Seasonal Eating Community Huddle – Staying Healthy and Connected During COVID-1930 Sep 2020, by Green Urban Lunch Box, Harvest Blog in
The Green Urban Lunch Box (GULB) is a food justice non-profit organization and urban farm based in Salt Lake City, Utah. GULB created the Community Huddle Program to cultivate community engagement and foster relationships with volunteers and staff. The ultimate goal is to facilitate a community pulse through gatherings that educate people on why and how they can cultivate a positive food culture and the importance of food justice in the Salt Lake community. The Harvest VISTA, Hannah Goggin, decided to reinvigorate this program to make it work during the current pandemic.
September was the first Community Huddle of 2020, and also the first time GULB took the huddle virtually. September’s topic was focused on seasonal eating and instead of just holding a lecture on the subject, a cooking demonstration was involved! GULB held a cook along to show everyone involved a fun and tasty way to eat seasonally. Caroline Ballard was the featured chef, she is a fantastic home cook who showed participants how to make a delicious salad featuring seasonal produce from GULB’s weekly Fruit and Veggie CSA. During the demo, the Harvest VISTA led the discussion on seasonal eating, and what that looked like at the Green Urban Lunch Box.
At its core, seasonal eating means eating fresh produce at a time of year when it’s naturally ready for harvest, but looking back 100-200 years ago, no one would have called it seasonal eating, it was just what was on hand and ready to go.
Seasonal eating sounds like a simple food philosophy at its core, yet it has been complicated with decades of operating within a globalized food system. Go into any supermarket in the dead of winter what can people find? Tomatoes? No problem. Grapes? Sure. Fresh strawberries? Absolutely. Whether grown in a hothouse or shipped halfway around the world, most people have become completely accustomed to seasonless eating. To combat this issue, GULB looks at the intersectionality of seasonal eating with local eating.
The main point of eating locally is reducing a person or family’s footprint by not trucking food long distances. Usually, this means that the produce is harvested at the correct time, when nutrients are at their peak, as opposed to harvesting early so that the produce will better withstand shipping. Purchasing a CSA from a local farm (like GULB!), visiting the farmers market, canning and preserving the summer harvest for winter time are all great ways to invest in local food as well as eating seasonally.
The topic of seasonal eating is completely intertwined with all of GULB’s programs as well as its mission to connect people to their food and to build a resilient food culture. This means that during September the farm and garden staff are harvesting squash and kale, while the FruitShare staff are harvesting apples and pears! Perfectly fit for a farewell summer salad.
Community Huddles will be held every 3rd Thursday of the month, are held virtually, and are open to the public. If you would like to try and recreate Caroline’s Farewell Summer Salad, the recipe is below!
Farewell Summer Salad
Making the salad
• 2 small apples, diced
• 1 squash, peeled, seeded and diced
• 1 bunch kale
• 4 tablespoons dried cranberries
• 4 tablespoons pepitas
• 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese or feta
Roast squash at 425 with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss once after 10 minutes. Remove once squash looks lightly browned on the outside and is fork tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.
Chop kale into small pieces. In a large bowl, combine chopped kale with the apples, cranberries, pepitas, and squash. Toss with the dressing and top with the cheese.
Making the dressing
• 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
• 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
• 1 tablespoon maple syrup
• 1 clove garlic, grated or pressed
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
• Salt & pepper to taste
Mix well in a jar or whisk in a bowl until creamy.