Sprout
Good Food Project Garden Newsletter May 2017 Sprout  
 
What's the Right Tomato for You to Plant?

When you aren't able to start your tomato plants from seeds, you often end up at the local garden center looking for just the right ones that will give you a bumper crop of great-tasting, home-grown, flavorful, summer gems, right? While buying transplants is a great way to get a head start on the growing season, the question becomes, which ones? They are, after all, the most popular vegetables sold, with nearly 24 million tomato transplants sold each year and a seemingly endless list of tomatoes from which to choose. Remember, tomato transplants adapt well! Here are some things to look for when choosing what you want to grow:


 

1. Decide if you want Determinate, Indeterminate, or Heirloom Tomatoes

  •  Determinate grow to a certain height and then stop producing fruit all at once. These are the cherry tomato,  and Roma tomato types that are great for salads, sauces, and snacks
  • Indeterminate tomato plants keep growing and producing fruit sporadically over a longer period of time. These include beefsteak and better boy varieties that are used as slicing tomatoes for sandwiches and burgers.
  • Heirloom tomatoes are passed down from generation to generation. These tomatoes can be more flavorful and colorful, but are more susceptible to diseases. Examples of heirlooms are: Black krim and Cherokee purple tomatoes.

2. Buy smaller transplants

  • Choose plants that are about 4-8" tall
  • Make sure it is as wide as it is tall - this may give the transplants a better chance to build a strong root system and have a sturdier stem. Long and "leggy" tomatoes will need to be planted deeper and may require staking right away.

3. Look closely at the leaves of the tomato you choose. Leaves should be an even, deep green color. (Some varieties are darker green than others). Varying shades of green may indicate a plant that is stressed. Other things to look for are yellow leaves, spots on the leaves, wilting or curling of the leaves - avoid purchasing these plants, as they may be diseased. Also, look for leaves that are not torn or broken, especially at the top of the plant.

  • Examine the plants stem for any signs of brown streaks, or general brown in the stem's color. This could indicate a weak stem or possible root rot. You want to choose a plant with a sturdy stem that is not falling over. Taller plants will tend to fall over, that may not be bad - you can plant it in a deeper hole and then stake it with a wooden stake.
  • Examine the soil in the pot the tomato is planted in. Use the finger test to check for moisture. Dried-out soil is an indicator that the transplants have not been properly watered.
  • If unsure, ask for help at the purchase site or feel free to call Good Food Project at 318-445-2773.

(Adapted from veggiegardener.com)

 

 

Indeterminate Tomatoes (left) Better Girl Variety and Determinate Black Plum tomatoes (Right) - Which one would you choose? 
 
We invite you to join us at Good Food Project for sustainable gardening and nutrition information!

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
Veggie Quesadillas
Veggie Quesadillas Served at the Hope House of Alexandria - Thanks to Tia Powers, a GFP Partner who is the LSU Ag Office - SNAP Educator
Did you know?
  • Zucchini, an abundant summer squash is versatile and has lots of Vitamin A
  • Broccoli tops the vegetable list for nutrients
  • Carrots are rich in carotenoids, B vitamins, phosphorous, calcium, and iodine
  • 100% Whole wheat tortillas contain bran and the wheat germ - whole wheat serves as a good source of dietary fiber and manganese 

Ingredients

Cooking oil spray
1 Small zucchini (washed and chopped)
1/2 Broccoli head (washed and chopped)
1 Green bell pepper (washed and chopped)
1 Onion (medium, peeled and chopped)
1 Carrot (scrubbed and shredded)
4 Whole wheat tortillas (10 inch)
1 Cup shredded cheddar cheese (low fat)
1/2 Cup of salsa
Directions
1. Spray large sauté pan with cooking oil spray
2. Cook vegetables on medium heat for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently
3. Spray pan with cooking spray. Place tortilla in the pan. Sprinkle with half the vegetables and half of the cheese.
4. Place the other tortilla on top. Cook on medium heat for 4-6 minutes or until the cheese starts to melt and the bottom tortilla starts to brown.
5. Flip quesadilla. Cook for 4 minutes or until tortilla browns.
6. Repeat steps 3-5
7. Cut each quesadilla in half. Serve with salsa

 

In May plant:

  • Bean, Lima, Bush, Pole, Snap
  • Cantaloupe
  • Chard, Swiss
  • Collards
  • Corn, Sweet
  • Cucumbers
  • Cucuzzi Squash
  • Cushaw
  • Edible Soybean
  • Eggplant (Seeds*)
  • Eggplant (Plants)
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Lettuce (in pots in partial shade)
  • Luffa Gourd
  • Malabar Spinach
  • Mirliton
  • Mustard Greens
  • Okra
  • Peanuts
  • Peas, Southern
  • Pepper, Hot (Plants)
  • Pepper, Bell (Plants)
  • Pumpkin
  • Radish
  • Summer Squash
  • Sweet Potato
  • Tomatoes (Plant)
  • Watermelons
  • Yard-long Beans

 *Start seed indoors

 In June plant:

  • Amaranth
  • Basil
  • Bergamot
  • Cantaloupe
  • Chard, Swiss
  • Collards
  • Corn, Sweet
  • Cucumbers
  • Cucuzzi Squash
  • Cushaw
  • Edible Soybean 
  • Eggplants (Seed)
  • Eggplant (Plants)
  • Garlic Chives
  • Hyssop
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Lemon Balm
  • Lemon Verbena
  • Lettuce (in pots in partial shade)
  • Luffa Gourd
  • Mexican Oregano
  • Mexican Tarragon
  • Mints (All varieties)
  • Mirliton
  • Mustard Greens
  • Okra
  • Oregano
  • Peanuts
  • Peas, Southern
  • Pepper, Hot (Plants)
  • Pepper, Bell (Plants)
  • Pumpkin
  • Rosemary
  • Radishes,
  • Spinach (Malabar, New Zealand)
  • Summer Squash
  • Sweet Potato
  • Tomatoes (Plants)
  • Watermelons
  • Yarrow

  

 

 

 

 

Scenes from around the eleven parish Food Bank service area with Good Food Project community garden partners this month. Delta Storefront Pantry - Ferriday, Louisiana with  Ferriday Garden Club members, Sherrill Sasser, Lena Bateman, pantry partner, Edna Craft, and Diane Watson, the Mt. Zion Senior Complex - Alexandria garden installation, Principal, Jerome Henson and student at Rosepine High School, potato harvest at Pineville Youth Center, Priscilla Gadel and Beth Chapman at Mary Mother of Jesus Catholic Church - Woodworth garden installation and NSU Lab School students

                               

 

Garden News

May has become the month for Good Food Project and our community partner gardens to harvest red potatoes. We've had a blast with kids and garden volunteers as they harvested over 500 pounds of potatoes at the various gardens! The potatoes were planted back in February; everybody has watched them grow and been excited by the process and the progress. Many families and individuals have benefitted by this seemingly simple and humble vegetable. Good Food Project has truly helped to build a community of folks committed to the improvement of health in central Louisiana! To learn more about our programming, contact GFP at 318-445-2773 or GoodFoodProject@fbcenla.org 

 

   May 2017 Red Potato Harvest Scenes at Good Food Project Garden Sites

 

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


Workday Wednesday

First hand experience is the best teacher! Join us on Wednesday mornings for a gardening experience that engages you physically! Learn sustainable gardening practices by participating in the care and maintenance of the demonstration garden that benefits clients of the Food Bank of Central Louisiana.

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 

 

Workday Wednesday bed prep in the demo garden by GFP staff, Dellen Ross, Sr. and volunteer, Deidrick Williams

 

 

 

Garden Tips:
Weeding is usually the least favorite garden chore; but under some circumstances it can be stress reducing. Weed after a good soaking rain as the weeds are easier to pull. Work carefully to leave as much soil in place as possible. Use sheets of cardboard in your beds to suppress weed and grass growth - if they don't have light, it's harder for them to grow. And mulch, mulch, mulch!
These great garden girls are weeding a tomato bed at the GFP demo garden!
Volunteers of the Month - Youth Challenge Program - Camp Beauregard
 


A Saturday workday at the Good Food Project demo garden with YCP Cadets and staff 


 

The Louisiana National Guard Youth Challenge Program (YCP) is an alternative educational program which offers adolescents an opportunity to change their future. Students looking for a way to succeed outside of a traditional school setting learn self-discipline, leadership, and responsibility while working to obtain a high school equivalency diploma.

Camp Beauregard began as Louisiana's first National Guard Youth Challenge Program in 1993. Since that time, over 8,160 cadets have graduated YCP at Camp Beauregard (www.langycp.com)


 

Several times a year, GFP consults with YCP Volunteer Coordinator, Tammy Edwards to schedule days when the cadets can assist GFP with large projects. These young people can obtain hours toward one of the YCP Core Components of Service to the Community by giving of their time and effort. We salute them this month and their adult supervisors: Case manager, Mariah Day and Counselor, Maryann Stewart. We look forward to a long and productive partnership with the Louisiana National Guard Youth Challenge Program.


 

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.

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