Table Talk: Hugging the Vegetables

By Linda Carter

Who hugs veggies and does a dance with them? Children who look forward to 7 p.m. on a Tuesday night when Tina will bring in any leftovers from The Table. Last night they got squash, zucchini, potatoes, carrots, onions, fennel and greens straight from the fields of the Flores Farm to them – actually with a little detour to The Table.

Our well-blessed cooling shed is doing a great job in keeping the produce fresh until we can give it out. What a treat not to worry about where we can store produce in this heat or how often we need to ice it and know that it will still wilt by the time we put it out. We have seniors who get just as excited about the fresh veggies we have. They swap recipes among themselves and with our volunteers. Kohlrabi was introduced to our shoppers last year, and young and old alike look for it now.

Thanks to a Mustard Seed grant, we are starting to put together a team to plan lessons which will start in August with families and run in to the fall with our older shoppers. Wendy was walking around in the morning sharing a soaked oatmeal, which is one of Dr. Yum’s recipes and can be made overnight with no cooking; it can be chocolate, berry or tropical flavored depending on personal preference and is a very child friendly dish. Looks like a winner and probably the first lesson. Janean is back with us this summer and will start preparing tastings for our shoppers using the produce delivered on Sunday; recipes in English and Spanish will be available.

Breakfast bags are back for all school age children who come to The Table. Thanks to Laura’s Daisies for getting us started last week, and thanks to a private donation, we will be able to provide cereal, juice, a granola bar, fruit and a protein to every child we see between now and the start of school. Thanks to Danielle and Sandy for clipping box tops all year and getting books for children with them. We have been giving them out with the breakfast bags. Not only are our young guests being nourished physically, they are being challenged mentally. I sat with one beginning reader last night who read to me from the book she chose. If you have any books your children have outgrown and would like to share, please bring them in.

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