Posted in events, farmer/grower, tagged Extension on November 1, 2009 |
If you are setting up your first edible garden, or your 100th, and have questions or problems, Miami-Dade County Cooperative Extension Services is the place for answers. They can teach you how to become a Master Gardener, castrate a pig, or keep your ornamental shrubs from yellowing. Extension was in danger of losing it all due to proposed county budget cuts — but were (mostly) spared at the last minute.
Lots of good eats at the reception
That called for a party to thank everyone who supported them, and there was a nice turnout of local growers for the festivities. The Extension staff went all out preparing food and decorating the auditorium. A long table was loaded with many kinds of delicious food. Dr. John McLaughlin made cheesy wafers and little meat pies. Adrian Hunsberger baked buttery cookies dipped in chocolate and rolled in nuts. Teresa Olczyk and her daughter designed cards and assembled goody bags of thank you candies. Don Pybas greeted guests and guided them to the punch bowl on the left, which had an bit of extra kick. Other delicacies I sampled were veggie empanadas, chicken enchiladas, and creamy guacamole. Mmmmm local food makes for good eating! Tables were decorated with palm and monstera leaves, and various blossoms were picked from flowering trees in staffer’s gardens.
Ken Bedat, Master Gardener
Had the pleasure of meeting fellow CSA member Ken Bedat. He said he had tried to join the CSA for three years and wasn’t able to because of the cutoff on the waiting list.His doctor had ordered him to join, and he finally got in last season. I asked Ken what he enjoyed the most, and he said it would be the greens. He loves chard, kale and collards. He and his wife finally ate the last package of kale out of the freezer. (Clever man, freezing extra greens for later. Will try to remember to do this when I’m in a sea of greens at the start of the season.) Ken recommends eating collards the traditional way, with hot sauce or a splash of vinegar, because the acid helps your body absorb the calcium and iron. Ken is a retired USDA inspector, and a Master Gardner who volunteers lots of hours at Extension. If you call the office for gardening assistance, there’s a good chance you’ll talk with Ken.
Mike Hatcher, Jim Maiuri, and Louise King
The afternoon’s entertainment was provided by a pickup bluegrass band consisting of Mort Glosser on harmonica, Mike Hatcher on bass, Jim Maiuri on guitar and Louise King on guitar. Mort and Mike play together in a band called Corn Country at the bluegrass festival at Greynolds Park on the first Sunday of every month.
Margie Pikarsky, Don Pybas, Teresa Olczyk
Thanks again to Don Pybas and his staff for all their good work and all the good eats!
Read Full Post »