus years ago — partial of a incomparable trend that has seen some-more people take an seductiveness in shopping from internal farms and suppliers.
“In a early days, all we had were canned veggies,” Jones recalled.
Capital City Rescue Mission serves a lot of people. Sue Jones, who serves as executive of development, told me that it serves 700 dishes a day. There’s salad and fruit during each lunch, and infrequently during dinner, too.
“The food doesn’t go to waste,” Ansong said. “I know how to devise and hoop food. In summer, we get a lot.”
Squash Hunger is 12 years old.
The module donated 6,000 pounds of vegetables in a initial year; in 2015, it donated 80,000 pounds, according to Klein.
This outrageous boost isn’t due only to a munificence of internal gardeners.
Over a years, a module has gradually expanded.
Volunteers also reap from internal farms, picking leftover vegetables and collecting them for puncture food programs. Capital Roots also purchases vegetables directly from internal farms and indiscriminate distributors. The module is also open to people who aren’t village gardeners. There are Squash Hunger baskets in 12 Capital Region locations, including a Niskayuna Co-op, Honest Weight Food Co-op in Albany and Roma Foods in Latham.
I don’t minister a outrageous volume to Squash Hunger, though it’s good to know a small we do minister is partial of a larger whole, and that this larger whole unequivocally does make a difference. we suffer eating uninformed vegetables in a summer, and I’m happy to be one of a many internal gardeners to share this knowledge with people in need.
Reach Gazette columnist Sara Foss during or 395-3193. Opinions voiced here are her possess and not indispensably a newspaper’s. Her blog is during

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