We invite you to be a part of Good Food Projects sustainable gardening community that supports a healthy Cenla! Because a Happy Life is a Healthy Life!
Celebrating a 5 Year Partnership with the Hope House of Central Louisiana, Inc.

A community garden partnership with Hope House of Central Louisiana, Inc., a homeless shelter for women and children, began in March of 2013. Hope House offers housing to women, 18 years or older who are homeless, capable of pursuing individualized goal-setting that will lead to self-sufficiency; and who actively participate in life skills training to enhance personal and professional skills. Hope House also expects that the women will willingly pursue alternatives that will change their situation of homelessness. Good Food Project provides a weekly garden and nutrition program for the women residing at Hope House that is considered one of their required life skills classes.

GFP originally installed a container garden at Hope House’s former location on Bolton Avenue. This was a residential-style home with little green space to provide a garden of great size. A year later, in March of 2014, and once Hope House had settled into its move to its current location at 5115 S MacArthur, GFP was able to install 4X8’ raised garden beds, and some lasagna-style rows where fresh produce could be raised to use in-house.

Since that time, women and children living in the shelter have had opportunities to learn about small-scale sustainable, organic gardening. They get hands-on experiences of planting, watering, weeding, and harvesting any produce grown; garden maintenance is built into their weekly/daily chores. Some of the produce grown has included tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, okra, squash, cantaloupe, watermelon, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, green onions, and red potatoes. GFP’s garden programs benefit from an almost year-round ability to grow food; the people we serve can have access to fresh nutritious food at any time.

GFP teaches nutrition lessons to both the women and the children. Cooking demos take place often, with the residents participating in the preparation of a healthy dish or snack for their peers. GFP staff brings fresh fruits or vegetables each week for the women and children to enjoy as a snack or as part of a cooking lesson. Good Food Project also partners with other organizations such as the LSU Ag center to teach the women about how to make better food choices when shopping or cooking for the family. The women who participate in Good Food Project’s garden and nutrition program at Hope House gain life-long skills, experience, and resource information that not only benefits them, but can have a lasting impact on their children, as they move toward improving their homeless status and their lives.

If you or someone you know might be interested in volunteering, please contact us at Good Food Project 318-445-2773 or via The Food Bank of Central Louisiana website and our volunteer portal: https://fbcenla.galaxydigital.com/
Cooper Hornsby of West Monroe volunteers at the GFP demonstration garden on spring break, planting summer sunflowers.
  • Beans, Bush, Lima, Pole
  • Butterfly milkweed
  • Cantaloupes
  • Chard, Swiss
  • Collards
  • Corn, sweet
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant (plants)
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Marigolds
  • Mirliton
  • Mustard Greens
  • Lettuce
  • Okra
  • Peas, Southern
  • Pepper, Bell & Hot (Seed - indoors)
  • Pumpkin
  • Radish
  • Summer Squash
  • Sunflowers
  • Tomatoes (Seed - indoors)
  • Tomatoes (Plants after last frost)
  • Watermelons
  • Zinnias
What Can I Plant this Month and Next Month?
  • Beans - Bush, Lima, Pole, Snap
  • Cantaloupes
  • Chard, Swiss
  • Collards
  • Corn, Sweet
  • Cucuzzi Squash
  • Cushaw
  • Eggplant (Plants)
  • Gourds (of various kinds - luffas)
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Lettuce
  • Mustard Greens
  • Peanuts
  • Peas, Southern
  • Pepper, Bell & Hot (Plants)
  • Potatoes, Sweet
  • Pumpkin
  • Summer Squash
  • Tomatoes (Plants)
  • Watermelon
  • Yard-Long Beans
A Nachman Elementary student in Erica Adams class waters some newly planted snap beans for the school garden.
Good Food Project Recipe of the Month
Pronounced Shak-shoo-ka , this is a North African dish that is served throughout the Middle East and is eaten mostly at breakfast but can be a hearty meal at any time of the day!

·          3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
·          1 medium onion, thinly sliced
·          1 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced
·          1 fresh, small chili, jalapeno, or Serrano pepper deseeded, remove ribs, slice
·          2-3 cloves of garlic thinly sliced
·          1 28 oz. can whole, peeled tomatoes – crush by squeezing between fingers
·          1 ½ tablespoons paprika
·          Salt and pepper to taste
·          ½ cup chopped parsley and cilantro
·          6 Eggs
·          Sliced black olives, feta cheese, artichoke hearts (optional)
·          Serve with crusty bread

1.       Heat olive oil in a large, deep skillet over high heat until shimmering. Add onion, red pepper, and hot pepper, spread into an even layer. Cook without moving, until vegetables are fully softened and spottily charred, about another 4 minutes. Add garlic, and cook, stirring, until softened and fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add paprika and cumin and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and stir to combine. Reduce heat to a bare simmer and simmer for 10 minutes, then season to taste with salt and pepper and stir in half of cilantro and parsley
2.       Use a large spoon to make a well near the outer edges of the pan, break an egg directly into it. Spoon a little sauce over the edges of the egg white to partially submerge and contain it, leaving the yolk exposed. Repeat with the remaining 5 eggs, working around the pan as you go. Season eggs with a little salt, cover, reduce heat to lowest setting, and cook until egg whites are barely set, and yolks are still runny – 5-8 minutes – for firmer eggs, add a minute or 2.
Whole canned tomatoes have better flavor than diced and are more consistent year-round
Children enjoy helping prepare new dishes - this girl at the Hope House of Cenla said, "now look, you made me like vegetables!"
Potential future chefs at Pineville Youth Center help prepare Shakshuka as a team!
Note Worthy News from GFP
Second Annual Inglewood Classic 5K and 1 Mile Fun Run
Join us on April 21, 2018 at the historic Inglewood Farm for the second annual Inglewood Classic 5K and 1 Mile Fun Run. Proceeds will benefit Good Food Project's sustainable gardening program. Sign up as a participant, as a sponsor, or as a volunteer by calling Donna for more information at 318-445-2773 - We hope to see you there!
March Scenes and Tips

P. E. teacher, Christy Parker's students harvest collard greens for a cooking demo in the Lessie Moore Elementary gym. Kids are more apt to try new foods if they see where they are grown and help prepare them!
GFP gave a germination lesson to home schooled children at the T.R.E.E. House Children's Museum this month - this child was delighted to learn how to harvest his first cabbage!
Tip: Make sure your spring garden is ready for planting by preparing your soil now. Pull back old mulch and pull up winter weeds before adding amendments if needed.
Hope House Garden and Nutrition Life Skills Class - where children learn about healthy snacking with a fresh fruit bowl they prepared themselves!
Learning new skills with a friend or family member is a lot more fun and creates some great memories!