Good Food Project Garden Newsletter December 2017 Sprout  
Start Planning now for January Seed Starting!
Seeds come in many varieties and from many companies. When choosing what seeds to start, keep in mind what you and your family like to eat and the kind of care a specific plant will require.
Once the holidays start winding down, gardeners can turn their attention to preparing for their spring gardens. Although many seeds can be directly seeded into the ground as the weather warms up, such as beans, cucumbers, and watermelons, not many seeds other than carrots, lettuces, mustard, spinach, and turnips can be directly seeded in winter (February 24).
 The germination process starts when a seed has the right moisture, temperature, and light. A gardener can buy seed starting mixes, if they choose; it is not recommended to use regular potting soil, as it is too heavy. It is important for air and water to pass through the mixture easily. Seeds benefit from having a base such as peat moss or coir (coconut husk fiber) and compost that has been heated to 150 ° to kill any pathogens or weed seeds. A seed starting mix can be made from equal parts of vermiculite, perlite, and organic compost that will hold an adequate amount of water. No fertilizer is necessary; seeds have the nutrients they need.
 Around January 5th start seeding vegetables like those known as "cole" crops that are part of the mustard group of vegetables. They include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, kale, and kohlrabi. These are cultivated varieties of the species Brassica oleracea.
Tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants can be started indoors the 5th of January, also. In early March, watch the weather to know when there will be no more frosts so that the seedlings can be transplanted into the ground. Night time temperatures need to be in the 50s for tomatoes to get off to a good start in Central Louisiana.


Want to learn more about sustainable gardening? Please call Good Food Project to learn more about our programming, contact GFP at 318-445-2773 or GoodFoodProject@fbcenla.org 

For information about partnering with the Good Food Project, or for other GFP program opportunities, contact the Good Food Project staff at 318.445.2773 or via email: fboudreaux@fbcenla.org, or cbaker@fbcenla.org,  and on the web: www.goodfoodprojectcenla.org    
Recipe of the Month
Warm Fruit Compote
A child at the Hope House of Central Louisiana, Inc. enjoying a bowl of warm fruit compote
Did you know?
  • Cooked fruit such as in this compote is a great alternative to sugary or fatty desserts
  • Fruit, like apples, are high in flavonoids, a kind of antioxidant that helps combat heart disease and cancers
  • Fruit has fiber (especially with the peeling left on) that aids in digestive health
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 6 pitted dried plums, chopped
  • 6 dried apricots, chopped
  • 2 large apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 1 firm ripe pear, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 tsp honey or sugar (or eliminate a sweetener altogether)
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • Yogurt or honey, to serve
  • Dash of nutmeg
  1. Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the fruit and cinnamon stick. Cook gently, stirring often, until the fruit has completely softened.
  2. Stir in the honey or sugar and heat for a couple of minutes, or until the sweetener has dissolved.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the lemon juice. Sprinkle a dash of nutmeg, serve warm with a spoonful of yogurt or a drizzle of honey.


In December plant:

  • Beets
  • Cabbage (Plants & Seeds)
  • Carrot
  • Cauliflower (Seed)
  • Celery (Seed or the end of a celery stalk)
  • Chard, Swiss
  • Chinese Cabbage (Plants)
  • Chives (Onion & Garlic)
  • Cilantro (Seed)
  • Collards (Plants & Seeds)
  • Dill
  • Kale (Seeds, Plants)
  • Kohlrabi (Plants & Seeds)
  • Lettuce (Seeds, Plants)
  • Mustard Greens
  • Onion, Leek (Seeds or sets)
  • Radishes
  • Rosemary
  • Rutabagas
  • Shallots (Sets)
  • Spinach
  • Turnips

 In January plant:

  • Beets
  • Broccoli (Seed)
  • Cabbage (Seed)
  • Carrot
  • Cauliflower (Seed)
  • Celery (Seed or the end of a celery stalk)
  • Chard, Swiss
  • Chinese Cabbage (Seed)
  • Chives (Onion & Garlic)
  • Cilantro
  • Collards (Seed)
  • Kale (Seed)
  • Kohlrabi (Seed)
  • Lettuce
  • Mustard Greens
  • Onion, Leek (Seeds or sets)
  • Peas, Sugar Snap, Snow
  • Pepper (Bell, Hot)**
  • Potatoes, Irish
  • Radishes
  • Rosemary
  • Rutabagas
  • Shallots (Sets)
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes (Seed)** 
  • Turnips

 **Seed indoors






Make a commitment in 2018 to support youth garden programs in your community. Good Food Project partners with over 30 school and youth garden programs across the eleven parish region served by the Food Bank of Central Louisiana. Represented this month are, top left: Poland Junior High, Fairview Alpha Elementary - Campti. LA, Rapides Parish homeschool children/volunteers, and St. Joseph School - Bunkie, LA. Bottom left: Our Lady of Prompt Succor Elementary School, Pineville Youth Center, and Alma Redwine Elementary - Alexandria, LA



Garden News

Want to learn more about the Good Food Project and our sustainable gardening program? Please call the Food Bank of Central Louisiana and ask for the Good Food Project office to learn more about our community garden programs in your area. Contact info: 318-445-2773 or GoodFoodProject@fbcenla.org 


As is typical in Louisiana, one season can rapidly change into another, as it did on 12/8/17. A late Indian summer, turned suddenly wintery, with snow that only lasted one day, but gave us an opportunity to take lovely photos. 

Scenes from a central Louisiana snow event early in December

  in the demonstration garden.

  For more information about how your organization or school can partner or volunteer with Good Food Project contact us at goodfoodproject@fbcenla.org or call 318-445-2773 

Workday Wednesday

You'll learn all kinds of neat things when you come and be a part of our community of gardeners at the Good Food Project of the Food Bank of Central Louisiana!  And you'll have fun doing it! Help us make a difference in Cenla! Join us any Wednesday at the Good Food Project demonstration garden at 3223 Baldwin Avenue  from 7:30-11:30 AM for WORKDAY WEDNESDAYSCome out and harvest with us and learn new things about gardening and make new friends! Or, if you are interested in volunteering at one of our off-site garden programs, please contact us at GoodFoodProject@fbcenla.org 

If Wednesdays aren't good for you, call us to set up another volunteer day! 318-445-2773 


Flutter on by, sometimes! We have a world of fun on Workday Wednesdays! - #joinusatthedemogardenWednesdaymornings




Garden Tips:
 When starting your seeds indoors, make sure you use clean containers, water carefully, and follow seed packet recommendations. 
Students at Lessie Moore Elementary tasting radishes they grew from seed.
Good Food Project's Advisory Council of 2017 - We Salute You! 

 GFP's 2017 Advisory Council Members, Left to Right: Marilyn Rabalais, Rhonda Lair, Carolyn Baines, Don Bullock, Jane Fillette, and Jackie Duncan


Good Food Project is honored to recognize it's Advisory Council comprised of a diverse group of volunteers. These fantastic individuals represent the best that Central Louisiana has to offer. Vice Chair, Marilyn Rabalais serves as a representative of the Rapides Soil and Water Conservation District's Board who have been big supporters of GFP's efforts to establish school gardens. {The RSWCD's board is made up of the following members: Jim T. Harper - Chairman of the Board, Danny Coombs - Vice Chairman, Richard Melder - Secretary/Treasurer, Max Johnston, and Larry Gillespie}.

 Rhonda Lair has served as a valuable volunteer in the demonstration garden and in the community for a year now; she was named GFP's Volunteer of the Year for 2017 for her dedication and hard work.

 Carolyn Baines represents Grant Parish where she actively and enthusiastically volunteers at DART's Kugichagulia Community Garden at HUD Loop in Colfax and also at the Grant Council on Aging in Colfax.

 Don Bullock serves as the lead for the successful North Alexandria Community Garden in what he refers to as the old "Oil Mill Quarters" where he has been a life-long resident.

Jane Fillette represents many interests as related to gardening, including entomology and biology. Jane was chosen as GFP's Resource Volunteer of the Year for 2017.

Jackie Duncan, retired from the US Forest Service, and who is a master gardener, has served the longest as a GFP volunteer, is dedicated to the work of the project, and is active in the Native Plant Society and the Herb Society.

  Not pictured above, are The Food Bank of Cenla Board member and  GFP's  Advisory Council Chair, Brian Couvillion, and Caroline Davis of Keller Enterprises, who have dedicated large amounts of time and effort to help make Good Food Project successful.

 We take this time to acknowledge and thank the Advisory Council for their input and continuing, committed support of the Good Food Project.

On behalf of everyone here at the Good Food Project of the Food Bank of Central Louisiana, we wish you a prosperous and productive New Year! Come grow with us in 2018!


GFP welcomes  individual and organizational volunteers at our community gardens and at the Good Food Project on Wednesday mornings in the demonstration garden, 3223 Baldwin Avenue - Food Bank of Central Louisiana 71301 - 318-445-2773.