Yakima County Master Gardeners: They grew lunch! | Discover Yakima


A humorous website posted the exploits of two seasoned and enthusiastic gardeners who resolved to expand their Thanksgiving supper. A single agreed to expand corn, beans, onions, potatoes and pumpkins. The other experienced an herb backyard, fig and apple trees, chickens and eggs.

That summer season, their weblog comprehensive the demise of their beautiful gardens, which ended up invaded by bugs, deer, gophers and a new pup that favored to dig and participate in tug of war with the plants. Later, they skilled an uncommon drought and a warmth wave. With each individual disaster, the supper menu grew more compact. By October, their gardens ended up decimated. They jokingly agreed that they could nonetheless make one particular mouth watering eggplant and an omelet large plenty of to feed 4 of the 10 people today attending the evening meal.

As gardeners, we can snicker at, and empathize with, the plight of this backyard garden duo. At initial blush this tale is discouraging, but a 2nd glance will take the obstacle of farm-to-desk to a whole new amount. This website hooked a dozen Yakima County Master Gardeners on the plan of escalating an total food to serve at our December getaway luncheon.

Of course, December! Why in the dead of winter season? Simply because gardening in summer season is not adequate of a obstacle. We resolved to turn gardening into an severe activity, developing adequate food to provide lunch to 60 men and women at our luncheon. This ambitious and optimistic challenge was dubbed We Grew Lunch.

We remembered that our pioneer ancestors have been a hardy bunch who grew all their individual food stuff, not as a challenge, but purely for survival. Surly we could do a person meal to celebrate the bounty of our gardens, even in winter season. What was schedule for the pioneers is now referred to as regionally developed or farm-to-table.

It turns out that “local” isn’t well described. It implies different points to various persons. Are locally developed meals sourced from in the United States, the Pacific Northwest, the condition of Washington, or Yakima County? Embracing our pioneer spirit, we determined that for our event, domestically developed would necessarily mean that all fruits, nuts, vegetables, herbs, eggs and honey had to be grown or raised by Yakima Master Gardeners in their possess gardens.

The most important hurdle was determining on the principal dish, which is commonly a protein and most likely not a little something developed in a vegetable backyard. A small discussion above meat vs. meatless led us to choose neither. The good news is, two Master Gardeners who increase chickens volunteered to source all the eggs for the primary dish. Following that, the relaxation of the meal was primarily based on what each and every of us could mature and add.

It is shocking what will increase in Yakima in December! There had been 7 unique appetizers, together with gazpacho, pickles, dips and spreads. The most important program begun with a combined eco-friendly salad topped with peppers and tomatoes that were developed in unheated hoop houses homemade rosemary bread with fig preserves roasted winter season squash and root veggies and a flavorful frittata with peppers and mushrooms. Last came dessert, with a few selections of fruit crisp: apple, rhubarb-raspberry and pear-walnut.

We Grew Lunch was a enjoyment challenge. It demanded organizing that started lengthy ahead of we ordered or planted any seeds. We had to take into consideration what grows nicely in the limited times of slide which varieties tolerate light-weight frost and what summer crops will retailer well via December. The listing is prolonged, such as practically all root crops, numerous leafy crops for salads or to sauté, dry beans and squash. All these meals can be eaten contemporary without having freezing or canning.

This calendar year, why not make a backyard problem of your own? Set a date — possibly a very little before than December. Start early so you can get the seeds and plants you’ll need to have. Program one food, start to finish, from your yard. In the conclude probably you are going to only have a few of shriveled up carrots. In that situation, you can thank your fortunate stars that you are not a actual pioneer devoid of a grocery shop in sight.

On the other hand, you may be stunned to uncover your back garden is much far more productive than you at any time dreamed.

Gardening problems? The general public is inspired to take a look at the Master Gardener diagnostic clinic in Union Hole, Mondays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to noon and 1-4 p.m. Call us at 509-574-1604 or e-mail gardener@yakima.wa.us. For much better identification, provide a sample of the weakened plant in a sealed zip-shut bag.



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