Recently, I* took a day off from farming at Solid Ground’s Giving Garden at Marra Farm in South Park to conduct a Farm Fresh Food Demo at a nearby Sea Mar Community Health Center.
For years, Sea Mar youth have been coming to Marra Farm for weekly gardening and cooking classes during the summer. Lettuce Link also donates produce to their community kitchens and health classes. This year, however, we’ve struck up a new partnership with the Seattle Medical Clinic in South Park itself: We donate fresh veggies from the Solid Ground Giving Garden at Marra Farm, and they are then distributed to patients at Sea Mar.
Solid Ground is excited about this new initiative and the chance to further engage in the South Park community. My Farm Fresh Food Demo was a fun way to make patients aware of Marra Farm and the new veggie distribution at Sea Mar.
Our beets and carrots are in full-on harvest mode at the Giving Garden, so I knew that they would be the main veggies delivered to Sea Mar on the day of the Farm Fresh Food Demo. My goal was to prepare a recipe that was nutritious, simple, inexpensive and refreshing enough for a hot summer day. I decided on a Beet, Carrot and Apple Salad, with optional chopped walnuts.
To make this delicious summer salad, I peeled raw beets and grated them, grated carrots, and chopped up granny smith apples into matchstick-sized pieces. I combined all this into a mixing bowl and added olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper to taste.
The deep magenta color of the beets made the salad a vibrant dish, which definitely drew the eye of patients at Sea Mar. Some were eager to try the dish, some were tentative, but overall it seemed to be a hit! A few patients even came back for seconds. Many were surprised that the salad was made with beets, or that the combination of beets, carrots, and apples could taste so delicious.
I love to share what I cook and enjoy trying the foods my friends and family prepare; it’s wonderful what we can learn about our surroundings or other cultures through trying new dishes! I was happy to share a new recipe with the medical clinic patients and inspire them to cook with the Marra Farm veggies they received.
The most exciting part of the salad for me was that fact that I had just pulled the carrots and beets out of the ground a few hours earlier. Hopefully the patients receiving the just-harvested beets and carrots from the Solid Ground Giving Garden also enjoyed the farm-freshness of the veggies, whether they made the Beet, Carrot and Apple Salad or another nutritious dish!