Posts Tagged ‘donate produce’

We know it’s easy to get caught up in summertime activities, but Plant A Row for the Hungry is a simply way to give back to your community through your summer harvest! While you’re at the beach soaking up rays, or enjoying a neighborhood cook out you can still be fighting hunger in your backyard with your growing garden! Surplus veggies from your garden can be dropped off at locations across the Triangle, and Inter-Faith Food Shuttle will take your home-grown food to people in need. Whether it is 2 tomatoes or a bushel of corn– every bit helps feed hungry stomachs in the Greater Triangle.

Watch the video below to see what the IFFS team does when the garden is overrun by extra veggies!

Encourage your fellow green thumbs to donate produce to the Food Shuttle- becoming a PAR member is quite easy!  Simply contact Don (don@foodshuttle.org) to get started.

Do your part to help fight hunger; lets cultivate a culture of giving in the Triangle!


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Today’s Ripe Recipe takes a unique approach to cooking home-grown beets.

Tonya Post, our Director of Programs, recommended this pasta/beet combo from her expansive repertoire of recipes. So, harvest some beets from your garden and dish up this ripe recipe for dinner tonight!

Beet Pasta

Serves 6

  • 2 pounds small red or golden beets, scrubbed well
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 pound whole wheat spaghetti or other short tubular pasta
  • 6 ounces blue cheese or feta, crumbled (1 cup)


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place beets in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish; add 1/2 cup water. Seal dish tightly with foil. Bake beets until tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp paring knife, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Let cool 10 minutes. Using a paper towel, rub off skins. Slice beets into wedges.
  2. In a large bowl, toss beets with garlic, orange juice, oil, and coriander; season with salt and pepper.
  3. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, according to package instructions. Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup of cooking water. Return the pasta to the pot; toss with half of the blue cheese and enough reserved pasta water to coat pasta. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Divide the pasta mixture among plates; top with beets and remaining blue cheese. Serve immediately.

Did you try this beet pasta recipe? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment!

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Inter-Faith Food Shuttle Farm and Garden

Crew-Call June 9, 2010

Thank you all so much for your emails, calls and appearance at the City Council meeting last week. Your support of the Food Shuttle’s programs in Raleigh have not gone unnoticed!


· Farm, Work day, Saturday between 9a-2p (4505 Tryon Road)

o We need 10 volunteers that can each commit 2-3 hours this Saturday!

o Sun and Steven, our resident Worm Doctor, need your help building vermicomposting bins!

o Reserve your spot with Sun (sun@foodshuttle.org) so he knows you’re coming out to help!

NEW DIRECTIONS! No, the farm hasn’t changed location, we’re just asking that all volunteers park at 4505 Tryon Road, where the IFFS Farm sign is now set. Once you park your car, walk across the field towards the greenhouse; Sun and Steven will be in that general area.

· Community Gardens Work times (please note different locations and days!):

Neighbor to Neighbor Tuesday 4-5:00pm

Mayview Wednesday 4-5:00pm

Alliance Medical Ministry Thursday 4-5:00pm

o We’re working with community members and youth to grow their gardens!

o We need 3 volunteers for each work day- email Amanda (Amanda@foodshuttle.org) if you can help.

o Garden Addresses/Directions: Neighbor to Neighbor is at 1200 S Blount Street; 1 story brick building on right with long chain link fence. The Mayview garden site is located down the grassy hill behind the duplex at 2136 Mayview Rd (backing up to the Jaycee field). Alliance Medical Ministry is located at the corner of New Bern Ave. and Donald Ross Dr. at 101 Donald Ross.

· Vote for the Food Shuttle!

o Help spread the word! Ask your friends and family to vote for the Food Shuttle and Triangle Land Conservancy to create teaching farms in each of the counties the Food Shuttle serves. You have only until June 15th to cast your vote! http://www.justmeans.com/contestidea?ideaid=NDg4

· PAR (Plant a Row for the Hungry) – sign up to become a member or drop off site!

o The IFFS PAR program encourages people to grow extra and/or donate excess produce to people in need through IFFS. We will have weekly PAR produce drop-off sites at locations around our 7 county service area, including at Logan’s on Saturday mornings.

o If you are interested in becoming a member (donating produce from your own harvest) or know of a farmers market or store that might be interested in becoming a PAR drop-off site please contact Don at don@foodshuttle.org.


Keep up with what’s going on with our Farm & Gardens and PAR programs through the IFFS blog farmsandgardens.wordpress.com. Use the blog to check out weekly ripe recipes, find yourself in photos of weekly crew calls, hear from other volunteers, and stay up to date with activities at IFFS. Let us know if you’re interested in contributing to the blog!


We are still in need of hand-tool donations. We gladly accept new and/or lightly used equipment. Thanks to all who have responded.

New Volunteer?

If you have not filled out a volunteer form or have a friend who is interested in helping out please email Janet at (rgsjrs@aol.com)

Have a great week and hope to see you at the gardens & farm!

Sun, Amanda, Steven, Elizabeth & Katherine

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By: Nyssa Collins, NC State Correspondent

A few days of rain followed by days full of hot, clear sunlight: the recipe for vegetables growing like weeds!  Come see bulbous green tomatoes with their first blush of pink, tiny baby squash peeking out from under giant leaves, and peppers, which all start out green, but will soon distinguish themselves in a rainbow of reds, oranges, yellows, browns, and purples.  The entire new field is teetering on the edge of abundance.

AWW! Baby vegetables! In order: Tomato, Banana Pepper, Sweet Bell Pepper, and Zucchini

And because of the eclectic nature of donations, the IFFS farm is a model of diversity in varieties.  Planted in one row are twenty-seven varieties of peppers:

Organic farmers rely heavily on the merit of diversity.  Some varieties is more susceptible to a certain disease or pest, or if it is not suited to the particular environment.  When a farmer plants many varieties, the loss of a single variety is not so overwhelming.  Another variety, growing at the same time, is likely to be more successful.  Accepting some plants as a loss, or sacrificing some varieties to pests (to distract them from other varieties) is a way to ensure moderate agricultural success.  In contrast, a conventional farmer that plants only a single variety could lose his entire crop due to a selective misfortune. (For instance, a disease that affects only ‘Big Boy’ Tomatoes)  A conventional farmer also may depend more on inorganic pesticides and fertilizers to protect his fields, because he does not utilize the natural protection of diversity.

Stay tuned on the blog later this week when Nyssa gives step by step instructions (with pictures!) on how to transplant a pepper plant!

The Food Shuttle’s Farm staff needs volunteers on the farm in Raleigh Monday-Saturday! Click here to sign up as a farm volunteer and join us in providing wholesome veggies to countless people in need here in the Triangle.

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By: Elizabeth Stahl, IFFS Communication Intern

Continuing to expand my knowledge of Inter-Faith Food Shuttle, I learned food banks and food rescue organizations are quite similar. As you may remember from my previous blog post, I have a connection to MANNA Food Bank which works hand-in-hand with the Plant A Row program and community distribution programs.  So not only does food banking accumulate warehouse goods, but they also work with fresh produce for different agencies.  Food rescue organizations, like the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle, deal with food rescue and garden-fresh produce as well as distribution around the community.  Both organizations are dedicated to fighting hunger!

Recently I ventured to the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle farm and learned about the organic farming methods they employ.  Not only is Steven Horton, assistant farm manager, hard at work on the farm but chickens and worms put in their fair share as well! Known as the official “worm doctor,” Steven is dedicated to making the farm successful, “I’d like to educate more people on our growing methods a lot of people think that organic farming is like going back to the 18th century, and it’s not.” Employing worms to create nutritious, rich fertilizer, utilizing worm-castings ensures delicious vegetables!

After a morning of hard work, I put the “worm doctor” to the test and asked him a few questions.

1. If you could be any vegetable which one would you be and why?

-I would be a bean because they are the most pervasive they will climb up anything and take over anything.

2. What is one type of food you simply could not live without?

-Any kind of berry– strawberries, blackberries, and mulberries- they grow in the wild and are easy to pick.

3. Is there anything other than working on the farm that you do to fight hunger?

­-I work with Crop Mob, an organization of young farmers that wanted to help each other.  They meet and work during the day and then share a meal together, all on sustainable farms.  I also read about farming and new farming methods.

4. Which is more important: the chickens or the worms?

-The worms because they provide really high quality, organic fertilizer they helps make the soil healthy for years to come.  They can feed the chickens and the hungry!  They make growing plants a lot easier!

5. What is something you are most proud of?

-I am proud of where I am at now in my life.  I am proud that I have an open mind and respect my own beliefs but at the same time being open to others beliefs.

8. What is the most important meal of the day and why?

-Breakfast because it keeps you going until lunch!

9. What is something you wish more people did?

-Stop complaining and start doing! 

Special thanks to Steven and his hard work on the farm!  Without his dedication, the farm would not be able to provide seeding transplants for other IFFS farms or grow nutritious produce for the IFFS agencies!  Look for more Friday Full of Fun next week!

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Local Bed and Breakfast owners Gary Jurkiewicz and his wife, Doris, have recently joined the Plant A Row for the Hungry program. Using non-traditional methods in his garden, Gary has employed worms to help him make all natural fertilizer. At the Oakwood Inn, not only can you find a historic building but also worms hard at work!

Learning about the PAR program at the Logan’s kickoff event at the end of March and also through his neighbor, Sharon O’Neil, Gary converted his simple flower garden to a fruit and vegetable garden nearly two months ago. Looking out for the environment and his guests at the Inn, Gary mentions “the Inn has always [been a part] of the green movement and sustainability- even before we took over in 2001- and we also wanted a home grown garden for our guests.” Growing strawberries, carrots, squash, tomatoes, potatoes, and turnips (when the squirrels don’t get them!!), Gary grows crops for himself and his guests, but also for those in need. An herb garden, pomegranate tree, and peach trees also add to Gary’s garden; raspberries are soon to come!

Utilizing a drip irrigation system, which saves water, the fruits and vegetables are also nourished by a natural fertilizer known as worm castings- or worm manure, if you will. Converting trash into natural fertilizer, only organic products can be used in the worm containers, no dairy products or meat,

“…you look at your garbage in a different way- this is what Mother Nature normally does,” Gary said.

With no chemical runoff, Gary uses a simple pH meter to test his soil for acidity. The combination of natural fertilizer with the drip irrigation system ensures that Gary’s crops are not only environmentally friendly, but they are also produced in a careful manner. “It’s been a trial and error run so far…” Gary mentioned, but by and large, his garden is flourishing! Many thanks to Gary and Doris Jurkiewicz for their hard work and dedication to the PAR program!

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Across the street from Keller Williams Realty in Cary, a group of folks  began to construct Cary’s Pocket Community Garden last Thursday as part of Keller Williams RED (Renew, Energize and Donate) Day of service initiative to improve local communities. Cary’s Pocket Community Garden has a dedicated area in the garden to grow produce and donate it to our Plant A Row for the Hungry program! A few Food Shuttle staffers stopped by the build day to see how the garden was coming along. The volunteers were enthusiastic about the garden and were hard at work building beds and moving mulch. Check out the photos below!

We’ll have an update on Cary’s Pocket Community Garden later on in the growing season. If you have a backyard garden or a community garden, you can become a Plant A Row for the Hungry member too! Email don@foodshuttle.org to fill out a membership form and start growing produce for neighbors in need.

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