Saturday, March 27, 2010

Plant a Row for the Hungry in your Garden

Share your harvest
for the Hungry
  • Plant-a-Row for the Hungry is an ongoing, annual campaign sponsored by the Garden Writers Association (GWA)
  • GardenCuizine blog is by Diana Wind, member of the GWA
  • Plant vegetables, fruits, and herbs
  • Bring your extra produce to a GardenCuizine drop off point, or a soup kitchen or food pantry nearest you 
  • Diana can mail you receipt(s) to have verified at the drop off site 
If you would like you, your family, your group or company to be recognized in social or print media, email GardenCuizine a copy of the verified receipt, along with any photos you wish to have included. Diana will gladly write a press release about your efforts for your local paper, GWA and GardenCuizine's blog. 
 You can make a difference!

2010 Plant-a-Row Supporters include:
  • Whole Foods Market, Marlton, NJ - at their new community organic garden, Marlton Garden at Springside, breaking ground Friday, April 16th! For those in need of a garden plot contact: or
  • Would you like to Plant-a-Row?

  • The Food Bank of South Jersey - a nonprofit organization whose mission is to help eliminate hunger and malnutrition in the four counties it serves in southern New Jersey - Burlington, Camden, Gloucester and Salem.
Search for a Food Pantry:  

For more information contact:
Diana Wind - GardenCuizine
 Plant-A-Row for the Hungry is sponsored by The Garden Writers Association - or Call Toll Free (877) 492-2727
Related Links:    
USDA Food Security  
Fruits and Veggies, More Matters 

Friday, March 26, 2010

Italian Easter Bread

Italian Easter Bread

Italian Easter bread makes a spectacular and festive addition to an Easter table setting. My tradition has been to make the bread dough Easter morning before church, cover it and let the dough rise. Then Easter day, after church, I assemble and braid the dough into a ring with eggs and let it rise again. The Easter bread is baked off around 4 pm or so, just in time for dinner. Of course, if you plan to have Easter dinner earlier in the day, you could move up your baking schedule to either earlier in the morning, or the day before.

To color or not to color the eggs?
My mama recalls the Easter bread Granddad would bring home came from an Italian Bakery in New York City. She remembers it  having white eggs, not dyed - similar to how Ferrara's Bakery makes their Easter bread today. 

Traditional Greek Easter bread, tsoureki, incorporates red dyed eggs to symbolize the blood of Christ. I like baking the bread with pastel colored eggs - the choice is yours. The eggs are placed uncooked in the bread dough and will become hard cooked when the dough is baked in the oven. I find it works best to color the eggs the night before Easter, so the color can thoroughly dry.  

Growing Anise
Anise seeds add a hint of traditional Italian licorice flavor to the Easter bread dough. Anise (Pimpinella anisum) plants are lovely and easy to grow in the yard or garden. 

The plants grow similar to fennel with flowers that bloom in umbels. After flowering the blooms will go to seed. The seeds can be collected by cutting off the umbels and drying them on sheet pans. Anise seeds enhance breads and baked goods, such as Anise Biscotti and Pizzelles.

Check out my recipe!

Related Links
Diana's Anise Biscotti 
Copyright © 2010 Wind. All rights reserved.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Gardens Teach Children Nutrition

Gardens Teach Children Nutrition 

March brings us National Nutrition Month, an annual program sponsored by the American Dietetic Association. This year's theme, 'Nutrition from the Ground Up', brings to mind my favorite subjects: gardening, food, health and nutrition. We all know that in order to live, we need nutrition and energy from food. And, where does all food originate? Wholesome, nutritious food, both for us and for farm animals, grows from seeds planted in the garden! Gardens and farms offer learning opportunities that can provide meaningful experiences and influence healthy-lifestyle changes for all of us - especially children.  

Grains, grasses, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and edible flowers, all come from a farm or garden somewhere. Children find farms and gardens absolutely fascinating and welcome the opportunity to participate. Children actually enjoy, and even ask for more, fruits and vegetables after having a helping-hand in planting and harvesting them. Children who experience gardening have multiple opportunities to learn about working cooperatively, science, math, art, reading, writing, weather, wildlife, insects, and all about plant life, food, health and nutrition.

Gardens do not have to be located just in your own backyard either; school, camp, and public children's gardens are gaining popularity throughout the nation. During recent years, I have had the pleasure and opportunity to visit and research several children's gardens. Look for my top 10 Plant Picks for a Children's Garden in articles published on 
I'm Blogging National Nutrition Month
'Celebrate National Nutrition Month by Gardening with Children' 

Part 1- Best Plants for Gardening with Kids

Related Links: 
Camden Children's Garden
HealthBarn USA
Fruits and Veggies, More Matters 
Benefits of Gardening for Children 
"Mommy, look what I picked!" Improving Children's Nutrition and Health through Gardening by Diana Wind

Credits: Eat Right logo is a registered trademark of the American Dietetic Association. Children in Garden Photograph taken at HealthBarnUSA with permission.   

Copyright © 2010 Wind. All rights reserved.