At the core of our Friendship Gardens program has been the idea of growing communities where everyone can be healthier in mind and body. Fresh produce, grown locally, is always best.
Our latest green brainstorm? We have created a bottled salad dressing with ingredients grown right here by our garden network and our urban farm at Garinger High School! It will not only be a delicious component for any salad but will provide a revenue stream for our program and our participating schools.
In early Spring, a series of recipes were created with a kid-friendly palate in mind. After taste testing 16 different variations of an herb vinaigrette, the team landed on a combination of bright herbs and a light tang from lemons and apple cider vinegar.
A sample batch of the winning recipe delighted the students at Shamrock Gardens Elementary—with smiling kids gobbling up veggies they grew in their garden. If we’ve got kids eating their greens with gusto, we know we have a winner! Currently we are in growing mode at our project’s inaugural schools, Shamrock Garden Elementary and Dilworth Elementary.
Through this project, the students will see the complete cycle of social entrepreneurism, from growing and harvesting the herbs and participating in taste testing, to sharing their stories about the dressing with others.
Along with its ability to educate and fundraise, this salad dressing will also spark conversation about local food. With the children having a vested interest in the product (they really grew the herbs!) we envision thought-provoking dinnertime discussions.
As nature-lovin’ Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “The first wealth is health.” With our new Garden Vinaigrette, we hope for both.