Serving Superb Salads!

— Written By Mandy Reid and last updated by

Do you ever wonder where the food comes from that’s on your plate? Or maybe, how much work is involved in getting it to your plate? These are questions that our 4-H Gardening Club has been answering as they grow their own gardens. Eli Snyder, our Horticulture agent, along with our Science Club leader, Angela Gilbreath, planned, coordinated, and implemented meetings for the club to plant vegetables that could be used to create wonderful salads.

For this project, 4-Hers are maintaining their own personal gardens. In early spring, 4-Hers planted radishes, different types of lettuces, carrots, peas, kale, and cabbages.

Salad test tasting

Taste-testing every salad. Yum!

Then after the frost-free date they added basil, cucumbers, tomatoes, watermelons, and cantaloupe for salads they will be able to enjoy later in the summer. They have been weeding, watering, and watching their special plants grow and produce food for them to harvest and eat.

On May 24th, 2018, the 4-Hers gathered at the office to celebrate their efforts with spring salads of their own creation. Each participant used their vegetables, created a salad, named it, and presented it to the group. During their presentations, they answered questions such as: What vegetables in your salad came from your garden? Did you face any challenges growing them? Are there any vegetables in your salad you’ve never eaten?

All participants did an excellent job presenting and all salads were delicious! We enjoyed a Salad Supper! For dessert, Eli made a Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp. The rhubarb plant has large, heart-shaped leaves that grow up from a crown at the base of the plant. We eat the stalk- or petiole- portion of the plant, and the leaves are poisonous. It is very tart, but can be combined with other fruits or sweeteners to make delicious jams and desserts. It can also be used in some meat dishes. This was a sweet way for some 4-Hers to taste rhubarb for the first time and to end our meal.

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp.

Delicious Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp made by Eli Snyder.

Many participants tried foods they’ve never had before and found new favorites to add to their plates.

If you or someone you know is interested in upcoming events, clubs, and summer exploring fun, you can find us online or call 828-757-1257 for more information. We would love to have you join our programs.